College football Week 4 best underdog bets, picks and predictions: Three appealing offenses catching points
Week 3 did not have the most notable upsets in comparison to the first two weeks of the college football season, but there were still a few underdogs worth discussing. For the second week in a row, a Power 5 coach was fired after an upset on its home field. This time around, it was Arizona State’s Herm Edwards following the Sun Devils’ 31-20 loss to Eastern Michigan. The South Alabama Jaguars also made some noise when they went to Los Angeles and beat the UCLA Bruins 32-31. Kansas continued its run with a win over Houston, while LSU won as a home ‘dog against Mississippi State. Liberty, Missouri State and South Florida were unable to pull off the outright win, but each covered easily on the road against a Power 5 opponent.
Overall, underdogs are 65-82-3 ATS in FBS matchups this season — so finding the right one is part of the challenge. Here are a few that stand out on the Week 4 college football slate.
Odds available at FanDuel at the time of publishing.
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Week 4 best underdog bets
Charlotte 49ers +22.5 over South Carolina Gamecocks (-110)
Poor play-calling and execution has haunted the Gamecocks since their win against Georgia State, but they will have a chance to get right against Charlotte under the lights in Williams Brice Stadium on Saturday night. Although Spencer Rattler and the Gamecocks have a clear advantage against Charlotte’s defense, the concern with South Carolina in this matchup is its defense. Super senior quarterback Chris Reynolds is back for the 49ers and he can flat-out sling it.
The Gamecocks have been decimated with injuries across the entire defense and could potentially be without as many as 8 starters this weekend if the coaching staff is cautious with its players. In addition to season-ending injuries to linebackers Jordan Strachan and Mohamed Kaba, defensive backs Cam Smith, Darius Rush, RJ Roderick and Devonni Reed are all questionable and could miss Saturday’s game. South Carolina should be able to score at will in this matchup, but I am not so sure it has enough defensively right now to win by margin against a great college quarterback in Reynolds. The back door will be open late on Saturday night. The Gamecocks may win, but take Charlotte to cover.
Be sure to check out our full Charlotte vs South Carolina predictions
Arkansas Razorbacks +2.5 over Texas A&M Aggies (-114)
Arkansas may have been caught looking ahead last week against Missouri State, as the Razorbacks found themselves trailing the Bears 24-17 at the start of the fourth quarter. However, they ended up out-scoring the Bears 21-3 in the fourth quarter to secure a 38-27 win and now turn their full attention to Texas A&M.
Arkansas has the far superior offense in this matchup, ranking 13th in third-down conversion rate, 26th in points per game and 33rd in yards per game; Texas A&M ranks 98th in third-down conversion rate, 112th in points per game and 125th in yards per game against FBS opponents. The Razorbacks also rank 3rd in rushes per game and 8th in rush play percentage against FBS opponents, so expect them to attack the Aggies on the ground with dual-threat quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders — a duo that has combined for 609 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns through 3 games.
The Aggies’ defense is 71st in EPA per rush and ranks 66th in opposing yards per rush and 90th in opposing rush yards per game, so I do not believe it is equipped to stop this elite Arkansas rushing attack.
The Razorbacks have not been great defensively, but they rank 14th in sack rate against FBS opponents and are going against a Texas A&M offensive line that ranks 124th in sack-rate allowed. Whether it is Haynes King or Max Johnson at quarterback for Texas A&M, I do not trust the Aggies in this spot. If Arkansas gets an early lead, it will be tough for the Aggies to claw back. Therefore I like the Razorbacks here and would not be surprised if they win outright.
Be sure to check out our full Arkansas vs Texas A&M predictions
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles +12.5 over Tulane Green Wave (-108)
The Green Wave are coming off an impressive win on the road at Kansas State last week and now find themselves in a very difficult scheduling spot hosting Southern Mississippi on Saturday. Tulane is the better team in this matchup, but the Green Wave could be surprised with a close game if they get caught looking ahead to their first conference game on the road at Houston next Friday.
Headlined by Frank Gore Jr., the Golden Eagles feature a very unique offense that will be difficult to game-plan for given Tulane’s scheduling. Moreover, Southern Mississippi coach Will Hall is familiar with the opposing coach’s tendencies since he worked under Tulane’s Willie Fritz as offensive coordinator for a season in 2019-2020. Southern Mississippi has a week off after this game before a matchup with Troy on October 8, so expect the Golden Eagles to put everything they have into this one and for them to keep it close.
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