Welcome to The Slate, your home for college football picks at NESN.com. Here you can find our best bets to follow across each time slot on (mostly) Saturdays in the fall. Let’s have a bounce back in Week 4, shall we?
We jinxed it. The intro to last week’s article was us literally saying we were in a groove but didn’t want to jinx it, then we jinxed it.
The Week 3 slate was really unkind to us, with a 1-4 showing after getting caught up in the whirlwind that is Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes. That’s why we’re coming at Week 4 even harder, taking advantage of college football’s best lineup of the season.
We’ve got six ranked matchups this week, and we’re picking all of them. Here’s who we like, with all odds coming from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Colorado vs. Oregon (-21)
(Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC)
We’re starting things off with a chance at redemption, with No. 19 Colorado hitting the road to take on No. 10 Oregon.
Colorado is coming off a slobber-knocker against Colorado State last weekend, barely scraping by with an overtime win at home. In short, they remained undefeated by beating a bad team, so we’re not ready to go and crown the Buffaloes just yet. Oregon is also undefeated but hasn’t really played anyone. It’s hard to get a read on this game, so we’re shifting toward the total.
The fact that this total is in the 70s is a bit insane, as both teams put up points but are entering this matchup without top playmakers in Travis Hunter (Colorado) and Kris Hutson (Oregon).
Sanders will have his boys ready to play, which means slowing things down and controlling the football. We’re betting they can do enough of that to keep the scoring in check.
The Pick: Under 70.5
UCLA vs. Utah (-6)
(Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX)
Who would pick against Utah?
The No. 11 Utes have quietly been one of the best teams in the country over the last few seasons, and will likely see veteran quarterback Cam Rising return to the lineup. This spread sits at one score due to mounting injuries for Utah, but it hasn’t been slowed down yet.
The Pick: Utah -6
More College Football
Ole Miss vs. Alabama (-7)
(Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
This is the game where Nick Saban reminds everyone exactly who he is. The No. 13 Crimson Tide have flirted with a litany of quarterbacks in recent weeks, with a loss to Texas costing Jalen Milroe his job.
Alabama stunk it up with a pair of backups against USF, so, Milroe is back in.
We expect the Milroe and company to take the air out of the football against No. 15 Ole Miss, keeping it on the ground to prevent Lane Kiffin and the Rebels from getting their hands on it too often. This might be a game that catapults Alabama back into consideration for college football’s initial playoff rankings.
The Pick: Alabama -7
Oregon State (-3) vs. Washington State
(Saturday, 7 ET on FOX)
Oregon State was one of the teams that messed us all up last weekend, so we’re not thrilled to have to bet OSU. It’s hard to get a read on the No. 14 Beavers, but if there’s one thing that’s clear it’s that D.J. Uiagalelei isn’t going to play a clean game.
That could, and should, be the difference on the road against a very good No. 21 Washington State squad.
The Pick: Washington State +3
Ohio State (-3) vs. Notre Dame
(Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC)
Marvin Harrison Jr. Audric Estime. Sam Hartman. TreVeyon Henderson. Emeka Egbuka. Chris Tyree.
This game is LOADED with offensive talent, so we’re not even going to mess around and try to predict the most evenly matched football game of the year. Ohio State is the No. 6 team in the country based on their ability to score at the drop of a hat, certainly not their defense. Notre Dame is ranked No. 9 because they have a very real Heisman Trophy contender under center.
Neither team is exactly great defensively. This one is easy.
The Pick: Over 55.5
Iowa vs. Penn State (-14.5)
(Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
We’re taking the Under.
The Pick: Under 40
Season Record: 7-9-0