College Football Odds Week 4: Picks Against the Spread for Updated Top 25 Games

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2021

College Football Odds Week 4: Picks Against the Spread for Updated Top 25 Games

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    The Oklahoma Sooners have yet to produce a dominant performance against an FBS opponent. 

    That could change on Saturday night at home when they open Big 12 play against the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

    Lincoln Riley's team is favored by 17 points for the prime-time showdown. The national TV window could be the perfect time for Spencer Rattler and the Sooners offense to showcase how explosive they can be against an average opponent. 

    One of Oklahoma's old Big 12 and future SEC rivals needs to impress more in Week 4 on the offensive side of the ball as well. 

    The Texas A&M Aggies have averaged 437.3 total yards per game in their first three contests, but they only scored 10 points in their lone matchup with a Power Five school.

    On Saturday, backup quarterback Zach Calzada has a chance to prove he has a firm grasp of the offense against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

    Arkansas should come into AT&T Stadium with plenty of confidence at 3-0, but it faces a tough task to end its decade-long losing streak against Texas A&M. 

Week 4 Odds and Predictions

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Friday, September 23

    UNLV at Fresno State (-30) (10 p.m. ET, CBSSN)

         

    Saturday, September 24

    No. 2 Georgia (-35.5) at Vanderbilt (Noon ET, SEC Network)

    Villanova at No. 6 Penn State (N/A) (Noon ET, BTN)

    No. 12 Notre Dame at No. 18 Wisconsin (-6.5) (Noon ET, Fox)

    UMass at No. 17 Coastal Carolina (-36) (1 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

    Colorado State at No. 5 Iowa (-23) (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

    No. 7 Texas A&M (-4.5) vs. No. 16 Arkansas (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

    No. 9 Clemson (-10) at NC State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

    No. 14 Iowa State (-7) at Baylor (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

    Rutgers at No. 19 Michigan (-20.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

    Georgia State at No. 23 Auburn (-27) (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

    No. 24 UCLA (-5) at Stanford (6 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network)

    Tennessee at No. 11 Florida (-18.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

    Nebraska at No. 20 Michigan State (-5) (7 p.m. ET, FS1)

    No. 25 Kansas State at Oklahoma State (-6) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

    Southern Miss at No. 1 Alabama (-45.5) (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

    West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma (-17) (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

    Akron at No. 10 Ohio State (-49.5) (7:30 p.m. ET, BTN)

    No. 21 North Carolina (-13) at Georgia Tech (7:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

    South Florida at No. 15 BYU (-23) (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

    Arizona at No. 3 Oregon (-28.5) (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; predictions against the spread in bold.

                

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West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma (-17)

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Oklahoma is due for a massive night against an FBS foe.

    The Sooners posted 40 points in their season-opening win over the Tulane Green Wave, but the defense kept the AAC side in the contest until the end. 

    In Week 3, the Oklahoma offense sputtered against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, as it put up 23 points despite earning 408 total yards. 

    In between those two games, the Sooners pasted the Western Carolina Catamounts from the FCS 76-0. 

    A 70-point total is probably off the board for Saturday, but Oklahoma could score somewhere in the 40s or 50s against a West Virginia squad that is average at best. 

    The Mountaineers are coming off a nice home win over the Virginia Tech Hokies, but they still allowed 329 total yards. They were also gashed for 496 total yards in Week 1 in a loss to the Maryland Terrapins. 

    Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa posted 332 passing yards and three scores in West Virginia's lone loss. His success could provide a blueprint for Riley and Rattler to carve up the Mountaineers' defense with deep passes and large gains. 

    West Virginia has a brutal road record under Neal Brown going against it. One of the head coach's worst losses with the team was a 52-14 defeat in Norman, Oklahoma two years ago.

    The Mountaineers lost all four of their road games in 2020, and two of those defeats were by double digits to ranked sides. West Virginia is 3-8 on the road under Brown in three seasons. 

    Look for Oklahoma to jump out to an early advantage behind Rattler, who could use Saturday's performance to remind people about his Heisman Trophy candidacy. 

    The 20-year-old completed 74.7 percent of his passes in three weeks. He has five multi-touchdown passing games at home in his career, including three against Big 12 opposition in 2020. 

    As long as Oklahoma's offense starts strong, it should leave no doubt with the final result and make a statement to the national audience that it will be in the College Football Playoff discussion all season. 

No. 7 Texas A&M (-4.5) vs. No. 16 Arkansas

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Texas A&M has not lost to Arkansas since 2011. 

    The Aggies faced three overtime games and two more one-possession games in that span, but they were still able to prevail.

    Saturday's matchup at AT&T Stadium gives Calzada a chance to show a national audience what he can do in the A&M offense with a full week of preparation.

    The last time we saw the quarterback in the spotlight was two weeks ago against the Colorado Buffaloes. He struggled to find his footing in the offense after Haynes King left the game through injury.

    Calzada produced 275 yards and three touchdowns in the Week 3 win over the New Mexico Lobos. He should enter Saturday with more confidence because of that performance. 

    He can put trust in running backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane to make a few big plays as well. The tandem combined for 146 rushing yards against New Mexico and they put up 121 rushing yards in last year's win over Arkansas. 

    Texas A&M has more playmakers on both sides of the ball and that should hurt the Razorbacks' progress over four quarters. 

    The A&M defense conceded 17 points over three games, and that unit was the reason why it defeated Colorado on the road. 

    Arkansas produced a nice win in Week 2 over the Texas Longhorns, but the Big 12 side is not in the same echelon as the Aggies right now. The Razorbacks also won't be playing Saturday's game on home soil. 

    The Razorbacks offense should be slowed by a defense that leads the FBS in points conceded per game and passing yards allowed per contest. Texas A&M is the only team to concede fewer than 100 passing yards per game. 

    If the A&M defense shows up in a big way again and Calzada plays with confidence, the Aggies should avoid any issues and cruise to another victory in their SEC West rivalry.

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