Week 4 of the college football season may have started on Thursday, but this is when it really kicks in.
Thursday and Friday’s slate offered a lot of engaging action, but Saturday is made for college football. I have come up with the best solution.
It all starts in Ann Arbor. Michigan hosts Maryland to start playing the Big Ten. Then head to Dallas for the Iron Skillet (or Sonny Dykes Bowl — whatever you call it). Finally, head to MAC where the buffalo head east Michigan.
Check out all 4 of the best bets for the college football game at noon in Week 4, and see the other 12 best bets for Saturday afternoon and evening games below.
Best bets on college football at noon on Saturday
The team logos in the table below represent each game targeted by college football staff in today’s game. Click on the team logo for any of the matchups below to go to the specific bet explained in this article.
Maryland vs Michigan
Somehow, Michigan survived the ordeals of Colorado, Hawaii and Connecticut unscathed. They are now facing their first real test of the season as they host Maryland to open a big template.
Despite having easy opponents and the best-scoring offense in the country, Michigan’s offense still seems to be underrated as they got a lot of rep backup in these explosive games. I feel
JJ McCarthy makes his first start against the Power Five and has passed all the tests he has faced this season with flying colors. The sophomore has completed his 88% of passes and has yet to throw an interception.
He’s also surrounded by a bevy of explosive playmakers, including six different receivers with 30+ yard catches and Blake Colm, who scored seven times on just 34 carries.
Michigan will be stressed by Maryland’s deep passing attack led by Taulia Tagovailoa and a ton of receivers.
Maryland has a tendency to fatten up on lower opponents and really struggles against the upper crust in Big Ten competition. Last year, they lost to Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, 247-84 combined (32.6 points average).
Michigan has won its last six games against the Terps, 261-59 aggregate (33.7 points average).
I see no reason for this trend to stop as Michigan dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and won this by nearly three touchdowns.
Choose: Michigan -17 (played to -17.5)
TCU vs. SMU
After starting at +1.5, this number dropped rapidly to -2.5 for most books. After undergoing a major coach overhaul, TCU was a popular sleeper pick heading into the season, and for good reason.
The offense should be able to move the ball freely with a fast-paced new airlaid approach under former SMU head coach Sonny Dykes. With SMU providing limited pressure and a below-average rank in Havoc, TCU’s downfield progression poses little threat.
The Horned Frogs defense also underwent a major overhaul, bringing in Joe Gillespie from Tulsa and implementing a 3-3-5. After finishing bottom of the barrel in most defensive categories, TCU now holds both opponents to 17 points or less.
TCU will only get better as the season progresses, with SMU standing in the way before their highly anticipated showdown with Oklahoma next week.
Make it easy for TCU to handle SMUs after getting bad box scores against Maryland. The horned frog is taken at -2.5 or higher.
Choose: TCU -1.5 (Play to -3)
The Iron Skillet will be at the Sonny Dykes Bowl when TCU’s head coach returns to Dallas after leaving SMU for a job with the Horned Frogs. He knows this Mustang roster inside and out.
TCU started the year by mixing freshman Chandler Morris and senior Max Duggan for the quarterback spot. Morris is now injured, so Duggan has the keys. Honestly, the attack seemed smoother and more comfortable anyway. He has completed his 78% of his passes with his five touchdowns and no interceptions.
Running the ball is a game of horned frogs and is played by a committee. They’re averaging 227.5 rushing yards per game and 6.8 yards per carry this season. TCU’s rush explosive power ranks 8th in the nation.
Kendre Miller is the main back, joined by Emani Bailey from Louisiana this offseason, and Wildcat quarterback Sam Jackson is a great gadget player.
In last week’s matchup against SMU, Maryland ran all over the Mustangs for 225 yards and two runs. Their leadback averaged 9.4 yards per carry on multiple explosive runs.
On the other side, the Mustangs just throw the ball. This is a tough matchup against his TCU defense, which defensively ranks eighth in the nation for his pass completion percentage.
Rashee Rice is the Mustangs stud, but he’s all they are. Last week he threw his 19 balls and every other wide he threw 20 balls with his receiver and tight his end.
TCU has two great cornerbacks who should be able to limit Rice and force other players to play.
A lot has been done about hiring defensive coordinator Joseph Gillespie from Tulsa. Golden He Anyone who has watched the Hurricanes defense has seen Antai consistently ranked in the top 25 in Havoc. Well, he brought his plans to Fort Worth.
With Gillespie running defense, Frogs ranks #2 in the nation in defensive Havoc. Dylan Horton and this front 7 have plenty of opportunities to put their ears back and go after SMU quarterback his Tanner Mordecai.
TCU opened as an underdog, but was quickly bet on the favourites. I agree with that line movement. I like -1.5 horned toads and play to -2.5 to try and get my iron skillet back.
Choose: TCU -1.5 (Play to -2.5)
Buffalo vs. Eastern Michigan
with a keg
Buffalo will be looking for their first win as they enter Week 4 of the season against the Eastern Michigan Eagles in Ypsilanti.
The good news for the Bulls is that they’ve had success against the Eagles in recent history. Buffalo has won their last two matchups, including his 43-14 crushing loss at Ypsilanti in 2018.
The bad news is that their winning streak will come to an end this year. Eastern Michigan is 2-1 on the season, and he was the underdog by 20.5 points against Arizona State last weekend.
The Eagles rank 38th in offensive finishing drives, while the Buffalo team ranks 97th in defensive finishing drives. More importantly, the Eagles haven’t entered the red zone yet this season and haven’t scored a point, with him going 13-13 perfect in three games.
Buffalo have given up more than 450 yards in every game so far this season, and their only lead in total yards was against FCS Holy Cross, leading by a total of 7 yards. The Bulls currently rank him 130th in tackles and 104th in defensive completion percentage.
In our Action Network predictions, the Eagles are the 13-point favorites, and I back them up to the 7-point favorites.