College Football Odds Week 4: Latest Top 25 Picks and Final Score Predictions

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - DECEMBER 26: Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Miami (Oh) Redhawks in the St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field on December 26, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett, Jr. /Getty Images)
Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

Week 3 in college football was superb. Week 4 has a lot to live up to if it's going to match that intrigue.

Below, we'll take a look at the Top 25 matchups this weekend, the odds in each contest and predict each game before breaking down the two premier matchups. 

       

Top 25 Matchups

No. 23 Utah (-3.5) at Arizona

Prediction: Utah wins, 35-31

        

UNLV at No. 10 Ohio State (-39)

Prediction: Ohio State wins, 49-17

         

NC State at No. 12 Florida State (-11.5)

Prediction: Florida State wins, 34-21

        

Kent State at No. 19 Louisville (-37)

Prediction: Louisville wins, 56-10

          

Old Dominion at No. 13 Virginia Tech (-26.5)

Prediction: Virginia Tech wins, 41-14

          

No. 1 Alabama (-18.5) at Vanderbilt

Prediction: Alabama wins, 34-13

        

Boston College at No. 2 Clemson (-32.5)

Prediction: Clemson wins, 45-10

       

No. 5 USC (-16) at California

Prediction: USC wins, 38-21

        

No. 16 TCU at No. 6 Oklahoma State (-11.5)

Prediction: Oklahoma State wins, 41-35

       

Toledo at No. 14 Miami (-14.5)

Prediction: Miami wins, 38-20

       

No. 8 Michigan (-8) at Purdue

Prediction: Michigan wins, 28-17

        

Nevada at No. 18 Washington State (-26.5)

Prediction: Washington State wins, 49-21

        

No. 3 Oklahoma (-27.5) at Baylor

Prediction: Oklahoma wins, 48-20

       

No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Georgia (-3.5)

Prediction: Georgia wins, 24-21

        

No. 22 San Diego State (-7) at Air Force

Prediction: San Diego State wins, 27-21

       

Syracuse at No. 25 LSU (-23)

Prediction: LSU wins, 30-17

        

No. 4 Penn State (-13.5) at Iowa

Prediction: Penn State wins, 35-21

        

No. 15 Auburn (-19.5) at Missouri

Prediction: Auburn wins, 30-10

        

No. 20 Florida (-4) at Kentucky

Prediction: Florida wins, 21-20

        

No. 7 Washington (-9.5) at Colorado

Prediction: Washington wins, 30-20

        

No. 24 Oregon (-12.5) at Arizona State

Prediction: Oregon wins, 42-28

        

Analysis

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Mason Rudolph #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates after a touchdown by Dillon Stoner #17 (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field on September 16, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pen
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Let's be honest: There are a lot of games in the Top 25 this week that aren't particularly interesting. So let's break down the ones that are.

We start at TCU vs. Oklahoma State, where a solid defense meets a fantastic offense. Get ready for the fireworks.

Mason Rudolph has been amazing to start the season, throwing for 1,135 yards and 11 touchdowns while firmly planting himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation. But he has plenty of weapons, too, from Justice Hill and J.D. King in the run game to James Washington, Marcell Ateman and Jalen McCleskey through the air.

As always, it's fair to question this team's defense, and TCU is no slouch on the offensive side of the ball. But the Horned Frogs don't have the firepower to keep pace with Oklahoma State's offense, they don't have the secondary to slow the Cowboys' talented cadre of wide receivers and they don't have the luxury of playing at home.

In Stillwater, Oklahoma State wins a close, high-scoring affair.

Mississippi State vs. Georgia is the week's other intriguing contest. Mississippi State looked awesome while roasting LSU at home, but can the Bulldogs repeat that performance on the road?

Much of this game will come down to whether they can keep Georgia from establishing the run behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Georgia is rushing for 230 yards per game, which in turn has completely covered up a passing attack that leaves plenty to be desired. 

Mississippi State is holding opponents to 101.3 rushing yards per game, 42nd in the nation. It held LSU to 133 yards rushing, and the Tigers didn't have the passing attack to move the ball with any consistency. 

The second major point will be the play of the quarterbacks. Nick Fitzgerald is a fantastic dual-threat player who absolutely torched LSU for 288 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. 

Jake Fromm is a bit less established. He's thrown for 449 yards, five touchdowns and an interception this year, though he's completed just 59.6 percent of his passes. If the game comes down to a quarterback leading a key drive late in the fourth quarter, Fitzgerald would be the more appealing choice.

And so we come to the third key to the game: the defenses, both of which are fantastic. Mississippi State is giving up just 206 yards per game (fourth in the nation) and 9.3 points per contest (sixth). Georgia is allowing 266 yards per game (16th) and 14.3 points per game (21st).

Get ready for these teams to have to grind out every yard.

The final storyline and the one that is basically the only thing separating these teams: Georgia is playing at home. Georgia holding the edge in the run game and Mississippi State holding the edge at quarterback comes up a wash. But that home matchup, traditionally worth three points itself in betting circles, will be the difference.

Never underestimate the presence of a rowdy SEC crowd when two even teams in the conference face one another. And get ready for what promises to be a hell of a game in Athens.

        

All odds via OddsShark.com.

Related

    Ranking CFB's Best Freshmen So Far

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Ranking CFB's Best Freshmen So Far

    David Kenyon
    via Bleacher Report

    Bryant Misses 2nd Practice After Being Benched

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Bryant Misses 2nd Practice After Being Benched

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Clemson Starting Freshman QB, Benching Kelly Bryant

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Clemson Starting Freshman QB, Benching Kelly Bryant

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Swinney on Convo with Bryant: It Was Emotional

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Swinney on Convo with Bryant: It Was Emotional

    robertmacraetci
    via The Clemson Insider