College Football Top-25 Picks, Odds and Tips for Week 3
Welcome to the weekend of the road warriors, when nine members of the AP Top 25 (including six of the top 10) venture away from home. On paper, those teams don’t appear to face the stiffest of challenges, but a supportive home crowd often emboldens an underdog to stick around – for a little while, at least.
There are no matchups pitting ranked teams, with many squads just beginning to dip a toe into the rigors of conference play. Here are our picks for the games involving Top 25 teams, as well as our five best bets fans of college football betting should consider on Week 3.
5 Best College Football Bets This Week
|19. Iowa @ |
|IOWA (-2) |
|9. Florida @ |
|24. USC @|
|21. Maryland @|
|Hawaii at |
|HAW (+21) |
All odds current as of publication but subject to change.
PICK 1: No. 19 Iowa (-2) at Iowa State
Iowa State was one of the more consistent covers in the country last season, and Brock Purdy is a dual-threat quarterback who can roll up yardage. But the loss of tailback David Montgomery to the NFL has proven tough to overcome, and we saw a limited Cyclones attack in their near-disaster overtime win over Northern Iowa two weeks ago.
Iowa has shown few weaknesses in clobbering two bad teams and has most of its key players back from last season’s nine-win squad. If Hawkeyes quarterback Nate Stanley can shake his habitual troubles on the road – he’s a senior, so it’s now or never – Iowa can cover the modest spread in Ames.
PICK 2 No. 9 Florida (-8.5) at Kentucky
What to make of either one of these teams? Florida hardly looked mistake-prone in escaping Miami, and Kentucky is a shell of the unit that won 10 games last season. The Wildcats haven’t exactly been convincing in a pair of lackluster victories over lower-tier opponents, and now turn to Troy transfer Sawyer Smith at quarterback after the season-ending knee injury to starter Terry Wilson.
The difference in Lexington should be a Florida defense that’s racked up 15 sacks in two games and has better athletes than anything Smith saw in the Dollar General Bowl a year ago.
PICK 3: No. 24 USC (-4.5) at BYU
Clay Helton is 2-0! That means all of the pressure is off the USC coach, right? Maybe not, given that a new school president just axed AD Lynn Swann and seems intent on bringing in all her own people. Last week’s big win over injury-riddled Stanford has the Trojans back in the rankings, but are they for real?
Freshman QB Kedon Slovis won’t be an unknown to BYU, which showed plenty of tenacity in its comeback victory at Tennessee. But for all the heroics in Knoxville, it’s hard to forget how the Cougars were manhandled by Utah a week earlier at home. USC has issues, but its skill position players remain dangerous, and BYU will have its hands full in coverage.
PICK 4: No. 21 Maryland (-7) at Temple
Wait, is Maryland for real after putting up 142 points over its first two games? New coach Mike Locksley has brought a version of Alabama’s offense to College Park, and Virginia Tech transfer quarterback Josh Jackson is running it like a Mini-Tua. To watch the Terps hang 63 on Syracuse was eye-popping.
Temple returns most of what was an underrated defense last year and will present a front seven better than anything Maryland has faced this season. The worry is in the Owls secondary, which is effectively being rebuilt. Maryland shouldn’t score 63 again this week, but that humming offense should still cover the touchdown spread in Philly.
PICK 5: Hawaii (+21) at No. 23 Washington
The Warriors own pair of victories over Pac-12 opponents, although both of those games were at home. Given the tremendous distance involved anytime Hawaii plays on the road, it might be asking too much for the Warriors to actually win in Seattle.
But Washington’s loss last weekend to Cal was an eye-opener for several reasons, and not just because it ended at 4:30 a.m. ET. The Huskies’ offense under transfer quarterback Jacob Eason was stymied, prompting questions of how effective this unit can be on a week-to-week basis.
Hawaii is hardly a defensive juggernaut, but the Warriors can score points, and 21 is a lot for Washington to give up against a capable foe.
Top-25 College Football Games & Picks
|1. Clemson @|
|CLEM (-27.5)||N/A||Over (60.5)|
|2. Alabama @|
|ALA (-26)||ALA (-5000)||Under (60)|
|3. Georgia vs |
|GA (-33.5)||N/A||Over (57.5)|
|4. LSU vs |
|5. Oklahoma @ |
|OK (-23.5)||OK (-1849)||Over (60.5)|
|6. Ohio State @|
|OSU (-15)||OSU (-625)||Over (60.5)|
|7. Notre Dame vs.|
|ND (-34.5)||N/A||Over (62)|
|8. Auburn vs.|
|AUB (-35)||N/A||Under (52)|
|9. Florida @ |
|FLA (-8.5)||FLA (-310)||Over (50)|
|11. Utah vs. |
|UTAH (-36.5)||N/A||Over (64)|
|12. Texas vs. |
|TEX (-32)||N/A||Over (56.5)|
|13. Penn State vs. |
|PSU (-17)||PSU (-910)||Under (54.5)|
|15. Oregon vs. |
|ORE (-36.5)||N/A||Over (64.5)|
|16. Texas A&M vs|
|A&M (-43.5)||N/A||Over (56.5)|
|17. UCF vs. |
|UCF (-7.5)||UCF (-295)||Under (59.5)|
|18. Michigan St. vs.|
|MSU (-13.5)||MSU (-770)||Over (42)|
|19. Iowa @ |
|IOWA (-2)||IOWA (-118)||Over (44.5)|
|20. Wash. State vs. |
|WSU (-8)||WSU (-286)||Over (75.5)|
|21. Maryland @ |
|MD (-7)||MD (-286)||Over (64)|
|22. Boise State vs. |
|BSU (-31.5)||N/A||Over (54)|
|23. Washington vs. |
|HAW (+21)||WASH (-1430)||Under (59)|
|24. USC @ |
|USC (-4.5)||USC (-190)||Under (55.5)|
|25. Virginia vs. |
|VA (-7.5)||VA (-275)||Over (57)|
All odds current as of publication. Check out the latest odds here.