Predictions for all 67 FBS football games in week four


Sixty-seven games involving FBS teams are scheduled this week and we have predictions for all of them.

Only one of them matches ranked teams as #6 Notre Dame (3-0) tangles with #18 Wisconsin (1-1) for the first time in a decade and a half.  The Fighting Irish will launch former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan against his former teammates after Coan transferred last year.

So far, neither team has lived up to expectations and both have lost ground in the rankings.  Betting lines favor Wisconsin but our Savvy Index prediction system cites Notre Dame as a 27-24 favorite.

The Fighting Irish defense is one of the best in college football for getting into opponent backfields and that will be important in this game because Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz struggles under pressure.  The Irish will  have a hard time running the ball against Wisconsin’s stubborn defensive front but quarterback Coan is passing for over 300 yards per game to a half-dozen outstanding receivers so the Badgers’ rush defense might not matter. 

We said last week that #1 Alabama (3-0) would struggle with Florida and the Crimson Tide did just that as they escaped with a 31-29 win.  This week, it will be all Tide as Southern Mississippi (1-1) brings its top-ranked rush defense to Tuscaloosa but will still lose by 39.

Second ranked Georgia (3-0) has the stiffest over all defense in America and the Bulldogs will prove it again against an anemic Vanderbilt team (1-2) that ranks 97th for total offense. Savvy favors Georgia 38-7.

Colorado State (1-2) takes its passless offense to #3 Iowa (3-0) to face a Hawkeyes defense that has yet to give up more than one touchdown to any unranked opponent. Iowa is a six touchdown favorite although gamblers saying it will be less than four.

The Savvy Index is making several predictions that go against the betting lines.

Florida Atlantic (2-1) is predicted to win 30-27 against Air Force (2-1).

Ball State (1-2) is predicted 31-24 over Toledo (1-2).

Middle Tennessee (1-2) is predicted 28-24 over Charlotte (2-1).

UAB (2-1) is predicted 31-28 over Tulane (1-2.

New Mexico (2-1) is a surprise 27-24 choice over UTEP (2-1).

and Wake Forest (3-0) is a 31-28 pick over Virginia (2-1).

All of this week’s predictions can be seen below.

Last week, the Savvy system went against the betting lines six times and won four of those.

Over all, the Index was 57-15 (79%) compared to oddsmakers who were 38-14 (73%)  For the season, Savvy is 202-43 (82%) compared to betting lines that are 115-39 (75%).  After fixing an algorithm problem in our over/under module, Savvy beat the over/under betting lines by nine games.

Savvy’s best predictions last week were:

BYU upset over Arizona State, 28-20.  Final was 27-17.

Oregon over Stony Brook 43-7.  Final was 48-7.

Utah State’s upset of Air Force by two.  Final was by four.

Appalachian State over Elon 40-10.  Final was 44-10.

Georgia State’s upset of Charlotte by six.  GSU won by 11.

Memphis upset of Mississippi Statet 33-30.  Final was 31-29.

Ohio State over Tulsa 39-21.  Final was 41-20.

Worst prediction was Ball State over Wyoming by six.  Wyoming won by 33.          

In the PAC-12 . . .

League leading #7 Oregon (3-0) dropped in the Savvy rankings this week mostly because of the ascension of #4 Penn State (3-0) after its impressive win over Auburn.  Don’t expect the Ducks to regain a higher ranking this week against an Arizona (0-3) team ranked 123rd.  Oregon is projected to win 49-10.

Speaking of 123rd, that is Oregon’s current total-defense ranking at 500 yards per game.  The PAC-12 is weak enough for the Ducks to expect an undefeated regular season but until the defense tightens, Oregon will not be projected higher than a spot in national quarterfinal.

UCLA (2-1) dropped from the rankings this week and now faces giant killing quarterback Tanner McKee of Stanford (2-1).  The sophomore is hitting 71% of his passes for nearly 200 yards per game and he has yet to throw and interception in 70 passing attempts.  UCLA is a narrow 31-30 favorite.

The Trojans of #25 USC (2-1) host Oregon State (2-1) as a 38-21 favorite, but there are a couple of cautions here. 

First, as of late Monday, we don’t know the status of Trojan quarterback Kedon Slovis.  We have confirmed that he did not break his collarbone as some outlets suggested.  His status might not matter much because his replacement Jaxson Dart is an outstanding passer and adds a running threat to the USC offense.  Second, USC has only an average rush defense while Oregon State has one of the best rushing attacks in America.  And finally, USC has lost control of the ball eight times in three games through fumbles and interceptions.

Washington State (1-2) and Utah (1-2) were both embarrassed last week.  Although WSU is still looking for answers to its porous offensive line, Utah found its answer at quarterback in Texas transfer Cameron Rising.  It was Rising’s heroics that brought Utah back from a two touchdown deficit last week to tie San Diego State.  The issue with Rising is injuries but if he can stay healthy, Utah should finish the season strong.  Utah is a 36-21 favorite over the Cougars this week.

