Betting News & Analysis

College Football Week 4: Best Bets

University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Arnold Ebiketie (17) reacts follow a sack on Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) (not pictured) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

BET Miami (OH) +7.5 at Northwestern (-110 BetMGM): PFF fair line is 6.6 — getting key number of 7 onside is huge.

BET: Central Michigan-Penn State U 63.5 (-110 BetMGM): PFF Greenline has the total at 61.7.

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Estimated reading time: 2 mins

We highlighted three bets in Week 3 of college football, going 1-2 after the recommended bet on Under 58.5 in Purdue-Syracuse finished with 61 points following a 42-point fourth quarter. A 28-point fourth quarter in Clemson and Louisiana Tech also sunk an under, but Cal +10.5 was a relatively sweat-free win after the Golden Bears took an early touchdown lead and ultimately lost by 7.

The overall record of this weekly preview is 2-3 for minus-1.18 units. This week, a hot streak begins.

Miami (Ohio) @ Northwestern

Best Bet: Miami (Ohio) +7.5 (-110 BetMGM)

Northwestern lost straight up in back-to-back home games as 10-point and 13.5-point favorites: And now the Wildcats are 7.5-point favorites against a Miami (Ohio) team that has come to play football so far this season. The schedule has been tough for the underdog Redhawks, who put up good performances against better teams than Northwestern on the road against Kentucky as a 15-point dog — bet down from 20 — and at home against Cincinnati while getting 24 points. Miami put the Bearcats on upset alert with a 10- point lead midway through the second quarter, but as was the case in Kentucky, the second-half performance did not match the first.

Northwestern will not blow any teams out this season: So if Miami’s first half performance is as good as its previous games, it will keep this close, making it unlikely that Northwestern will pull away late.

• Getting the key number of seven onside is important for Miami (Ohio) bettors, as PFF has this fair line at 6.6.

Best Bet: Miami (Ohio) +7.5 

Central Michigan @ Penn State

Best Bet: Under 63.5 (-110 BetMGM)

Central Michigan’s points totals misleading: Through three games, they do not tell the story of how this offense has performed. In quarters 1-3, Central Michigan has posted an offensive EPA of -0.091 per play, and in the fourth, when games have been out of reach and teams start to bring in backups, that rises significantly to +0.406 per play. Even against lowly Bucknell, as a 41-point favorite, Central Michigan only led 7-0 at the midpoint of the third quarter.

Penn State’s No. 2 defense better than many teams' starters: Thus, going into Beaver Stadium, that kind of offensive efficiency is not going to get Central Michigan very far. The Nittany Lions take their foot off the gas once they are out of sight — one touchdown in the fourth quarter against both Ohio and Auburn with 30 point leads. Coupled with Central Michigan’s lack of offense early in games, that makes this total in the mid 60s look high.

• Greenline has this line at 61.7. 

Best Bet: Under 63.5


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