Last week was a bit of a dud from a national perspective. There ended up being close games and upsets as there always are but the slate lacked heft. There were no ranked vs. ranked matchups. This week makes up for that and then goes way beyond.
We get 6 ranked vs. ranked matchups today and that doesn’t even include a seventh that realistically will decide who makes the ACC championship game for which the spread is under a field goal. Conveniently, none of those games directly overlaps with Washington’s game tonight meaning it’s the perfect time to spend all day on the couch or at a tailgate with a TV to catch the action.
SUGGESTED VIEWING GUIDE (all times PT)
9:00 AM: #4 Florida State (3-0) at Clemson (2-1), ABC
DraftKings Betting Line: Florida State -2
We saw the Seminoles barely escape on the road at Boston College in part because the Golden Eagles gifted them a win with 17 penalties. It will be a much more challenging road contest for Florida State this time. Clemson’s offense looked horrific in their opener against Duke but they’ve rebounded by putting up 48+ points in their last 2 games (although against easy competition).
There’s certainly a chance that North Carolina, Miami, or Duke enters the conversation in the ACC. But based on raw talent this is still the game with the highest chance to determine who ultimately wins the conference.
OPTION #1 at 12:30 PM: #22 UCLA (3-0) at #11 Utah (3-0), FOX
DraftKings Betting Line: Utah -4.5
It looks like Utah QB Cam Rising might be making his season debut after recovering from a torn ACL suffered last year. It will be interesting to see how he looks after Utah did just enough without him to preserve a 3-0 start despite playing both Florida and Baylor. UCLA has been one of the best teams in the country so far this season despite shuffling QBs and we’ll see if they fully commit to stud freshman 5-star Dante Moore now that we’ve hit conference play. If Utah loses this game they can use injuries as a legitimate excuse but I’m fascinated to see how these teams interact.
OPTION #2 at 12:30 PM: #19 Colorado (3-0) at #10 Oregon (3-0), ABC
DraftKings Betting Line: Oregon -21
This is the game that everyone will be watching. Which is unfortunate because I think it leads to the CFB media switching narratives to “maybe Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12” after they bludgeon a Colorado team without Travis Hunter at home. The Deion spectacle has a chance to make this perhaps the most watched game of the season. And if it’s close in the second half I will flip over. I’d just rather watch a close game and I don’t think this one is going to be that close. Watching it for Oregon scouting purposes is also completely legitimate.
OPTION #3 at 12:30 PM: #15 Ole Miss (3-0) at #13 Alabama (2-1), CBS
DraftKings Betting Line: Alabama -6.5
Is this the downfall of Nick Saban at Alabama? The Crimson Tide have already rotated through 3 quarterbacks this season and are pivoting back to their opening day starter Jalen Milroe for this one. Alabama hasn’t lost more than 2 games in a season since 2010. Should they start out 2-2 it certainly seems like they’d be destined to do it this year. But you think Saban is going to let that happen playing Lane Kiffin at home?
DraftKings Betting Line: Oregon State -3
It’s only Week 4 and yet they’re already playing the Pac-2 championship game. This one is obviously fascinating because of the off-field position that each team is in and the fact that one of them has to end up with a loss. Should Oregon State win this game by a significant margin then they announce that they’re potentially ready to threaten for a Pac-12 title game berth again. A Cougar win I don’t think quite says the same thing but Wazzu would certainly be a legitimate threat to the conference big boys in every remaining game. I’m fascinated by this one.
DraftKings Betting Line: Ohio State -3
Hey look, it’s another ranked OSU team as a 3-point favorite on the road. This one will obviously get more of the national attention since it’s a pair of ultimate helmet teams playing one another. Neither team has really faced much of a test so far this year with their new QBs. Ohio State has the edge at the receiver spots and the defense appears to be legit. Notre Dame has veteran QB Sam Hartman and one of the best running backs in the country. It wouldn’t surprise me if Notre Dame shits the bed because, you know, they’re modern Notre Dame playing a team with elite talent. Either way, expect the winner of this game to start getting mentioned as a legitimate national title contender in the media.
There’s also #24 Iowa at #7 Penn State happening on CBS at this time but I’m expecting that game to be a defensive struggle that’s painful to watch with PSU pulling away so that’s a clear 3rd banana in this time slot for me.
7:30 PM: California (2-1) at #8 Washington (3-0), ESPN
DraftKings Betting Line: Washington -21
Your only option at this time slot is to watch USC grind Arizona State into dust. No thank you. Go Dawgs.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.