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Week 4 College Football Recap – Week 5 Betting Lookahead

College football qb throws pass in week 4

College Football Betting Recap For Week 4

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Football content contributor Ron Marmalefsky offers his college football Week 4 betting recap as well as his lookahead to Week 5 of college football kicking off on Thursday! What are his takeaways and look aheads from a betting perspective? Read below now!

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College Football Week 4: Betting Recap

Welcome to my Monday recap of last Saturday’s NCAA football action. In this edition, the first section will be a summary of what teams have played above and below my expectations after four weeks of action. After that, I’ll take a look at three games that interest me this weekend.

Most NCAA teams have played four games. That’s four weeks of data points, enough for me to take a long look at what has transpired thus far.

In this part, I examine five teams from the top five conferences who have exceeded my expectations, and another five teams who have fallen below my expectations.

College Football Week 4: CFB Teams Exceeding Expectations

Miami (FL): We’ve all been down this path before, so maybe this is jumping the gun, but something feels different about Miami this season.

Yes, I expected them to beat A&M (wrong team favored), and yes, the schedule has been soft, but there has not even been a clue about letting down, with a 127-21 point ratio vs. the easier teams on the schedule, and a 15 point win vs. A&M.

All defensive numbers are exceeding my expectations, there are several targets on offense, and their kicker is 7-8. I’m buying the hype right now.

Rutgers: It may seem strange to list a team here that just did almost nothing offensively in a 31-7 loss to Michigan but this team has improved in three of four areas.

A poster child for negative rush differentials, Rutgers currently has a ratio of 4.8-3.45. Four top tier teams remain on the schedule so that differential will change, but it should end up above expectations.

My main area of concern is QB play, where accuracy remains an issue. If the rest of the stat sheet can remain above expectations, then six wins and a bowl berth is a more than realistic goal.

Washington State: I’ve said in print and on podcasts that I felt QB Ward was underrated and would present a stiff test to the decent Oregon State defense.

He was electric, and now everyone should know about Ward, and his team. Ward has 13 TD passes to zero interceptions.

Even allowing 245 rush yards to the Beavers, the run defense is ahead of schedule. Their own run game needs to get going, but the team picked for 7th in a loaded PAC 12 should not be ignored.

Washington: Readers may be surprised, but this is my #1 rated PAC 12 team, ahead of USC and Oregon. We’re talking about a team averaging 50 points per game, 5.05 per carry, with a QB who has completed nearly 75% of his passes, and has two excellent WR’s at his disposal.

With that said, have you seen what’s going on with the defense? The schedule faced has been more than decent, yet they are right on my 3.9 run defense numbers, and way ahead of schedule defending the pass, at just over 50% allowed. Their upcoming PAC 12 schedule is brutal, but I like everything I’ve seen thus far.

Utah: The PAC 12 puts three on the list, which is not a surprise with eight teams in last week’s top 25. Here we have one of the NCAA’s best coaches, and he’s the main reason this team is 4-0.

Playing without multiple (eight or more) starters, including their solid QB and a TE with NFL aspirations, the Utes have played one of the very toughest September schedules and more than survived.

Playing Florida, Baylor, Weber State (10-3 last year, solid) and powerful UCLA, Utah has allowed 38 points, just 294 adjusted rush yards and just 53% through the air, with 14 defensive sacks!

The offense misses their stars, but so far, so good. I’m used to Utah peaking late, but this year they are on fire early on.

College Football Week 4: CFB Teams Falling Below Expectations

Viriginia Tech: The Hokies sit at 1-3, which might not be too surprising, but I expected 2-2 at this point, and a much better stat sheet.

As I’ve said before, I make projections for each team prior to the season, and set thresholds I expect each team to reach during the season.

For the Hokies, I expected a 4.1 seasonal run defense (corrected for sacks as described in a previous article). Not only has VT allowed 5.4 per carry to this point, but the realistic number based on opponents faced thus far was 3.75.

