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College Football Betting: Analyzing Week 4 Line Moves


Week 4 of the college football season means conference play for a majority of the country. Below we take an in-depth look at some of the early week point spread moves and how to approach them from a betting perspective.

Louisville at Virginia

CRIS Opener: Virginia -3.5

CRIS Current: Virginia -6

Comment: Since Jeff Brohm left for Purdue, Western Kentucky has regressed in a big way. So when bettors see Louisville outgained 428-292 in a narrow and perhaps fortunate 20-17 win over the Hilltoppers, there’s going to be a reaction. The Cardinals have benched starting quarterback Jawon Pass twice already and head coach Bobby Petrino offered this frank statement after the win: “We’re not playing very good football right now and we’ve got to improve on that,” Petrino said. “The competition gets tougher and it’s really important to us that we get to playing better football on the game field. … There’s no question about it that we need to improve.” Meanwhile, Virginia handled well-respected Ohio 45-31 in a funky neutral site affair in Nashville. But make no mistake, this is all anti-Louisville money.

Buffalo at Rutgers

CRIS Opener: Buffalo -3

CRIS Current: Buffalo -6

Comment: Kansas looks to be improved. But when you lose to the Jayhawks 55-14, that’s a big red flag. It was rock bottom loss for the Rutgers program, one that may take time to heal from. And Buffalo has posted six straight wins dating back to last season. It’s pretty crazy to see a 6-win MAC school favored by nearly a touchdown on the road against a Big Ten team. A hold-your-nose type bet if you feel the Scarlet Knight have any sort of pride.

Stanford at Oregon

CRIS Opener: Oregon -2

CRIS Current: Stanford -1

Comment: The Golden Nugget’s Game of the Year line from back in May showed Oregon as -3 home chalk. Looks to be a little resistance due to the Ducks’ ultra-soft schedule and a lackluster performance in Week 3’s 35-21 win over woeful San Jose State. And Stanford has dominated the past two meetings (52-27 and 49-7). Note however that in last year’s 49-7 loss, Oregon was without quarterback Justin Herbert. I expect to see two-sided action on this one with neither team favored by more than -2.5.

Navy at SMU

CRIS Opener: Navy -6.5

CRIS Current: Navy -7.5

Comment: SMU finally covered a point spread (+37) under Sonny Dykes in last week’s 45-20 loss at Michigan. Part of me wants to leave the door open with this squad – Dykes jumped in at the last second for the bowl game after Morris left, TCU and Michigan are horrible paycheck matchups, and North Texas looks to be the real deal after hammering Arkansas last week. But bettors should be very leery about this particular matchup. In the last three meetings in the series, the Midshipmen averaged 57.6 ppg. Dykes beat Air Force 55-36 during his tenure at California. But that was in a bowl game, with time to prepare, and better talent. He won’t have those advantages on Saturday. Look for the line to hover around -7 and -7.5.

Coastal Carolina at UL-Lafayette

CRIS Opener: UL-Lafayette -2.5

CRIS Current: UL-Lafayette -4.5

Comment: Bettors looking to take advantage of a bad situation for Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers had last week’s game vs. Campbell moved to Wednesday due to Hurricane Florence. Reports state that after the game, the team headed to Jacksonville for an “unspecified amount of time.” Power ratings show this one to be a lot closer to a pick ’em but ULL definitely holds a “comfort edge.”

South Carolina at Vanderbilt

CRIS Opener: South Carolina -1

CRIS Current: South Carolina -2.5 (-115)

Comment: Due to the hurricane, the Gamecocks were off last week. Reports said that they will have a normal week of practice. Vanderbilt had a game effort in a point spread covering 22-17 loss at Notre Dame. They outgained the Irish by 40 yards and had the ball with a chance to win. CRIS leaning to -3 but not sure it gets there. If it does, you’ll see bettors on Vanderbilt.

Texas State at UTSA

CRIS Opener: UTSA -11

CRIS Current: UTSA -7

Comment: Neither team has covered a point spread to date (two pushes). And Texas State’s 35-7 loss to Rutgers looks even worse considering what the Scarlet Knights did against Kansas. But TSU showed signs of life last week by jumping out to a 31-16 lead on the road against South Alabama. The wheels however quickly came off as the Jaguars scored four unanswered touchdowns en route to a 41-31 win. Interestingly, UTSA was laying -13.5 at Texas State last year and won 44-14. Hard to knock the Roadrunners much at this point with losses to Arizona State, Baylor, and Kansas State. CRIS is the only sportsbook currently showing -7 with the rest -7.5 or -8. A rogue line like that likely won’t last long.

Andrew Lange is off to a profitable start to the college football season including a perfect 3-0 with his 2-unit BEST BETS. Look for Lange’s Week 4 BEST BET to be released on Wednesday morning.

Andrew Lange

With significant market influence, Andrew Lange has produced a decade-long 58% winning rate on over 750 selections in college basketball. Using a low volume, high return approach, Lange's results in the NFL have been equally impressive with a 61% mark and over +49 units of profit on a 1, 1.5, and 2-unit scale since 2012.