These Power 5 teams were involved in last week’s biggest misses against the spread in college football. What can bettors expect from them this week? We have some thoughts.
Week 4 ATS Margin, +39
Alabama’s 59-0 Week 4 rout of Vanderbilt set records. The Crimson Tide defense held the Commodores to just 3 first downs, the fewest by an SEC team in 20 years. Alabama kicked off as 20-point chalk. The lopsided victory was just the second time the Crimson Tide have covered the spread by 39 points or more against a conference opponent since 1980. Don’t expect as big a blowout against a reeling Ole Miss program this Saturday.
Alabama has covered a spread by 30 points or more vs. an SEC opponent three times under head coach Nick Saban. They are 0-3 ATS next time out, falling to the number by 8.3 points per game. The Rebels are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games, and the number is close to catching up in the betting market. The public will push value to Ole Miss, and it will be an enticing bet following a bye week. Outside of the Egg Bowl and LSU, this is the game for Ole Miss. Look for a competitive effort despite a 4-TD deficit on the oddsboard.
Week 4 ATS Margin, -32
Maryland shocked Texas 51-41 as 17.5-point underdogs in the season opener. It followed up that win with a 63-17 rout over FCS Towson in Week 2. An early-season bye, however, proved detrimental to the offense. The Terps accumulated just 197 total yards in a 38-10 home defeat to Central Florida on Saturday. Maryland went off 4-point chalk, failing to cover the spread by a whopping 32 points.
Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin is now 0-7 SU and ATS when entering a matchup against a team allowing fewer than 25.2 points per game. His offense averages just 14.1 points per game in this situation. This is bad news for fans. Eight of the Terps’ next nine games are against defenses currently allowing fewer points, including Minnesota this Saturday. The Gophers lead the nation for fewest surrendered at 8.0 per game. Don’t be surprised if Maryland fails to cover by another big margin. The line jumped to +11.5 within minutes of a +9.5 opener.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Week 4 ATS Margin, -23
Mississippi State was the flavor of the week among sharps. The Bulldogs are looking like a dull No. 2 pencil this morning. Georgia opened as 6.5-point favorites, the line bet down to 2.5 at some books by kickoff. The number of tickets against the spread was a near perfect 51-49 split. The Athens Bulldogs won 31-3 in a blowout.
Look for the Mississippi State offense to struggle again at Auburn. Half of quarterback Nick Fitzgerald’s starts have come against defenses allowing fewer than 21 points per game. The Starkville Bulldogs average 19.9 points in these contests. Versus programs yielding more, Mississippi State puts up 38.3 per tilt. The Tigers’ 11.7 opponent points per game ranks eighth nationally. The Bulldogs defense will have to play very big for the team to cover the 9-point offer by oddsmakers.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Week 4 ATS Margin, -23.5
It’s not often Oklahoma State loses as the betting favorite in Stillwater. TCU’s 44-31 victory as a 9.5-point underdog Saturday was just the fifth time the Cowboys have fallen as home chalk in a decade. The last five times they took to the road after losing to a conference foe as a home favorite, they’ve covered the spread in each game. This week’s opponent, Texas Tech, has won and covered seven straight at Jones AT&T Stadium in the matchup when favored by 3.5 points or more. When a dog or short-priced chalk of a field goal or less, Oklahoma State is 4-0 SU and ATS.
Week 4 ATS Margin, +32
Virginia rolled over Boise State 42-23 on Friday night, catching 13 points on the board. It made it consecutive wins for the Cavaliers after a 38-18 victory vs. UConn in Week 2. Don’t get fooled into thinking head coach Bronco Mendenhall has a handle on this team. The last time the program won three games in a row was 2011. It is 1-8 SU and ATS in its last nine attempts.
UVA’s big win Friday night is as much to do about Boise State slipping in the market as anything. The Broncos are 5-5 SU in its last 10 games, kicking off a touchdown favorite or more in all but one. Each team gets a bye week before their next contest. Virginia hosts Duke in Week 6 while Boise travels to BYU. Odds are each will fall short of the number.