California (1-2) and Washington (1-2) have been acclaimed for years for their stalwart defenses, but that has changed in 2021 as California is giving up more points than at any time in the Justin Wilcox era and Washington continues to atrophy against the rush.  Nonetheless, the Huskies get this one at home, 32-14. 

If you’re looking for more sports in the Northwest, please visit our friends at  Oregon Sports News.
  Savvy Index   2021      
  predictions week 4      
  last week:     57-15     79% Sept 25      
top 25 season:     202-43     82% wins losses prediction final notes
  Colorado 1 3 13 13 CU offense is 124th in yards per rush.
  Arizona St. 3 1 28 35 ASU is 116th in turnovers and dead last in penalties.
             
  Arizona 0 4 10 19 At least Duck fans will get to see Stanley Berryhill III.
7 Oregon 4 0 49 41 Oregon gives up 500 yards per game.
             
  UCLA 3 1 31 35 Visitor has won past three years.
  Stanford 2 2 30 24 Stanford cant stop the run.
             
  Oregon St. 3 1 21 45 Now we’ll see what LA life is like
25 USC 2 2 38 27 without Helton and Slovis.
             
  Washington St. 1 3 21 13 Utah will revive itself now if Cameron
  Utah 2 2 36 24 Rising is finally named the starrter.
             
  California 1 3 14 24 Neither of these acclaimed defenses
  Washington 2 2 32 31 is in the top 50 (total defense).
             
  Florida Atl. 2 2 30 7 Upset prediction.
  Air Force 3 1 27 31 Odds favor AFA by six.
             
  S Miss 1 3 7 14 SoMiss has the best yards per
1 Alabama 4 0 46 63 carry defense in America.
             
  Marshall 2 2 24 30 Marshalll qb Grant Wells …
  App State 3 1 32 31 more interceptions than tds.
             
15 Texas A&M 3 1 27 10 Aggie qb King still with tibia injury.
  Arkansas 4 0 21 20 Both teams are top 10 for defensive yards per play.
             
  Miami Oh 1 3 20 10 Both teams are playing
  Army 4 0 39 23 above expectations.
             
  Georgia St. 1 3 12 24  
21 Auburn 3 1 44 34  
             
  Toledo 2 2 24 22 Vegas says Toledo by 4.5. BSU will win
  Ball St. 1 3 31 12 if qb Pitt stops throwing interceptions.
             
19 Iowa St. 2 2 30 29 ISU is #1 for fewest yards per play allowed.
  Baylor 4 0 20 31 BU 3-0 vs two bottom 20’s and one FCS.
             
  Missouri 2 2 28 34  
  Boston Col 4 0 32 41  
             
  USF 1 3 7 20 BYU is one of the top five
12 BYU 4 0 44 35 most efficient teams in FBS.
             
  Middle Tenn 1 3 28 38 MTSU getting just 1.8 yards
  Charlotte 3 1 24 42 per rush.
             
  Florida Intl. 1 3 0 27  
  C Michigan 2 2 34 31  
             
  Massachusetts 1 3 13 3 CCU qb Grayson McCall is completing
14 Coastal Car 4 0 52 53 78% of his passes at 12.5 average yards.
             
  Wyoming 4 0 42 24  
  Connecticut 0 5 17 22  
             
  Kansas 1 3 17 33 Kansas is bottom 15 for stopping the rush.
  Duke 3 1 36 52 Duke rbs are top 40 in yards per rush.
             
fcs Charleston S. 0 3 13 28 Charleston So. Has a long-ball passing
  E Carolina 2 2 43 31 attack that should put points on the board.
             
  Texas St. 1 3 24 21 This will be a great fan experience for
  E Michigan 2 2 28 59 those who want to see 16 penalties in one game.
             
  Tennessee 2 2 17 14 Tennessee leads the nation in
9 Florida 3 1 35 38 lost fumbles.
             
  Louisville 3 1 30 31 Between interceptions and fumbles,
  Florida St. 0 4 27 23 FSU is worst in the nation.
             
  UNLV 0 4 14 30 FSU’s Haener leads FBS in pass yardage
  Fresno St. 4 1 41 38 but Bulldogs are woeful in penalties.
             
  Louisiana 3 1 39 28 After three games, Georgia So. defense
  Georgia So. 1 3 17 20 has yet to come up with a turnover.
             
23 N Carolina 2 2 39 22 Both teams are surging right now.
  Georgia Tech 2 2 17 45 Vegas favors UNC by just 12 points.
             
  Navy 0 3 17 20  
  Houston 3 1 36 28  
             
  Colorado St. 1 3 7 14 CSU’s pass efficiency is woeful.
3 Iowa 4 0 43 24 Iowa allowing just 10 points per game.
             
  Troy 2 2 31 16 ULM has a pretty good rush defense (3.3)
  LA Monroe 2 1 13 29 but terrible rush offense (1.3).
             
  N Texas 1 3 24 17 LTU will win but has yet to hold
  LA Tech 2 2 37 24 anyone under 35 points.
             
