Auburn’s run defense declawed, and Wednesday’s college football bets you need to make in Week 4

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The college football schedule starts up Thursday night, so we’re getting ahead of the curve with our best bets and predictions for the Week 4 odds. And we’re not just talking spreads and totals either. We dive into the props, team totals and derivatives that can make you money capping the college kids.

TROUBLE FOR SPARTANS?

The Michigan State Spartans will have to do without one of their standout offensive linemen until November. Kevin Jarvis suffered a knee injury in last week’s stunning loss to Arizona State and is expected to be out for six or seven weeks, according to Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio.

Jarvis and the rest of the Spartans’ offensive line had their hands full in last week’s loss, with Michigan State producing just 3.2 yards per carry while having five passes broken up and allowing a sack. Tyler Higby will take over for Jarvis at left tackle going into this weekend’s encounter with host Northwestern.

And while the Wildcats were torched 30-14 by UNLV last time out, they ranked 26th in run defense a season ago and held the Spartans to just 19 points in last year’s meeting at Spartan Stadium. We like MSU to come in below its team total of 24.5.

NOT SO FAST!

Don’t get too excited, Dillon Gabriel fans. Central Florida head coach Josh Huepel isn’t ready to name the sensational freshman as the starting quarterback for Saturday’s visit to Pittsburgh. This despite Gabriel going of

f in last week’s statement victory over visiting Stanford, throwing for 347 yards and four touchdowns.

Gabriel has the hot hand ahead of season-opening No. 1 Brandon Wimbush and the recently-returned-from-injury Darriel Mack, both of whom were expected to see action against the Cardinal. In the end, Wimbush saw just one snap while Mack didn’t play.

It would be foolhardy for UCF to pivot away from Gabriel, whose advanced level of play should allow the Knights to dominate the time of possession. That, combined with Pitt’s ugly offensive numbers (14.7 PPG, 2.8 YPC), make UCF a great pick ATS.

DOWN FOR THE COUNT

Collin Hill has suffered yet another devastating knee injury. The Colorado State quarterback suffered a torn left ACL in last week’s loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks and will miss the remainder of the season.

That could be it for Hill’s football career, as this is the third time he has torn the ACL in his left knee. Hill was enjoying a terrific season for the Rams, having completed better than two-thirds of his pass attempts for 840 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Patrick O’Brien will take over the starting role beginning with Saturday’s game against visiting Toledo.

This line has shifted three points in the Rockets’ favor since opening at -6.5, and that might be too much movement. O’Brien was impressive in relief last time out, while CSU went 2-0 ATS as home underdogs of 7-plus points in 2018. We like the home side here.

A GREAT UNKNOWN

Saturday’s tall task might have become a whole lot tougher for the Auburn Tigers as they prepare to open their SEC schedule against No. 17 Texas A&M at Kyle Field.

Senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown is considered questionable for the game after suffering an upper-body injury early in last week’s victory over Kent State. Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn considers Brown “day-to-day”. The projected first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft has seven tackles (one for loss) in three games, and has 22.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in his three-plus years at Auburn.

Brown’s absence would be a devastating one for the Tigers’ defense – and a major boost to a Texas A&M rush attack averaging a robust 5.4 yards per carry. Look to either the Aggies ATS or the Over on their team total if Brown is ruled out.