With no proven playmakers on offense and a bit tougher schedule moving forward, I expect the Hokies to stay at home during bowl season.

Pittsburgh: I was never a fan of QB Phil Jurkovec, but his performance is even worse than expected, as he’s barely above 50%, and the team has averaged 17 per game vs. three lined opponents.

There’s nothing wrong with the defensive stat sheet, but as per usual, their gambling defense allows too many big plays, and the offense is unable to compensate.

There’s still a chance to get to 6-6 and become bowl eligible, but all of a sudden it may depend on a last game upset at Duke to get there. 6-6 is not what Pittsburgh fans have in mind for this program.

Mississippi State: It was never going to be easy to replace the eclectic Mike Leach, and the Bulldogs are struggling to find their own identity under the new staff.

At first it was an about face, running 74-472 in games 1-2, but in losses to LSU and South Carolina, they’ve ran just 44 times and tried to revert back to past tendencies.

They needed overtime to beat Arizona (favored by nine) and now stand at 2-2. Interestingly enough, the run defense is exceeding my expectations at 3.9 allowed per carry (had them at 4.2 to this point), but the pass defense has been ripped to shreds.

Maybe they turn it around but teams in an identity crisis can’t be trusted to find the right combination quickly.

Purdue: The new staff came with a defensive pedigree but thus far they’ve allowed 128 points and a reckless 5.85 per carry on the ground.

They’ve lost five Power Rating points to my opening numbers, and have been downgraded after each of their four games played.

Until the front four defensively begin to play better I can’t recommend that this team will find it’s way to a bowl game. If something does improve, their final three games offer some hope.

Minnesota: Minnesota wanted to introduce more pass concepts into their offense, but the results have been spotty at best.

The run game actually has produced good numbers but the schedule will get tougher beginning in October. They’ve also settled for nine made field goals, which means finishing drives has been an issue.

The good news is that their kicker is solid, and so a bowl berth remains more likely than not, but their goal of challenging for the Divisional title could be out of reach.

College Football Week 5: Betting Preview

Utah at Oregon State (Friday): CIRCA OPENER – Oregon State -2.
Even with Oregon State’s loss last week, this shapes up as a really good game. Oregon State will have it easier vs. this style of offense, but Utah’s defense will present its own set of challenges.

My numbers have Oregon State by 1. They have a solid rush edge, and won’t have to defend against a downfield passing attack like they faced a week ago.

The home crowd will be an asset on Friday night. Is this the game we see Utah QB Cam Rising return to action?

Florida at Kentucky: CIRCA OPENER – Kentucky -1.
Florida had dominated this series, but the Wildcats have won the last two. Florida has faced the tougher schedule and from what I’ve seen, the defense has great exceeded my expectations.

Even with the soft schedule, I like what Kentucky’s stat sheet looks like, so for me, the compensating stats will favor the Wildcats.

I like both teams in the run game, and both QB’s have various strengths. It’s VERY early, but I see RB Davis (Kentucky) as the early key to this game.

Notre Dame at Duke: CIRCA OPENER – Notre Dame -2.
Mike Elko spent a short period of time as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator and now he stands on the other side of the ball as Head Coach of Duke.

It was expected that Duke would come back to earth facing Phil Steele’s #1 toughest schedule change from a year ago, but Elko had other ideas.

This team is balanced, with a very efficient QB running the show. As for the Irish, player morale and focus will be in order after losing in such a tough fashion to Ohio State. Their defense was projected to be above average but from what I’ve seen the defense is exceeding all expectations.

RB Estine was 14-70 vs. Ohio State but for the season he’s even better than that. With highly effective QB Sam Hartman at the helm, this offense might overcome last week’s emotional loss. \

One concern: As I wrote in last week’s article, kicking matters. The missed field goal cost them last week, and their kicker has made just three of seven attempts.

Follow me on twitter @ronacesports to be alerted of future articles, and my weekly podcasts with @lasvegascris.

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