CFB best bets for Week 3
A 2-5 record last week pushed us to 7-7, so we'll try to get back to profitability this week with our seven underdogs worth a look on Saturday.
I watched much of Miami's home win over Appalachian State, in which the expectation was D'Eriq King and Co. would overwhelm the Sun Belt squad. In reality, the Hurricanes were lucky to escape the contest unscathed. This week, Michigan State comes to town with a win already under its belt at Northwestern, where it ran all over the Wildcats. Look for the Spartans to do the same against the Hurricanes, who gave up 146 rush yards on 33 carries to the Mountaineers.
Pick: Michigan State +6
Since a Week 0 fiasco at Illinois, Nebraska has done what we've asked of it in games that largely flew under the radar. There's reason to believe the things that made the Huskers big favorites to start the season still exist.
Oklahoma took out some frustration on poor Western Carolina after a dicey win over Tulane, but I'm not buying the Sooners' defense just yet. I expect Oklahoma to struggle to run the football more than anticipated, putting pressure on Spencer Rattler to score points in waves. Though the Sooners will likely win easily, Adrian Martinez will do enough to keep this under the number.
Pick: Nebraska +22
We feared the worst two weeks ago when we said we'd bet on Kansas State as long as Skylar Thompson remained healthy. A week later, he's out with an injury. Now, Will Howard steps back in, and following last week's lackluster performance against Southern Illinois, the Wildcats have to be downgraded - but not this much.
Nevada comes to town with pro-prospect quarterback Carson Strong, but it's an overreaction to make it even the smallest of a road favorite. The Wildcats can still dominate the line of scrimmage on each side of the ball and get enough out of the run game to create some easy throws for Howard.
Pick: Kansas State +2
The one segment we succeeded with last week was MAC teams against Big Ten teams coming off a big win, so we're going back to that with Kent State in Week 3. Expect it to hang around with Iowa following the latter's massive road win in the CyHawk. That makes two big wins to start the season for Iowa, which returns to a celebratory atmosphere at home. We won't blame the Hawkeyes for sleepwalking to a mere two-score victory over Kent State.
Pick: Kent State +23
As the legend Biggie Smalls said, "Same number, same hood, it's all good."
Arkansas is another heavy favorite coming off a monster win, and this has letdown written all over it after it stunned Texas last week. The Razorbacks had their most impactful moment since the days of Darren McFadden in a prime-time win, handing the Longhorns their unofficial pre-welcome to the SEC. Georgia Southern is a fade for me this season, but I'll make an exception here, as the Eagles should kill a ton of clock and slow this game down, getting a couple of key fourth-down conversions via their option attack.
Pick: Georgia Southern +23.5
Of the five big games on our board last week, the one we got wrong was N.C. State losing to Mississippi State. However, I wasn't impressed with the Bulldogs. They got up instantly with a kick-return touchdown, and the Wolfpack blew numerous opportunities to get an early lead, which may have changed the game script entirely. Now, Mississippi State goes on the road for the first time this season to take on an under-the-radar Memphis team. I'll take the perennial troublemakers from the American to bite the Bulldogs in a cowbell-free environment.
Pick: Memphis +3
The truth is that Washington stinks. Arkansas State is going to score, whether it's early or late - with the latter coming last week against Memphis. So, to lay more than two touchdowns with the Huskies after what we've seen from their offense in losses to Montana and Michigan is beyond my comprehension. It's also worth a shot on the moneyline to fade the Huskies until we see some indication that it's a -EV play.
Pick: Arkansas State +16
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on twitter @mrussauthentic.