The Best College Football Upset Picks For Week 4
As Week 4 of the college football season begins, conference play is starting to heat up, which sets up some compelling matchups this weekend. With a full Saturday slate, there will surely be some upsets and we have isolated our three favorite underdogs we believe capable of covering the spread, or even potentially shocking opponents en route to outright victories.
Let’s jump into our best bets and top college football upset picks for Week 3.
Best College Football Upsets for Week 4
Arkansas Finally Knocks Off Texas A&M
Despite holding a sizable edge in the all-time head-to-head with Texas A&M (43-33-1), Arkansas has yet to notch a single win against the Aggies in nine tries since the latter joined the SEC back in 2012.
However, this latest showdown should prove to be the Razorbacks’ best shot to date — and it seemingly came out of left field.
The Hogs were just 3-7 SU last season, set as underdogs in every single game, and had a brand new head coach in Sam Pittman. Yet, if you looked closely, the writing was on the wall that his team might quickly turn the corner.
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The Razorbacks were 7-3 ATS in 2020 against an SEC-only schedule, despite having the second most freshmen starts in the nation (48). Moreover, they ended the season primed to return 10 starters on both sides of the ball.
That experience obviously has made an impact, as Arkansas has been firing out of the gate, winning and covering all three of its games thus far. In fact, the smallest margin of victory came in a dominant 19-point win over Texas. The Razorbacks have yet to turn the ball over and boast the nation’s eighth-best ground game, which will get to face off against a surprisingly mediocre Texas A&M rush defense (87th in FBS), given the Aggies’ quality overall numbers on that side of the ball.
Arkansas boasts some tremendous trends worth backing here besides the team’s 9-3 ATS run in its last 12 against SEC opponents.
Trends to Know
The Razorbacks also happen to be 5-0 ATS in their last five September games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven against above .500 opposition. With this game being played at AT&T Stadium, it’s worth noting that Arkansas has only lost three of its last 11 neutral site games against the spread.
Look for the ranked Razorbacks to pour on Jimbo Fisher’s 5-8 SU record against Top 25 teams since taking over in College Station. The Aggies have covered just 33 of their 82 conference games over the last 10 seasons (40.2%) and have dropped three straight against the spread up against Arkansas.
The Aggies are still sorting out through quarterback uncertainty following the departure of Kellen Mond. With the recent loss of Haynes King, Arkansas should be an active underdog in this spot.
After all, despite dropping nine straight to Texas A&M, five of the last seven head-to-head meetings have been decided by seven points or less.
Our Pick: Arkansas +5.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook -110)
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UTSA to Best Memphis
The Tigers’ win last week was aided by some questionable calls and fortuitous breaks. Several admitted officiating errors allowed a bizarre 91-yard punt return to give Memphis the breathing room it needed to hold on for a two-point victory over Mississippi St. This week, karma should be lining up against the Tigers in the universe’s seemingly endless effort to keep all things balanced.
But there are more than just vague, intangible forces at work against Memphis in this one. Texas-San Antonio has jumped from the gates to a 3-0 SU and ATS record and boast Top-30 rankings so far in both total offense (29th) and total defense (10th). UTSA has scored the 29th most points per game in FBS thus far (39.3 ppg), while allowing the 17th least (14.3 ppg against).
The Roadrunners enter play having covered five straight games, as well as four of their last five against non-conference foes. They had zero spring practices leading up to the 2020 season, yet still managed to go 7-4 SU, with three narrow losses to BYU, Louisiana-Lafayette, and UAB. They bring back double-digit starters on both sides of the ball this season and have won three of four games straight up against AAC schools.
Trends to Know
UTSA went 3-1 ATS on the road last season, head coach Jeff Traylor’s first with the team, extending a current run of eight covers in the team’s last 10 road games. The Roadrunners have covered seven of their last eight as road dogs and are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as underdogs of less than nine points.
Meanwhile, Memphis will send a freshman quarterback Seth Hanigan out there against a veteran and quality UTSA defense, while simultaneously hoping its own defense, which is 124th in yards per game against and 110th in points per game allowed, can somehow get enough stops to help win this one. That’s a big ask for a team that is just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games as a favorite, including just 2-5 ATS in its last seven as a home favorite (0-3 ATS last three in that role).
Additionally, the Tigers are just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games after a SU win and 1-4 ATS in their last five following an ATS victory.
With a few 3.5 point lines available for this game, it’s worth noting that Memphis is just 2-10 ATS as favorites of more than three points against an opponent entering play off of back-to-back straight up wins. Look for the Roadrunners to balance the cosmic scales a bit here with an upset victory at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Our Pick: UTSA +3.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook -122)
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Kansas State Does Enough to Cover Against Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State begins conference play against Kansas State with one of the most misleading 3-0 records in college football.
The Cowboys won those three games by a grand total of just 13 points, including a one-point win at Boise St. last week in which the Sooners ran the ball 55 times. A typically pass-happy program under Mike Gundy, the OSU has been forced to rely on the ground game as the injury bug has swept through the entire scholarship portion of the wide receiver group.
Oklahoma State has no less than four wideouts carrying questionable tags into midweek, including two guys with six catches and over 100 yards receiving on the season. Even if they can go, there will be little to no worthwhile reps occurring in practice this week, likely leaving the run game to carry the load once again.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys backs will now be going up against a Kansas State rush defense that’s allowing just 54.7 yards per game, the seventh-best mark in FBS. In fact, the Wildcats are also 24th in scoring defense (15.7 ppg allowed), allowing just seven points to Stanford and 17 points to Nevada.
Meanwhile, Kansas State finds itself ranked this week and will approach this as a must-win game, as the Wildcats draw Oklahoma and Iowa St. next on the schedule and could soon be 3-3 with a loss here. They should prove up to the task, however, given that the team returned 10 offensive and six defensive starters from last season, part of 57 returning lettermen from the 2020 team — the program’s most since 2003. They currently roster 20 players who made at least four starts last season, giving them the kind of experience needed to be highly competitive in an early-season conference road game against a ranked opponent.
Trends to Know
The Wildcats are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games both in conference play and following a SU win. They’ve quietly been dominant in the Big 12 over the last decade. In fact, with a 53-37 SU and 57-32-1 ATS record. Chris Klieman’s group has covered 11 of their last 15 as underdogs, including eight of their last 11 as road dogs. They’ve also gone 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games overall.
Oklahoma State, despite being regularly ranked in the Top 25, is just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games, including a 2-6 ATS mark as favorites and a 1-5 ATS record against conference opponents. The Cowboys have failed to cover any of their last four games as home favorites and have lost four of their last five conference openers outright.
Kansas State has covered eight of the last 10 meetings in this head-to-head rivalry, despite winning just four time.
The Wildcats will play with double revenge here in a series that has seen six of the last 10 meetings decided by seven points or less, including five of the six won by Oklahoma State.
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Look for the Wildcats to move to 6-1 ATS in the last six head-to-head meetings in Stillwater and the underdog to make it six covers in the last seven meetings overall between these two ranked rivals.
Our Pick: Kansas St. +6 (DraftKings Sportsbook -110)
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