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College Football Week 4 Best Bets: Notre Dame vs Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, More!

Notre Dame hosts Ohio State in 'big test'
Todd Blackledge and Noah Eagle preview the Week 4 showdown between Ohio State and Notre Dame, including how Sam Hartman elevates the Irish offense and how the Buckeyes offense is finding its stride.

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his six plays for the College Football Week 4 slate, including Michigan vs. Rutgers, Notre Dame vs. Ohio State, and Washington State against Oregon State, plus more.

Rutgers at Michigan (-24): O/U 44.5

Michigan is having its homecoming versus Rutgers this Saturday and Wolverines’ head coach Jim Harbaugh returns after a three-game suspension, so expect the Big House to be rocking between two 2-0 Big Ten teams.

In the four games at Michigan, Rutgers has scored 16, 14, 0, and 13 points for 10.7 points per game. The Scarlett Knights have scored 17 or fewer points in seven out of nine total meetings with the Wolverines.

Michigan ranks second in total defense (22.3 ypg), first in scoring defense (5.3 ppg), and has allowed one touchdown in three games, so I don’t expect more than a touchdown from Rutgers.

I played the Scarlett Knights Team Total Under 9.5 at -115 odds. I would go down to 7.5 for -110 odds. This is my best bet for Week 4. Read the full game breakdown here.

Pick: Rutgers Team Total Under 9.5 (1.5u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

FAU at Illinois (-14): O/U 45.5

I love this matchup for Illinois as FAU’s starting QB Casey Thompson is injured and out for the season.

Daniel Richardson will start for the Owls and he is a former Central Michigan QB. Richardson has two years of starting experience and a nice touchdown to interception ratio (43-14), but is not mobile (-122 rushing yards) and a subpar completion percentage (59%).

FAU was held to 24 combined points in the past two games versus Clemson and Ohio, which should not inspire much confidence ahead of this road game.

Illinois has played three above-average offenses in Toledo, Kansas, and Penn State, so this is an ideal -spot to back Illinois. The Illini are 1-2 but should be 0-3, so this is a game to run your plays, play stout defense, and oil the machine ahead of Purdue next week.

I laid the -14 at -115 odds with Illinois and think this should be higher. This is the perfect get-right game for the Illini as FAU is without their starting QB. Read the full game breakdown here.

Pick: Illinois -14 (1.5u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Ohio State (-3.5) at Notre Dame: O/U 54.5

The Game of the Week! The look-ahead line during the preseason was -7.5 in favor of Ohio State, but after four weeks, the line is now -3.5 for the Buckeyes.

Notre Dame QB and my Heisman pick, Sam Hartman, has 1,061 passing yards and 13 touchdowns with no interceptions through four games against Central Michigan, NC State, Tennessee State, and Navy.

Ohio State’s defense has allowed two touchdowns through three games, while Notre Dame’s permitted five touchdowns through four games, so these are two of the best defenses in the nation.

However, with the quarterback edge going to the home team, along with this look ahead being Ohio State -7.5, give me the Irish and Hartman to make a national statement.

I don’t have much faith in Kyle McCord at Notre Dame or his ability to win the turnover battle, so I played the Fighting Irish at +3.5 for -110 odds and sprinkled the ML at +145 for a quarter-unit. Read the full game breakdown here.

Pick: Notre Dame +3.5 (1u), Notre Dame ML (0.25u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Season Record: 19-9 (67.8%) +8.1 units
NBC Staff Live Show Record: 73-44 (62.3%)

Join in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11AM ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.

Oregon State (-3) at Washington State: O/U 56.5

Washington State has won four straight home games against Oregon State and seven of the past eight meetings overall but Oregon State is favored by -2.5 on the road. Oregon State hasn’t won at Washington State since 2013.

Oregon State won 24-10 at home last year to snap a seven-game losing streak against Washington State. In this matchup, both teams are ranked for the first time since 2003, so this was 20 years in the making.

Oregon State was 9-0 ATS in the last nine games until failing to cover -24.5 versus San Diego State last week, so, now is the time to fade Oregon State ATS.

Washington State has played and beat Colorado State, Wisconsin, and Northern Colorado averaging 48.8 points per game to start the season. on the other side, D.J. Uiagalelei hasn’t been asked to do much in three wins over San Jose State, UC Davis, and San Diego State.

I played the Cougars at +3 at -110 odds as the home underdog and sprinkled the ML at +125. I’d play this down to +1.5. Read the full game breakdown here.

Pick: Washington State +3 (1u), Washington State ML (0.25u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Oklahoma State at Iowa State (-3.5): O/U 36.5

The past three matchups between Oklahoma State and Iowa State have been low-scoring with 45, 45, and 34 points (last year), so this total is appropriate considering the inept offenses featured.

Oklahoma State ranks 108th in scoring offense (20.3 ppg) and Iowa State is 120th (16.7 ppg). The Cyclones are 121st in rushing offense (86.3) and 93rd in passing efficiency (125.08) compared to the Cowboys being 105th in rushing offense (118.7), and 120th in passing efficiency (108.74).

The Cowboys have played three different quarterbacks so far, who all took turns leading the team in passing through three games. Oklahoma State scored its lowest point total of the season in the previous week (7 points), while Iowa State scored 20 combined points in the last two games, both losses.

I played the Under 36.5 at -110 odds and would go down to 35.0 before passing. I think whoever gets to 20 points first wins, but that may not even happen. Read the full game breakdown here.

Pick: Under 36.5 (1u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

New Mexico at UMass (-3): O/U 49.5

The UMass Minutemen are favorites for the first time this season and that is meaningful.

UMass beat New Mexico State 41-30 in Week 0 and will attempt to take over the state of New Mexico with a win here. The Minutemen have lost three straight games, but almost upset Eastern Michigan last week (19-17 road).

The Minutemen are due and a home win here would be huge for the program. The Lobos are 1-2 on the year with a win over FCS Tennessee State (56-10).

New Mexico lost at Texas A&M (52-10) and at home to the same New Mexico State (27-17) team last week that UMass already beat as the road team in Week 0.

This is my People’s Parlay piece, which we try to win a half-unit on unless the odds are -175 or shorter. I got UMass at -160 on the ML. Go Minutemen! Read the full game breakdown here.

Pick: UMass ML (Risk 1u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Minnesota (-11.5) at Northwestern: O/U 38.5

This one is sweet and simple as we have two of the worst offenses in the Big Ten and two of the better defenses in the conference.

The total sits at 38.5 and the only look is the Under or pass. Northwestern has scored 21 combined points against Duke and Rutgers in the two losses this season and put up 38 points on UTEP in a win, which should be ignored for this matchup as +12 underdogs.

Minnesota’s offense has struggled with 13 points against both Nebraska and North Carolina, plus 25 points in a win over Eastern Michigan. The Gophers’ defense has been stellar outside of facing Drake Maye, but who could blame them for that?

When these squads met last year, the score was 31-3 in favor of Minnesota. I played the Under 38.5 at -110 odds and would go down to 36.5. Read the full game breakdown here.

Pick: Under 38.5 (1u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Season Record: 19-9 (67.8%) +8.1 units
NBC Staff Live Show Record: 73-44 (62.3%)

Join in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11AM ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.