College football predictions, picks, odds: Kansas State edges Oklahoma in value plays in Week 4

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Conference play is finally upon us as most leagues offer quality matchups in Week 4. Instead of looking for mismatched conference games, this week gives us some battles between programs that know each other intimately. That’s where the real value is found.

Finding value for sharp bettors takes many forms. Finding an underdog with the potential to win and delivering a raised cash line win is a gold standard. However, identifying teams that can pull a late card or favorite teams that can stretch their lead across the line can also result in wins. If the timing is right, we’ll explore upside/downside plays.

Our slate in Week 4 features a pair of College Football Playoff teams facing off against tricky rivals. It has two of the five worst teams in college football this season. Everything is on the table — let’s get to it.

Lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook. East at all times.

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m | Where: Center Park Stadium — Atlanta, Georgia

Special game | Georgia State Panthers vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Georgia State’s first two losses to South Carolina and North Carolina aren’t worth bailing out. Dropping to Charlotte by one point at home last week was a different story. The early returns at Coastal Carolina have been shaky, but it’s still one of the most explosive offenses in college football behind quarterback Grayson McCall. This line shouldn’t be within a touchdown, and I feel like the Vegas modelers are thinking to themselves. Choice: Coastal Carolina -2 (-110)

When: Saturday, 12 noon | Where: Troost Field — Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Special game | Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Clemson Tigers

Clemson has one of the best defenses in all of college football … and an offense that is miles away from figuring anything out. The Tigers failed to score more than 14 first half points against Louisiana Tech and Georgia Tech. Demon Deacons don’t make things easy. Although Wake Forest’s defense is a subpar unit, both Clemson and Wake Forest need to reach 30 points to close out this streak. Granted, Clemson scored 48 points at home against Wake Forest last season, but this offense is a complete mess. Test: Under 55.5 (-110)

When: Saturday, 5:30 p.m | Where: Memorial Stadium — Berkeley, California

Special game | California Golden Bears vs. Arizona Wildcats

Arizona has quietly emerged as one of the most improved teams in college football. The Wildcats crushed San Diego State and beat FCS powerhouse North Dakota State in tough efforts. Quarterback Jayden De Lara was a revelation, and 245 of his 748 passing yards went to receiver Jacob Cowing. Cal’s defense is scary, but early returns are mixed. A six-point win over UNLV won’t impress many and giving Notre Dame its first win isn’t great. There’s enough value to think the Wildcats can pull off an upset. Pick: Arizona ML (+135)

When: Saturday, 8 p.m | Where: Memorial Stadium — Norman, Oklahoma

Special game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Oklahoma might be as good as knocking out Nebraska. Kansas State might actually be bad enough to look an embarrassing showdown against Tulane, but it’s not the Big 12 contender we expected at the start of the year. Regardless, the 4-to-1 odds are good enough to make that gamble. The Wildcats have beaten Oklahoma in two of the past three seasons and have played within seven points of the Sooners during other appearances. More importantly, Kansas State’s offensive line will be more prepared to deal with Oklahoma’s front than Nebraska’s porous unit. It’s worth the chance. Selection: Kansas State ML (+400)

When: Saturday, 8 p.m | Where: Aggie Memorial Stadium — Las Cruces, New Mexico

Special game | New Mexico State Aggies vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

In this matchup, the country’s no. The No. 2 and No. 4 teams are there — until you talk 25 below Rankings. Both Hawaii and New Mexico State are legitimately in a race for last place in the entire FPS. However, the winless Aggies still hold a five-point advantage over Hawaii at home. Power Five opponents and the move from Western Kentucky to Duquesne helped bring some confidence, so ride with the Rainbow Warriors. Choice: Hawaii +5 (-110)

Which college football picks can you confidently make in Week 4 and which top 25 favorites will be tough? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has netted more than $3,300 in profits over the past six-plus seasons — find out.

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