Much like the NFL this week, college football features some major mismatches with big point spreads favoring very public teams. That means sportsbooks obviously will need the underdogs in those Week 4 games to keep the scores closer than expected and cover in hopes of beating bettors and turning a profit.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
For example, the Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off a 38-7 win over the Army Black Knights last Saturday following a surprising 31-16 home loss to the Oklahoma Sooners the previous week. The Buckeyes failed to cover both of those games and needed to rally late to beat the number in their season-opening 49-21 road victory against the Indiana Hoosiers.
Ohio State is listed as a 40-point home favorite this Saturday versus the UNLV Rebels, who are coming off a bye week after routing the Idaho Vandals 44-16 as 5-point road dogs. But the Rebels lost their season opener 43-40 to the Howard Bison as 45.5-point home favorites, so who knows which UNLV team will show up.
The Big Ten also has two more high-profile teams sitting as double-digit road favorites in the Michigan Wolverines (-10) and Penn State Nittany Lions (-13), as they visit the Purdue Boilermakers and Iowa Hawkeyes, respectively. The books will likely need the home dogs in both games since Michigan and Penn State are popular with the public.
In the ACC, the four best teams are also all double-digit chalk, with the Louisville Cardinals the largest of all as 43-point home favorites hosting the Kent State Golden Flashes. The Cardinals lost badly to the defending national champion Clemson Tigers last week, but bettors seem to believe they will bounce back big-time versus the Golden Flashes.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are 35-point home chalk against the Boston College Eagles as they look to continue their conference dominance.
The Florida State Seminoles begin life without starting quarterback Deondre Francois – who suffered a season-ending knee injury in their season-opening loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide – as 13-point favorites hosting the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Seminoles had two weeks off due to Hurricane Irma, and that should have given true freshman James Blackman some extra time to get ready for his first career start replacing Francois under center.
North Carolina State has won two in a row overall and covered eight of the past 10 meetings with Florida State despite losing eight of them.
Finally, the Virginia Tech Hokies look like the real deal and a legit threat to Clemson’s quest for an ACC three-peat, and they are 29-point home favorites against the Old Dominion Monarchs. The Hokies blew out the East Carolina Pirates 64-17 as 27-point road chalk last week, and bettors will probably be biting on a similar number this week.