College Football Picks ATS - Week 4 Games With Biggest Line Moves

Michigan Wolverines Take the Field

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 7:33 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2016 7:33 PM UTC

I missed on two of my three ATS predictions in last week's NCAA games with the largest line moves, but I'm confident things will be better this week. Here are the three top  line moves at SBR's best sportsbooks.

Nevada vs Purdue (-6)
This opened with the Boilermakers at -3 across the college football odds board. The Wolf Pack (1-2) come off their best effort of the season in winning 38-14 at home against Mid-American Conference school Buffalo. Nevada finished with 352 yards on the ground, the most in coach Brian Polian’s four-year tenure, and 521 yards of offense. James Butler ran for 174 yards and three scores. He has rushed for 347 yards and five scores on the season. The Wolf Pack are a rare team in college football these days that runs more than it passes. Purdue will want to be ready from the get-go as Nevada has outscored opponents 28-7 in the first quarter this season. The Boilermakers (1-1) are probably the Big Ten's worst team and will open conference play next week at Maryland. Purdue does have a big advantage here in that it comes off a bye week. It last took the field on Sept. 10 and lost 38-20 at home to Cincinnati. Boilers QB David Blough leads the Big Ten in completions per game and passing yards per game this season. The week off allowed Purdue to heal  up. Coach Darrell Hazell said running back Markell Jones is "good to go" this game after leaving vs. Cincinnati with a left shoulder injury. The coach added that cornerback Da'Wan Hunte and defensive end Austin Larkin are "probable" for Saturday. Both missed the first two game with ankle injuries. Purdue is last in the Big Ten in rushing defense, allowing 219.0 yards per game.

NCAAF Free Pick: Purdue -6
Best Line Offered: at JustBet

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Miami of Ohio vs Cincinnati (-17.5)
Line opened with UC at -20.5. The RedHawks (0-3) were one of the teams to burn me last week, closing as a 17.5-point underdog on SBR's best sportsbooks and covering in a 31-24 home loss to Western Kentucky. I felt pretty comfortable when WKU had a 24-3 lead midway through the third quarter. The RedHawks scored on a Hail Mary with 1:17 left to get within that TD, but the onside kick was recovered by the Hilltoppers. Miami had 424 yards of offense and held possession for more than 35 minutes. Billy Bahl set a career high with 339 yards passing. The game against Cincinnati is the "Battle for the Victory Bell." This is one of the longest rivalries in college football as the schools first met in 1888 and have played 120 times overall for the longest non-conference rivalry in the country. What kind of motivation will the Bearcats (2-1) have? I mention that because UC has been off since last Thursday when it lost 40-16 at home to No. 6 Houston in a game that was much closer than the score. UC led 16-12 early in the fourth quarter when the wheels fell off. The school fell to 0-20 all-time against teams ranked No. 6 or higher. Cincinnati has won 10 straight in this series but needed a late score last year in a 37-33 victory in Oxford.

NCAAF Free Pick: I'm going to assume Cincinnati is flat off its game of the year and won't cover. Miami +15.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Penn State vs No. 4 Michigan (-19)
The Wolverines (3-0) opened as 16.5-point favorites. They have killed their first three opponents, but those three -- Hawaii, Central Florida and Colorado -- combined for seven wins all of last year. Last week, the Buffs led 21-7 entering the second quarter and 28-24 early in the third before Michigan scored the last 21 points of the game, capped by Jabrill Peppers' 54-yard punt return early in the fourth. Peppers was ridiculous in that game with nine tackles, 3.5 for a loss, two carries for 24 yards, that 54-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 55-yard kickoff return and 204 all-purpose yards. UM hasn't had All-American cornerback Jourdain Lewis yet this season due to injury, but Coach Jim Harbaugh is confident that Lewis will play in the Big Ten opener. Michigan's defense has thrived on third down without Lewis, allowing just four conversions in three games. He has been upgraded to probable. Penn State (2-1) beat Temple 34-27 last week but didn't cover the spread. The big story there was an injury to Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley, perhaps the best at his position in the Big Ten. He hobbled off the field favoring his left leg but was able to return for the second half. The sophomore rushed nine times for 68 yards.  He is listed as probable for this game. PSU played Michigan tough last year, losing 28-16.

NCAAF Free Pick: Penn State +19
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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