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College Football Picks & Predictions For Every Game – Week Four

The SEC will kick off their season in week four in a slate highlighted by #23 Kentucky @ #8 Auburn, in a chance to see Bo Nix and the Tigers under new OC Chad Morris. Also on the slate:

  • #24 Louisville looks to recover from a disastrous defensive performance @ #21 Pitt
  • Lane Kiffin debuts as the coach of Ole Miss hosting #5 Florida
  • Iowa State, upset by Louisiana, and #15 Oklahoma State, almost upset by Tulsa, look to put their seasons back on the right path against TCU and West Virginia, respectively
  • Defending national champions #6 LSU open their year hosting Mississippi State in the SEC debut for Mike Leach
  • #14 Cincinnati looks to claim the status of AAC frontrunners hosting #22 Army
  • Will Muschamp, on the hot seat, looks to secure a big win at home against the hyped #16 Tennessee Volunteers
  • #12 Miami gets the College Gameday/ABC Primetime game for the second week in a row, as the red hot ‘Canes host a Mike Norvell-less Florida State team flailing following a week two loss to Georgia Tech

2020 Prediction Stats

Straight Up: 38-11 (78%)
ATS Best Bets: 10-3 (+6.1 units)

Best Bets

UAB (-6) @ South Alabama – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN (Thursday)
Charlotte (+2.5) vs Georgia State – 12 PM ET, ESPNU CANCELLED
Mississippi State (+18.5) @ #6 LSU – 3:30 PM ET, CBS
#8 Texas (-16) @ Texas Tech – 3:30 PM ET, FOX
#14 Cincinnati (-11.5) vs #22 Army – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN
Virginia (-5.5) vs Duke – 4 PM ET, ACC Network
#20 Virginia Tech (-7) vs NC State – 8 PM ET, ACC Network

Note: All projected scores are based on 1,000 simulations of the CSD Prime computer model – with some leeway for tweaks in the event of circumstances the model can’t pick up (e.g. injury)

Thursday, September 24th

UAB (1-1) @ South Alabama (1-1)
7:30 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line: UAB -6

Week four kicks off on Thursday night with Conference USA favorites UAB taking on a team that has outplayed their expectations so far, the South Alabama Jaguars. I said coming into the year that there is potential on this USA team, and they’ve shown it even sooner than I would’ve expected, but six points is way too short of a line here. UAB may lose QB Tyler Johnston III to injury, but backup Bryson Lucero has been good in his limited opportunities, and the UAB defense, which was top-25 in the nation last year, should hold the Jaguar offense to under 20 points in the win.

CSD Pick: UAB 32, South Alabama 17

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – UAB -6

Friday, September 25th

Middle Tennessee (0-2) @ UTSA (2-0)
Vegas Line: UTSA -6.5

CSD Pick: UTSA 30, Middle Tennessee 26

Saturday, September 26th

Kansas State (0-1) @ #3 Oklahoma (1-0)
Vegas Line: Oklahoma -26.5

CSD Pick: Oklahoma 43, Kansas State 18

#5 Florida @ Ole Miss

Vegas Line: Florida -13

For Lane Kiffin, getting a win in his Ole Miss debut could prove to be a tough challenge, as the Rebels will face Kyle Trask and a Florida team that many see as a national title contender. I’m a big fan of Ole Miss this year, Matt Corral and John Rhys Plumlee are two solid pieces for the offense, but in game one, Trask (2,941 yards, 25 touchdowns) will throw all over a bad Ole Miss secondary, and the Gators should carry this one by double digits.

CSD Pick: Florida 37, Ole Miss 24

#23 Kentucky @ #8 Auburn

12 PM ET, SEC Network
Vegas Line: Auburn -8

The game of the day, in my view, as a Kentucky team that closed out 2019 with five wins in a row travels to face now-sophomore QB Bo Nix and new offensive coordinator Chad Morris. Kentucky will get QB Terry Wilson back for this one, he missed much of last year with a season-ending injury which saw WR Lynn Bowden Jr. take over the QB role. I like Kentucky a lot this year, but they are on the road against a much more talented team. WR Seth Williams and RB DJ Williams are a pair of excellent returnees in the skill corps for Auburn, and I expect the Tigers to win, although if the Wildcats can force some turnovers, an upset is not out of the question.

