The underdogs were biting again in Week 4 after a rough Week 3. Another 4-1 week, including a moneyline victory for San Jose State over Arkansas. As we near the end of September, I like some more underdogs to make some noise again this week.
This spread is just begging you to take the Badgers. Northwestern is 0-3 ATS this season, while Wisconsin is 3-0. The Badgers are also averaging a 43.7-point margin of victory in those three games. This is the time to jump on the opposite side of these early season numbers. The Wildcats are 3-0 ATS in the past three seasons after a loss by 21 points or more and 9-3 ATS in the past three seasons when playing a team with a winning record. The Badgers are 4-8 ATS in the past three seasons after a win by 21 points or more. I predict a letdown game for the Badgers and Northwestern to keep this one close late.
The Hawkeyes have only averaged 28.7 points per game this season. Middle Tennessee was able to put up 21 points at Michigan earlier this season. The Blue Raiders are 5-0 ATS in the past three seasons after a loss by 21 points or more, and they lost to Duke by 23 points last week. I cannot see Iowa reaching 40 points in this game. That means that the Blue Raiders just need to reach 17 points to cover. I like their chances.
I am basing this pick on an expected Clemson letdown. The Tigers have been stellar so far, while the Tar Heels have played four close games. The largest margin North Carolina has been involved in was six points. These two teams have played several close games in their history. The last time Clemson won by 27 points or more at North Carolina was in 2002. Put the Tigers on upset alert Saturday.
This spread might be inflated because of the previous two meetings between these teams. The Crimson Tide has won the past two meetings by a combined 118 points. But this Ole Miss team has gone back to its old ways on defense. The Rebels are currently 48th in the nation in points per game allowed. Alabama will likely still put up around 45-50 points, but Ole Miss should be able to cover the spread and score around 20 points.
Southern Miss is coming off a blowout loss to Alabama last week. Typically, teams struggle the week after playing the Crimson Tide. South Carolina lost by 20 points to Missouri the week after it played Alabama, and I expect the Golden Eagles to be a little beat up. UTEP has struggled to stop the run, but Southern Miss only averages 2.8 yards per rush. The timing and the defensive matchup favors UTEP to keep this one close enough to cover.