Believe it or not, we’re already into Week 4 of the college football season (the fifth week if you count Week 0).
We get a welcome change this weekend as many teams are kicking off their conference schedule as it’s generally easier to handicap these games compared to a lot of the early-season mismatches in the nonconference slates (not to say there aren’t mismatches in conference games, but I assume you know what I mean).
After a good start to the season, I’ve gone 1-2 ATS the last two weekends to fall back to .500 at 6-6 ATS after losing with Utah State +9.5 at Air Force and East Carolina +9 at Appalachian State before salvaging the week with New Mexico State +1.5 beating New Mexico.
While that’s nothing to brag about, if you had told me before the season that we’d just be down the vig heading into the bulk of the conference schedule, I could have lived with that as we feel like we have a better handle on these teams moving forward.
Let’s get to Saturday’s loaded college football slate with three (hopefully) live conference underdogs.
College Football Betting Splits | College Football Odds
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Regular readers may remember that I faded BC in Week 1 with my alma mater, Northern Illinois, and my Huskies upset the Eagles 27-24 in OT as 8.5-point underdogs. Boston College also wasn’t getting much respect after only beating Holy Cross 31-28 in its next game, but they shocked the college football world last week by going toe to toe with No. 3 Florida State before finally losing 31-29 in their ACC opener.
So, all three of BC’s games have been decided by 3 points or less regardless of the competition. And now they’re getting two touchdowns against a team they beat 34-33 on the road last year. (I’m not a big “revenge” guy, as I prefer when a team shows it can beat another team and is now getting points.) Boston College QB Thomas Castellanos has thrown five TD passes and just two INTs and also leads the team with 231 rushing yards and two more TDs.
Meanwhile, I don’t believe Louisville should be favored by this many points (even at home) as QB Jack Plummer (five TDs, four INTs) is no Lamar Jackson.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
I’ve been writing a lot of conference vs. nonconference games, but I’m as lost as anyone with all this realignment in recent years. I had to look up that this is a Big 12 conference game as BYU joined the league this summer. This doesn’t seem right to me (though I’ve admittedly been against all this since 1990 when my Midwestern roots were shocked when the “Big Ten” added an 11th team with Penn State), but it is what it is. Regardless,
BYU isn’t as strong as we’ve seen in recent years (most people forget that Zach Wilson was actually a great college QB), but they just went into SEC country and beat Arkansas 38-31 and shouldn’t be nearly double-digit dogs vs. this Kansas team.
Former Pitt and USC quarterback Kedon Slovis is leading the BYU attack with a 61% completion rate, 660 yards, six TDs and just one INT. Jalon Daniels (75%, 575 yards, two TDs, one INT) is also off to a good start for Kansas, but the Jayhawks were only able to pull out a 31-24 victory last Saturday against a down Nevada program (and I can say that as my daughter Peyton is a sophomore at UNR). I’m also looking at BYU at +300 on the moneyline.
Saturday, midnight ET
Both these teams have cashed for us on the young season with Hawaii covering in a Week 0 loss at Vanderbilt and New Mexico State pulling a minor upset of Mexico last week. Neither team plays much defense, so this should be a shootout. Note for totals bettors: this Over/Under looks a little short at 57 points.
Anyway, I’ve been more impressed overall with New Mexico State and QB Diego Pavia. The Aggies have scored at least 27 points in three of their four games and I’ll call for the minor upset at +130 on the moneyline against a Hawaii team that has only beaten FCS school Albany and is still recovering from being run over by Oregon 55-10 last Saturday.