CFB Week 4 Picks: Experts Like Notre Dame To Cover Against Wisconsin


The two biggest games of the weekend will be played at neutral sites.

It takes some of the juice out of the matchups and it may actually help the two teams listed first on the Week 4 scoreboard.

Notre Dame is playing Wisconsin in its home market of Chicago and does not have to deal with the raucous environment in Madison.

Texas A&M and Arkansas have played at AT&T Stadium for the last few years and that takes away any home-field advantage Arkansas may have had, like it did two weeks ago against Texas.

Joe Tansey and Jon Jansen broke down both of those games, the Week 3 results and many other Week 4 spreads on The Line Change on Wednesday night.

The full podcast link can be found here.

Below are our official picks for Week 4.

Joe Tansey

Overall Record: 16-11 (6-4 Week 3)

Middle Tennessee at Charlotte (-2.5) (Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

I was burned by Charlotte last week, but I feel more than comfortable going back to the 49ers this week.

Charlotte averages over 100 more total yards per game than the Blue Raiders. Most of MTSU's yards have come through the air. It is one of the worst rushing teams in the FBS at 56.7 rushing yards per game.

Middle Tennessee scored 27 points in two blowout losses in the last two weeks. Charlotte moved the ball in stretches against Georgia State, but it could not convert on those opportunities.

I'll run with the more reliable and well-rounded offense here.

Notre Dame (+5.5) vs. Wisconsin (Saturday, Noon ET, Fox)

I don't get why this line is so high.

Notre Dame worked through its share of struggles in the first three weeks and still ended up at 3-0.

The Fighting Irish have an explosive running back in Kyren Williams, a terrific tight end in Michael Mayer and a quarterback in Jack Coan that is going up against his former team on Saturday.

Wisconsin only had one game to shake off the poor performance against Penn State. It wasn't that impressive in a 34-7 win over Eastern Michigan.

The Badgers have a good run defense, but that could get exploited by Williams and the Notre Dame offensive line.

Miami (Ohio) at Army (-7.5) (Saturday, Noon ET, CBS Sports Network)

No one has been able to stop Army's triple option offense so far this season.

The Black Knights averaged 331.3 rushing yards per game in wins over Georgia State, Western Kentucky and UConn.

Miami (Ohio) is a middle-of-the-run MAC team and it allowed 153.3 rushing yards per game to start the season. The RedHawks were outclassed in their opener with Cincinnati and gave up 175 rushing yards to Minnesota in Week 2.

A Week 3 win over Long Island University does not impress me at all. This could be a rough afternoon in West Point for Miami (Ohio).

Boise State at Utah State (+9.5) (Saturday, Noon ET, CBS)

There is no way Utah State should be this big of an underdog.

Utah State went on the road to beat Air Force last Saturday. Its explosive offense countered Air Force's triple option and its defense made enough stops to set up the win.

Boise State did not look too impressive at home against Oklahoma State's defense and it did not play a complete game against two of its best opponents. The Broncos fell apart in the second half against UCF in Week 1.

Utah State is 3-0 and it has plenty of playmakers in its offense to open up Boise State's defense. Also, keep an eye on the under in this game because it is a 10 a.m. local time kickoff due to the Mountain West wanting to get a game on CBS.

Missouri at Boston College (+1.5) (Saturday, Noon ET, ESPN2)

The major storyline surrounding Boston College is the injury to quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

Dennis Grosel did not have to do much against Temple and he will not have to be a superstar against Missouri.

Boston College is averaging 203.7 yards per game on the ground. Missouri allowed 269.3 rushing yards per game and 455.7 total yards per contest.

BC's difference-makers should be its running backs and defense that let up almost 200 fewer yards per game than its SEC foe.

San Jose State at Western Michigan (-2.5) (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Someone needs to reevaluate how San Jose State makes its schedule.

The Spartans played last Saturday in Hawai'i, faced the long trek back to San Jose and now have to play an early afternoon game in Kalamazoo, Michigan against a solid MAC team.

Western Michigan is riding high after its upset win over Pittsburgh. Sure, you could say this is a letdown spot, but I think there will be plenty of motivation left to beat one of the best Group of Five teams at home.

Both teams average over 400 total yards per game, but Western Michigan has the clear advantage in points per game at 28.7 compared to SJSU's 23.

Texas A&M (-4.5) vs. Arkansas (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Arkansas is about to receive a wake-up call.

The Razorbacks jumped up to No. 16 after their win over Texas in which they dominated the trenches.

Well guess what A&M strength is? That's right, the trenches.

The Aggies have a fantastic defense that kept it in the Colorado game while Zach Calzada found his footing in the offense after Haynes King went out injured.

