Free College Football Picks Against The Spread For Friday Night Week 4

USC Trojans Fans

Thursday, September 22, 2016 7:07 PM GMT

With just 3 games being played in college football on Friday, this is still enough opportunity to profit and the set the bettor up for the weekend's slate of games. Here are your NCAA Football Picks of the Day.

USC Trojans (1-2) vs #24 Utah Utes (3-0)

Respect For USC From Odds Makers?
Despite a lackluster 1-2 start to the season in which USC was crushed by Alabama in week 1, 52-6, the Trojans still get the respect from the odds makers as they're a mere 3 point underdog, on the road, and against an undefeated Utah Utes team which is in the AP Top 25. I don't want to say this is a must-win situation for the Trojans, but they would really be behind the 8-ball, starting off at 1-3 this season and it's fairly close to a must win situation.

Let's take into account that USC's two losses did come against the top competition in the nation in Alabama and Stanford and maybe odds makers have a right to make the Utes just a mere field goal favorite.

Sam Darnold Gets the Start
Unlucky as it is for Max Browne, who played respectably against some of the top competition that NCAA Football has to offer, but the Trojans are going to make a change against Utah as a freshman, Sam Darnold, get's the start. Thus far, Darnold has at least gotten his feet wet as he's 14 of 22 for 136 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT. The 1 pick coming in his last game against Stanford.

JuJu Smith-Schuster
Darnold will get 'on the job training' as he certainly has the personnel to throw the football to. Wide receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster had a 1454 yard, 10 TD season in his sophomore year. Now, he just need's a capable QB to throw him the football. Thus far, Smith-Schuster has just 11 receptions for 99 yards and 2 TDs. I look for him to come up big in week 4 as he's too good a player to be held in check.

Ronald Jones II and Justin Davis have shared the workload and done a decent job considering the opposition, but USC has just 2 rushing TD's this season and this is the game, with an inexperienced quarterback, in which they must break out and find the end zone.

The one key to thing to remember in this game is the that Utah hasn't faced the level of competition that USC has. That said, the Trojans defense will have a difficult time in stopping Utes wide receiver, Tim Patrick. Patrick has been a flat out beast in his senior campaign as he leads the Utes with 285 yards and 4 TD's receiving. Look for the Trojans defense to key in on Patrick.

I expect USC to play much better as they're the team that's 'under fire' and has dealt with the best.

Free College Football Pick: USC Trojans +3 (-105)
Best Line Offered:
at 5 Dimes

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TCU Horned Frogs (2-1) vs SMU Mustangs (2-1)

Massive Offensive Production
This is the reason why TCU is such a large betting favorite of two teams with identical records. The Horned Frogs offense has been unstoppable as they've averaged 46 points per game To go along with 571.7 yards per game. While SMU can amass yardage (490.7 yards per game), they haven't had the success that TCU has had in getting in the end zone as the Mustangs are averaging a mere 25.3. Can SMU keep pace with the Horned Frogs is the key question in this game as they won't be able to stop the TCU offense.

Kenny Hill
TCU's starting quarterback, junior Kenny Hill, will be the player for the Mustangs defense to focus on. Hill is a double threat as he's thrown for over 1000 yards and also ran for 166 yards and 6 TDs.

While the Horned Frogs are more of a passing team than a running team, most of their touchdowns in the red zone come via the run as they have 13 rushing TD's as opposed to 4 receiving TD's. This is a team that can hurt the opposition in many ways. One option that has worked well has been running back, Kyle Hicks. For the season, Hicks has reached the end zone on 5 different occasions and is coming off of a 117-yard effort in a 41-20 win over Iowa State. When everything is said and done, Kenny Hill is still the player that will dictate the direction that this multi-faceted team takes.

Avoiding Turnovers
SMU has been a very productive team offensively with Breaden West (332 yards rushing, 2 TD's) and Courtland Sutton (336 yards receiving, 4 TD's). Their problem has been the poor choices of starting quarterback, Ben Hicks. Hicks has passed for 2 TD's and 5 INT's. This is a real issue for the Mustangs as this is a team that can compete with TCU. The Mustangs only loss of the season was against Top 25 competition in Baylor.

I don't think that these two teams are as far apart as the spread indicates. Take the Mustangs and the points.

Free College Football Pick: SMU Mustangs +20 1/2 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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