NCAA Football Predictions: Week 3 Opening Line Report and Picks
Depending on which school you go to, which school you went to, or which school you actively cheer for, you’ll have a major bias towards your team and in particular when it comes to your team and their chances at getting into the College Football Playoffs. If you, like myself, are from Canada and don’t really have a “favorite team” or alma mater to cheer for, you should feel happy that Week 2 was a big win for the “we want different teams in the College Football Playoff” cheering section. Ohio State lost, Oregon is now in the top four, Georgia is in the mix at No. 2, Iowa is at No. 5, and even Cincinnati and Texas A&M are ranked in the top eight. I know it’s early, but having these teams ranked so highly is a fresh of breath air, and I’m hopeful that one or two of these teams can crack the code and beat the final boss – the CFP committee.
As far as last week’s results go, it was a rough week for yours truly, dropping all four of the picks selected on this piece. That brings our season record to just 3-5 after two weeks of the college football season. Let’s have a bounce-back week, shall we?
Doc’s Sports offers college football picks for every game on our college football predictions page.s
Tulsa Golden Hurricanes at Ohio State Buckeyes -26.5, 61.5
For those of you who openly and whole-heartedly root against the Buckeyes in every game they play in, congratulations, you’ve got a win to brag about. However, it doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the Buckeyes. They lost to a very good Oregon team, and we expect them to bounce back in a big way at home against a Tulsa team that is 0-2 and hung tough on the road last week against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Now Tulsa has to travel to The Shoe to take on a pissed-off Buckeyes team, and we’ve seen the line drop from the opening of 31 to 26.5. The total has also dropped three points from 64.5 to 61.5. Normally I would be hesitant to lay this big number with a team coming off a loss, but the Buckeyes know they now need a massive win to get back in the good books and try and climb back into the CFP picture. Not saying beating Tulsa will get them there, but a big win here should help the confidence and kickstart the campaign again.
Pick: Ohio State -26.5
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Colorado Buffaloes -2, 50
This line jumped out at me when I was scanning the board looking for games to use in this piece. The opening line was Gophers -3, but the number has quickly jumped the fence and now the Buffaloes are laying two points on their home field. Perhaps last week’s results had something to do with that? But even so, no team is as good or as bad as their previous week. The Golden Gophers were given all they could handle by Miami-Ohio of the MAC. They escaped with a five-point win as 19-point favorites. Did we really expect them to be up for a MAC team when they gave it their all against Ohio State the week prior? No, so I can excuse that sleep-walking effort. As for Colorado, they hung tough with No. 5 Texas A&M and lost the game by a score of 10-7. So, what do we have here? A classic overreaction. Minnesota is the better team and should be able to use their offense to get a big win on the road.
Pick: Minnesota +2
Georgia Southern at Arkansas Razorbacks -23, 52.5
I wrote about Georgia Southern in my weekly Florida Atlantic piece and I took them for a 2-Unit Play as they were getting seven points. They were blown out of the water, 38-6, and were never really in the game. Now they have to travel to Arkansas to take on a Razorback team that could be facing a letdown after upsetting Texas. Arkansas looked really good in that game, but to be honest, Texas was awful. Now Arkansas has to turn around and face a team from a weaker and irrelevant conference and have to lay over three touchdowns? That’s a big ask for a team that had major question marks surrounding both sides of the ball heading into the season. I’m not opposed to taking the points again with Georgia Southern here as they could use the triple-option to bleed the clock, but I think the better play here is the under 52.5.
Pick: Under 52.5
San Jose State Spartans at Hawaii Warriors +7, 59.5
And lastly, we have the Spartans traveling to the Island to take on the Warriors of Hawaii. This line opened up with the Spartans laying three points and the total set at 64.5. Bettors have quickly bet the Spartans up to -7 and have hit the under hard, bringing it down five points to 59.5. The Spartans are coming off a bye week and will have had plenty of time to prep for the Hawaii offense. They should also be eager to put up points as they were held to just seven vs USC after putting up 45 in their season-opening win. Hawaii comes into this game off a loss to Oregon State, and the defense looked brutal. They gave up 558 total yards to Oregon State, who is a weaker offensive team than the Spartans. I expect the Spartans to dominate this game from start to finish and come away with a big win.
Pick: San Jose -7
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