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College Football Betting Guide: Week 3

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We are back for Week 3 with an all-new, interactive betting guide!

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 Recap

Overall Record: 16-19

Week 2 Record: 8-10

Best Pick: South Carolina (+2.5) at Missouri. After Missouri gave up a ton of points to Missouri State the week before, it seemed obvious that they were vulnerable to a South Carolina team that was fresh off a big win over North Carolina State. Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks went into Columbia and rolled, with ease, to a 31-13 victor

Worst Pick: Stanford (+6.5) at USC. The Cardinal looked outmatched all over the field against USC, who was eager to put a slow first week behind them. The Trojans put up 28 first half points and Stanford never felt like they were in the game again after USC went on a 5-play, 75-yard drive to score just before halftime.

Bad Beat: Northwestern at Duke, Under 55. In a 38-10 blowout with five minutes left in the game, the under seemed like a lock. But for some reason, Duke kicked a field goal to make it 41-10. Naturally, Northwestern followed up with only its 3rd drive over 35 yards all day to push the game into the over with a touchdown with just two minutes remaining.

For Week 3, to provide a more interactive column for our readers, each game will have a poll, allowing you all to vote for what bet you would make. Each poll will close at the time of kickoff for that game. The most popular choice will be the official CQ reader pick, and each week we will provide an update on the reader selections. (Note: the polls will not be available when viewing this article via Google AMP or Apple News.)

Hoosier Special

The Hoosiers are off this week after Hurricane Irma disrupted the lives of hte Florida International University football program. Crimson Quarry sends its best wishes to all those affected by the weather in the southeast.

Top 25 Games

23 Tennessee at 24 Florida (-5), O/U 49.5, 3:30 p.m.

Tennessee hadn’t beat Florida in so long before last season (a Volunteers win that snapped an 11-game Florida winning streak) that I forgot the Vols won last year until looking it up as I write this. But given Florida’s dismal performance against Michigan, and the fact that they still have nine players suspended for this weekend, there is no way I’m taking the Gators.

Pick: Tennessee (+5)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Tennessee at Florida (-5), O/U 49.5

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Tennessee (+5)
    (31 votes)
  • 14%
    Florida (-5)
    (9 votes)
  • 4%
    Over 49.5
    (3 votes)
  • 32%
    Under 49.5
    (21 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

3 Clemson (-3) at 14 Louisville, O/U 56.5, 8:00 p.m.

Alex: Of all the games this week, this is the one I have the least confidence in picking. Clemson’s defense is stellar, and last week their complete shutdown of the Auburn offense was beyond impressive. But Louisville is on a different planet than most teams offensively, and last week, Lamar Jackson looked like the only thing standing between him and a second Heisman would be an undefeated Oklahoma team or an injury. I think the Clemson defense does better than anyone else all season limiting Jackson, but I’m not sure the Tigers’ offense, in their first hostile environment, will have the kind of success they were accustomed to with Deshaun Watson. I think this is a toss up and my best guess is that the defending champs squeak one out on the road.

Pick: Clemson (-3)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Clemson (-3) at Louisville, O/U 56.5

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Clemson (-3)
    (23 votes)
  • 32%
    Louisville (+3)
    (18 votes)
  • 25%
    Over 56.5
    (14 votes)
  • 1%
    Under 56.5
    (1 vote)
56 votes total Vote Now

Big Ten Games

Illinois at 22 South Florida (-17.5), O/U 56.5, 7:00 p.m. (Friday)

Illinois appears to be better, as evidenced by their win over Western Kentucky last weekend. South Florida is pretty good, though, and Charlie Strong’s club should have no trouble with the Illini on Friday night when Lovie Smith returns to Raymond James Stadium. 17.5 is a lot of points, however, to give a Big Ten football team. Not sure what to make of the line, I’ll go with a Strong vs. Smith matchup not being a showcase of offensive mastery.

Pick: Under 56.5

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Illinois at USF (-17.5), O/U 56.5

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Illinois (+17.5)
    (16 votes)
  • 31%
    USF (-17.5)
    (15 votes)
  • 4%
    Over 56.5
    (2 votes)
  • 29%
    Under 56.5
    (14 votes)
47 votes total Vote Now

Air Force at 7 Michigan (-24), O/U 47.5, 12:00 p.m.

