College Football Week 4 Best Bets: Bet on BYU to take care of Kansas

2RWP5YN BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis (10) throws a pass against Arkansas during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

• BYU +10: The BYU defense stymied SEC opponent Arkansas last week. This should prove to be Kansas’ toughest test to date — on both sides of the ball.

• Liberty -10: FIU has allowed a 39.7% success rate on passing downs and has given up over 1,000 passing yards (third-most in the country). Their run defense has also struggled mightily to start the season, giving up chunks of rushing yardage to UConn and North Texas.

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James Madison not only managed to cover the +3 last week, but they also won the Moneyline bet, taking this weekly college football preview to a 34.45% return on investment through Week 3.

BYU @ Kansas

  • BYU +10 (-110 generally available)
  • BYU moneyline (+300 BetMGM)

Kansas has improved significantly over the past two years with Jalon Daniels at quarterback, and he has produced two excellent performances against Nevada and Illinois to start this season.

That said, Nevada hasn't won a game for over a year and is a candidate for the worst team in the nation right now, while Illinois lost star corner Devon Witherspoon and offensive focal point Chase Brown to the NFL and just does not look like the same team with Ole Miss transfer Luke Altmyer at quarterback replacing Tommy DeVito.

The Kansas defense has always been a major concern. Through three weeks, this program has allowed a 42.5% success rate that ranks 88th in the country despite its underwhelming slate of opponents to start the year. Now the Jayhawks face a Kedon Slovis-led offense, comfortably the most talented outfit they have played this year.

BYU  Kansas
Power Rank: Overall 44th 49th
Power Rank: Defense 21st 102nd
Power Rank: Offense 81st 23rd
SOS Played 130th 121st
Avg Offensive Snaps 63 70.7
% Run Plays 44.4% 54.3%
% Pass Plays 55.6% 45.7%
EPA Per Run -0.270 0.080
EPA Per Pass 0.020 0.470

Slovis may not be the star QB he was projected to be at USC, but he has continued to produce solid, above-average grades over the last two years at Pittsburgh and now at BYU.

The Cougars' run game needs to improve to help Slovis out in tougher games, but that is likely to happen this weekend against Kansas, a team that has allowed almost 6.0 yards per carry to a weak schedule.

The BYU defense stymied SEC opponent Arkansas last week. This should prove to be Kansas’ toughest test to date — on both sides of the ball.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this week.

Liberty @ Florida International

  • Liberty -10 (-110 Caesars)

Florida International has produced back-to-back upset wins against North Texas and Connecticut, so this is a good sell-high spot against a significant opponent upgrade.

FIU has allowed a 39.7% success rate on passing downs and has given up over 1,000 passing yards (third-most in the country). Their run defense has also struggled mightily to start the season, giving up chunks of rushing yardage to UConn and North Texas.

FIU’s team run-defense grade is currently in the bottom third in the nation. They have surrendered almost 5.0 yards per carry with at least one negatively graded player on 55% of their run-defense snaps.

Liberty's rushing style is vastly different from most teams, with their trick looks and speed-option plays allowing them to get guys open out on the edge for big plays. And when a team is already struggling in run defense, this is the last thing they want to see.

The threat of the Liberty passing attack is very real, too. Kaidon Salter has just five negatively graded throws in FBS vs. FBS play this year and has six big-time throws. There are a lot of ways that Liberty can move the ball down the field against a low-end defense, and FIU will likely have a hard time keeping up against the best defense that they have seen this year.

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