Which Power 5 Program Bounces Back in Week 4?

Jay Pryce

Monday, September 18, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 18, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

A number of Power 5 programs lost outright in Week 3 as sizeable betting favorites, including LSU, Stanford, Nebraska, and South Carolina. Which teams bounce back to cover the spread in Week 4? Click here to find out.

LSU Tigers (2-1)

Week 4, ATS Bounce Back: Yes

LSU slumped to its worst defeat all-time to Mississippi State on Saturday, losing 37-7 as 7.5-point chalk. It is only the third win for the Bulldogs in the last 26 meetings. What went wrong for the Tigers? Well, a lot. The primary issue is one the team has dealt with for several seasons: a poor offense. Quarterback Danny Etling, for example, was 13-of-29 for 137 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Have Look at Week-4 opening Lines

Let’s look at the facts. Since 2014, the Tigers average just 20.5 points per game on the road versus conference opponents. Toss out a 58-point effort at Texas A&M late last season and the number dips to 17.2 points. Some long-standing issues need to be addressed before seriously challenge for a SEC championship.

Will LSU and the offense bounce back on Saturday? Without a doubt. The Tigers opened 23.5-point favorites for their home date with Syracuse. The Orangemen allow 51.6 points per game away from home as double-digit underdogs over the last two seasons. Syracuse head coach Dino Barber employs an Air Raid offense, which tends to draw out great offensive performances from teams that are more talented. The Tigers will score 40 points and win by four touchdowns. Some will point to the game as evidence head coach Ed Orgeron has it all figured out. We know better. Watch out in Week 6 when they kick off versus Florida in The Swamp. It will be another offensive stalemate with a Gators team equally desperate to score points.

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Stanford Cardinal (1-2)

Week 4, ATS Bounce Back: Yes

There is no reason to be alarmed. Stanford has fallen as a touchdown favorite or higher in each of the last five seasons. The Cardinal lost 20-17 as 9-point chalk versus San Diego State at Jack Murphy Stadium on Saturday. The team will bounce back this weekend in a home date against UCLA. The Cardinal are currently laying 7 points, adjusted from a -9.5 opener on the betting odds boards. ‘

Let’s give credit where credit is due. San Diego State is a very good team. It has now won three games in a row over Power 5 programs, fields a defense as tough as any in the Pac-12, rolls out one of the nation’s best running backs in Rashaad Penny, and can dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The line was a tad inflated. The Aztecs are that good.

Stanford has won the last nine matchups in a row against UCLA. The Bruins enter averaging 48.7 points per game on offense, but have trouble slowing others down as evident in their 48-45 road loss at Memphis. Josh Rosen is an elite quarterback, but the fact is, UCLA is 0-4 SU and ATS as a road pup of a field goal or more with him under center. The Cardinal bounce back and win by double digits.  

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Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-2)

Week 4, ATS Bounce Back: Yes

“I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m disappointed,” Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst lamented to a reporter following the Cornhuskers’ 21-17 defeat at home to Northern Illinois as 11.5-point chalk. The loss was the first against a non-Power 5 team since falling 21-17 to Southern Miss in 2004. Nebraska went on to finish that season 5-6 and without a bowl invite. Will it bounce back next week versus Rutgers? You bet.

Oddsmakers opened the home contest with Nebraska laying 11 points to the Scarlet Knights. Early money has since pushed the number to touchdown. Rutgers looks improved in 2017, playing 9.2 points better than the spread on average through its first three games, but all have been at home. Don’t be fooled. This program is 0-42 SU as a double-digit road underdog since 1999. In Big Ten games during this span, it is 2-7-1 ATS. Nebraska does not get stunned two weeks in a row, and covers the spread in a let-out-the-frustration win.

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South Carolina (2-1)

Week 4, ATS Bounce Back: No

Not only did South Carolina fall to Kentucky 23-13 as 5-point chalk last Saturday, but it lost its primary playmaker WR Deebo Samuel for the immediate future with a low ankle fracture. No one on the roster can replace his talent. He’s accounted for nearly half (four) of the Gamecocks’ nine offensive touchdowns this season. Awful news with a high-flying Louisiana Tech squad headed to Columbia this weekend.

South Carolina opened an 11-point favorite to beat the Bulldogs. Sure it’s a SEC-USA matchup, but this is a ton of points to lay with a team that converted just 3 of 12 third downs against an average Kentucky defense. Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp will never roll out a high-efficiency offense, and a number of miscues and errors last weekend were eye-opening. A stellar defense will win the game, but don’t look for a double-digit win. The Gamecocks have just three of them since Muschamp took over: twice against a porous Missouri program (31-21, 31-13) and a 44-31 win over FCS Western Carolina. La. Tech covers and makes it interesting. 

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