Best NCAA Football Games to Bet in Week 3
The first few weeks of college football have provided plenty of memorable finishes already. However, NCAA football season can swing quickly from week to week, depending on what teams were able to grab victories. As the season moves forward, teams will start to state their cases for the postseason. Here’s a look at the games worth betting in Week 3.
Vanderbilt (+107) vs. Northern Illinois
The Commodores started to build their confidence by opening the season with a road win over Hawaii and a home win over Elon. Vanderbilt was brought back down to Earth when it got drilled by 20 points by No. 19 Wake Forest. Now the Commodores will have to rebound quickly if they are going to build confidence before SEC play starts.
Vanderbilt is a small road underdog to MAC school Northern Illinois. The Huskies are off to a 1-1 start thus far this season, dropping a close game to Tulsa and beating FCS Eastern Illinois by a touchdown. Northern Illinois returns quarterback Rocky Lombardi, who has passed for 451 yards and thrown four touchdown passes to one interception so far this season.
Vanderbilt quarterback Michael Wright has played this season, passing for 426 yards and six touchdowns. He is also a dual-threat option and has also rushed for 264 yards and scored four touchdowns in the rush game. While Vanderbilt isn’t likely to challenge in the SEC East, this is a good spot to buy low on the Commodores.
Florida State (-2.5) vs. Louisville
The Seminoles showed by beating LSU in Week 1 that Florida State has a lot of guts. The Seminoles were able to survive a late surge by the Tigers to score a victory deep in SEC territory. What Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis has shown during his first two starts is a lot of poise in the pocket.
The Seminoles quarterback has passed for 467 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games. Louisville bounced back from a beatdown in Week 1 at the hands of Syracuse by beating UCF as underdogs last week. The most important thing the Cardinals saw was a bounce-back performance from quarterback Malik Cunningham.
After struggling against the Orange, Cunningham ran for 121 yards and a score against the Knights and also passed for 195 yards. While Louisville will have a home-field advantage in this matchup, Florida State appears to be on the upward swing. This is a chance for the Seminoles to show they can be a threat in the Coastal Division.
BYU (+4) vs. Oregon
The Cougars scored a monumental win over Baylor on the road last week. What made BYU so tough was its defensive effort against the Bears.
The Cougars limited Baylor, a strong offensive team that is among the favorites to win the Big 12, to 3.6 yards per play. What also helped the Cougars was an inspired effort from quarterback Jaren Hall. Hall passed for 261 yards and a score in addition to catching a 22-yard touchdown pass. Oregon has been a bit of a mess so far this season.
The Ducks got drilled by Georgia to open the season before bouncing back with a big win over FCS Eastern Washington. Oregon is starting Auburn transfer Bo Nix at quarterback.
Nix was highly-touted enough of a recruit to start as a freshman for the Tigers, but his development has largely stalled. This is a spot to grab the Cougars and the points, who are eager to show why they are bumping up to a Power Five conference next season. Oregon is still searching for an identity and won’t be ready for what the Cougars have to offer upfront.
Penn State (-3) vs. Auburn
The Nittany Lions will head to SEC territory as favors after showing some spunk during the first few weeks of the season. Penn State rallied for a come-from-behind victory over Purdue in its season-opener before crushing Ohio University last week. The Nittany Lions are led by sixth-year quarterback Sean Clifford, who has been solid for Penn State.
Auburn has put together two uninspiring performances against San Jose State and Mercer. Tigers coach Bryan Harsin was lucky to be retained after last season and will need to score some notable wins this season to regain the fanbase’s confidence. LSU transfer quarterback TJ Finley struggled to find a groove in what turned out to be an eight-point win for the Tigers over San Jose State.
Penn State’s aggressive secondary will challenge Finley. Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. has been talked about for his NFL draft potential. Penn State also has several other strong defensive players that should make it tough for Auburn to move the ball.
The Nittany Lions will move to 3-0 on the season and cover the 3-point spread.
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Derek is a long time sports bettor who grew up in Providence, RI. Derek is data driven and believes the key to betting the sportsbooks is finding an edge in analytics. Derek is happily married and has two young boys. Derek will bet on anything if you let him.