Preview and Pac 12 picks for NCAA Football Week 4
The biggest Saturday of the college football season to date is Sept. 23 with six AP Top 25 matchups. I chipped-in part 1 of the Week 4 Top 25 Picks and Opinions plus additional Top 25 games of interest. With more to cover, research, handicap and write, I've added a second section of the three Top 25 matchups in the Pac-12.
That includes the most bet game of the day at the leading online sportsbooks between No. 19 Colorado and No. 10 Oregon in Eugene.
All college football 2023 Picks and Opinions through Week 2 are 8-3, including 7-1 ATS on sides.
Top 25 Matchup Picks: 0-1 (total)
Bonus Picks: 1-0
Top 25 Matchup Opinions: 3-0
Top 25 Games Opinions: 3-1
Top 25 Totals Opinions: 1-1
Top 25 Leans: 1-0
Week 4 Top 25 Pac-12 Picks And Matchups
No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon | 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Line: Oregon -21 and Total 70.5
An expected shootout with the highest total of the week for the most bet college football game of the week. Both teams are 3-0, but Oregon played won weak FCS team and scored 81 points. Oregon's explosive offense averaged 516 yards per game in those two FBS wins, but Colorado has averaged 479 YPG in three FBS wins after escaping last week in double overtime versus state rival Colorado State. Colorado coach Prime's son Shedeur Sanders is No. 2 in the country in gross passing yards (1,251). Bettors are lining up on Colorado again, and a cover will hurt the online sportsbooks. An outright win by the Buffs would be devastating to the 'Books with huge payouts. That won't happen, right? Far more depth on Oregon to match their skill, and more sharp bettors believe these next two games versus Oregon and USC will show how far Colorado has to climb to reach the upper echelon of the Pac-12, in it's final season. Still, backdoor potential if needed with the Buffaloes high-powered passing game, even with two-way star Travis Hunter's injury last week impacting this spread.
My Question to Sports Traders on Colorado Buffaloes betting handle each week.— Fairway Jay (@FairwayJay) September 21, 2023
"Colorado action continues to flood in, about 2/1 more handle than next game, which is Ohio State (-3) vs Notre Dame." Next is FSU vs Clemson. Bettors still betting on Buffs & coach Prime. #COLvsOR… https://t.co/hELvUMKcJk
No. 22 UCLA at No. 11 Utah
Line: UCLA +3.5 and Total 52.5
Both teams are 3-0 including 2-0 vs FBS opponents. UCLA has played the softer schedule, but the Bruins improved defense has allowed just 11.5 points per game and 4.2 yards per play to FBS teams Coastal Carolina and San Diego State. The impressive play of 5* freshman QB Dante Moore includes 7 TD passes and a balanced offense that has run for 205 yards per game and passed for 280 per game in those two games. The Bruins beat the Utes 42-32 last season as a home underdog, but much respect for Utah and their coach and home field, where they are on an 8-1 ATS run as single-digit home favorite and includes the 24-11 home win over Florida in Week 1. But veteran QB Cameron Rising has not played this season following a torn ACL in the Rose Bowl game. He's game-time decision Saturday in Salt Lake City. That's key to this play, and the line dropping may indicate he'll be held out again, however the line had risen to -6 earlier in the week as Rising had been practicing all week. Regardless, Utah has been ravaged by injuries to other players this season, and the UCLA defense and balanced offense are worthy of some support.
No. 14 Oregon State at No. 21 Washington State
Line: Oregon State -3 and Total 57.5
Opinion: Washington State and Lean Under
After watching Wisconsin dismantle Purdue Friday night, Washington State's home win over Bucky Badger looks even better. That despite Wazzu taking advantage of three Wisconsin fumbles in a game closer in yardage. The Cougars passing offense is top-10 in the country average 358 yards per game through the air with duel threat QB Cam Ward already passing for 9 TD's without an interception. The Cougars are also running 81 plays per game, and will try to wear down the Oregon State defense, which is more stout allowing just 13 points per game and 302 yards per game (240 passing) versus two FBS Mountain West teams. But Beavers QB DJ Uiagalelei was inconsistent in the win over San Diego State last week with less than 50% completions and two interceptions. Oregon State does have better overall talent, but Uiagalelei is the concern for Beavers backers. This total has risen, but my projections disagree.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and loves college football. He's been handicapping and betting college football for more than two decades and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. FairwayJay chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports and betting insights.