Week 3 of the college football season features the first matchup between ranked teams.
No. 17 Miami and No. 18 Louisville meet in the ABC prime-time game of the week in a showdown between two teams trying to move up the ladder in the ACC. There are nine games involving teams ranked in the AP Top 25 after No. 12 North Carolina and Charlotte canceled their matchup.
We are still finding our bearings with picks against the spread, especially on the big lines. Last week, we missed all four games with spreads of more than 20 points. There are three more of those to pick in Week 3.
Last week: 7-3 S/U, 3-6 ATS
Overall: 14-5 S/U, 6-8 ATS
Top 25: 4-1 S/U, 1-4 ATS
Here are our picks against the spread for Week 3:
Week 3 picks against the spread
No. 19 Louisiana (-17) at Georgia State
The Ragin’ Cajuns are ranked after a big victory against Iowa State and have covered in six straight games dating to last season. Georgia State is 0-4 all time against Louisiana, but it has never lost by more than 14 points. There is a small risk for a letdown here, but the Cajuns punch through that.
Louisiana wins 34-14 and COVERS the spread.
Tulsa at No. 11 Oklahoma State (-22)
This game was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns, but the Cowboys will finally get to display a high-powered offense that features Spencer Sanders, Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace. Mike Gundy likely saw the big numbers Oklahoma and Texas put up, too.
Oklahoma State wins 51-24 and COVERS the spread.
Austin Peay at No. 13 Cincinnati (No line)
The Bearcats generated a lot of buzz in the offseason, but Luke Fickell has tried to temper expectations. Austin Peay takes another blowout loss here.
Cincinnati wins 41-3.
Syracuse at No. 25 Pitt (-21)
The Orange’s offense was stopped cold in the second half against North Carolina, and an improved Pitt offense poses the same challenges. That said, the past three meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer. We’re being stubborn here.
Pitt wins 31-13 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 24 Appalachian State (-3.5) at Marshall
This is a big opportunity for the Thundering Herd in a matchup between two Group of 5 busters. The Mountaineers took a while to get going against Charlotte, but Zac Thomas will be better in Week 2 behind a strong running game.
Appalachian State wins 30-24 and COVERS the spread.
South Florida at No. 7 Notre Dame (-26)
First-year coach Jeff Scott is making his debut for the Bulls, and they will be up against a Notre Dame team that didn’t play as sharp as it wanted in the opener against Duke. Look for Brian Kelly to clean that up in Week 2. South Florida beat Notre Dame in 2011, but it’s a different story here.
Notre Dame wins 38-10 and COVERS the spread.
No. 14 UCF (-7) at Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets pulled the upset in Week 1 and will continue that momentum at home despite a tougher opponent. UCF will pull out the win, but it won’t be as easy.
UCF wins 27-21 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Citadel at No. 1 Clemson (No Line)
Clemson flexed in Week 1 against Wake Forest, and Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne will keep the offense moving for the first half. It’s another pick-your-score-game for Dabo Swinney.
Clemson wins 50-7.
No. 17 Miami at No. 18 Louisville (-2)
This line could move in either direction during the week, and the matchup between D’Eriq King and Micale Cunnigham should lead to an entertaining shootout in primetime. Take the over (59.5).
Louisville wins 34-30 and COVERS the spread.
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