Hot college football picks

College football Week 4 picks against the spread for every top-25 game

Week 4 of the college football season is here, and we’re coming off a hot week against the spread.

This week’s biggest challenges are the top 25 matchups between No. 22 Texas A&M and No. 1 Alabama and the primetime matchup between No. 7 Stanford and No. 20 Oregon. Those are the biggest pieces in the College Football Playoff heading into the week. With that in mind, Sporting News has picks against the spread for all the Top 25 games.

Here is a look at our record so far:
Straight up: 53-9, .854 (15-4 last week)
Against the spread: 29-20, .592 (11-6 last week)

Here are our picks against the spread for Week 4 (odds reflect consensus picks from as of Sept. 18):

Friday, Sept. 21

FAU at No. 16 UCF (-13.5)
8 p.m., ESPN
This might be the most entertaining game of the weekend. FAU can score, and Devin Singletary already has seven touchdown runs this season. The Knights might need a quarter to shake off some rust, but McKenzie Milton will lead a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that seals the victory. UCF wins 42-34 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

No. 10 Penn State (-28) at Illinois
9 p.m., Fox Sports 1
Illinois has improved under third-year coach Lovie Smith, and the Friday primetime spotlight is a unique opportunity. Penn State, however, uses that stage to get Ohio State’s attention with an offense that’s blossoming around star quarterback Trace McSorley. It plays out right on the line. Penn State wins 42-16 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

Saturday, Sept. 22

No. 2 Georgia (-14.5) at Missouri
Noon, ESPN

Big spot for the Tigers. Drew Lock ranks second among Power 5 quarterbacks with 11 passing touchdowns, and the high-powered offense can put up points. The Bulldogs are 5-1 in this series since Mizzou joined the SEC, and they rolled up 696 yards of offense in this game last season. It might take a half, but the Bulldogs pull away. Georgia wins 41-20 and COVERS the spread.

No. 8 Notre Dame (-7.5) at Wake Forest
Noon, ABC
The Irish haven’t exactly dominated their last two opponents, and that will give the Demon Deacons confidence, at least, that they can pull the upset at home. If Brandon Wimbush can’t have success in the air against a pass defense that allows 310.7 yards per game, however, then the Irish might get into some trouble. Notre Dame wins 33-19 and COVERS the spread.

Nebraska at No. 19 Michigan (-18.5)
Noon, FS1
Both teams might be missing playmakers. Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez (knee) is questionable. Michigan running backs Karan Higdon and Chris Evans are “day-to-day.” We’re a long from 1997 with these two teams, but the Wolverines get this one. Michigan wins 27-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

No. 23 Boston College (-6.5) at Purdue
Noon, ESPN2
The Eagles are in the position Purdue was hoping to be in at this point in the season. AJ Dillon averages 7.3 yards per carry, and BC ranks sixth in the FBS with 52.7 points per game. Purdue allows 30.3 points per game, but they’ve lost three games by seven points. It’s another shootout, and this time the Boilermakers get one in the “W” column. Purdue wins 41-38 in an UPSET.

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