NCAA Football Picks and American Athletic Conference Week 3 Betting Report
by Dave Schwab - 9/10/2014
The results of Week 2 in the AAC are in the books, and I was able to even my mark on the year to 1-1 with the correct call on the "under" 50.5 in SMU's 46-3 loss to North Texas as a 2.5-point road underdog on a 3-Unit play ( using Doc's Sports Unit Betting System). The Mustangs fell to 0-2 on the year both straight up and against the spread.
The following is a brief betting report for all the games this week in the AAC as well as my top play for Week 3 of the season. All the lines quoted have been provided by BetOnline.
Houston Cougars vs. BYU Cougars (-18.5)
Total Line: 57.5
Houston comes into Thursday night's prime-time clash with a 1-1 record straight up, but it is 0-2 against the spread with the total staying under in both games. This includes a loss to Texas-San Antonio 27-7 on opening day as 8.5-point home favorites. BYU, on the other hand, is off to a perfect 2-0 start both SU and ATS after hammering Texas 41-7 on the road as a one-point underdog this past Saturday.
Friday, Sept. 12
Toledo Rockets vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (-11)
Total Line: 59.5
The Rockets play out of the MAC's West Division, and so far this season they have split their first two games both SU and ATS, with the total going over in both. Last week they fell to Missouri 49-24 as 3.5-point underdogs at home. The Bearcats will be making their season debut after taking the first two weeks off. It is hard to know what to expect from Cincinnati this season after closing out 2013 with back-to-back losses to Louisville and North Carolina after reeling off SU wins in its previous six games.
Saturday, Sept. 13
Boise State Broncos (-16) vs. Connecticut Huskies
Total Line: 49
The Broncos are off to a 1-1 start both SU and ATS, and they are coming off a 37-24 victory over Colorado State as eight-point home favorites in the Mountain West opener for both teams. They have averaged 308 passing yards and 230 rushing yards in their first two games. The Huskies fell to BYU 35-10 as 15-point home underdogs in their opener, and they failed to cover as 16.5-point favorites at home in a tight 19-16 win over Division IAA Stoney Brook last week.
East Carolina Pirates vs. Virginia Tech (-11)
Total Line: 53.5
This could be the top matchup involving a team from the AAC this week with the Pirates taking on the hottest team in the ACC. They come into this showdown fresh off a tough 33-23 loss to No. 24 South Carolina, but the Pirates did cover as 14.5-point underdogs on the road. Unranked Virginia Tech jumped all the way to No. 17 in the latest AP Top 25 with last Saturday's stunning 35-21 romp over then-No. 8 Ohio State as 10-point road underdogs.
Central Florida Knights vs. Missouri Tigers (-10)
Total Line: 54.5
UCF came into the new season as the class in the AAC, and in its only outing so far it fell to Penn State 26-24 as a two-point favorite in a game that was played in Dublin, Ireland. Justin Holman threw for 204 yards and a score in his first start replacing the departed Blake Bortles. The Tigers knocked off South Dakota State 38-18 as 26-point home favorites before last week's win over Toledo. The total went over in both contests and it has now gone over in their last four games.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (pick'em)
Total Line: 57
Tulsa is already 1-0 in the AAC after beating Tulane 38-31 on opening day as a 4.5-point home favorite. Last week it got crunched by No. 4 Oklahoma 52-7 as a 24-point underdog at home. The total went OVER in both games. Florida Atlantic also stepped way up in class last week with a road game against No. 3 Alabama. The Owls lost 41-0, but they covered the spread as 42-point underdogs.
Southeastern Louisiana Lions vs. Tulane Green Wave (OFF)
Total Line: OFF
The D-IAA Lions, out of the Southland Conference, come into this matchup a perfect 2-0 SU with lopsided victories over Jacksonville and Southern Utah by a combined score of 85-17. Tulane followed up its loss to Tulsa with a 38-21 loss to Georgia Tech. The Green Wave failed to cover as 7.5-point home underdogs against the Yellow Jackets to fall to 0-2 ATS. The total has gone over in both of their games.
AAC Pick of the Week
North Carolina State Wolfpack (-2) vs. South Florida Bulls
Total Line: 51.5
The Wolfpack come into the second ACC vs. AAC matchup on this week's slate with back-to-back SU victories over D-IAA Georgia Southern and Conference USA's Old Dominion, respectively, but they could not cover as double-digit home favorites in either game. The have shown good balance on offense with an average of 272 passing yards and 207.5 rushing yards, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett has completed 71 percent of his 69 attempts so far.
South Florida is 1-1 on the year both SU and ATS after losing to Maryland 24-17 last week, but it did cover as a 10.5-point home underdog against the Terrapins. The Bulls will not have the luxury of such a cushy pointspread this week against a similar foe. They are just 6-12-1 ATS in their last 19 games and 3-16-1 ATS in their last 20 games at home. These are the kind of games that mid-level teams from a major conference need to win to make it to a bowl game, so bank on NC State covering the two points on the road.
3-Unit Play Take NC State (-2) over South Florida (Saturday, Sept. 14, 3:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network)
YTD: 1-1 (-$30)
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