Zack’s College Football Week 3 Best Bets

Week 2 in College Football delivered. We saw tigers mauling cattle and aggies, and turtles trouncing orange. The Big 10 is good, but is the SEC better? Can the PAC-12 send a team to the College Football Playoff? Not likely with a loss from Washington. What about the Big 12? Will UCF have a strong enough schedule? There’s so many questions to answer and we want to answer them all, but today we’re talking about money. What teams are gonna cover? Who’s got a chance at pulling off the upset? What games will have fireworks and which ones will fizzle out before the climax? There’s a lot of money to be made, so let’s get into it.

Maryland (-7.5)

This is going to be a hell of a game. The teams are pretty similar in PPG and PPG allowed as both teams are top 10 in offense and top 20 in defense, but the difference is that Maryland has done it twice, done it away from home, and against a ranked team. Temple has done it once against Bucknell. The Terps have an unreal offense and a defense that isn’t any joke. Josh Jackson is an assassin and he has 6 skill guys around him that already have over 100 all purpose yards. Even at home Temple won’t be able to keep up with the Terps.

UNC (+3)

After a shocking 2-0 start with 2 wins over P5 teams, UNC is in a position to not only be 3-0, but 2-0 in conference. Wake Forest has been solid on but the defense gives up similar numbers. They haven’t played good competition and have been scored on regularly. This puts Mack Brown’s team in a good position to show that they’re for real. They’ve won close games and are able to simply able to get it done. The Tar Heels are in the same boat in terms of offenses putting up similar numbers on them, but they’ve won those games against better teams. They’ve done it away from home once and they’ll do it again this week.

Washington State (-9.5)

Ahh, Mike Leach and the Air Raid. The Cougars have averaged 606 yards of total offense so far this year and have posted 58 and 59 point performances in their first 2 games. Houston is currently 108th in total defense. I really don’t need to say more but I will because that’s how this works. Houston isn’t terrible defending the pass but that’s only because they completely neglect the running game. Washington State is not only better at passing than anyone Houston has played yet (including Oklahoma), but they also have a decent run game that can burn when Anthony Gordon isn’t on his game. Which he will be. Look for a dominant performance by Washington State even in an away game.

Colorado (-4)

So we don’t have a very big sample for what Air Force is since their only game has been against Colgate, but we have seen Colorado play some great football early on. 2 really nice victories in a rivalry game and then beating a ranked team in Nebraska is nothing to sneeze at. They have a top receiver in college football and a passing game that looks really solid. The ground game has some work to do but it will be alright. The biggest matchup of this game will be how Colorado’s defense matches up against the run game of Air Force. The Falcons ran for 423 yards against Colgate and should be feared on the ground, but the Buffalos haven’t been pushovers on defense. I think Colorado will just get out in front of Air Force and make it a joint effort to wind the clock down with a multi-possession lead.

Arizona State (+15)

This pick is less based on the talent of Arizona State and more focused on what Michigan State is. You can’t currently do much better at stopping the run than Michigan State considering their opposition is averaging -3 YPG. But Arizona State will be passing a lot considering they’ll be behind and that’s where they play better football. That’s also where it’s easier to score on Sparty. Mike Dantonio never really wants to run up the score against P5 teams and will be happy to just stay out in front and burn the clock. He won’t need a flashy offense to beat the Sun Devils, just enough. So I think a decent passing game plus the complacency of the Spartans will spell out a winning formula for Arizona State to cover.