College Football
2023 College Football odds: How to bet Colorado-Oregon, Week 4 picks, predictions
College Football

2023 College Football odds: How to bet Colorado-Oregon, Week 4 picks, predictions

Updated Sep. 20, 2023 4:52 p.m. ET

It's on to Week 4 of the college football season! 

If you follow me, then you know it's a big week for me, as my Oregon Ducks face off with one of the sport's most-hyped teams in Colorado. My Ducks are favored by a whopping 21 points. Can they cover that big number against Coach Prime & Co.?

The Pac-12 Conference, by the way, is having a pretty hot start to the season. Love to see it. So in addition to the Ducks-Buffs showdown, there are a few other Pac-12 games that I'm eyeing for Week 4 picks. 

Let's dive into some best bets for this weekend's slate of college football (all times ET Saturday).


No. 22 UCLA Bruins at No. 11 Utah Utes (3:30 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports app)

I’d jump on this number now before Utah announces that the starting quarterback is returning. The Utes are 3-0 having beaten Florida and Baylor with a third- and then a fourth-string quarterback. Utah is also down a handful of players from the two-deep because of injury. Despite all that, the Utes keep winning. 

If Cam Rising is back — and he’s been practicing for weeks now — the Utah offense automatically becomes viable again. The offensive line has been a tad shaky and there are some matchup advantages for UCLA there, but Rising being back keeps safeties a tad further from the rushing lanes. 

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Also, Rising’s mobility is something that will help the blocking unit. UCLA’s defense has played well, but like Oregon State, the Bruins have played some bum offenses. This will be their biggest test, while Utah has faced both Baylor and Florida.

UCLA’s offense has played well after declaring true freshman Dante Moore the starting quarterback. Moore is completing 62.7% of his passes and the UCLA rushing attack has been as good as ever (15th in rushing success rate).

The Bruins will face an excellent Utah defense, which ranks 10th in points per drive and the average third down against is nine yards. This will be the first conference road start for Moore in a stadium where the home team does not lose. 

I believe this game will not go well for Moore and the Bruins because of the atmosphere and Utah’s defense. 

I’ll take the Utes and give the points.

PICK: Utah (-4.5) to win by more than 4.5 points

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No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon (3:30 p.m., ABC)

Colorado is 3-0, surprising the college football world with its early-season success. That success is going to end this weekend in Eugene, as the Buffs head to Oregon to face the Ducks. 

Oregon has advantages all over the field, including in the trenches. That is ultimately going to provide the difference in this game.

Colorado’s offensive success through three games has propelled quarterback Shedeur Sanders into the Heisman conversation. Sanders has completed 78% of his pass attempts for 1,251 yards and has become the entire Colorado offense, because the Buffs cannot run the football. 

Colorado’s rushing offense is 127th in success rate and its offensive line is 119th in pressure rate. The Buffaloes' offensive line against Oregon’s defensive line is a huge advantage for the Ducks. As a Ducks fan, I’d be very upset if our defensive line did not dominate this game. 

Oregon’s passing defense is ranked 19th in efficiency and 16th in adjusted air yards per attempt. Colorado will be the biggest test for the Ducks, but without Travis Hunter, it have one less passing option for Sanders. 

Colorado’s defense has not played particularly well this season, and without its best player (Hunter), the Oregon offense should have it way. Oregon's offense ranks second in efficiency and first in points per drive. And as someone who has watched every snap of their three games, I don’t think the Ducks' offense has operated at its peak yet. 

There have been plenty of missed opportunities and some poorly blocked run plays. Colorado’s defense is 102nd in overall success and 89th in points per drive. It is allowing five yards per rush (107th). Unless the Ducks turn the ball over, that team will not be stopped by the Buffs' defense.

Twenty-one points is a large number to cover in any game, but I believe it’s the right play here. Oregon is a powerhouse at home, losing only two conference games since 2018. Under Dan Lanning, the Ducks have routinely played well against teams that can’t compete with them at home. 

I’m taking the Ducks to cover here.

PICK: Oregon (-21) to win by more than 21 points

No. 14 Oregon State at No. 21 Washington State (7 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports app)

This is my favorite wager of the weekend, and I’m glad to be on the opposite side of most here. 

The Cougars will win this game, and I’ll be glad to take the three points in this spot. I’m 62% against the spread (ATS) in the Pac-12 since 2019 because I’ve done daily Pac-12 radio that entire time. This is the type of game where watching the conference each weekend helps you win the wager.

Oregon State won 10 games last season without a quarterback. That was impressive for a Beavers squad that won just two games in a season as recently as 2018. The Beavers added former five-star Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei this offseason and most, including myself, figured their offense would take off with a competent quarterback under center. 

While the passing game has had its moments, there’s still some meat on the bone. Uiagalelei completed 80% of his passes against San Jose State, then 61.5% against UC Davis, followed by 46.7% against San Diego State. At Washington State, he needs to play his best game. We know the Beavers can run the football and the Cougars defenders know this, too. They will sell out to stop the run if Uiagalelei struggles to pass the ball. 

Washington State’s offense is clicking with quarterback Cam Ward playing so much better in Year 2. A coordinator change and maturity has helped Ward tremendously. He’s completing more passes and has not turned the ball over in three games. 

Oregon State’s defense has played well this season but has not faced a team like the Cougars. This will be the first real test for the Beavers defense. It had to replace multiple starters at linebacker and in the secondary, so this will be the opportunity to see if it is ready for the task of defending Pac-12 offenses. 

I like the Cougars to win and cover.

PICK: Washington State (+3) to lose by 3 or fewer points (or win outright)

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No. 5 USC at Arizona State (10:30 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports app)

Arizona State entered its game against Fresno State last weekend down the starting quarterback. The Sun Devils left the game down two more quarterbacks. It appears they’ve been saved from complete disaster with backup and Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne able to play this weekend after leaving the game on Saturday. 

Even with Pyne, this Sun Devils offense is a complete train wreck. It has scored just 39 points on the season, scoring zero against Fresno State while turning the ball over eight times. Now it faces a USC team off a bye, and it’s going to get ugly.

The Trojans have not been stopped when Caleb Williams is under center — USC only has four punts in the first half. They scored 21 points in Week 0, 35 in Week 1 and then scored 48 by halftime against Stanford in Week 2. Now, the Trojans are coming off a bye, they are healthy, and they will score without fail against this Sun Devils defense. 

Arizona State has not played an offense like USC's and will struggle to affect the Trojans' passing attack because the Sun Devils cannot rush the passer. They are one of the worst teams in the country at pressure rate. 

USC’s defense is better this season, and now it faces a Sun Devils offense that has struggled. Coach Kenny Dillingham is taking over play-calling duties, which does give a tad bit of pause for this wager, but I don’t think this team has the horses on offense to do well with new play calling. 

USC comes out fast and wins the first half 35-7. I got USC covering the first half. 

PICK: USC (-19.5 first half) to lead by 20 or more points at halftime

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Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.


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