This is the first time in the last five years that there are no ranked teams facing other ranked teams. Still, there are some good matchups on the board. My challenge is finding mispriced games.
The bookmaker is ahead of me through the first two weeks of the season as I am 6-7-1 and down 4.6 units after my top play of Wisconsin went down in flames last Saturday. Here’s to getting above .500.
Stephen Nover’s TGD Picks Record: 6-7-1 (-4.6 units)
CFB odds used in these betting tips are current as of Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 11:30 p.m. ET
CFB Week 3 Best Bets
Wyoming @ Texas
BEST BET: Wyoming +28.5 (-110)
Bet 365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 2 Units
Texas is enjoying some heady stuff courtesy of its 34-24 marquee road win against Alabama this past Saturday. The Longhorns are ranked No. 4 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, the first time they’ve reached a top-five ranking since 2010.
Following this week, the Longhorns start Big 12 Conference play with a road game against Baylor. But first, the Longhorns host 2-0 Wyoming.
The Cowboys are a solid Mountain West Conference school, having played in a bowl game in five of the last six years under steady head coach Craig Bohl. Wyoming is ground-oriented, which keeps the clock running, and has a solid defense, major pluses for a large underdog.
The Cowboys are 8-2-1 ATS the last two-plus years when getting a field goal or more, including in their upset win against Texas Tech, 35-33, as a 13.5-point home underdog opening week. The Cowboys are a dangerous opponent for Texas, which is an obvious letdown and sandwich spot.
Western Kentucky @ Ohio State
BEST BET: Western Kentucky +27.5 (-110)
PointsBet Sportsbook • WAGER 1 Unit
Ohio State is in a huge look-ahead situation with a marquee road game against Notre Dame looming next week, and the Buckeyes could get caught overlooking the best team they’ve played all season in Western Kentucky.
Ohio State has feasted on Indiana and Youngstown State, holding those foes to a combined five points per game. Ohio State, however, failed to cover against either overmatched opponent as favorites of 30.5 points versus Indiana on the road and 44.5 points at home against Youngstown State.
Now, the Buckeyes face a real quarterback in Austin Reed. He led the country with 4,744 passing yards last season while accounting for 48 touchdowns.
Reed has thrown for nearly 600 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions in the Hilltoppers’ two games this season, easy wins against South Florida and Houston Christian.
Kyle McCord finally was named Ohio State’s starting quarterback, beating out Devin Brown. But McCord hasn’t proven anything. The Buckeyes’ ground attack hasn’t been stellar either, ranking 88th in the country.
Louisiana @ UAB
BEST BET: Over 59.5 Total Points (-110)
Caesars Sportsbook • Wager: 1 Unit
Step to the head of the line if you know that UAB quarterback Jacob Zeno leads the nation with 35.5 completions per game. Zeno and the Blazers have been transformed offensively by their new coach, former 14-year NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer.
Zeno’s passing percentage of 84.5 percent (71-for-84) ranks second in the country. The Blazers also are first in the nation in converting on third down.
The oddsmakers may not have fully caught on how fast Dilfer has his offense going tempo-wise. The Blazers went 20 points above their Over/Under total in their 49-35 road loss to Georgia Southern last week.
Louisiana has a high-octane offense, too, averaging 34.5 points and 443.5 yards a game. The Ragin’ Cajuns would be averaging even more points if they weren’t just 3-for-7 in touchdowns inside the red zone.
There are red flags aimed at both teams’ defenses after last week. Louisiana surrendered 38 points to Old Dominion. UAB allowed 49 points and 27 first downs to Georgia Southern.
CFB Week 3 Betting Prediction Leans
Western Michigan @ Iowa
BET LEAN: Western Michigan +28.5 (-110)
It’s not very often you see nearly a 30-point favorite when the total is around 42. Western Michigan isn’t very good as a rebuilding, lower-tier Mid-American Conference team, but Iowa doesn’t pack enough punch to lay this many points.
The conservative Hawkeyes are averaging a meager 18.7 points in their last 11 games. Only once during this span did they exceed 24 points. It’s a sandwich spot, too, for Iowa. The Hawkeyes just beat in-state rival Iowa State and open Big Ten action next week against Penn State.
Minnesota @ North Carolina
BET LEAN: North Carolina -7 (-115)
Minnesota lacks the firepower to hang with the Tar Heels in North Carolina. The Gophers have been unimpressive in going 2-0, fortunate to edge Nebraska and unable to cover against Eastern Michigan. Now they go on the road for the first time to face the 20th-ranked Tar Heels.
The Gophers have never defeated a ranked opponent away from home during P.J. Fleck‘s six previous seasons as their head coach. The Gophers also haven’t, or won’t, face a quarterback as talented as Drake Maye.
Maye’s only a sophomore, but is widely considered a top NFL draft prospect after throwing for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns last season.
Kansas State @ Missouri
BET LEAN: Missouri + 5.5 (-110)
I’m swayed by Missouri’s experience, talented defensive line and their status as a home underdog with revenge. Kansas State whipped the Tigers, 40-12, at home last year.
That lopsided score, though, was misleading based on yardage and Missouri being -3 in turnover ratio.
The Tigers return the most starters of any team in the SEC. Missouri was flat against Middle Tennessee State last week, perhaps caught looking ahead to this matchup. But that has helped give line value to the home underdog.
Kansas State has yet to be tested having beaten weak opponents, Southeast Missouri State and Troy.
South Carolina @ Georgia
BET LEAN: South Carolina +27.5 (-110)
South Carolina was the last road team to beat Georgia in 2019. No, the Gamecocks aren’t going to repeat that feat, but they should hang within four touchdowns of the Bulldogs given their coaching, special teams and quarterback, Spencer Rattler.
South Carolina did upset Tennessee and Clemson last season, so the Gamecocks are more than capable of stepping up.
Georgia has played an extremely easy schedule sailing through UT Martin and Ball State. South Carolina is the Bulldogs’ first Power Five opponent.