If Week 4 doesn’t get you excited about college football, nothing will. There are at least two or three candidates for the most important game of the regular season on the docket for this weekend, and we’re breaking them all down for you. Drew Goldfarb, Jim Beviglia, and Taylor Smith take a closer look at five of this week’s biggest or most intriguing games in this week’s edition of “Power 5 Picks,” which you can watch above. When you’re ready to place your bets, check out our page, featuring the top picks for college football betting sites.
ACC: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Georgia Bulldogs
How’s this for a headline matchup for the week? A meeting of Top 10 teams in Athens, as UGA welcomes in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Despite their number 7 ranking, the Irish are two touchdown underdogs for this contest. Neither team has faced any real tests yet this year, though the Georgia defense is still one of the top in the nation.
Can the Fighting Irish overcome the UGA defense to contend with the Bulldogs, or will Georgia cover the 14-point spread? The spread carries with it a payout of -115 for Georgia to cover or -105 to take the Irish plus the points.
On most other weeks, this would classify as perhaps the premier matchup of the weekend. However, with the way Week 4 stacks up, this might not even rank second. An SEC showdown between the Auburn Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station should provide plenty of intrigue, as both the Aggies and the Tigers vie for the second spot in the SEC West. Neither team has faced Alabama as of yet, but the team that wins Saturday’s meeting will be in the best spot to make a run at the Crimson Tide down the line (which, for the Aggies, is just three weeks away).
Auburn already has a big win in the state of Texas this season, sneaking past Oregon to open the season. Texas A&M’s only test thus far in the year handed the Aggies their only loss of the year when they fell to Clemson. That said, they did manage to keep the game closer than the betting spread. There’s no moral/betting victory to be had for Texas A&M this time around, though, as the Aggies are the betting favorites at home.
Remember when I said there were three candidates for being one of the biggest games of the 2019 season this weekend? If Michigan hadn’t needed a heaping helping of luck to beat Army two weeks ago, this game would be looked at as more of the clash of powerhouses that it is. Michigan (No. 11) and Wisconsin (No. 13) are both ranked in the Top 15 of the latest AP Poll, each with aspirations of making it to the Big Ten Championship Game and, perhaps, the College Football Playoff at year’s end. Being that Michigan is in the East Division and Wisconsin in the West, this game could be a Conference Championship Game preview if the Wolverines hold up their end of the bargain.
But that’s looking way too far ahead. Michigan struggled in their last game, nearly falling to the Army Black Knights (a better defensive team than they get credit for in that performance). Wisconsin, meanwhile, has outscored their first two opponents by a combined 110-0, an impressive feat even against the likes of South Florida and Central Michigan.
Oklahoma State went from a 10-3 record in 2017 to just 7-6 in 2018, so it’s difficult to say just how good the 2019 Cowboys are as they sit at 3-0. Those three wins have come over Oregon State, McNeese State, and Tulsa. Now, it’s time for the in-conference portion of their schedule to kick in. The OK State offense looked phenomenal in their first three games, but it’s hard to say just how much that all means when they upgrade their competition.
That upgrade starts this week with a trip to Austin. The Texas Longhorns are 2-1, with wins over Louisiana Tech and Rice and a seven-point loss against LSU. The Tigers are the toughest opponent on the Longhorns’ schedule until the Red River Showdown next month, but the loss still stings. It essentially requires Texas to win out if they want to be in a position to lobby for a spot in the College Football Playoff come December. Sam Ehlinger has been fantastic at the helm, as the Longhorn quarterback has thrown for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season.
Spread: Texas -5
Moneyline: Oklahoma State +170, Texas -200
Pac-12: Washington Huskies at BYU Cougars
Washington is in a weird place right now, with dominating wins over Eastern Washington and Hawaii bookending a very strange loss to Cal. The game saw a two-and-a-half-hour weather delay in the first quarter that pushed the game back so much that it ended long after midnight on the west coast. The Huskies remain one of a few fading hopes that the Pac-12 Conference has of placing a team in the Playoff this season, but it’s a long road to get the Huskies back into that discussion.
On the other sideline this week, the Brigham Young Cougars. BYU—an independent program with no conference affiliation—fell in Week 1 against Utah, but followed that up with back-to-back three-point wins over Tennessee and USC. That last game against the Trojans knocked Southern Cal out of the AP Top 25 rankings. Another win this week would likely knock another Pac-12 team from the rankings, as the Huskies sit dangerously close to the bottom of the Top 25.
Spread: Washington -5½
Moneyline: Washington -200, BYU +170
For our experts’ picks for all five of these games, check out the video at the top of this page, and make sure to check back next week for another edition of “Power 5 Picks” on the Odds On Favorites YouTube channel and right here at GamblingSites.org.
Drew has been covering sports professionally since 2007, covering sports of all kinds in the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Conference USA. In addition to covering college sports, he also spent two seasons working with the NHL's Florida Panthers as part of their TV broadcast team, as well as reporting and anchoring for AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports affiliates, CBS Sports Network and ESPNU. Drew has also ...
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