Week 4 is going to help separate some of the teams at the top of college football with six ranked on ranked matchups.
While there are titans battling at the top, there are also plenty of intriguing games brewing further down the board as we still have a limited sample size of how teams have fared in 2023.
Here are three underdogs I'm backing from the biggest games to some of the most random on the Week 4 slate.
Best Upset Picks for College Football Week 4
- Ole Miss +230 vs. Alabama
- Boston College +460 vs. Louisville
- Sam Houston State +350 vs. Houston
Ole Miss vs. Alabama Prediction and Pick
Despite transfer Zhakari Franklin missing the entire season and fellow transfer Tre Harris missing last week's game against Georgia Tech, Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart has led a unit that is top 10 in both success rate through the air and EPA/Pass. Granted, the team played an FCS team in Mercer as well as a poor defense in Georgia Tech, but Tulane is an above average defensive unit.
Ole Miss plays fast, and will hope that star running back Quinshon Judkins is back after being limited against Georgia Tech with a leg injury. If he is, Judkins can put pressure on the Crimson Tide if the team falls behind.
Given the state of the quarterback room, this can be a big issue for Alabama, who was outgained on a yards per play basis in the team's 30-24 win last year at Ole Miss.
The Rebels have an identity on offense, and the defense has been up to snuff so far this season as well, 27th in EPA/Play through three games. Meanwhile, Alabama seems to not have a scheme fit to its quarterback that gives the team the best chance to succeed.
Given the questions around Alabama's quarterback room, I believe that the team will look to lean on its defense to slow down this up-tempo Rebels offensive attack, possibly leading to an under play.
However, I believe that blood is in the water for the Crimson Tide and that Kiffin can scheme up a game plan to open up looks for his skilled wide receiver corps (that hopefully will be at full strength Satuday).
I'm taking Ole Miss with the points in what should be a tight game throughout. Given the Crimson Tide's lack of continuity at quarterback, I'll take Ole Miss to knock off Alabama.
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Boston College vs. Louisville Prediction and Pick
One of the biggest stories of college football last week was Boston College taking Florida State to the wire as 20-plus point underdogs due in part to the play of new quarterback Thomas Castellanos.
Castellanos passed for 305 yards and ran for 95 against Florida State at home, giving this team a bit more juice on the offensive side of the ball.
The team will face a formidable Louisville defense, but one that may be a bit smoke and mirrors this season. While the team's numbers look stellar after beating Murray State 56-0, the Cards also have two middling to poor performances on the ledger, allowing 33 points to Georgia Tech and an above average success rate against Indiana despite the 21-14 scoreline.
BC lost to Northern Illinois in Week 1 and struggled to close out Holy Cross in Week 2, but if you dig into that Holy Cross game, you'll see that quarterback Matthew Sluka ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the game. The Eagles have struggled against scrambling quarterbacks, but Louisville QB Jack Plummer is a pure pocket passer.
BC may be on the upswing and Louisville hasn't covered against two (seemingly) outmatched opponents just yet. I'll pay to see and think BC may be undervalued and a live underdog.
Sam Houston State vs. Houston Prediction and Pick
Sam Houston State's offense is arguably the worst in the country, unable to score a touchdown on either of its first two games at the FBS level, combining for three points at BYU and on a neutral field against Air Force.
With that being said, I think the team can get going off of a bye week against a lackluster Houston team. The Cougars are outside the top 100 in EPA/Play on offense and defense as it has struggled to get anything going against the likes of UTSA, TCU and Rice.
On defense, Houston is 199th in success rate and is allowing over four yards per carry and six yards per play. With Sam Houston State's lackluster passing game, if the team is able to get a push against a Houston defensive line that is bottom 30 in line yards, the team can win the field position battle and lean on its stout defense.
Houston's offense has been a disaster this season and it's possible the Cougars are playing the best defense to date in SHSU. The Cougars are 124th in sacks allowed (12) and 118th in yards per carry (about three yards per carry).
This total is set at 38, meaning this is likely going ot be a low scoring affair, making me bullish at grabbing a +350 underdog to get its first FBS win off of a bye.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!