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Brendan's Best Bets: Week 4 picks

We were average in Week 3. We finished 4-4 in our 8 plays.

Week 4 promises to be one of the biggest weeks of the season as there are 6 ranked matchups on the slate.

For this edition of Brendan’s Best Bets, we are taking a look at the Week 4 slate. Odds are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Rutgers +24.5 (-115)

Rutgers faces its first road game of the year in the Big House at Michigan. The Scarlet Knights are an impressive 3-0 straight up and 3-0 against the spread to start the year with convincing wins against Northwestern, Temple and Virginia Tech. The defense is top 20 in total defense in the FBS through three games. Michigan, on the other hand, is 0-3 against the spread with wins against East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green. There is no doubt that Michigan is still a really good team though. But how good are they?

Michigan is not 24.5 points better than Rutgers, even at home. The Scarlet Knights have momentum and are feeling confident heading into this game. They will be more motivated to play. In two of the last three games between these two teams, it has been a one possession game. I don’t think Rutgers wins this game outright, but the Scarlet Knights will cover the 24.5 points.

SMU +6.5 (-105)

SMU plays fierce rival TCU in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. Methodists vs christians, Dallas vs Fort Worth, Mustangs vs Horned Frogs, what could be better? After the 2021 season, TCU hired SMU head coach Sonny Dykes. This game is SMU’s super bowl and the Mustangs are hungry to prove that they never needed Dykes at the helm. Earlier this month, TCU discontinued the series with SMU so this will be the last Battle of the Iron Skillet for the foreseeable future. As a program, SMU has a ton of momentum. They are 2-1 to start the year and will be moving to the ACC next season. Preston Stone is the better quarterback in this matchup.

The Horned Frogs are coming off a big win at Houston so they could come out sleepy at home. SMU will be fired up and ultra motivated to play given that they are playing Dykes and that TCU wants to discontinue this series. SMU plus the points is the play here.

Auburn +8.5 (-115)

This is a huge game for Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M. They already have a loss to Miami. This is their first SEC game as they host Auburn. The Tigers won this game 13-10 last year. The main question here will be Auburn’s offense. Texas A&M struggled against Tyler Van Dyke and the Miami pass game. Can Auburn’s pass game exploit the Aggies pass defense?

Not fully. I still think Texas A&M is a good team and will limit the Auburn run game. That’s why I like Texas A&M to win, but this spread is way too big. Auburn will keep this a low-scoring and close game.

Western Kentucky +3.5 (-110)

Western Kentucky travels to Troy on Saturday in one of the more under the radar best games of Week 4. The Trojans are off to a shaky 1-2 start to the season. They had 30 more total yards than James Madison last week, but still lost by two points. The Hilltoppers are 2-1 and have played well, except at Ohio State last week.

Western Kentucky has a top 30 passing offense with quarterback Austin Reed and a solid unit of wide outs. Troy has the number 42 passing defense in the FBS. This matchup will be strength on strength. The Hilltoppers offense and the Trojans defense will be a fun battle to watch. After a blip on the radar last week, I expect Western Kentucky to have a nice bounce back win on the road.

FAU +15.5 (-110)

FAU lost quarterback Casey Thompson after the Owls game against Clemson. Now, they travel to Illinois who just lost to Penn State. Illinois is not a team that will light up the scoreboard. FAU’s offense still has backup quarterback and Central Michigan transfer Daniel Richardson. The Owls can score enough to make this a game.

I still like Illinois to win this game outright, but it’ll be something like 28-17. Take FAU against the spread here.

Eastern Michigan +6.5 (-110)

Chris Creighton and Eastern Michigan have won several big games on the road as underdogs. In the past, they’ve beaten Rutgers, Purdue, Illinois and Arizona State. They travel to new FBS team Jacksonville State this weekend.

This will be a low-scoring game. Eastern Michigan’s defense will limit Zion Webb in the pass and QB run game. If they can do that, the Eagles have a great shot at winning this game outright.

Memphis +6.5 (-112)

Memphis is looking to spoil Missouri’s party on Saturday night. Missouri is playing a “home” game in St. Louis, which is about a two-hour drive from the Columbia, Missouri campus. That bodes well for Memphis because they don’t have to travel to a hostile Faurot Field, Missouri’s on-campus home stadium. Playing at a somewhat neutral site is less intimidating than playing at a true road venue.

This is a major letdown spot for Missouri. They are coming off of a ranked win against a good Kansas State team. Kicker Harrison Mevis nailed a 61-yard field goal to win them the game and stay undefeated. The fans stormed the field after the kick went through the uprights. Missouri could come out sleepy. I think we’ll see the version of Missouri that only won by four against Middle Tennessee rather than the version that beat Kansas State. Memphis will keep this super close especially if Missouri quarterback Brady Cook does not play.

Northwestern +11.5 (-110)

Northwestern is one of the worst power five teams in the nation. The Wildcats travel to Minnesota on Saturday night. The Golden Gophers have the 110th ranked total offense in the FBS. Minnesota is not going to light up the scoreboard. Neither will Northwestern but the Wildcats will hang around.

I expect this to be a low-scoring, 20-13 type of game. Minnesota will win this game outright but 11.5 points is too big of a spread for an offense as bad as Minnesota’s.

To recap, here are the bets we are making:

  • Rutgers +24.5 (-115)

  • SMU +6.5 (-105)

  • Auburn +8.5 (-115)

  • Western Kentucky +3.5 (-110)

  • FAU +15.5 (-110)

  • Eastern Michigan +6.5 (-110)

  • Memphis +6.5 (-112)

  • Northwestern +11.5 (-110)

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