NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks Week 3
Unlike college football Week 1, there were no earth-shattering upsets in Week 2. Texas gave notice to what the SEC can expect next year, and two lower-ranked teams were bumped out of this week's Top 25. Our selections went 1-1, as Kansas State stayed focused against Troy and covered the 16.5 points. We rebounded, though, with Appalachian State almost winning at North Carolina as a 19-point dog.
This is the final week before conference play begins in earnest. There are a few early-season rivalries, as well as interesting inter-conference matchups.
The typical "square" bettor, when he's not very familiar with both teams, usually bets the favorite and the over. What we try to do each week is identify some of the Top 25 favorites that might have their spreads a little inflated because of their popularity. Colorado is now the new "It" team, and sportsbooks are taking quite a bit of action on their side in games. Paying attention to this information could prove beneficial in the weeks to come.
As expected, the overwhelming majority of the Top 25 took care of their business. They were 19-2 SU and 12-7-2 ATS (two Top 25 battles made up the rest of this group). For the season, the Top 25 teams are 38-5 SU with the favorites going 25-16-2 ATS. That's a winning percentage of 61%.
Without further ado, let's take a look at Week 3.
Doc’s Sports offers college football expert picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
#14 LSU @ Mississippi State (+9.5/54.5) Sat. Noon
The Tigers kick off their conference schedule with a visit to Starkville over the normally docile Bulldogs of Mississippi State. However, this edition of the Bulldogs has proven to be quite capable on the offensive side of the ball. Their starting QB, junior Will Rogers, has completed 71.7% of his passes with no interceptions. While LSU has owned Mississippi State straight up, over the last 9 games they're only 5-4 ATS. The last time the Tigers were here as a favorite in the range of 7-10 points, they lost outright 37-7 in 2017. I think, because of their recent success over Mississippi State, LSU may slightly overlook the Bulldogs. I would be surprised if Mississippi State won, but I think they can keep it with the 9.5 points. Pick: Mississippi State +9.5
#3 Florida State @ Boston College (+26/48) Sat. Noon
The Seminoles are one of those public teams that, when they are good, bettors flock to lay money on their side. Subsequently, prices get inflated because sportsbooks know that these squares are willing to pay the tax. The way you win as almost a 4-touchdown dog is to have a balanced offensive attack and take care of the football. BC is averaging 361.5 ypg, with 184.5 yards through the air. This could easily be a trap game for the 'Noles, as they travel to Clemson next week in what many thought was going to be a preview of the conference championship. FSU may get up big early, but plucky Boston College should be able to get a back door cover. Pick: Boston College +26
#10 Alabama @ South Florida (+33/61) Sat. 3:30 p.m.
Just writing that ranking for the Crimson Tide is strange. Year’s past, a Nick Saban team would be able to shrug off the occasional loss and get back on track. But QB Jalen Milroe hasn't developed as much as the Crimson Tide's staff would have liked. Through two games, the Tide don't have a running back with more than 100 yards. Texas exposed a secondary that can be thrown against with success. South Florida comes into the contest averaging 441 yards per game, gaining 200 of that average through the air. Until this Bama team gets some of its issues sorted out, asking them to lay almost 5 touchdowns on the road is a tough request. Pick: South Florida +33
Western Michigan @ #25 Iowa (-28.5/42) Sat. 3:30 p.m.
This is a perfect look-ahead game sandwiched in between two important games for the Hawkeyes. Last week, they took on their bitter in-state rivals and won in a hard-fought battle. Next week, they travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State. In between is lowly Western Michigan, which just got annihilated by Syracuse, as a 28.5-point dog. The problem is in the last 25 games Iowa has played, they've gone over 28 points one time (they also scored 28 once, but that wouldn't be enough to win this bet). The Broncos will struggle, but all we need for them is to get a touchdown, maybe even just a field goal. QB Cade McNamara is a definite upgrade from signal callers from the past. However, with a big game on deck, it's quite possible if they get a 21-point lead they yank their starters to save them for next week's "White Out" at Penn State. Pick: Western Michigan +28.5
Minnesota @ #20 North Carolina (-7.5/51) Sat. 3:30 p.m.
If the Tar Heels end this month undefeated, they will earn our respect. Last week they played a double overtime nail-biter against Appalachian State. Now they get to welcome one of the stingiest pass defenses in the country, the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Besides the fact that they play lockdown defense, Minnesota can run the ball effectively, which limits the amount of chances an opposing offense has. The Gophers also have a real knack for creating turnovers, nabbing 4 interceptions, and recovering one fumble, in two games. How do you go into a hostile, pass-happy environment and come out a winner? Run the rock, shut down the opponent, and create turnovers. Pick: Minnesota +7.5
Most Recent College Football Handicapping
- NCAA Football Predictions: Week 5 Opening Line Report and Picks
- Weekly Public Action Football Betting Report with Predictions (Fourth Edition)
- College Football Free Picks: Weekly Mid-Major Report and Predictions for James Madison Week 4
- College Football Free Picks: Weekly Mid-Major Report and Predictions for Coastal Carolina (Chanticleers vs. Georgia State)
- NCAA Football Predictions: Week 4 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks Week 3
- College Football Free Picks: Weekly Mid-Major Report and Predictions for Coastal Carolina (Chanticleers vs. Duquesne)
- College Football Totals Picks Week 3: Over or Under Predictions for Saturday
- Weekly Public Action Football Betting Report with Predictions
- College Football Free Picks: Weekly Mid-Major Report and Predictions for James Madison Week 3