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College Football Betting Guide: Week 4

A couple Big Ten games highlight this week’s interactive betting guide.

NCAA Football: Samford at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Adam Leightman joins the CQ Betting Guide as a new picker to provide a different outlook on each week’s contests. Additionally, Kyle Swick will provide you with his parlay of the week and let you in on how he plans to lose all of his money win big each weekend.

Week 3 Recap

Alex’s Week 3 Record: 4-10

Alex’s Overall Record: 20-29

CQ Readers’ Week 3 Record: 6-6

CQ Readers’ Overall Record: 6-6

Best Pick: Purdue (+7.5) at Missouri. In the inaugural CQ Reader Picks edition of the Betting Guide, you all nailed this one, getting 7.5 points in a game the Boilermakers won outright by 32. Purdue exposed the Tigers and made bettors who took the points feel about as safe as gamblers could ever feel before the final gun.

Worst Pick: Nebraska (-14) vs. Northern Illinois. The readers and I both took the Huskers and looked foolish for doing so after Northern Illinois outclassed them all afternoon on Saturday. Sometime sooner or later, we’re all going to remember that Nebraska isn’t good anymore and stop picking them to steamroll everyone.

Bad Beat: Tennesee (+5) at Florida. The readers and I both had this one. Tennessee stormed back from a late deficit to tie the ballgame with under one minute remaining. Florida dilly-dallied around and looked to be playing for overtime. But with just enough time for one play left, the Vols inexplicably played something other than a prevent or cover-4 defense and the Gators went over the top for a 65-yard touchdown as time expired to win by 6.

Hoosier Special

Georgia Southern at Indiana (-24), O/U 52, 3:30 p.m.

Alex: If I wasn’t constitutionally obligated to pick against the spread and the over/under for the Hoosier Special, I wouldn’t touch this game. Indiana will win comfortably, but there is no way to know if the offense — whether led by Lagow or Ramsey — is going to move the ball well enough for “comfortably” to mean “by four touchdowns.” Also, Georgia Southern’s offense is putrid. But if Indiana does dominate, and the offense clicks with Brandon Knight coming back to the line, 52 could be in the realm of possibility. Bottom line, don’t put real money on this game.

Adam: This game is tough. The high in Bloomington is 92 on Saturday, and the play will reflect that. IU coming off an early bye should be fresh, but the heat will knock them down quickly. Indiana should win by more than two scores, but covering could be difficult. If Peyton Ramsey plays more than Lagow, IU will cover. If they split snaps, and it appears that they will, I do not think Lagow is capable of multiple touchdown drives without a turnover. Georgia Southern has only generated 10 points on offense this year, so the under should hit easily.

Alex’s Pick: Indiana (-24) and Under 52

Adam’s Pick: Georgia Southern (+24) and Under 52


CQ Reader Poll: Georgia Southern at Indiana (-24), O/U 52

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Indiana (-24) and Under 52
    (13 votes)
  • 42%
    Indiana (-24) and Over 52
    (27 votes)
  • 34%
    Georgia Southern (+24) and Under 52
    (22 votes)
  • 3%
    Georgia Southern (+24) and Over 52
    (2 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

Top 25 Games

16 TCU at 6 Oklahoma State (-13), O/U 71.5, 3:30 p.m.

Adam: Oklahoma State has been a cover machine so far this year. They are 3-0 ATS and have held 20+ point leads going into the half in each game this season. Mason Rudolph has emerged as a Heisman candidate, throwing for over 1100 yards and 11 TDS so far this year. TCU is their toughest opponent yet, however TCU let a pretty weak SMU score 36 points last week. This should be a good ole fashioned Big 12 shootout in Stillwater. I would not be surprised if the over hits before the 4th quarter.

Alex’s Pick: Oklahoma State (-13)

Adam’s Pick: Oklahoma State (-13) and Over 71.5


CQ Reader Poll: TCU at Oklahoma State (-13), O/U 71.5

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    TCU (+13)
    (10 votes)
  • 41%
    Oklahoma State (-13)
    (21 votes)
  • 27%
    Over 71.5
    (14 votes)
  • 11%
    Under 71.5
    (6 votes)
51 votes total Vote Now

17 Mississippi State at 11 Georgia (-5.5), O/U 48.5, 7:00 p.m.

Alex: At 3-0, Georgia is one win over Mississippi State from looking like a decent bet to run the table and be 12-0 in the SEC Championship. (Seriously, they’re remaining schedule is Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, Kentucky, and Georgia Tech. They’ll be favored in all eight remaining games.) It’s hard to imagine Kirby Smart won’t have his team up for a game that, if anyone has looked ahead, has huge implications.

