College football odds: Week 4 opening line report

Jason Logan
After thumping Michigan State, 20-3, Saturday night, perhaps Notre Dame wants to cancel that move to the ACC and call the Big Ten its new football home.

The Fighting Irish face another Big Ten opponent in Week 4, pegged as early 6-point favorites hosting the Michigan Wolverines in South Bend Saturday.

Peter Korner, founder of Nevada-based odds consultants The Sports Club, says he first approached the table with Notre Dame -7 but was talked down by his fellow oddsmakers. They sent out Notre Dame -4, knowing that the public appeal of the Irish would likely inflate that opening spread a bit.

“The public team theory is obviously huge with Notre Dame. They have a huge following and a ton of money,” Korner told Covers. “That following has been waiting for a while for Notre Dame to make a statement and have a quality team. The wins they have and the way they’re playing is impressive.”

Korner says it will be interesting to see where this line goes in the first few days, expecting sharps to bet the Fighting Irish and wait on the public flood of action to drive up the spread before buying back Michigan closer to game time. The Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings with Notre Dame, including last year's thriller under the lights in the Big House.

“Michigan is a quality team too and, while it’s tough to gauge these lines a week in advance, the wiseguys will wait and take Michigan plus as many points as they can get,” Korner speculates.

Here’s a look at the opening lines for some of the other marquee games on the Week 4 board:

Clemson Tigers at Florida State Seminoles (-12)

The Noles are near two-touchdown faves in this battle of ACC powers, which should indicate just how much better FSU is than the rest of the conference. The Sports Club sent out Seminoles -13, so books didn't move too far from that, respecting Clemson’s ability to put points on the board. The Tigers are 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings with FSU. Early money has bumped this up to Seminoles -13.

Kansas State Wildcats at Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners come into this Big 12 battle tagged as lofty faves versus a KSU squad that had a tough time with North Texas last week. The Sports Club suggested an even higher spread, sending out OU -17. Oklahoma didn’t look like national title contenders in its first two showings, but has had two weeks to prepare for KSU and is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games off the bye. Early money on the Wildcats has moved this spread down to two touchdowns.

Arizona Wildcats at Oregon Ducks

The Ducks are hefty chalk in this Pac-12 clash, despite Arizona winning over many bettors in the first three weeks. The Wildcats are 3-0 (2-1 ATS) behind new head coach Rich Rodriguez while the Ducks are also 3-0 but have failed to cover the spread in each of those contests. The Sports Club sent out a suggested spread of 26 for this game and books stuck on the half-point hook. However, the spread is down to -24 as of Sunday night.

Check out the rest of the opening odds for Week 4 of the college football season.

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