The college football season cranks up into overdrive in Week 4 as the SEC opens play, joining the ACC and Big 12 as Power Five conferences rolling along in the 2020 season. No. 8 Auburn will host No. 23 Kentucky in one of three ranked-on-ranked games of the weekend, while defending national champion LSU, which enters ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 poll, will kick off its title defense at home against Mississippi State on the SEC on CBS.
Elsewhere, No. 24 Louisville will look to get back on track against No. 21 Pittsburgh, No. 22 Army will visit No. 14 Cincinnati and Florida State will square off against No. 12 Miami (FL) in the first big rivalry game of the season.
Let's take a look at what the oddsmakers think will get money on both sides of the equation, with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
Saturday, Sept. 24
No. 23 Kentucky at No. 8 Auburn (-8): The Wildcats and Tigers will tee it up at high noon ET at Jordan-Hare Stadium in what should be one of the most intriguing matchups of the day. The Tigers defensive line saw Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown depart, and is going up against one of the best offensive lines in the country. Chad Morris is in as Auburn's new offensive coordinator and should provide some new elements to the passing game with sophomore Bo Nix. The oddsmakers are high on the Tigers early in the season.
No. 24 Louisville at No. 21 Pitt (-3.5): The Panthers are just over a field goal favorite at home against a Cardinals squad that is reeling after its crushing loss last week to Miami (FL). It'll be strength vs. strength when Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham lines up opposite the stout Pitt defense. From the looks of it, Las Vegas thinks that defense will rule the day.
No. 22 Army at No. 14 Cincinnati (-11.5): The Bearcats are widely-regarded as one of the top contenders to make noise out of the Group of Five. Can Luke Fickell's squad make a statement against the upstart Black Knights? Oddsmakers seem to think that the Bearcats will make the same kind of statement that UCF did last week in the win over Georgia Tech.
Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU (-19.): The Tigers are one of the most intriguing teams of the season due to the massive roster turnover, players opting out late and coaching turnover among assistants. There's no shortage of athletes in Baton Rouge, though, and oddsmakers seem to recognize that. Will first-year Mississippi State coach Mike Leach make a statement in the opener? If Vegas is right, it's more about LSU's Jimmys and Joes than Leach's Xs and Os.
Florida State at No. 12 Miami (FL) (-9.5): Is Miami "back?" That will be the $64,000 question all week after the Hurricanes throttled Louisville on Saturday. Transfer quarterback D'Eriq King was unleashed by coordinator Rhett Lashlee, giving hope to a fanbase that desperately wants a decent offense. The Seminoles had a bye week to get over the Week 2 loss to Georgia Tech and will not have coach Mike Norvell available after he tested positive for COVID-19. The Canes have won three straight over their intra-state rivals, and Vegas expects that streak to continue.
Best of the rest
- No. 2 Alabama (-27) at Missouri
- Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma (-27)
- No. 4 Georgia (-24.5) at Arkansas
- No. 5 Florida (-12.5) at Ole Miss
- No. 7 Notre Dame (-17.5) at Wake Forest
- No. 8 Texas (-16.5) at Texas Tech
- Vanderbilt at No. 10 Texas A&M (-29.5)
- No. 13 UCF (-25.5) at East Carolina
- West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State (-8.5)
- No. 16 Tennessee (-3) at South Carolina
- Georgia Southern at No. 19 Louisiana (-15)
- Troy at No. 18 BYU (-15.5)
- NC State at No. 20 Virginia Tech (-10)