That's right. 5-3. You're in good hands with us.
In Week 4, we get into some key conference games and a lot more action. Let's get to it!
No. 5 Clemson at No. 21 Wake Forest
- Location: Truist Field, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
Wake Forest kicks off their ACC schedule with the No. 5 Clemson Tigers coming to Winston-Salem. The Demon Deacons had two weeks to get star Quarterback Sam Hartman back in game shape after an early August surgery sidelined him for the season opener. Now he gets a fierce Clemson defense. Hartman should test the Clemson secondary that has seen little in the way of top-caliber quarterbacks so far this season. Wake is fourth in the nation in takeaways per game, so don't count their D out just because they're playing Clemson.
The Tigers, have a defense that can frustrate a quarterback like Sam Hartman. Generating a decent pass rush will be key for Clemson to come out of Winston-Salem with a victory. Liberty was able to shut down the Wake Forest run game, so I suspect Clemson will have no trouble. Getting Hartman to make some hurried throws should be easier with the rushing attack to lean on. DJ Uiagalelei will be able to move the ball, and a steady dose of run and pass might just give the Tigers the edge in a series in which they have won the last 13 straight. Still, with an offense like Wake Forest's and a future NFL Quarterback in Hartman, they can keep things interesting. Don't let the noon start trip you up. This will be one to watch.
Best Bet: Over 55.5
For all the talk of defense, these are two teams with top-tier quarterbacks who can move the ball, and both of these teams rank in the top 20 in points per game. If Clemson gets up early and stifles the Wake Forest run game, look for Sam Hartman to be throwing on the majority of downs. If Clemson gets up on the Deacs I like for a backdoor cover on the total from Wake in fourth-quarter garbage time. All signs point to the over in this one, so that's how we are playing it too.
No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee
- Location: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee
- Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
The rollercoaster that is Florida Gators football comes to Knoxville to introduce Tennessee to SEC play in 2022. But which Florida team is showing up? The Gators that upset the Utes in the season opener, or the Gators that squeaked past South Florida and needed a missed FG at the end of the game to keep it out of overtime?
It's difficult to say, but one would assume that Billy Napier's squad shows up for a battle the Volunteers. But unlike against Kentucky, they should show up for all 60 mins. It's worth noting as well that this is Florida's first road game of the season. What has been working for the Gators is their rushing attack. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Quarterback Anthony Richardson is as good a dual threat as you'll find this year. He put up 106 yards on the ground against Utah with three touchdowns, and they'll need Anthony Richardson to show up Saturday and not the one who was limited to 28 yards on the ground in his last two games. The Gators rushing attack ranks 23rd in the nation with 213 yards per game, and that will have to continue as they aim to test the Vols front seven.
Tennessee brings their explosive offense into this SEC battle. The Vols rank second in the nation in points per game, third in yards per game, and seventh in passing yards per game. Quarterback Hendon Hooker has a completion rate of near 70%, Neyland Stadium will be loud as the Vols try to start their season 4-0 for the first time since 2016 and a win against Florida should see them crack the top 10 rankings.
Best Bet: Florida +10.5
Here's the rub... We are betting against a great Tennessee offense here, but we are betting on the overreaction to a great Tennessee offense. The Vols were -3 in the preseason when the schedules were released and their high octane offense ballooned this spread up over 10 points. I see this as more of a slugfest, similar to how the Tennessee-Pitt game in Week 2 was. Points will be hard-earned in this one. The Gators can keep the game within reach, but lack Tennessee's big play ability to get the win. Even still, I haven't seen enough bad play from Florida to warrant laying this kind of chalk in a conference showdown.
No. 10 Arkansas No. 23 Texas A&M
- Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
- Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Texas A&M avenged their upset loss to Appalachian State with a victory over No. 9 Miami last week, and for their effort, they only jumped one spot in the rankings. That is due in large part to their underperforming offense, which only managed 17 points against the Hurricanes, after scoring just 14 the week before against App State. An anemic offense continues to hinder the Aggies. We'll see if they have found a solution by the time the kickoff rolls around on the neutral field.
On the other hand, Arkansas does have an offense that averages 37.5 points per game. The Razorbacks have shown they can put up points late, utilizing a 3 touchdown rally in the fourth quarter to beat Missouri State in a close call a week ago. That might prove problematic for the Aggies to try and keep up with a team capable of playing the full 60 minutes. The Aggies may have the better all-around defense, but the front 7 of the Razorbacks leads the nation with 17 sacks on the season. That may provide trouble for Max Johnson, who was brought in last week for Haynes King. The Silver lining for Johnson and the A&M passing attack that ranks 99th is that Arkansas has one of the worst pass defenses in the nation, giving up 350 yards per game.
Best Bet: Texas A&M -2
Once again, I got to the end of the preview thinking I was going to bet the Hogs, only just to see a bunch of signals why I shouldn't. Arkansas has a dual threat quarterback in KJ Jefferson who has been a force on the ground. If A&M can tighten up their run defense some, they should be able to limit what Jefferson can do. The Aggies have been stingy on the scoreboard too, allowing just 26 points this entire season. This is as good a time as any for their passing attack to improve against one of the nation's worst pass defenses.
And of course the biggest signal of them all. 70% of the public bets and 66% of the money are on Arkansas right now. And I am 5-0 now across CFB and NFL when I call upon the mighty power of the contrarian betting strategy. It'll fail me at some point I'm sure, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Wisconsin at No. 3 Ohio State
- Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
- Kickoff: 7:30pm ET
- TV: ABC
The Buckeyes hope to make it nine straight wins against Wisconsin, as the Badgers come to town for a Big Ten primetime showdown. The Badgers would like nothing more than to upset their divisional foe and see them booted right out of the top 5, but that will be hard to do against one of the nation's best defenses. Ohio State spent much of the off eason fixing its run defense. Otherwise, going up against one of the best backs in the Big Ten like Wisconisn's Braelon Allen would be problematic. The Badgers are still hoping a steady dose of Allen will move the chains and keep the high-powered Buckeye offense off the field.
Ohio State put up 763 total yards of total offense last week, and Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst would like to see as little of it as possible. And rightfully so, OSU boasts a who's who of perennially NFL stars. Quarterback CJ Stroud and running back TreVeyon Henderson to name a few. Wisconsin is a very physical team, but if they can't move the ball and eat up some clock they might be in for a long night.
Best Bet: Under 57
As I said, these two teams are very physical. But this total seems predicated on Wisconsin being able to score at least 17-20, which I'm not so sure that they can do. It's no question their best player is Braelon Allen and if they employ a steady dose of the run, should eat up some time. Ohio State can light up the scoreboard, but even a 44-10 blowout would cover the under.
Additional Best Bets
- Miami (OH) (+7.5) at Northwestern - The Wildcats have lost straight up at home as 10 and 13-point favorites already this season.
- Kansas State at No 6. Oklahoma (-13) - Deuce Vaughn is a great back, but he alone won't be enough against an offense that puts up 42 points per game.
- No. 17 Baylor at Iowa State (-2.5) - Feels like this would be an upset, even though Iowa State is favored. Baylor hasn't won in Ames since 2016.
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