Last week was another crazy week in college football with upsets and tight games all across the country. In terms of bets, we trod water, going 4-4 on the weekend to put us at a 9-7 mark out of the gate for the column. So far I’ll take that. Anytime you’re in the green you’re happy, and a week of treading water is better than a week of drowning in losses!
This week, we’ve got plenty of big games and opportunities to try and build on so without further ado let’s get into Week 3.
Georgia Southern (+24) @ Arkansas
If you’ve paid any attention to college football in your life you’ve probably heard the term “look ahead spot” or “letdown spot”. These terms ring out so much in college football because it’s a sport that relies heavily on momentum week to week. For the Arkansas Razorbacks, they are in a dangerous spot where they might fall under both terms listed above, better known as a sandwich spot.
The Razorbacks are coming off one of the biggest wins in recent history last week as they knocked off the Texas Longhorns in Fayetteville. Next week, they’ve got another huge contest with Texas A&M in Arlington. However, sandwiched between there is a lowly Georgia Southern team.
So far, Georgia Southern has not really impressed anyone as they barley beat Gardner Webb in week one, and put up just six points in a blowout loss to Florida Atlantic. It hasn’t been pretty, but part of that is because Georgia Southern has been without their starting QB in Justin Tomlin who was out the first two weeks for an academic issue. Now he’s back, and will bring some life to this triple-option attack.
This brings me to my final point, the triple option. Triple option teams are usually a profitable play as underdogs as they are very hard to prep for and the style of play is so much slower. To me, I think there are just a lot of factors in play to make this a tough spot for Arkansas to cover, so I’ll take the points.
Ohio State Team Total: Over 43.5 points vs. Tulsa
I’ve gone back and forth between laying the points with Ohio State (-24.5) and just taking the team total over. Right now, I am going to take the team total over but I could very well play both by the time Saturday gets here.
To me, Tulsa is walking into the lion’s den this week. There is no doubt the Buckeyes will be upset about last week and try to come out with their hair on fire against Tulsa. Offensively though things have not been a problem. I think you can chalk up this team scoring into the 40s almost every week.
In Ryan Day’s tenure at Ohio State, this offense has been incredible. They’ve managed to score at least 44 points in 13 of their 23 contests. In non-conference games, the Buckeyes are averaging 47 PPG under Day. I don’t see them taking the gas off the brakes, especially when this defense is still struggling.
The problems have show defensively though, which is why I am hesitant to play the spread until I know what shakes out with the Buckeye play-calling on that side of the ball. There have been talks of changes, and I expect them to improve against a team like Tulsa, but I still think the offense putting up big numbers is the more sure bet right now.
Auburn @ Penn State: Under 53
So far this season things have gone really well for Auburn, but they’ve played two incredibly poor teams in Akron and Alabama State. They outscored those opponents 122-10. Sure, the Auburn offense looks better, but it feels like a Paper Tiger. I think that will change this week when they head to Happy Valley to take on Penn State in a whiteout.
The reason I believe that is because Auburn quarterback Bo Nix is best defined as a Jekyll and Hyde player. In his home contests, Nix has completed 64% of his passes and thrown just one interception. However, in away games, he’s completed just 54% of his passes and thrown ten interceptions. It’s night and day.
One would think that would push you to lay the points with Penn State, but I am not completely sold on this Penn State offense either, especially against a strong Auburn defense. I think the Tigers have really strong players up front, and the secondary is loaded with talent to take away the explosive plays Penn State is looking to make.
Also, you really want to put money on Sean Clifford? I just still can’t get there. To me, I think we are in for an ugly game with two teams leaning on running the ball and playing defense. Remember that Wisconsin/Penn State contest a couple of weeks ago? We could get that ugly again here.
Purdue (+7.5) @ Notre Dame: I think this Notre Dame team is surviving on name alone. The numbers so far have been glaring. I make this closer to a pick-em, so seven points feel like a lot of value here.
Tulane @ Ole Miss Under 76.5: Ole Miss has a bye week then ‘Bama on deck, and I don’t know if Tulane scores enough to keep this pace up.
Oklahoma State (+4) @ Boise State: Seems like everyone LOVES Boise State here and has written off Oklahoma State completely. It’s gross with the way the Pokes have played, but I’ll take the contrarian pick here.
Kent State (+23) @ Iowa: Almost all of Iowa’s points have come off a turnover. That regression is coming eventually. I think Kent State can hang within this number.
Nevada (-1) @ Kansas State: No Skyler Thompson for KSU is a brutal blow. I’ll ride with the Wolfpack again with the short number.