College football line movement: Week 4 highlights

·4 min read

We're somehow already at Week 4 of the college football season. Teams are starting to be figured out and we have a decent sample of data to work off now. What is the market saying leading into Week 4?

Is LSU on upset alert?

In the season opener of 2020, Mississippi State shocked the college football world when they beat LSU, 44-34. The Tigers were defending national champions and 16.5-point favorites before the game. 

In this year's rematch, LSU opened as a 4-point favorite. However, the line has moved in favor of the Bulldogs and through the key number of 3. LSU currently sits as a 2-point favorite.

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 04:  LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron during the college football game between the LSU Tigers and the UCLA Bruins on September 04, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron during the UCLA game earlier this season. (Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Both teams currently hold 2-1 records. Mississippi State defeated NC State at home earlier in the year as 2-point underdogs. LSU went on the road and lost as a favorite against UCLA. 

The spread isn't the only market seeing considerable movement in this game. The total opened at 59.5, but currently sits at 55.5 points. The Air Raid has produced mix results for the Bulldogs' offense, while LSU is still tinkering with its offense. 

Oklahoma expected to roll in Norman

I didn't think anybody in the college football world was encouraged by the Oklahoma Sooners, but maybe I'm wrong. 

After struggling with Tulane and Nebraska in their first three games, the Sooners play host to the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday night in prime time. The line opened with the Sooners as 14.5-point favorites, and it's actually grown. Oklahoma currently sits as a 16.5-point favorite at BetMGM.

We saw Oklahoma's defense allow Tulane back into the game in Week 1, and then we saw its offense sputter in Week 3 against Nebraska. Will both sides of the ball finally come together in the conference opener?

The total is also on the move, and the market isn't expecting a repeat of the thrilling 59-56 meeting from 2018 featuring Kyler Murray and Will Grier. After opening with a total of 59.5, this game's total has dropped to 56 points.

Letdown spot for Florida?

The Florida Gators were a two-point conversion away from potentially forcing overtime against the country's best team last weekend. It was no surprise to see them open as three-touchdown favorites at home against a much lesser opponent in Tennessee. 

However, it seems like the betting market might be expecting a bit of a letdown for the Gators. The current number has Florida as just a 19-point favorite.

It seems like the market might be expecting the letdown to come on the defensive side of the ball, as the current total sits at 63.5 points after opening at 60. 

USC getting faded

USC opened as a 13.5-point favorite at home against Oregon State, but that line has come crashing down. The current line makes the Trojans 11-point favorites. It's one of the larger moves of the weekend, though it doesn't cross any key numbers.

USC was impressive in its first game under interim coach Donte Williams, beating Washington State, 45-14. However, anytime a coach gets fired, questions will arise about that program. The market is clearly questioning the stability of USC. 

Thursday night game seeing substantial movement

While most will be focused on the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, there's also a college football game on the slate. 

Appalachian State plays host to Marshall. The game opened with the Mountaineers favored by 9 points at home. However, the market seems to be siding with Marshall as the current line sees Appalachian State favored by just 7 points.

There's also been significant movement on the total, which currently sits at 59.5 points. It opened at 56.5, so some bettors are obviously expecting a few points to be scored. 

Two totals worth mentioning

We've seen substantial movement on two other totals for this weekend's slate.

The total for Boise State-Utah State opened at 63.5 points. That number is long gone, as the current total sits at 69.5. In its last two games, Utah State has totaled 97 points. Despite that, Boise State is a 9.5-point favorite.

On the other side of the spectrum, we're seeing movement toward the under on a game involving a service academy. After opening at 52.5, the total for Miami Ohio-Army is down to just 48.

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