  Kent St. 1 3 24 16 I’m 87% certain this game doesn’t reach
  Maryland 4 0 28 37 either the 14.5 spread or 66.5 over/under.
             
  UTSA 4 0 30 31  
22 Memphis 3 1 35 28  
             
fcs C Conn St. 1 3 3 0 These teams have a combined 18 negative
  Miami Fl 2 2 45 69 trends and NO positive trends on Savvy.
             
  Rutgers 3 1 19 13 Rutgers leads the nation in take aways … but …
11 Michigan 4 0 35 20 Michigan has yet to turn the ball over.
             
  Nebraska 2 3 21 20 NU’s Adrian Martinez is finally producing.
17 Michigan St. 4 0 30 23 MSU’s rush defense is top 35.
             
  Bowling Green 2 2 14 14 BGSU is on its way back behind
  Minnesota 2 2 34 10 a top-30 yards per play defense.
             
  LSU 3 1 28 28 LSU metrics are surging.
  Mississippi St. 2 2 24 25 MSU qb Rogers is fantastic.
             
  Hawai’i 2 3 31 41  
  New Mexico St. 1 4 27 23  
             
13 Clemson 2 2 23 21 Clemson’s offense is 110th in FBS
  N Carolina St. 3 1 21 27 for yards per play.
             
fcs Maine 1 3 28 14 N Illinois’ defense is giving up
  N Illinois 2 2 33 41 45 points per game.
             
  Ohio 0 4 14 6 Based on previous games, neither
  Northwestern 2 2 34 35 team deserves to win.
             
  Akron 1 3 10 7 Akron may be without qb Kato Nelson.
10 Ohio St. 3 1 55 59 Ohio St. may still be without a defense.
             
  W Virginia 2 2 24 13 Oklahoma has yet to defeat an FBS
5 Oklahoma 4 0 37 16 opponent by more than one possession.
             
  Kansas St. 3 1 21 20 … but Kansas State has much
20 Oklahoma St. 4 0 27 31 better metrics on Savvy.
             
  Buffalo 2 2 37 35 Watch out Buffalo because Old
  Old Dominion 1 3 20 34 Dominion has momentum.
             
fcs Villanova 3 1 14 17 Villanova has outscored three FCS
4 Penn St. 4 0 40 38 teams 136-33.
             
fcs New Hampshire 3 1 14 7 Pitt qb Pickell is averaging 313 passing
  Pittsburgh 3 1 43 77 yards per game with 10-1 td/int rate.
             
  Illinois 1 4 24 9  
  Purdue 3 1 31 13  
             
fcs Texas Southern 0 3 14 34 TSU’s defense gives up 53 ppg.
  Rice 1 3 49 48 Even Rice can win this one.
             
fcs Towson 1 3 10 21 Towson qbs throw more
  San Diego St. 4 0 35 48 interceptions than touchdowns.
             
  Kentucky 4 0 28 16 Kentucky barely beat FCS
  S Carolina 2 2 24 10 Chattanooga last week, 28-23.
             
16 Liberty 3 1 31 21 Liberty has the 10th best
  Syracuse 3 1 20 24 scoring defense in FBS.
             
  SMU 4 0 29 42 SMU has better momentum but
  TCU 2 1 30 34 Vegas says TCU by 10.
             
fcs Wagner 0 4 10 7 Wagner WR Jayvin Little is probably
  Temple 2 2 47 41 the only reason anyone should watch this game.
             
  Texas Tech 3 1 21 35 When was the last time Texas Tech had a top 30
25 Texas 3 1 40 70 defense and bottom 20 offense?
             
  UAB 3 1 31 28 Once again, Savvy disagrees with
  Tulane 1 3 28 21 betting lines when it comes to Tulane.
             
  Arkansas St. 1 3 27 34 Tulsa long-ball receiver Keylon
  Tulsa 1 3 33 41 Stokes is doubtful.
             
  Boise St. 2 2 35 27 Utah State averaged 15.5 ppg
  Utah St. 3 1 30 3 last year. New coach has it at 41 ppg.
             
  New Mexico 2 2 27 13 Upset prediction.
  UTEP 3 1 24 20 UTEP commits more penalties than any team.
             
2 Georgia 4 0 38 62 Georgia’s defense is the best in
  Vanderbilt 1 3 7 0 college football.
             
  Wake Forest 4 0 31 37 Betting lines favor
  Virginia 2 2 28 17 Virginia by four with 67 over/under.
             
fcs Richmond 2 2 17 10  
  Virginia Tech 3 1 37 21  
             
6 Notre Dame 4 0 27 41 Oddsmakers favor Wisconsin. Game is in Chicago.
18 Wisconsin 1 2 24 13 Irish have sizable advantage in qb play.
             
  Indiana 2 2 38 33  
  W Kentucky 1 2 24 31  
             
  San Jose St. 2 2 28 3 Betting odds favor W Michigan.
  W Michigan 3 1 25 23 over/under won’t reach Vegas’ 63 points.
             

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