With the arrival of the final weekend in September, conference play around the college football landscape is picking up. Saturday’s Week 4 action is full of top-25 teams making their conference game debuts for the 2022 season. Often accompanying that familiarity are tighter games and closer scores as teams with more intimate knowledge of each other serve as better litmus tests than the cannon fodder of nonconference play.
In all, three conference games will feature a pair of top-25 teams trying to get an early leg up in the standings. There’s plenty to prove for the likes No. 10 Arkansas, no. 11 Tennessee and No. 21 Wake Forest as they seek more respect within their respective divisional races against ranked conference opponents. In the Big Ten, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan will try to keep strong starts going against teams they’ve dominated in recent years. Capping off the evening is a Big 12 battle between No. 6 Oklahoma and Kansas State in what has become a trap game for the Sooners lately.
Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff onward. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games in Week 4.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
Featured Game | Michigan Wolverines vs. Maryland Terrapins
Afternoon | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Terrapins will present a far deeper challenge to Michigan than any previous opponent, especially downfield with their aggressive passing attack. However, the Wolverines have been absolutely cleaning up against bad competition through their first three games. Many have waited for Michigan to make the change to JJ McCarthy under center, so don’t be surprised to see the Wolverines also take a few more shots than usual. It might be a backdoor cover, but it will be a cover nonetheless. Prediction: Michigan -17 — Shehan Jeyarajah
Featured Game | Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Clemson Tigers
Afternoon | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — Wake Forest has found outright success or at least more competitive results against every other ACC team except for the Tigers, and the reason comes down to a major disadvantage at the line of scrimmage. Throughout the College Football Playoff era, we have been dazzled by some of the quarterbacks and wide receivers to come through Clemson, but the most consistent unit year-to-year has been the defensive line. That defensive front has overwhelmed Wake Forest over the years, disrupting all the intricate and well-crafted aspects of the offense. I think that trend continues, as does the trend of double-digit wins. Prediction: Clemson -7 — Chip Patterson
Featured Game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Florida Gators
3:30 p.m cbs, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App — Florida has won 16 of the last 17 games in this series, and the Volunteers have only won this game by more than 10 points once in the past 30 years. History aside, Tennessee’s status as a double-digit favorite seems to overvalue its win against a hobbled Pittsburgh team and undervalue Florida’s win over Utah. The Gators have looked bad the last two weeks, but there is enough talent on the roster — as shown in that win over the Utes — for them to keep things close against a Vols program that is earlier in its rebuild than a No. 11 ranking might suggest. Prediction: Florida +10.5 — David Cobb
Featured Game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
7 p.m ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Give me the Razorbacks, and give them to me big. Raheim Sanders, the SEC’s leading rusher, has been a terror between the tackles and outside in space. Along with KJ Jefferson, he will wear down this defensive front and pull away late. On the other side of the ball, the stout Hogs pass rush will exploit the struggling Aggies defensive line, putting Max Johnson and the offense behind the sticks. That’s a recipe for disaster for Johnson and a passing game that hasn’t shown a sign of life yet. Prediction: Arkansas (+1.5) — Barrett Sallee
Featured Game | Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers
7:30 p.m ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — While I have way too much respect for Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard to believe Ohio State will do the kinds of things to it that it’s done to its last couple opponents, I don’t have nearly the same level of faith in the Wisconsin offense to keep up in this game. Until Graham Mertz proves to me that he can be relied upon against top opponents, I won’t bet on it being the case. Lay the points with the Buckeyes. Prediction: Ohio State -18 — Tom Fornelli
Featured Game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Kansas State Wildcats
8 p.m Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — Kansas State has quietly played Oklahoma better than anyone since Chris Klieman took over the program in 2019. The Wildcats beat OU each of Klieman’s first two seasons and played the Sooners to within a score in 2021. There was optimism that this could be the best team. of Klieman’s tenure, but an inexplicable loss to Tulane put a damper on that. Still, expect the Wildcats to keep the game within two scores. Prediction: Kansas State +13 — Shehan Jeyarajah
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 4, and which Top 25 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $3,300 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.