Things are about to get more interesting in the college football world with many of the non-conference matchups set to become things of the past and conference showdowns taking over the weekly slate of games. So it is a good time to look at some possible college football upset picks.
There are some compelling matchups in most of the top conferences with the Colorado-Oregon game in the Pac-12 and Florida State-Clemson clash in the ACC among those drawing interest. Those also happen to be two of the contests showing up in the Week 4 upset alert.
Clemson hasn’t been an underdog at home since a 2016 game against Louisville and the Tigers happened to win that game. Will history be repeating with Florida State heading to Clemson as the favorite in the game of the year in the ACC?
We have highlighted four games in Week 4 where it would be wise to keep tabs on the underdog as part of the NCAAF free picks to consider. Nine ranked teams are listed as favorites in what could be a fun Week 4 in the college football universe.
Oklahoma State Cowboys +3.5 vs Iowa State Cyclones
Sept., 23, 4 p.m. ET (FS1)
This is a big week after being held to 208 yards of total offense in the loss.
The Cowboys have won nine of the last 11 games against Iowa State. Add in the fact that Iowa State has the worst offensive statistically in the Big 12, and this is a chance for some retribution for the Cowboys. When looking at the NCAAF predictions Sept. 23, this is just one of the games where the favored team could be in trouble.
The game within the game could come up front considering that Oklahoma State is tied for second in the Big 12 with 10 sacks this season and Iowa State has surrendered only one.
Clemson Tigers +2.5 vs Florida State Seminoles
Sept. 23, Noon ET (ABC)
It is still hard to understand why the ACC schedule makers would put the matchup between the two teams with the best odds to win the national championship coming into 2023 on the schedule so early in the season.
While Florida State is viewed as the best team in the ACC, the Seminoles haven’t won at Clemson since 2013 and some of the issues with this year’s team were hard to miss as the Seminoles barely got by Boston College last week.
Those who bet online might have lost some confidence in Clemson, however, it is still the reigning ACC champion with more than enough talent to come away with the win on Saturday.
Clemson has won seven games in a row against Florida State and covered in each of the last five.
The performance in a season-opening loss to Duke certainly won’t be making the highlight tape for Clemson. However, it would be a mistake to write off Clemson that quickly.
If this game was being played in Tallahassee, it might be a different story when it came to the college football picks Sept. 23. But going into Death Valley and beating Clemson is a much different story.
Colorado Buffaloes +21 vs Oregon Ducks
Sept. 23, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
If the first three weeks of the season prove nothing else, it shows that undervaluing Colorado can be risky business.
Sure, the Buffaloes will miss Travis Hunter on both sides of the ball, but there is still plenty of talent for coach Deion Sanders to work with even without the services of Hunter.
Expect Oregon to win the game outright, but covering as the 21-point favorite might be asking a little much with the way Colorado can move the football. Still, people weren’t giving Colorado much of a chance to beat TCU in the season opener either.
It will be fun to watch Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders going up against the top-rated pass defense in the Pac-12. That is just one of the storylines to consider.
Arkansas Razorbacks +17.5 vs LSU Tigers
Sept. 23, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Each of the last three times that Arkansas and LSU squared off, the game was decided by three points so naturally seeing the Razorbacks as 17½-point underdogs, according to the sportsbook, is going to attract some betting interest.
Arkansas running back Raheim Sanders hasn’t played since the season opener and that has played a role in the line.
Quarterback KJ Jefferson has played nine games against ranked teams in his career so he shouldn’t be flustered by the stage of facing Jayden Daniels and LSU.
Once again, asking the underdog to win outright in this matchup is a bit much, but don’t be surprised to see the Razorbacks keep things close.
Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame teams covered in just five of the 10 games when listed as double-digit favorites in his last two seasons coaching the Fighting Irish, so keep that in mind.