NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 3 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
We are at the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season on the East Coast. Last year right around this time, Hurricane Irma blasted Florida and caused havoc with the college football (and one NFL game) schedule.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence is doing the same in the Carolinas as that region is going to be dealing with Noah's Ark-type rainfall and storm surge. The biggest games care anceled/postponed -- schools will try to make these up for financial reasons and to improve their bowl chances, but sometimes it's just not possible if there are no shared weeks off left; in some cases, the schools might find another opponent to play later in the season -- were East Carolina at No. 13 Virginia Tech, No. 14 West Virginia at NC State, No. 18 Central Florida (on a national-best 15-game winning streak and needing all the wins over Power 5 schools it can get) at North Carolina, and Marshall at South Carolina. It's the third straight season a hurricane has affected a UCF game.
In addition, the Ohio at Virginia game was moved to a neutral site in Nashville, Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson was moved from 3:30 p.m. ET to noon, and Middle Tennessee-Georgia was moved from 7:15 to noon. UTEP at Tennessee is still on, and UT is offering free tickets to displaced residents of North Carolina and South Carolina. By the time you read this, there could be other time changes/cancellations/postponements depending on what Florence does.
Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
No. 5 Oklahoma at Iowa State (+17.5, 55): No weather worries here. The biggest story in college football this week, other than the storm, was Oklahoma ruling out star tailback and fringe Heisman candidate Rodney Anderson for the season due to a knee injury. It's the junior's third season-ending injury already in his young career, breaking his leg early in the 2015 campaign and then fracturing a vertebra in his neck before the 2016 season. Dude, pick a new profession! Anderson really took off in the second half of last year, culminating with 201 yards and two scores in the CFP semifinal loss to Georgia. He had carried 11 times for 119 yards and three scores this year. Sophomore Trey Sermon should take over as the featured back. As a true freshman, Sermon ran for 744 yards and five touchdowns last year and has rushed for 82 yards and a score in 2018. Will ISU have QB Kyle Kempt? He's dealing with a knee injury suffered in last week's loss at Iowa but has avoided anything serious. The awesomely-named Zeb Noland (Pulp Fiction!?) is his backup, but I'd guess Kempt plays. You may remember that ISU was +31 last year in Norman when it stunned the Sooners 38-31.
No. 17 Boise State at No. 24 Oklahoma State (-2.5, 64.5): This has fallen under the magic number of 3 where it opened. The Broncos likely will be favored in the rest of their regular-season games, so if they win here they could be ticketed for a New Year's Six bowl game … and, you never know, could crash the College Football Playoff. Only way that happens is if Boise runs the table. The Broncos are likely to get two starters back from injury for their trip to Stillwater. They would be receiver Octavius Evans and defensive tackle David Moa, who both missed Boise's opening blowout wins over Troy and UConn. Moa was named first-team All-Mountain West in 2016, then second team last year. Evans caught 15 passes for 131 yards and two scores as a freshman in 2017.
UC Davis at No. 9 Stanford (-29.5, 67): I don't pretend to know a ton about UC Davis other than the FCS Aggies are from the Big Sky, are 2-0 and ranked No. 23. They opened the season with the program's third win against a FBS program - winning at terrible San Jose State - and then last week beat San Diego, a 2017 FCS postseason foe. This will be UC Davis' first game against a ranked FBS opponent since Oct. 3, 2009, when the Aggies faced No. 5 Boise State. In addition, the school's first win against an FBS opponent was in 2005 against Stanford, which was the Cardinal's first-ever loss to a non-FBS school. I already though this was a trap game for Stanford off last week's impressive win over USC and with a trip to ranked Oregon up next. Now, I think so even more because Heisman candidate RB Bryce Love will sit with an undisclosed injury. Clearly, he's being held out to be ready for the Ducks, but you can largely forget about Love winning the Heisman as he struggled Week 1 and now loses a game.
Duke at Baylor (-6, 49): This had the biggest spread move on the board with it opening as a pick'em. And I'm pretty sure why. Duke won at Northwestern last week but lost excellent quarterback Daniel Jones to a fractured clavicle that obviously will sideline him for a while - although the team believes he will return at some point. Jones had led the ACC in passing through two games. Junior Quentin Harris, he of two career pass attempts, gets the start. In addition, top cornerback Mark Gilbert, who led the ACC in picks last year with six, is done for the year with a hip injury. I love Baylor under a TD.
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