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Arnold Against The Spread: Week 4

Still desperately trying to get back to .500

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 West Virginia at Pitt Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was more of the same in Week 3 as I once again went .500 on the regular picks and unfortunately the upset special was also a let down. For the season we are 7-11 so far, let’s see if I can get this gambling ship righted in Week 4 with the picks that I have my eye on this weekend. All odds and lines are according to DraftKings Sportsbook*. And please always remember that this blog does not constitute financial advice.

West Virginia (-1.5) at Virginia Tech

I do realize that this West Virginia team is 1-2 and has a loss to Kansas. However!!!! The Mountaineers have an offense that is absolutely capable of scoring on anyone. Defensively there are a lot of gaps but I haven’t seen anything from the Hokies to suggest they can take advantage, even if it a raucous atmosphere in Lane Stadium for the return of the Black Diamond Trophy. I like West Virginia to cover.

Duke (+7.5) at Kansas

If you had told me going into the season that both these teams would be sitting at 3-0, I wouldn’t have believed you. Duke has already improved defensively under former Texas A&M Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko while Kansas beat both West Virginia and Houston on the road in consecutive matchups, two massive wins that have announced the Jayhawks as much improved in 2022. While I do think Kansas comes out on top, I’m buying the Blue Devils to keep it within a touchdown in Lawrence. If that spread drops below 7, take Kansas but at 7.5 I like the Blue Devils to cover.

TCU at SMU (Under 70.5)

The weather in Dallas when these two cross-metroplex rivals meet will be hotter than Iron Skillet they are playing for come Saturday. There are no shortages of storylines in this one after former SMU Head Coach Sonny Dykes left Dallas for Fort Worth in the off-season. This game has been a high-scoring affair in recent meeting but 70.5 is a whole hell of a lot of points. Could SMU and TCU shatter that? Absolutely, but I think the heat in Dallas this weekend combined with a playing surface at SMU that gets exceedingly hot could lead to some physical limitations for both teams. I like the under here.

Texas at Texas Tech (Under 60)

The Longhorns defense appeared much improved in their Week 2 meeting with Alabama and limited a talented UTSA offense to just 20 points as well. They will look to keep trending up when they head to Lubbock to take on the Red Raiders. You can bet the Jones will be rocking when the Longhorns come to town but this Tech team doesn’t appear to be the offensive juggernaut of old. I expect more of a defensive battle in this one with the Longhorns coming out on top. They say life is too short to bet the under but I have to take it here.

James Madison (+7) at Appalachian State

A rivalry that was once fierce at the FCS level will now be rekindled at the FBS level in the Sun Belt Conference. I don’t need to remind Texas A&M fans what App State has done this year but I’ve been quietly impressed with James Madison after their Week 1 thrashing of Middle Tennessee. Expect the Dukes to hang around with App State in this one and be a tough out in spite of the fact that this is their first season at the FBS level.

Kansas State at Oklahoma (-13)

Historically, Kansas State has been a bit of a thorn in Oklahoma’s side in the Big 12. I don’t expect them to cause many problems for the Sooners in 2022, however. Brent Venables has the Oklahoma team rolling so far, particularly on defense. I expect the Sooners to smother Adrian Martinez, Deuce Vaughn, and the Wildcats offense and put this contest away early. I love the Sooners -13 here.

Upset Special: Rice (+625) at Houston

The Houston Cougars were supposed to be the Group of 5 darling in 2022. Back-to-back losses to Texas Tech and Kansas have dashed those hopes. They will look to rebound against a Rice squad who just pulled off a massive win over Louisiana last week. Am I perhaps being influenced by the fact that I was in attendance at Rice Stadium? Perhaps, but I was thoroughly impressed with the Rice defensive line. I think that unit can give anyone problems and if Rice QB TJ McMahon can limit turnovers - look out, the Bayou Bucket just may be going back home with the Owls.

*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.