One successful week is in the books! If you followed my best bets feature last week, you’d know we had a pretty successful Saturday of college football betting. We went 3-0 on player props, 3-1 ATS, and one blemish with the Notre Dame-Cal total equaling up to 6-2 on picks.
Let’s pat ourselves on the back and quickly shift our focus to Week 4 and keep this momentum rolling! I, personally, enjoy this weekend’s slate of games more than last week as we’re now starting to wade into the waters of conference play. And with that, why don’t we start where ESPN’s College Gameday will be on Saturday?
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IF Your Team Wins
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Florida (+10.5) @ Tennessee
Full disclosure: I grew up in Tennessee and was born into Tennessee Volunteer fandom so I rarely like to pick their games. However, this seems like a no-brainer if you’re familiar with the history between these two teams. The Florida Gators have been torturing Volunteer fans ever since Steve Spurrier became the team’s boogeyman in the 90s (my dad still gets angered over The Head Ball Coach’s Citrus Bowl joke).
But for those not familiar, I’ll catch you up to speed. Florida has won 17 of the last 20 meetings and since 2005, Tennessee’s only win against the Gators came in 2016. The Vols also haven’t fared well at all against the spread in these games, going 7-11-2 against them in the past 20 years ATS.
It’s also depressingly (for me) rare how many times the Vols have even been favored over Florida. Since 2002, they’ve only been favorites in six of those games and are 1-5 ATS in those games. I can go on all day about how Florida owns Tennessee and it doesn’t matter if it’s Spurrier, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp, Dan Mullen, or even Albert Gator calling plays, the Vols just can’t crack that code.
So yes, I know Tennessee is a better team than Florida this year. I know that Florida QB Anthony Richardson has yet to throw a touchdown pass through three games this season and the Gators are coming off a close call against a bad South Florida team. I’m also VERY aware of how good the Vols’ offense is and how Hendon Hooker and Cedric Tillman have the best QB-WR connection in college football right now.
I’ve just seen this played out before for only the entirety of my life and I will never feel good about Tennessee covering 10.5 because the Vols will ALWAYS find ways to go full Vols in either lose outright in heartbreaking fashion or underperform expectations and win in overtime (similar to what they did against Pittsburgh in Week 2). So let’s take the Gators +10.5 and capitalize off of my bad childhood memories.
ATS & O/U Trends
– Florida is 11-7-2 ATS against Tennessee in the last 20 years, 6-4 in the last 10
– Florida is 4-1 ATS in Neyland Stadium in the last 5 meetings
– Tennessee is 1-5 ATS as favorites against Florida since 2002
– Tennessee is 4-3 ATS as the favorite in last seven SEC home games
– Florida is 1-2 ATS this season
– Tennessee is 3-0 ATS this season
– Over is 2-1 in Tennessee’s 3 games
– Over is 2-1 in Florida’s 3 games
Wake Forest (+7.5) vs Clemson
The Demon Deacons let us down last week by barely surviving a scare from Liberty. But here I am, coming back to the Wake well for another game. In this game, however, I’m more so fading Clemson than I am tailing Wake Forest.
Clemson’s defense looked dominant at times against Louisiana Tech last week even without projected first-round pick Bryan Bresee on the defensive line. However, Clemson’s offensive attack still doesn’t scare me. Tigers QB D.J. Uiagalelei has put up decent numbers to start the season but has had some really slow starts against Georgia Tech and Louisiana Tech.
The Wake Forest passing attack is lethal and QB Sam Hartman has started his 2022 campaign with 625 yards and seven touchdowns in only two games. I still firmly believe the Demon Deacons have the best offense and the best QB in the ACC and while Clemson’s run defense has been spectacular, they have still surrendered at least 250 passing yards to Furman and Louisiana Tech. I like Wake to keep this within a touchdown and will sprinkle some on the money line as an upset pick as well.
ATS & O/U Trends:
– Wake Forest is 4-5-1 ATS as a home underdog since 2017.
