Our gambling woes continued in Week 4 as we went 2-4 on the week. That brings our overall record in 2023 to 13-21. We do get a bit of silver lining, however, as Northwestern managed a furious comeback against Minnesota to give us another Upset Special win. That brings our upsets total to 2-2 on the year. As always, the odds* for the below picks come courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook. This blog does not constitute financial advice.
Jacksonville State -6.5 at Sam Houston State
The game I’ll be attending this week is a CUSA matchup between two teams who made the jump from FCS to FBS. Things have gone very differently for the Gamecocks and Bearkats in 2023. Jax State has suffered just one defeat while racking up three wins. The defeat in question was a road loss to Coastal Carolina. Meanwhile, Sam Houston State has failed to win a single contest. I don’t see that changing in Week 5 and I’m on the Gamecocks to win by a touchdown.
Utah at Oregon State Under 45.5
I got burned on an Oregon State under last week but the Utes haven’t allowed more than 13 points all season defensively. Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball, Utah continues to struggle without quarterback Cam Rising. Oregon State would prefer to play a more run-based offense but getting down early forced the Beavers to get aggressive. I don’t think the pace will be nearly as furious this week. Hammer the under.
Penn State at Northwestern Under 46
The Penn State defense absolutely suffocated Iowa in Happy Valley. Seeing it in person was a wonder to behold. I realize the Iowa offense is inept but the Nittany Lions allowing just 4 first downs and limiting the Hawkeyes to 33 offensive snaps is incredible - even against ineptitude. Northwestern is in for a similar fate as Penn State will go into Evanston and grind the Wildcats to a pulp.
Florida at Kentucky Under 46
Actually, I think I’m just going all in on under this week. Florida’s loss to Utah to open the season represents the only time the Gators allowed more than 16 points this year. Meanwhile, against FBS opponents, Florida has struggled to find offensive traction. Kentucky has looked more potent on offense than in years past with NC State transfer Devin Leary at the helm but the Wildcats haven’t faced stiff competition yet. This ought to be a low-scoring affair.
Kansas +17 at Texas
The Big 12 has just three undefeated teams remaining. Texas and Oklahoma are the usual suspects. Joining them are the #24 Kansas Jayhawks. Lance Leipold continues to impress in Lawrence, Kansas as his squad finds ways to win. I don’t think Kansas manages to pull off another upset in Austin but I like the Jayhawks to hang around and keep this one close enough.
LSU -2.5 at Ole Miss
Ole Miss is coming off a loss against Alabama while the Tigers narrowly escaped an upset by the Arkansas Razorbacks. The SEC West feels more wide-open this year than in any year in awhile. With that being said, I still think LSU ought to be the favorite to win the division. Take the Tigers by a field goal in Oxford.
Upset Special: Baylor +340 at UCF
Baylor’s struggles in 2023 continued as Texas absolutely thrashed the Bears in Waco. I don’t think the Bears are a particularly good team. In fact, I’m not sure they get to bowl eligibility. However, this feels like a spot where Baylor could catch UCF slipping coming off of a tough road loss against Kansas State. I’m hoping the Bears give us another Upset Special victory.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See http://draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.