CSD Pick: Auburn 30, Kentucky 23

#13 UCF (1-0) @ East Carolina
Vegas Line: UCF -25.5

CSD Pick: UCF 50, East Carolina 25

Georgia Southern (1-0) @ #19 Louisiana (2-0, 1-0 Sun Belt)
Vegas Line: Louisiana -15

CSD Pick: Louisiana 38, Georgia Southern 20

#24 Louisville (1-1, 0-1 ACC) @ #21 Pitt (2-0, 1-0 ACC)

12 PM ET, ACC Network
Vegas Line: Pitt -3.5

The second ranked-vs-ranked matchup of the day comes from the ACC as #24 Louisville, fresh off of a loss to Miami, attempts to avoid an 0-2 start to ACC play as they travel to take on #21 Pitt. The offense for Louisville looked good last week, the defense? Not so much. The Cards were gashed for 7.9 yards per play, and I expect Pitt QB Kenny Pickett to pick this UL defense apart (pun intended). The Panthers’ awesome edge rush won’t give Micale Cunnigam room to breathe, and the defense, which held Syracuse to just 171 yards last Sunday, will stifle the potent UL offense. This will be tight, but I’m taking the Panthers.

CSD Pick: Pitt 29, Louisville 27

Georgia Tech (1-1, 1-0 ACC) @ Syracuse (0-2, 0-2 ACC)
Vegas Line: Georgia Tech -7.5

CSD Pick: Georgia Tech 28, Syracuse 22

Georgia State (0-1) @ Charlotte (0-1) CANCELLED
Vegas Line: Georgia State -2.5

The combination of Charlotte needing to cancel their week three game due to COVID concerns and Georgia State’s strong showing against Louisiana last week meant the line for this one was bet all the way up to Georgia State being favored by 2.5. Charlotte’s COVID problems seem to be over, and I think GaSt’s strong showing against ULL last week was more a result of the Cajuns being complacent after being the media darlings post-week two than anything else. I’ll take the better team, at home, getting points.

CSD Pick: Charlotte 30, Georgia State 29

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Charlotte +2.5

Campbell (0-2) @ Appalachian State (1-1)
Vegas Line: Appalachian State -35.5

CSD Pick: Appalachian State 45, Campbell 8

FIU @ Liberty (1-0)
Vegas Line: Liberty -7

CSD Pick: Liberty 33, FIU 28

Iowa State (0-1) @ TCU

1:30 PM ET, FS1
Vegas Line: Iowa State -2.5

This game is wild. Iowa State, especially star QB Brock Purdy, did not look up to par in week one against Louisiana, but TCU is starting a former walk-on, Matthew Downing at QB and have missed a ton of practices due to COVID concerns. ISU is off a bye, and TCU hasn’t played a game yet. My pick for this game is mostly just the shrug emoji, but I’ll err on the side of Iowa State, a team I would’ve said was significantly better in the preseason, coming out angry after their week one loss and putting the boots to a TCU team that could have a lot of players out due to COVID. Give me Iowa State, but close.

CSD Pick: Iowa State 25, TCU 23

Mississippi State @ #6 LSU

3:30 PM ET, CBS
Vegas Line: LSU -18.5

The debut for Mike Leach in the SEC is going to be rough, as his Mississippi State Bulldogs will travel to the defending national champions for the 3:30 CBS SEC game. LSU will be a good team this year, but there is so much turnover from last year’s roster, and without spring practices to get the new starters familiar with the system, I worry about LSU, but on the other side, Mississippi State is installing an entirely new system.

LSU’s talent, especially on defense, will win the day, but I expect the new Mike Leach passing attack to put up points, and always take the points in a shootout. Give me LSU straight up, but Leach to cover the 18.5 fairly easily in his debut.

CSD Pick: LSU 40, Mississippi State 26

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Mississippi State +18.5

#8 Texas (1-0) @ Texas Tech (1-0)
3:30 PM ET, FOX
Vegas Line: Texas -16

Texas Tech’s defense has been a joke for a while, but they were especially atrocious in their season opener, giving up 572 passing yards to Houston Baptist and needing a last-second two-point conversion stop to avoid overtime against the FCS foe. Texas should easily cover the 18-point spread, even on the road.

CSD Pick: Texas 44, Texas Tech 25

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Texas -16

#22 Army (2-0) @ #14 Cincinnati (1-0)

3:30 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line: Cincinnati -11.5

Our first big group of five clash of the year, as 2-0 Army runs into a Cincinnati team that I called a darkhorse playoff contender before the year. Army is good, the attack looks great this year and seems to not have dropped off after losing a lot of pieces from last year, but their two dominant wins have come against Middle Tennessee State and UL-Monroe, not exactly powerhouses. I have faith in QB Desmond Ridder and the rest of this Cincy team to handle this one with relative ease.

CSD Pick: Cincinnati 35, Army 17

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Cincinnati -11.5

West Virginia (1-0) @ #15 Oklahoma State (1-0)

3:30 PM ET, ABC
Vegas Line: Oklahoma State -8

This game intrigues me a lot. Oklahoma State looked terrible last week against Tulsa, and I’m not sure if the result of that will be the Cowboys coming out with their heads hung or going out to try and prove the doubters wrong here. West Virginia looked good in their season-opening 56-10 win over Eastern Kentucky, but I just don’t have a lot of faith in the West Virginia offense, which struggled mightily last year. Give me OSU to bounce back.