Alex’s Pick: Georgia (-5.5)

Adam’s Pick: Georgia (-5.5)


CQ Reader Poll: Mississippi State at Georgia (-5.5), O/U 48.5

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Mississippi State (+5.5)
    (15 votes)
  • 46%
    Georgia (-5.5)
    (23 votes)
  • 4%
    Over 48.5
    (2 votes)
  • 20%
    Under 48.5
    (10 votes)
50 votes total Vote Now

Big Ten Games

UNLV at 10 Ohio State (-40), O/U 64.5, 12:00 p.m.

Adam: This is one of the trickier games of the week. 40 points is a tremendous amount of points for any FBS school. However, UNLV lost to a FCS school (Howard) in Week 1. UNLV has scored more than 40 points in both games this year, but they have not seen a defense like OSU’s. I expect the Bucks to force at least three turnovers, and score a special teams TD. JT Barrett will have a good game and the Buckeyes will run the score up on the Rebels. OSU will cover, but barely.

Alex’s Pick: Under 64.5

Adam’s Pick: Ohio State (-40)


CQ Reader Poll: UNLV at Ohio State (-40), O/U 64.5

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    UNLV (+40)
    (23 votes)
  • 27%
    Ohio State (-40)
    (13 votes)
  • 12%
    Over 64.5
    (6 votes)
  • 10%
    Under 64.5
    (5 votes)
47 votes total Vote Now

UCF at Maryland (-3.5), O/U 59.5, 3:00 p.m.

Alex: Maryland’s win over Texas grabbed the college football world’s attention right off the bat this season, and they rolled in Week 2 with an easy win over Towson. The good feelings surrounding this program must be as high as they have been in quite some time. UCF, on the other hand, has had anything but football on the mind for a few weeks. The team has not played since August 31, having postponed their game against Memphis and cancelled their game against Georgia Tech, both as a result of Hurricane Irma. Everything suggests Maryland should win this game going away. But it just feels like UCF may have something cooking this weekend, and may pull off the upset on the road.

Alex’s Pick: UCF (+3.5)

Adam’s Pick: Under (59.5)


CQ Reader Poll: UCF at Maryland (-3.5), O/U 59.5

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    UCF (+3.5)
    (5 votes)
  • 62%
    Maryland (-3.5)
    (28 votes)
  • 11%
    Over 59.5
    (5 votes)
  • 15%
    Under 59.5
    (7 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Rutger at Nebraska (-12), O/U 47, 3:30 p.m.

Adam: Rutger travels west to face the Cornhuskers in the B1G game of the week (jumps off cliff). I seriously would not touch this game, because why would you bet on teams that lost to Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois (no offense, MACtion). If you really want to bet on this terrible game, I would suggest taking the under. Nebraska offense is so bad that they gave up 11 more points than the defense did last week. Please do not touch this game.

Alex’s Pick: Nebraska (-12)

Adam’s Pick: Under 47


CQ Reader Poll: Rutger at Nebraska (-12), O/U 47

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Rutger (+12)
    (6 votes)
  • 50%
    Nebraska (-12)
    (23 votes)
  • 6%
    Over 47
    (3 votes)
  • 30%
    Under 47
    (14 votes)
46 votes total Vote Now

8 Michigan (-10) at Purdue, O/U 51.5, 4:00 p.m.

Alex: Jeff Brohm deserves a ton of credit. Purdue looks nothing like the walking corpses they put out on the field during the Hazell era. They embarrassed Missouri last week, and moved to 2-1 on the season. Michigan is good, thanks to a defense that may just be the best in the country, at least Top-3, just behind Clemson and Alabama. Wilton Speight is holding that team back, though, and is the reason, in my mind, why they aren’t real contenders. However, while I think Purdue is good enough to hang with Michigan for a while, the Wolverines’ experience and mettle will allow them to pull away and win by two or three scores.

