Here are my five best bets for Week 3 in college football. Click each linked for a short writeup of the game:
Florida State (+1) over North Carolina State: North Carolina State hits the road after back-to-back home games against rivals Duke and North Carolina. Big letdown spot here.
Notre Dame (-6.5) over Miami: Miami just beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and now have to go to unfamiliar territory at Notre Dame. This line is too low.
Ohio State (+1) over Iowa: Ohio State is looking for revenge after the Hawkeyes beat them at home in their conference opener.
Michigan State (+3) over Maryland: Michigan State will also be seeking revenge after dropping their conference opener to Maryland in double overtime back on December 30.
Here are my picks and pool plays for Friday and Saturday in college football:
Mississippi State (-2) over Texas A&M: Texas A&M is overvalued and were lucky to beat Arkansas on Saturday. I think the Aggies defense will have trouble with Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs offense. Mississippi State had a bye last week to refocus after an emotional win at LSU.
Stanford (-1) over Notre Dame: Two years ago Stanford pushed Notre Dame to the brink before falling just short in South Bend. I think revenge can be a factor in this game. Everett Golson has had a great start to the season but the Cardinal have a history of slowing down mobile quarterbacks. Stanford’s only loss was against USC where they statistically dominated the game. Notre Dame has taken care of business but this year’s Michigan team, Purdue and Syracuse aren’t very good this season.
LSU (+7.5) over Auburn: I’ve been picking against Auburn a lot this season and will do it at least one more time. They failed to cover the spread in the last two games despite winning outright. Les Miles’ teams are always better with less expectations and when no one believes in them. I think that is the case in this game and I can see LSU upsetting Auburn.
Utah (+13) over UCLA: UCLA started the season slowly and then bursted out for 62 points and 580 yards last Thursday against Arizona State. The Bruins scored twice on interceptions and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. The Bruins have a tough scheduling situation with Oregon at home next week. Utah may have been looking ahead to this game when they blew a fourth quarter lead to Washington State at home. I think the Utes offense gets back on track and they cover in Pasadena.
Syracuse (+3) over Louisville- Friday Night
Purdue (+8.5) over Illinois
Ohio State (-8.5) over Maryland
Florida (+3) over Tennessee
Iowa State (+17) over Oklahoma State
I have four picks for the first Saturday of the college football season. The explanation for each game is hyperlinked in the pick.
Notre Dame opens the season at home against Rice. An academic investigation as emerged in South Bend over the last few weeks, which suspended four players indefinetley including wide receiver Davaris Daniels. Everett Golson is back at Notre Dame after academic troubles of his own. He beat out Malik Zaire for the starting quarterback job this month.
Rice is coming off a 10-4 season and lose their leading passer and rusher. Still Rice is competitive and won’t be intimated by playing a big program. Last season they opened at Texas A&M, and took advantage of Johnny Manziel’s first half suspension to keep the game close. They ended up covering the spread despite losing 52-21.
Notre Dame might be distracted by suspensions but also they might have one eye on the following week. They host Michigan in the final regular season game with the Wolverines for the foreseeable future. Notre Dame lost to their bitter rivals last year, and I think they will look over Rice and struggle.
Pick: Rice (+21) over Notre Dame