It was a good time to bet on home teams in Week 3, as college football teams playing on their home field were nearly 59% against the spread. Many of the top teams saw scares as well, with Alabama and Clemson going down to the wire, plus Ohio State and Oklahoma having to fight until the end to secure wins despite each being favored by more than three touchdowns.
We’re learning more and more about these teams each week as the sample size grows. As of now, college football looks much more wide open than it has been in recent years. With Week 3 in the books, here are my biggest edges on Week 4 sides. These are independent from our PFF Greenline picks, but I would always point you in that direction first before trying to find some actionable angles here.
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Oklahoma Sooners -15.5 vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Projection: Oklahoma -18.7
Is this the week we finally see the Oklahoma team everyone expected to see heading into the year? The Sooners didn't quiet any concerns Saturday when they let Nebraska hang around despite having a sizable advantage in terms of success rate. Oklahoma's biggest issue against the Huskers was allowing big plays in the passing game: Nebraska hit six explosive passes for a total of 191 yards (nearly 32 yards per attempt) against the Sooner defense. The pass rush continued to perform well, however, as it was the fourth-highest-graded unit of the week.
The offense mostly played fine despite just scoring 23 points. The ground game finally came alive after struggling against Tulane, with the duo of Eric Gray and Kennedy Brooks combining for 15 missed tackles forced on 29 attempts and 5.5 yards per carry. In the pass game, we saw a big performance from prized recruit Jadon Haselwood, who has battled injuries in his career — he was targeted 10 times, hauling in seven for 77 yards.
Meanwhile, West Virginia‘s passing game has returned alarming results early on. Against its two FBS opponents, the Mountaineers have not performed well through the air at all.
|Opponent||PFF Passing Grade||EPA/Attempt||Big-Time Throws||Turnover-Worthy Plays|
The offensive line also allowed 19 combined pressures in those two games, which should provide an edge for this vaunted Oklahoma pass rush. The Sooners currently have the highest-graded pass rush in the country and should continue to produce here against this Mountaineer offense.
Michigan Wolverines -18.5 vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Projection: Michigan -21.7
Here’s something Wolverine fans have waited for years to read: Michigan’s offense has graded as one of the best in the country so far this season. Michigan blew out out its first three opponents 141-34 and has an offense that ranks fourth in overall grade, second in rushing grade and sixth in EPA per play. Two of the three games have come against MAC teams, but regardless this unit has really impressed early on in 2021.