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Spread

UCLA -21.5 -110

Won: 45-17

UCLA at Colorado

Sat Sep 24 • 2:00pm ET

More info

How it wins: UCLA wins the game by 22 or more points in Week 4.

Staff notes:

  • *This is one of our top-rated playable spread picks this week in college football (56.4% cover odds)
  • Colorado has been easily the worst major conference team in FBS, losing by 25 to TCU, 31 to Air Force, and 42 to Minnesota.
  • They cannot pass the ball (barely over 4 yards per attempt) but make up for it by not being able to stop the run at all. Colorado is allowing 363 rushing yards a game, dead last in FBS.
  • UCLA is averaging over 200 yards rushing per game, and has a big advantage on the lines in this game, where they rank top 30 in both rushing yards gained and allowed so far.

Pick published: Sep 22 2:03pm ET, available at that time at BetMGM.

Rot# 367

Spread

Kansas -7.5 +100

Won: 35-27

Duke at Kansas

Sat Sep 24 • 12:00pm ET

More info

How it wins: Kansas wins the game by more than 7 points in Week 4.

Staff notes:

  • This is not a model pick (50.2% cover odds by our models) but is a staff pick based on how Kansas has looked so far this year.
  • This Kansas team is the story of the year so far, and has had a major breakout from how bad the program has been for a decade, in head coach Lance Leipold's second year with the program.
  • From 2012 to 2021, Kansas went 11-97 SU and 42-63-3 ATS and was the worst major program in FBS.
  • However, they beat Texas toward the end of last year, and then played well in the last two games (two close losses and covers).
  • Kansas has started this year with impressive road wins at West Virginia and Houston. They've now covered five straight games, spanning this year and last, by an average of 22.3 points.
  • The Jayhawks have scored 48 or more points in all three wins so far this year, and currently rank 3rd in the nation in scoring.
  • So we are jumping on the momentum of this program, as being much better than the preseason power ratings and expectations (priors) and providing value still because of that, against the market.

Pick published: Sep 22 2:03pm ET, available at that time at PointsBet.

Rot# 362

About Our Staff Picks

We created the Staff Betting Picks feature to address several opportunities to provide more value to our subscribers:

  • BetIQ and TeamRankings offer a LOT of predictions and data, but it’s not fast or easy to parse through it all. Some subscribers just want to see a short list of our top/favorite picks.
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  • Our algorithmic models for NFL and college football make predictions for full-game point spread, over/under, and moneyline bets. However, there’s a lot more to bet on than that.
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  • As we do research on teams and players, sometimes we see a situational or one-time angle on a bet that we are confident provides expected value, and that angle may not be something that our models are well trained to pick up. Models typically need a lot of historical data to work well, and deep historical data simply doesn’t exist for situations that are less common (e.g. quirky injuries or weather or another more creative angle).

Some (and potentially the majority) of our Staff Picks will be drawn from top-rated model picks, but we’ll explain the data angle(s) that our models are likely seeing. Other Staff Picks may not be even be favored by our models, but we’re making a judgment call to overrule them.

Finally, some Staff Picks will be bets like player props and futures that our game models don’t currently cover, or more market-based value opportunities that we see (e.g. an off-market line offered by a particular sportsbook).

For each pick we make, we will note the sportsbook that offered it, and the associated line/payout odds at the time when we published it.