It is Week 3 of the college football season, and non-conference play is beginning to wind down. Soon enough teams will be exclusively playing conference schedules, and more teams will fall from the unbeaten list. There are a few high-end non-conference games this week, and now that there are a few games for each team, bettors can identify how teams want to play and which matchups can be exploited. Make sure to check out our projections, depth charts, and datasheets for even more info on the upcoming matchups. With that said, let’s dive into some of the best college football bets for Week 3.
Best College Football Bets & Predictions: Week 3 CFB Picks
Nebraska at Oklahoma: Oklahoma -22.5
This was a rivalry game at one point, but they have since gone their separate ways, with Nebraska in the Big Ten and Oklahoma still atop the Big 12. It is not surprise that this spread sits at a massive 23 points given the talent disparity.
Nebraska started their year with a conference game that ended poorly, as they were upset by Illinois. Since then they have handled two inferior opponents at home in Fordham and Buffalo, but that does not provide much insight. Adrian Martinez has experience and is a dual threat, but Oklahoma’s defense is worlds better than anything Martinez has seen this season. Add in that Nebraska has three tight ends and two key receivers on the injury report, and the passing game could be severely downgraded. Defensively the Cornhuskers have only given up 10 points over their last two games, but considering the level of competition, that does not mean much.
Oklahoma has national championship aspirations and should roll Nebraska. They played Tulane to open the season, and after a 20-point lead at halftime, they allowed the Green Wave back in the game and finished with a disappointing 40-35 victory. The missed tackles and confusion on defense are worth monitoring going forward. Last week Oklahoma played FCS school Western Carolina and won handily.
Oklahoma’s offense still has a Heisman-level quarterback with Spencer Rattler and every weapon imaginable on the outside. The defense should be much better than Week 1, and that Tulane game is already paying dividends in terms of focus. A 76-point win last week showed they are not taking the foot off the gas anymore, and when laying north of three touchdowns, that is important. Oklahoma’s offense could hang 50 in this spot once again. With the injuries and overall skill deficit, this will trend towards a 48-17 game, with Oklahoma covering the number.
Auburn at Penn State: Penn State -5
No. 22 Auburn will travel to Happy Valley to take on No. 10 Penn State. Auburn is 2-0 with wins by 50 and 62 to open the season, but they have played games against Akron and Alabama State to get things started. They have Bo Nix under center, who has been in big games, and Tank Bigsby figures to be one of the SEC’s best running backs.
Unlike Auburn’s schedule, Penn State opened their season in conference against a quality Wisconsin team on the road and were able to pull a minor upset in Madison. The Nittany Lions also have a quarterback in Sean Clifford who has been in big games. Clifford has some mobility, and through two games he has a pair of touchdowns passing and one more on the ground.
Penn State has played Wisconsin and Ball State, who are both miles ahead of Auburn’s competition. On the outside Jahan Dotson has a pair of touchdowns, and he is Penn State’s big playmaker. Defensively Penn State has looked good through two games, surrendering only 23 points total. In that opening game on the road the Badgers ran the ball 58 times, but Penn State only allowed 3.1 yards per carry. If they can contain Bigsby and force Auburn to throw, that is going to give the Nittany Lions a massive advantage. Auburn will be on the road for the first time, and it could not be a worse situation. They are heading to Penn State at night, which is on the short list of worst places to play. Nix is experienced under center, but the road environment could cause some disruption to the offense. Back Penn State to cover at home here as one of the best college football bets this week.
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