Here are my five best bets for Week 3 in college football. Click each linked for a short writeup of the game:
It’s a slow time in the sports calendar, which makes it a perfect time to start preparing for football season. I looked through the conference schedules for the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 to look for favorable situations to support teams and bad situations to fade teams. Games are at least two months away, and I wouldn’t automatically pick these games but it’s something that could be helpful down the road. I will post the other four conferences next week. For now, here are games you should keep an eye on in the SEC:
September 26- Missouri at Kentucky: Missouri has three favorable non-conference games before their first SEC game at Kentucky. The Tigers will likely be a favorite against an up-and-coming Wildcats team that needs to win these games if they want to make a bowl. Missouri plays South Carolina the week after. Last year the Tigers shockingly lost to Indiana the week before playing the Gamecocks in a classic “look ahead” situation. Missouri may be looking past Kentucky with bigger games on deck so possibly take Kentucky if they are an underdog in this game.
October 10- Georgia at Tennessee: Georgia is coming off a home game against Alabama. A trip to Knoxville is less than ideal the week after such a big contest for the Bulldogs. The Volunteers host Arkansas the week before and a have a bye the week after. Tennessee might end up being a favorite in this game and I would likely take them if the spread is a south of a field goal.
October 17- Alabama at Texas A&M: Alabama has had favorable conference schedules the last few seasons. However, things change in 2015 as they draw Georgia and Tennessee from the SEC East. They play the two SEC East foes in part of a four-week stretch that also includes games against Arkansas and Texas A&M. The game against Texas A&M is on the road and I can see the Crimson Tide slipping up here. The Aggies will have revenge on their mind after being trounced 59-0 against Alabama last season. Texas A&M also has a favorable early season schedule, and they don’t leave the state of Texas until the eighth week of the season. I don’t know if Alabama will lose this game but I can see them failing to cover the spread.
South Carolina (-4) over Alabama: Alabama has started conference play 2-0 after wins against Texas A&M and at a rebuilding Tennessee team. The Crimson Tide will be playing in their second straight road game, and it’s very tough to win away from home in the SEC. Alabama also might be looking ahead to their weekend home game against No. 1 Kentucky. South Carolina faces a must-win situation after starting SEC play 0-2. They defeated Iowa State a week and a half ago so they are a solid team that should win this game. I’m not sold on Alabama yet and will take South Carolina here.
I have seven picks in Week 12 of college football. I previewed the important games earlier in this week before the lines were released. I ended up picking six of those games so you can read my analysis there. Here are my picks and pool plays for Week 12:
South Carolina (+7) over Florida: This is the one game I didn’t preview earlier in the week because it has no impact on the College Football Playoff. South Carolina has blown three fourth quarter leads this year but I think they make sure to play 60 minutes in Gainesville. Florida doesn’t have the offense to be a touchdown favorite here and I think the Gamecocks win straight up.
Georgia (-2) over Auburn
Stanford (-7.5) over Utah
Alabama (-8) over Mississippi State
Arkansas (-2) over LSU
Florida State (-3) over Miami
Maryland (+12) over Michigan State
Penn State (-11) over Temple
Ohio State (-14) over Minnesota
Iowa (-3.5) over Illinois
Nebraska (+6.5) over Wisconsin
Here are my Week 11 college football picks and the rest of the pool plays:
Kansas State (+6) over TCU: A Bill Snyder team getting points is usually a safe pick. Kansas State’s only loss was against Auburn so both these teams are in contention for the College Football Playoff. I think Kansas State will try to control the ball to keep TCU’s explosive offense off the field. That’s why I also like the under in this game.
Under 58 in TCU vs Kansas State: See above
Under 45 in LSU vs Alabama: I can see LSU winning this game and because of that I like the under. It might be similar to the game two weeks ago when the Tigers upset Ole Miss 10-7. I don’t think Alabama’s offense will be as efficient on the road in Baton Rogue. Remember that these teams played a 9-6 game three years ago before meeting again in the National Championship.
Michigan State (-4) over Ohio State: Michigan State is the better team and are coming off a bye. The Spartans are playing at home in primetime, so I give the advantage to quarterback Connor Cook over Ohio State freshman J.T. Barrett.
Kentucky (+10) over Georgia: The next two games are only pool plays but I was very close to making them official picks. I make most of my college football picks based on scheduling situations. Georgia is in a terrible scheduling spot this week. They just played Florida and play Auburn next week. So this Kentucky game is sandwiched between two big games for the Bulldogs. The matchup next week against Auburn is even more important because of how the Tigers beat the Bulldogs last season. Georgia also had their College Football Playoff dreams crushed last week when they lost to Florida. With no shot a winning the title and I think Georgia comes out flat in Lexington. That being said, the line has probably adjusted taking those factors into consideration. So I would lean towards Kentucky but would like this game a lot more if the spread was a few points higher.
Purdue (+17) over Wisconsin: The Badgers are one of four teams in the Big Ten West with one loss. The other three are Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. Those are Wisconsin’s three opponents after this game in West Lafayette. So this is a lookahead scenario against Purdue with bigger games on deck. Purdue has improved in conference play and even out gained Nebraska last week in a 21-point loss. The home team is getting a lot of points here but there’s going to be cold and rainy weather for an early kickoff on Saturday. That climate favors Wisconsin’s game plan of running of the ball and playing strong defense. That’s why I would only lean Purdue in this game.
Here are my Week 9 college football picks and the rest of the pool plays:
Wisconsin (-10.5) over Maryland
Under 48 in Kansas State vs Texas
North Carolina (+7) Virginia
Under 49 in Michigan State vs Michigan
Oklahoma State (-1) over West Virginia
LSU (+4) over Ole Miss
Over 65 in Auburn vs South Carolina
Under 46 in Tennessee vs Alabama
Washington (+3) over Arizona State
Oregon (-17.5) over California- Friday Night
Illinois (+6) over Minnesota
Here are my Week 8 college football picks and the rest of the pool plays:
Iowa (+4.5) over Maryland
California (+7) over UCLA
Alabama (-13) over Texas A&M
Over 64 in Alabama vs Texas A&M
Tennessee (+16) over Ole Miss
Under 47 in Ole Miss vs Tennessee
LSU (-10) over Kentucky
Iowa State (+12.5) over Texas
Wake Forest (+5) over Syracuse
Purdue (+14) over Minnesota
West Virginia (+8.5) over Baylor
Kansas State (+7.5) over Oklahoma