Alex: I’m convinced that Michigan won’t be a national championship contender until they have a better quarterback than Wilton Speight. But he’s plenty good enough for the Wolverines to ride their defense to wins over our nation’s service academies. Air Force may cause Michigan some headaches with their triple option attack early in the ballgame, but by the second quarter at the latest, the Wolverines will be forcing three-and-outs and giving Speight plenty of opportunity to let his playmakers find paydirt. Still, 24 is a lot of points, and the over/under has dropped from 54 since this game opened. I think the sharks have moved it just a bit too far.

Pick: Over 47.5

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Air Force at Michigan (-24), O/U 47.5

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Air Force (+24)
    (13 votes)
  • 38%
    Michigan (-24)
    (19 votes)
  • 32%
    Over 47.5
    (16 votes)
  • 2%
    Under 47.5
    (1 vote)
49 votes total Vote Now

Northern Illinois at Nebraska (-14), O/U 56.5, 12:00 p.m.

Nebraska bounces back from two bad weeks (a close one against Arkansas State and a failed comeback attempt at Oregon) and wins easily over a bad Northern Illinois team.

Pick: Nebraska (-14)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Northern Illinois at Nebraska (-14), O/U 56.5

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Northern Illinois (+14)
    (11 votes)
  • 66%
    Nebraska (-14)
    (32 votes)
  • 8%
    Over 56.5
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    Under 56.5
    (1 vote)
48 votes total Vote Now

10 Wisconsin (-17) at BYU, O/U 41, 3:30 p.m.

Alex: This seems an awful lot like that BYU-LSU game we saw a couple weeks ago. BYU stinks and Wisconsin doesn’t - that’s the starting point. And having lived in the Pacific Time Zone last season, I saw BYU enough to know that I don’t trust them to make anything interesting against teams that are better than them, save Utah in the Holy War. The bottom line, though, is that BYU can’t score enough to stay within three scores of the Badgers.

Pick: Wisconsin (-17)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Wisconsin (-17) at BYU, O/U 41

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Wisconsin (-17)
    (25 votes)
  • 20%
    BYU (+17)
    (9 votes)
  • 22%
    Over 41
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    Under 41
    (1 vote)
45 votes total Vote Now

Middle Tennessee State at Minnesota (-10.5), O/U 51, 3:30 p.m.

Minnesota looked awful in Week 1 against Buffalo, but last week they went on the road in a late night game in Corvallis and destroyed Oregon State. Even though the Beavers are pitiful, it seems like the Gophers are starting to click under PJ Fleck. And while Middle Tennessee State had a nice win at Syracuse last week, their 22-point loss to Vanderbilt in Week 1 makes me think they can’t quite hang with Minnesota.

Pick: Minnesota (-10.5)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: MTSU at Minnesota (-10.5), O/U 51

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Middle Tennessee State (+10.5)
    (8 votes)
  • 60%
    Minnesota (-10.5)
    (25 votes)
  • 7%
    Over 51
    (3 votes)
  • 12%
    Under 51
    (5 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now

North Texas at Iowa (-21.5), O/U 51, 3:30 p.m.

Alex: After a comeback win over Iowa State for the CyHawk, Iowa all of a sudden looks like they could potentially win nine or 10 games, if they can just knock off one of the conference’s top dogs. North Texas was thumped by SMU last week, and the Hawkeyes, avoiding the sleepy noon kickoff, should have no trouble, even if they are looking ahead to Penn State.

Pick: Iowa (-21.5)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: North Texas at Iowa (-21.5), O/U 51

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    North Texas (+21.5)
    (12 votes)
  • 33%
    Iowa (-21.5)
    (13 votes)
  • 12%
    Over 51
    (5 votes)
  • 23%
    Under 51
    (9 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now

Morgan State at Rutger (NL), 3:30 p.m.


Purdue at Missouri (-7.5), O/U 78, 4:00 p.m.