Alex’s Pick: Michigan (-10)

Adam’s Pick: Michigan (-10)


CQ Reader Poll: Michigan (-10) at Purdue, O/U 51.5

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Michigan (-10)
    (36 votes)
  • 25%
    Purdue (+10)
    (15 votes)
  • 5%
    Over 51.5
    (3 votes)
  • 10%
    Under 51.5
    (6 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now

4 Penn State (-12.5) at Iowa, O/U 52.5, 7:30 p.m.

Adam: I love the under in this game. Penn State has given up 14 points all year on defense. Trace Mcsorley and Saquon Barkley will cause problems for the Iowa defense, but I believe they can handle the duo. In week 1, Iowa held Josh Allen and Wyoming to just 3 points. They gave up 41 to Iowa St, but they will have more control of this game and try to work some clock if they can keep it close. Kinnick will be rocking under the lights, and the defense will shine for Iowa and Penn State

Alex’s Pick: Iowa (+12.5)

Adam’s Pick: Under 52.5


CQ Reader Poll: Penn State at Iowa

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Penn State (-12.5)
    (22 votes)
  • 21%
    Iowa (+12.5)
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    Over 52.5
    (2 votes)
  • 32%
    Under 52.5
    (17 votes)
52 votes total Vote Now

Notre Dame (-3.5) at Michigan State, O/U 54, 8:00 p.m.

Alex: Beating Michigan State won’t wake up the echoes. But losing to them might make Brian Kelly’s seat the hotter than Charlie Weis’s ever was at Notre Dame. Still, I am convinced, and will be until shown evidence otherwise, that Michigan State is closer to being another edition of last year’s catastrophe than the teams Mark Dantonio had become accustomed to putting on the field in East Lansing. Notre Dame may not be a whole lot better than last year’s 4-8 Irish, but they’re still a score or two better than Sparty.

Alex’s Pick: Notre Dame (-3.5)

Adam’s Pick: Over 54


CQ Reader Poll: Notre Dame (-3.5) at Michigan State, O/U 54

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Notre Dame (-3.5)
    (27 votes)
  • 28%
    Michigan State (+3.5)
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    Over 54
    (1 vote)
  • 14%
    Under 54
    (7 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now

Locks of the Week

Alex: Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Michigan all seem like locks to me this week. I know Notre Dame always struggles with Sparty, I know Purdue is hot, and I know that I just said at the beginning of this guide that we all have to get off of Nebraska. But Sparty still hasn’t proven that they’re any good, Michigan isn’t going to give up any more than 17 or 20 to anyone, Nebraska is playing Rutger. Still, one of the games that didn’t meet our selection criteria is the biggest lock this week. The South Carolina Gamecocks suffered a setback last week against Kentucky, but they have still looked good in their two other contests - wins over North Carolina State and Missouri. Louisiana Tech is a single-digit dog in Columbia, but this is most assuredly thanks to them beating Western Kentucky last week — the same Western Kentucky that lost to Illinois. Ew.

Alex’s Lock: South Carolina (-8.5) vs. Louisiana Tech

Adam: I absolutely love the Florida Gators this week at Kentucky. They are coming off a phenomenal win against Tennessee. Feleipe Franks is starting to look like a great quarterback, and the Florida defense will cause all sorts of problems for an average Kentucky offense. Kentucky is coming off a nice win against South Carolina, but I believe Florida is on a different level on both sides of the ball. Even with star players Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett still suspended, I believe Florida will win this football game by double digits.

Adam’s Lock: Florida (-2.5) at Kentucky

Parlay of the Week

Kyle Swick: [opens car door, empty bottles of Fireball fall out] HELLO FRIENDS. LET’S MAKE CASH.

A little about me- I dip my toes into full-on degeneracy about once every three years but now I’m back and better than ever. I went 13-9 last week and once won $500 on a parlay involving an NBA playoff spread, an NHL playoff o/u, and an interleague May baseball game so I am EMINENTLY QUALIFIED to tell you to PUT EVERYTHING YOU OWN on:

  • CINCINNATI (+11.5) at Navy
  • MICHIGAN (-10) at Purdue
  • Auburn at Missouri (under 60)

That’s +1303 basically for free. Also don’t call me a hater, Purdue fan reading this. I put a sizable amount on y’all straight-up against Mizzou last week. Thanks, by the way.