Week 2 was absolutely insane with college football upsets. Six teams won outright as double-digit underdogs.
This week, we should see fewer upsets, and that is reflected in my best Week 3 CFB bets. There are several intriguing non-conference matchups between Power 5 and Group of Five teams.
Below, read up on my best college football bets.
All college football odds are current as of 10 a.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 12 at the NCAAF sportsbooks listed.
Kevin Davis’ Record (Tracked by BetStamp App): 16-17-1, +7.4% Return on Investment, +3.5% Closing Line Value
Western Kentucky vs Indiana Best Bets
Western Kentucky +6.5 (-105) at Betway Sportsbook
Western Kentucky +220 Moneyline at Betway Sportsbook
WAGER: .75 units Each
Starting off our Saturday NCAAF slate is an aggressive Western Kentucky Hilltoppers team visiting a conservative Indiana squad.
WKU loves to throw the ball. Last year, their quarterback, Bailey Zappe, threw for an FBS-record 62 touchdowns and 5,967 yards. This season, new quarterback, Austin Reed, is starting to hit his stride.
Two weeks ago, against Hawaii, Western Kentucky won 49-17 in a game that was never in doubt. After having last week off, WKU should benefit from rest.
Indiana last season went 2-10 with their only two wins coming against non-conference teams, including a two-point win against the Hilltoppers. This season, the Hoosiers don’t appear that much better, and I like Western Kentucky to come through with the upset or at least keep it close.
I would bet WKU’s spread up to +4.5 and their Moneyline up to +160 this weekend.
Cincinnati vs Miami Ohio Best Bet
Under 50.5 Points (-110) at BetRivers Sportsbook
WAGER: 1.5 units
Last year, Cincinnati had a suffocating defense that allowed only 17.6 points per game. This season, it looks like we should expect more of the same from the Bearcats.
Cincy played a tough game against a physical Arkansas team, and against a MAC team in Miami of Ohio, they should do well.
Cincinnati is favored by 20.5 points against Miami University, which seems steep for a conservative offense like theirs. Even though the spread is high for Cincy, there is still a great way to bet on them, and that’s by taking the Under.
Not only does Cincinnati have a strong defense, but Miami of Ohio’s quarterback Brett Gabbert is hurt. Taking Gabbert’s place is Aveon Smith, who had an underwhelming performance against Robert Morris last week.
I am not sure if Cincinnati’s offense will play aggressively enough to cover the spread, but I am confident that Miami will be lucky to score more than 10 points this weekend.
I like the Under of 50.5 points, and I would bet it up to 47.5.
South Alabama vs UCLA Best Bet
UCLA -13.5 (-110) at Betway Sportsbook
WAGER: 1.5 units
In Los Angeles, there are plenty of celebrities who ride Jaguars. On Saturday, the UCLA Bruins should ride the South Alabama Jaguars and cover as nearly two-touchdown favorites.
UCLA loves paying non-conference opponents’ money to come to the Rose Bowl for lopsided matchups. Last week, they paid Alabama State $590,000 and won, 45-7. The week before, the Bruins hosted Bowling Green and paid them $1.15 million to win, 45-17.
I am unsure what UCLA is paying South Alabama this weekend, but they are paying for a lopsided matchup, and they should deliver a blowout victory.
The Bruins’ offense is led by senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who left last week’s game with an injury. In his place, sophomore Ethan Garbers put on a strong performance, and he should be fine against South Alabama if he plays in Thompson-Robinson’s place.
At -13.5, UCLA is a good bet, and I would bet them up to -16.5.
Louisiana vs Rice Best Bet
Louisiana -11.5 (-110) at BetRivers Sportsbook
WAGER: 1.5 units
Rice has played two lopsided games to start the season. In Week 1, they played USC and lost, 66-14. Last week, they played McNeese State and won, 52-10.
This week, Louisiana, who is a borderline top 25 team, is visiting Rice, and they should win by much more than their -11.5 point spread suggests.
Last week against Eastern Michigan, a tougher team than Rice, the Ragin’ Cajuns won, 49-21, after being down 14-0 at halftime. With a two-quarterback system, it is hard to know what to expect from either Ben Wooldridge or Chandler Fields.
Regardless, after seeing what Louisiana is capable of and what USC did to Rice, Louisiana should win by 20-plus points.
I like Louisiana at -11.5 and I would bet them up to -14.
Pitt vs Western Michigan Best Bet
Pitt -11.5 (-108) at BetRivers Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
In Pitt’s first two games this season, the score was decided by only a touchdown each game. In the season opener against West Virginia, Pittsburgh won, 38-31. Last week against Tennessee, they lost in overtime, 34-27.
This week at Western Michigan, it shouldn’t even be close. Derek Jeter might be from Kalamazoo, but even he couldn’t bring a MAC school to victory against an AP Top 25 ACC school.
WMU lost 35-13 against Michigan State to start the season, and only beat lowly Ball State by seven points last weekend. Based on that, why is Pitt not a larger favorite?
The big variable for the Panthers is over what is going on at the quarterback position. Starting quarterback Kedon Slovis suffered a concussion last week and missed the rest of the game. If Slovis plays, I like Pitt this weekend up to -13.5.
SMU vs Maryland Best Bet
Maryland -3.5 (-105) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 1.5 units
In possibly the highest-scoring game this weekend, Maryland hosts SMU. The Terps average 43.5 points per game and the Mustangs average 48. Both teams appear evenly matched, but Maryland should win by about a touchdown.
In their last non-conference game before a tough Big Ten slate, the Terrapins likely need a win if they want to qualify for a bowl game. Luckily, they have a dynamic quarterback in Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Tua. Complementing Tagovailoa is an aggressive rushing attack.
SMU isn’t chopped liver either, but I believe that they are outclassed in this matchup. It is rare to get a .500-level team as a narrow favorite at home against a Group of Five team, but in these instances, you should consider backing the favorite.
I like Maryland this week, and I would bet them up to -6.5.
How To Bet College Football Week 3
Look for underpriced Power 5 favorites against Group of 5 schools
Several competitive Group of Five schools are playing Power 5 programs this weekend, mostly on the road. In these games, look for which Power 5 schools will look to pile points onto the scoreboard as a way of getting a warmup for tougher conference opponents.
Look for overreactions based on small sample sizes
Before the season starts, some sportsbooks have Game of the Year (GOY) lines where bettors can bet games weeks or months in advance. For these games, look to see if the spread on the week of the game is much different than the pre-season spread and figure out why.
Sometimes, the betting markets overreact to the handful of games that have been played, and this is a great opportunity to bet on a team that the market isn’t as keen on this week.
Read more about how to bet on college football.