CSD Pick: Oklahoma State 30, West Virginia 21

UTEP (2-1) @ UL Monroe (0-2)
3:30 PM ET, ESPN2
Vegas Line: UL Monroe -8

CSD Pick: UL Monroe 28, UTEP 22

#4 Georgia @ Arkansas
4 PM ET, SEC Network
Vegas Line: Georgia -24

CSD Pick: Georgia 41, Arkansas 12

Duke (0-2, 0-2 ACC) @ Virginia
4 PM ET, ACC Network
Vegas Line: Virginia –5.5

The defending ACC Coastal Champs open their season against an 0-2 Duke team that has really struggled out of the gate. I get the idea that Duke has had two games to figure things out while UVa is coming in blind here, but this Virginia team, even without Bryce Perkins, is just too good. The Duke pass defense has struggled, and I really like new Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong’s arm strength (no pun intended). The WaHoos should easily cover 5.5.

CSD Pick: Virginia 27, Duke 17

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Virginia -5.5

Texas State (1-2) @ Boston College (1-0)
Vegas Line: Boston College -17.5

CSD Pick: Boston College 37, Texas State 19

#2 Alabama @ Missouri
Vegas Line: Alabama -28

CSD Pick: Alabama 42, Missouri 17

Houston Baptist (0-2) @ Louisiana Tech (1-0)
Vegas Line: Louisiana Tech -23.5

CSD Pick: Louisiana Tech 43, Houston Baptist 15

Tulane (1-1) @ Southern Miss (0-2)
7 PM ET, Stadium
Vegas Line: Tulane -3

CSD Pick: Tulane 30, Southern Miss 26

Stephen F. Austin (0-2) @ SMU (2-0)
Vegas Line: SMU -34.5

CSD Pick: SMU 50, Stephen F. Austin 10

Vanderbilt @ #10 Texas A&M
7:30 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate
Vegas Line: Texas A&M -30

CSD Pick: Texas A&M 38, Vanderbilt 6

Florida State (0-1, 0-1 ACC) @ #12 Miami (2-0, 1-0 ACC)

7:30 PM ET, ABC
Vegas Line: Miami -7

The ABC primetime/College Gameday game for week four comes from the ACC yet again, as 0-1 Florida State travels to Coral Gables to take on Miami. Its been a rough going for the ‘Noles. Many hoped that the hiring of Mike Norvell would’ve turned things around, but 2020 has been just as disastrous as the past few years. The program was embroiled in offseason scandal, FSU opened their year with a gutting home loss to projected ACC bottom-feeder Georgia Tech, and Mike Norvell contracted the coronavirus. Of course, I wish Norvell a very speedy recovery.

On the field, FSU is just as talented as Miami, but the ‘Noles just haven’t been able to put the pieces together. QB James Blackman is better than given credit for, but he’s no D’Eriq King. The FSU offensive line will struggle again- Jaelan Phillips and Anthony Russo will wreak havoc behind the line of scrimmage- and the ‘Canes will pick up another victory in primetime heading into their week six clash with Clemson.

CSD Pick: Miami 31, Florida State 22

#16 Tennessee @ South Carolina

7:30 PM ET, SEC Network
Vegas Line: Tennessee -3

This is another game that really intrigues me. Tennessee comes into the game ranked 16th, the receivers of massive hype in the offseason, but they have to open with a hungry South Carolina team, looking for a win. Lord knows head coach Will Muschamp desperately needs a big one. The defense for USC is solid, but I don’t have a ton of faith in new starting quarterback Collin Hill in game one. Hill, a Colorado State transfer, struggled mightily with throwing picks against Mountain West D-backs, I don’t expect his luck against SEC ones to be much better.

The linebacking corps of Tennessee should control the game, and I have faith in the Tennessee offense, led by their excellent offensive line, to put up enough points to get a close win in what will be a very low-scoring affair.

CSD Pick: Tennessee 24, South Carolina 19

Kansas (0-1) @ Baylor
Vegas Line: Baylor -18.5

CSD Pick: Baylor 41, Kansas 18

NC State (1-0, 1-0 ACC) @ #20 Virginia Tech
8 PM ET, ACC Network
Vegas Line: Virginia Tech –7

Virginia Tech is the only ACC school other than Virginia that has yet to play a game, and I’m picking the Hokies to smack an NC State team that let up 42 points to Wake Forest last week. I had Tech rated out as a top-15 caliber squad before the season started, and I’m sticking to my guns on that. I have faith in Hokie QB Hendon Hooker, and I expect him to tear up the State defense, and for the Hokie pass rush to give QB Bailey Hockman tons of trouble on the other side of the ball. Tech -7 should cover easily.

CSD Pick: Virginia Tech 33, NC State 22

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Virginia Tech -7

Troy (1-0) @ #18 BYU (1-0)
10:15 PM ET, ESPN
Vegas Line: BYU -15

CSD Pick: BYU 39, Troy 24

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