I don’t know what to make of Purdue yet. I still think that two goalline fumbles saving them from a 21-point loss doesn’t mean Week 1 showed that they were good, but both of their first two efforts have clearly demonstrated that they are much better. Missouri, on the other hand, has not looked good. They gave up 40+ to Missouri State and then got blown out at home to South Carolina last week. I’m not sure if Purdue has completely bridged whatever gap might have existed between these two teams at the end of 2016, and so the spread worries me. But neither of these teams has a defense to stop the other. It’s a lot of points, but they’ll light of the board enough for the over.

Pick: Over 78

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Purdue at Missouri (-7.5), O/U 78

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Purdue (+7.5)
    (21 votes)
  • 25%
    Missouri (-7.5)
    (12 votes)
  • 10%
    Over 78
    (5 votes)
  • 20%
    Under 78
    (10 votes)
48 votes total Vote Now

Army at 8 Ohio State (-30), O/U 53, 4:30 p.m.

The over/under is tough for me here. On one hand, I’d like to think that no one would embarrass one of our service academies and hang 50+ in an absolute blowout. On the other, Urban Meyer and Kevin Wilson are on the other sideline and I strongly doubt whether either has any kind of conscience. What seems more certain is that while Army is much improved from just a few years ago, Ohio State trounces them, winning by five or six scores.

Pick: Ohio State (-30)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Army at Ohio State (-30), O/U 53

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Army (+30)
    (9 votes)
  • 45%
    Ohio State (-30)
    (20 votes)
  • 22%
    Over 53
    (10 votes)
  • 11%
    Under 53
    (5 votes)
44 votes total Vote Now

Georgia State at 5 Penn State (-38.5), O/U 54.5, 7:30 p.m.

Might Penn State be looking ahead to Iowa? I sure would be. Not that the Nittany Lions will be in any danger of dropping one at home to Georgia State, but something tells me the home team takes its foot off the gas at some point and doesn’t quite cover.

Pick: Georgia State (+38.5)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Georgia State at Penn State (-38.5), O/U 54.5

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Georgia State (+38.5)
    (12 votes)
  • 29%
    Penn State (-38.5)
    (12 votes)
  • 31%
    Over 54.5
    (13 votes)
  • 9%
    Under 54.5
    (4 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now

Bowling Green at Northwestern (-21.5), O/U 57, 7:30 p.m.

Bowling Green was respectable against Michigan State in the opener. Then they lost to South Dakota last week. But Northwestern is hot garbage, and I have a very tough time believing that they will beat anyone by 3 scores or more.

Pick: Bowling Green (+21.5)

Poll

CQ Reader Poll: Bowling Green at Northwestern (-21.5), O/U 57

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Bowling Green (+21.5)
    (25 votes)
  • 2%
    Northwestern (-21.5)
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Over 57
    (1 vote)
  • 22%
    Under 57
    (8 votes)
35 votes total Vote Now

Upset Special

Central Michigan at Syracuse (-10), O/U 68, 3:30 p.m.

Syracuse dropped a home game last week to Middle Tennessee State, while Central Michigan went on the road and won at lowly Kansas. Perhaps neither of these are indicative of what will happen this week, but Syracuse cannot run the football. QB Eric Dungey has 28 carries for 104 yards, and total, the Orange have 90 carries for just 281 yards. Central Michigan seems like a more complete football team at this point, despite needing three overtimes to beat Rhode Island in week one. The Chippewas go into the Carrier Dome and win.

Pick: Central Michigan (money line)

Bonus Pick

Arizona Cardinals (-7) at Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m. (Sunday)

The Indianapolis Colts, at least while they are without Andrew Luck, are the worst team in professional football. The Cardinals are 0-1 and their starting running back is out for several weeks, but consider this: they had the Lions on the ropes last week until Carson Palmer’s three interceptions started biting them. Can you see this Colts defense getting three picks against anyone?? Hell no. I don’t care if they start Scott Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett, you’re either playing with the worst quarterback in the league or half a playbook and relying on your defense that gave up 306 yards to Jared Goff, who most certainly did not get good in the offseason. If you only bet one game this weekend, it should be this one.

Pick: Arizona Cardinals (-7)