– Clemson is 3-4 ATS as a road favorite in ACC play since 2020
– Wake Forest is 5-5 ATS in the last 10 regular season games against Clemson but 0-10 SU
– Over and Under are 5-5 in the last 10 regular season meetings between these two teams
– Both teams are 1-1 ATS against FBS opponents
– Wake Forest overs are 2-0 against FBS opponents, Clemson Overs are 1-0-1 against FBS opponents
North Carolina (-1.5) vs Notre Dame
The Tar Heel offense is fun and everything that last year’s team was supposed to be. Through three games, UNC QB Drake Maye has already thrown for 930 yards, 11 TDs and only one interception with an 11.4 Adjusted Yards Per Attempt. The Tar Heels also run for 237 yards per game and as an offensive unit, picking up a whopping 7.57 yards per play.
Notre Dame is clearly a defensive-oriented team and their feat of holding Ohio State to only 21 points in the opener is still one of the most impressive performances we’ll see this season. But they’ll still give up some points to North Carolina, even if it’s not over 24. My biggest problem with the Fighting Irish is that they still can’t get anything going offensively as they still exist below the five yards per play mark.
Backup QB Drew Pyne was good enough to beat Cal, but more points will be needed if they are to beat North Carolina. I honestly think Notre Dame figures some things out on that side of the ball and ends up with an 8-4 type season. Remember though that Rome wasn’t built in a day and this Fighting Irish offense with their backup QB won’t fully be built after one week.
ATS & O/U Trends:
– North Carolina is 8-2 SU in their last 10 home games but only 4-6 ATS.
– Notre Dame is 1-9 SU in their last 10 games as road underdogs but 5-5 ATS
– Notre Dame is 1-2 ATS this season
– North Carolina is 1-1-1 ATS this season
– Under is 2-0-1 in Notre Dame games this season
– Over is 2-1 in UNC games this season
Rutgers +7.5 vs Iowa
One of my favorite betting strategies is to just fade really bad offenses. The Iowa Hawkeyes fit that mold perfectly. Sure, they finally scored in the double figures against Nevada in a weird, multiple lightning delayed game that lasted until well after midnight, but this is still the most comical team in all of college football, and fading them should still be in style.
This Iowa team is still the same bunch that scored only seven against South Dakota State but did so without a single touchdown. This is the same Iowa team whose punt total is almost six times more than their touchdown total. They are also comically incapable of just playing a normal football game.
It should still be noted that I believe Iowa still wins because Rutgers will certainly struggle to score against Iowa’s defense, which is elite but overshadowed by how incompetent the offense is. This smells like a 14-9 win by Iowa in the most Iowa way possible.
Bonus Prop: Raheim Sanders OVER 73.5 Rushing Yards
Arkansas Running Back Raheim Sanders has put up one of the most impressive rushing totals in college football this season and is establishing himself as the best bell-cow back in the SEC. He’s currently sitting at 6.7 yards per rush and his rushing yard totals in the first three games against Cincinnati, South Carolina, and Missouri State all hit at least 117 yards on fewer than 25 carries. He’s a machine.
The number here from PrizePicks feels like an overreaction to the dominance of Texas A&M’s defense against Miami in prime time. However, they still surrendered almost five yards per rush in that game and I am still old enough to remember Appalachian State’s Camerun Peoples running for 112 yards on less than 20 carries in College Station to lead them to their upset win. With the total being that low, I feel like Sanders going over 73 yards is a lock.
Bonus Prop: Bryce Young OVER 265.5 Passing Yards
Last year’s Heisman Trophy-winning QB is still the best in the country. Don’t let the underwhelming performance through three and a half quarters against Texas fool you.
It’s time for Alabama to get into SEC play and they start with a Vanderbilt defense that surrenders their fair share of yards in the air. The Commodores gave up 250 against Hawaii, 343 against FCS Elon, and 300 against Wake Forest’s high-octane offense. Young hasn’t thrown for over this total yet, but I expect him to put on a show in the SEC opener.