Free Picks for College Football Week 4 Games For 9/25/2021
Jake’s Season Record: 4-7
Things are heating up in college football as conference play starts for most teams this weekend. Last week was a mixed bag. I had a down week (going 1-4 on my picks). However, I was right on a few of the games that I recommended people stay away from.
This week feels like a weekend for upsets as we learn which teams found their stride to start the season and which teams still have something to prove.
Now let's hop into some picks! I have four picks this week on my quest to get back above .500.
Free Picks for College Football Week 4
12:00 PM EST Saturday, September 25th, 2021
Football fans are blessed with a highly anticipated game right out the gate on Saturday when the Fighting Irish travel to face the Badgers in a Top 25 match-up. While this is not a conference match-up like most of this week's college slate, there is some familiarity that makes this game interesting.
Primarily, how does Jack Coan perform in his first appearance back at Wisconsin since transferring to Notre Dame? Coan was expected to be the Badgers' starting quarterback last season, but he never took the field due to a foot injury and the Big Ten starting the season in October. That's when Mertz stepped in and Wisconsin never looked back.
Coan's return already makes this a notable game to me, but there's more.
Let's not forget that I correctly predicted Penn State to upset Wisconsin to start the season. I have a similar feeling with this game. I'm not going to recommend the moneyline though, let's play it safe and go with Notre Dame +6.5 because Wisconsin has not proven to me that they are a Top 25 team this year. Am I supposed to be impressed by last week's win over Eastern Michigan?
Notre Dame has had its own struggles since beating Florida State in overtime, but the Fighting Irish have still found a way to win each week. With this bet Notre Dame doesn't even need to win, they just need to keep it close, and with Jack Coan returning to face his former team I don't see a situation where Wisconsin wins by more than one score.
Again, Notre Dame +6.5 (-110) is the play, and it might be my favorite in this blog post.
3:30 PM EST Saturday, September 25th, 2021
Immediately following the Top 25 match-up between Notre Dame and Wisconsin is another Top 25 showdown, but this one is in the SEC. Texas A&M faces Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It's a game where both teams come in undefeated, but only one will leave that way.
Looking at the first three games by both of these teams shows two strong defenses, but this will be the biggest test yet.
Now you might be saying, “Wait, Jake! Arkansas already was tested against Texas,” and while that is true, I'm not convinced how much of a test that actually was. The Razorbacks dominated that game, and the Longhorns fell out of the Top 25 after that loss.
This is a much bigger test for Arkansas, who has lost nine straight against Texas A&M. The Aggies are hot too, riding an 11-game winning streak – the program’s longest since 1992.
So it makes sense that the Aggies are -4.5 favorites, especially since this is a “neutral game” in Texas. Arkansas may be the home team, but there won't be a home-field advantage.
I still need to see something before I believe in Texas A&M this year, though. At least something more than wins against Kent State, Colorado, and New Mexico. I may have doubts about whether Arkansas was actually tested against Texas, but the facts are that Arkansas already has a win against a ranked opponent this season and Texas A&M has played three tune-up games.
I'm taking Arkansas +4.5 (-105) in this one and banking on the team that has already played a quality opponent.
7:00 PM EST Saturday, September 25th, 2021
It is sure to be a thrilling start to conference play for both the Wildcats and the Cowboys. They are both 3-0 to start the season, and Kansas State sneaked its way into the Top 25 this week, but that love in the rankings isn’t being shown at the sportsbooks.
Currently, Oklahoma State is a six-point favorite at home on Saturday evening, and I’m not buying it. While the Cowboys are 3-0 to start the season, that is the result of a one-point victory over Boise State last week, a five-point victory over Tulsa the week before, and a seven-point victory over Missouri State to start the season. The Cowboys covered the spread in just one of those games; the most recent one was against Boise State when Oklahoma State pulled off an upset.
1-2 against the spread while playing no Power 5 schools is not good enough for me to back the Cowboys as the team heads into conference play.
Kansas State, on the other hand, is 2-1 against the spread, including an upset win over Nevada last week. Let’s not forget the 24-7 victory over Stanford to start the season for the Wildcats.
I like Kansas State +6 here, and I’d do some line shopping in this situation because I have seen some sportsbooks have this as a 5.5-point spread while others have it as a six-point spread. Kansas State +6 (-110) is the play.
10:30 PM EST Saturday, September 25th, 2021
My last play in this blog is a late-night, west coast game in the Pac-12. And while I think it is worth betting, this game might not be worth watching. Because it is going to get ugly.
The Oregon Ducks are flying high with head coach Mario Cristobal leading the way. Oregon is the favorite to win the conference title. And Saturday’s game is against a team sitting alone at the bottom of the Pac-12. The Arizona Wildcats.
Let’s be honest, the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona Wildcats are moving in the exact opposite directions. Oregon could have had a hangover game against Stony Brook last week but instead delivered a dominant 48-7 win.
Meanwhile, Arizona was favored by 26.5 points last week and lost 21-19 to Northern Arizona University. So I think this line at -28.5 is giving the Wildcast too much credit.
The Arizona Wildcats hasn’t found the end zone more than twice per game this season, while the offense for the Oregon Ducks has only looked better with each passing week.
This line should be closer to a five-touchdown spread, maybe not a full -35, but I do think this line should be in the 30s by kickoff on Saturday night.
I’m not afraid of the hook here either. In this matchup between the Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats, I’m taking Oregon -28.5 (-110).
In case you can’t tell, I think conference play is going to be accompanied by a few surprises, after all that’s what this season has shown us so far. There have been 19 teams in the Top 25 that have lost while being ranked. That’s the most ever through the first three weeks of college football.
Do you think that trend continues? Let me know why or why not on Twitter @SnakeJiggs.