Hard to believe it is already Week 4 of the college football season, but here we are. Last week’s slate was a bit of a dud on paper but there were a few games to keep us entertained and tide us over until this week. With one of the games in the column being canceled in Georgia Southern/FAU we had a small week, but both bets cashed to put us at 6-2 on the season!
Now we enter Week 4, and another one of the big boys are scheduled to play as the SEC kicks off their season. I’ve got plenty of interest in a lot of games down south, so lets start there.
Kentucky (+7.5) @ Auburn
What Kentucky did last year was pretty remarkable: going 8-5 without a real quarterback. This year the Wildcats look to me like they could be a dark horse SEC East pick. To start, they return their coaching staff and a ton of depth at every position on the field. Quarterback will again be the question mark, but we’ve seen what Kentucky can do without one and it’s still pretty damn good. If Terry Wilson can give them a game manager type season, the Wildcats should be able to run the football again in 2020 behind a strong offensive line that returns four starters.
On the other sideline Auburn lost a whole host of talent, especially in the trenches. Not only did Auburn lose their studly combo of Derrick Brown and Marlon Davis on the defensive line, but they also lost all five of their starters on the offensive line. That sounds like a lot to worry about when taking on a team that returns key spots like the Wildcats. Auburn does return Bo Nix, and his top three targets, but I’ve never been much of a believer in Nix to begin with. Add in that they are rolling out a new offense under Chad Morris, and I think there’s a lot of questions that will need to be answered. Kentucky is a consistent program, and I like them in this spot and I may even play a little on the money line as well.
Mississippi State (+17.5) @ LSU
Speaking of Tigers and having to replace a lot, nobody was more ravaged by early entrants to the NFL Draft than the LSU Tigers. It’s the cost of winning a national title I suppose. Now though, they enter 2020 with almost no familiar faces. Gone is Joe Burrow, gone is Clyde Edwards-Helaire, gone is... well you get the point, they lost a lot. The Tigers return two starters on offense and five on defense. It’s still LSU, but add in that they lost passing game guru Joe Brady to the Panthers and Dave Aaranda to Baylor and you see a whole host of question marks.
On the opposite side Mississippi State welcomes new head coach Mike Leach and I cannot wait to see how this experiment unfolds. Add in transfer QB K.J. Costello and I think you might have a combo that can do some things on the offensive side of the football. On defense, I love the hire of defensive coordinator Zach Arnett who had some dominating units at San Diego State. Sure, it will take some time to get these new systems up and running, but I think both teams are going through the same pains, so 17 points feels like a lot. Might look for the under here too as both teams try to sort things out. Also, unders are 15-6 in games where neither team has played in 2020.
Louisville @ Pitt (-3)
Last week I had bets in involving both teams and both games went about how I expected them. For Louisville they had no answer for D’Eriq King which led to a big win for Miami. For Pitt, the defensive front suffocated the Syracuse Orange and an under cashed with relative ease. This week I am going back to the well and laying the points with the Panthers.
I was impressed with the Panthers on defense a week ago, and if Louisville continues to miss tackles Pitt should be able to score at will. They may not score 47 like the Hurricanes did, but they should be able to score enough to where I am not sure Louisville can keep pace. Pitt’s front seven is nasty, and Paris Ford really holds down the back end of that secondary well. I’ve been bullish on Pitt, and bearish on Louisville so far this year so I am going to lay the small number here.
UCF @ ECU
Total here is at 77, I am always one to play unders at 75 or over. Both of these teams can score, but you have to get points on nearly every possession to get in that 75 range. UCF looked like a well oiled machine last week, but its the opener for ECU and I just think getting into the high 70’s is a lot.
Army (+14) @ Cincinnati
Right now I like what I have seen from Army, but you have to take that with a grain of salt. They’ve played what might be the two worst teams playing in UL-Monroe and Middle Tennessee State. Still though, if they are as good as they’ve looked, 14 might be a lot here. Cincy’s defense should be great again, but 14 is still a lot in a game where points might be at a premium.
Kansas State (+28) @ Oklahoma
Originally I planned on laying the points here because I think this K-State team is pretty bad, but 28 is a lot even for Oklahoma. I know they’ve played a game, but Missouri State doesn’t count too much.