Calzada now has two weeks of practice under his belt and he has this game's two best playmakers at his disposal in Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane.

Texas A&M has not lost to Arkansas since 2011 and that streak should be extended for another year as A&M proves it is a national title contender in a national television window.

Louisville at Florida State (+102) (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

If Florida State has a pulse, it will show on Saturday.

The Seminoles are 0-3 are just got beat by multiple scores against Wake Forest.

Mike Norvell is closer to the hot seat than he ever has been in Tallahassee and he needs to beat Louisville to evade questions regarding his job.

Neither defense in this matchup is any good, so it could be a shootout. Since it is an even game on paper, I'll ride with the team that has more motivation.

Kentucky (-4.5) at South Carolina (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Kentucky is 3-0 with a strong running game and a defense that held opponents under 100 rushing yards per game.

The Wildcats have one of the most experienced offensive lines in the FBS and they have one of the best running backs you've never heard of in C.J. Rodriguez, who has 378 yards and three touchdowns.

Kentucky is the third-best team in the SEC East and South Carolina is fighting to be the fourth-best squad at best in that division.

The Gamecocks just got smoked by a physical Georgia team last week and they will struggle in a similar matchup on Saturday night.

Nebraska at Michigan State (-4.5) (Saturday. 7 p.m. ET, FS1)

This has all the makings of a Michigan State let down spot.

However, you could make the same case for Nebraska, who exuded a ton of energy last weekend on the road at Oklahoma.

Michigan State is a tough team to play and it has no problem wearing down any defense to let Kenneth Walker storm through holes for big gains.

Nebraska allows 156.3 rushing yards per game and it is playing a squad that put up 520 total yards per contest against Northwestern, Youngstown State and Miami.

Michigan State is the tougher team up front and that will show as the game goes on.

West Virginia at Oklahoma (-17.5) (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Oklahoma has not blown out a FBS team yet.

The Sooners have the perfect matchup in front of them to win by 20 points on Saturday night and prove to a national audience that they will be in the national title mix all season.

West Virginia is 3-8 on the road in the Neal Brown era and the Mountaineers were blown out in their last trip to Norman, Oklahoma in 2019.

Oklahoma has one of the few defenses that allowed under 100 rushing yards per game. West Virginia averages 139.7 yards on the ground per contest.

If the Sooners take away West Virginia's rushing game and force Jarret Doege into tough passes, they could set up some short fields for Spencer Rattler to strike fast with his dynamic set of playmakers.

North Carolina (-12.5) at Georgia Tech (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

North Carolina was cast aside in the national discussion after its opening loss to Virginia Tech.

Sam Howell is still a fantastic quarterback and the UNC offense put up 59 points in each of its two victories after the defeat in Blacksburg.

Georgia Tech scored 29 points against two FBS opponents. The Yellow Jackets are not a good team and they average 174 total yards fewer than the Tar Heels.

North Carolina in a rout.

Jon Jansen

Overall Record: 4-8 (1-2 Week 3)

Notre Dame (+6.5) vs. Wisconsin

Look, I'm pretty much done with Graham Mertz at this point. You can only have hope for so long just because of ONE good game. At the end of the day, he's just another average Wisconsin quarterback.

That being said, there's nothing that special about this Wisconsin team. Not that I can say there is anything special about Notre Dame, but Jack Coan and the passing offense actually looked pretty good.

Don't expect them to put up a ton of points, but they won't need to against Wisconsin. This should be a low-scoring hard fought game and feel comfortable getting the 6.5 here.

Utah State (+9) vs. Boise State

Boise State has lost a couple of tough games against UCF and Oklahoma State, but it's mostly because of their own doing.

The Broncos' offense is wildly inconsistent and it can likely be attributed to a lack of a running game.

This should be a high-scoring affair against a Utah State offense that has looked pretty good. Unlike Boise, Utah State has a very balanced offense with Calvin Tyler leading the way in the backfield and Logan Bonner putting together some impressive numbers as well.

With the way Boise State is playing, it's going to be really tough to cover the nine points against this Utah State offense.

North Carolina (-12.5) vs. Georgia Tech

Since the opening game against Virginia Tech, the UNC passing offense has settled in and has looked very good the past couple weeks.

The reason why I feel good about laying this number is it feels a bit decreased because of Georgia Tech's performance against Clemson. Feel as though most of that was due to Clemson being completely inept, but Sam Howell and company should have no problem scoring through the air.

Mississippi State (+2.5) vs LSU

I'm still not completely sold on Mississippi State yet. Still think they are one more year away from being fit for the kind of offense Mike Leach runs.

For now though, they're making it work and have been in and won some tough games. This bet is basically a fade LSU type of bet. They're not very good and the fact that they're even a slight favorite entices me to make this bet.


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