The college football bets you need to make in Week 3

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Another college football Saturday is upon us and while there are no matchups of top 25 teams, there are plenty of intriguing games on the board and a ton of betting value to be found. That includes a showdown between Arizona State and Michigan State, K.J. Costello returns for Stanford and can Tennessee start to turn its season around? 

We have spent all week looking up and down the Week 3 college football betting odds, compiling the best picks and predictions on spread and totals, as well as team totals, player props and derivatives.


The Arizona State Sun Devils will need to be a whole lot better in the first half if they have any hope of being competitive this weekend against the host Michigan State Spartans. Arizona State has sleepwalked through the first half of its opening two games in 2019, scoring a combined 13 points prior to the half in victories over Kent State and Sacramento State. And that doesn’t bode well at all for Herm Edwards’ crew, which faces a Spartans team that has limited Tulsa and Western Michigan to just 14 first-half points in back-to-back one-sided wins.

Add in the fact that Michigan was the best team in the nation in 2018 at limiting first-half scoring – allowing just 6.3 points per game prior to the break – and it could be a rough start for the visiting Sun Devils. We like a pair of picks here, rolling with host Michigan State on the -7.5 first-half line and going with the Under on the first-half total of 21.


The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels have certainly lived up to their moniker so far in 2019, but they’ll face a daunting task Saturday as they tangle with a stout Northwestern Wildcats defense. The visiting Rebels are led by running back Charles Williams, who ranks third in the nation in rushing yards heading into the weekend (311) and already has four touchdowns on the ground. But the Wildcats are well-rested following a Week 2 bye and limited Stanford to just 3.38 yards per carry on 39 attempts in their season-opening 17-7 loss to the visiting Cardinal.

Northwestern is a 17.5-point home favorite going into this one – and their run-stopping success is no fluke, after they finished 26th in yards against per game last season. with the Rebels’ pass offense very much a work in progress, look for the Wildcats to stamp out the ground game and cover the spread in this one.


The Purdue starting quarterback situation likely won’t be settled until just prior to Saturday’s game against the visiting TCU Horned Frogs. Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm says that, while he’s optimistic that Elijah Sindelar will be cleared from the concussion protocol in time for the game, it’s far from a certainty. Sindelar, who suffered a concussion in Purdue’s Week 2 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores, is off to a blistering start to the season, having thrown for 932 yards and nine touchdowns against three interceptions. Freshman Jack Plummer will get the start in Sindelar’s place if he can’t go.

The concussion news dropped Purdue from being a slight favorite to a slight underdog for Saturday’s game against the Horned Frogs. If Sindelar is cleared, jump on the home team money line before it shifts; if you’re too late, you can still take the Boilermakers ATS if they emerge as the favorite again.


Hawaiians are a kind, generous people – and that philosophy extends to their football team, for better or worse, as the Warriors prepare to face the host Washington Huskies. Hawaii enters the game as one of the most careless teams in the country with the football, having turned it over a whopping eight times (three fumbles lost, five interceptions). And those extra possessions in favor of the home team could sink the Warriors’ chances of competing against a Huskies team that is not only favored by roughly three touchdowns, but has also turned the ball over just twice so far.

Coupled with the Huskies coming off a +3 turnover differential showing in 2018 (and Hawaii finishing at -9), it’s clear that the home side has the edge in the ball security department. Look for Washington to turn one of those Warriors turnovers into a touchdown, a development that pays out at +200.


The Central Florida Knights will likely have their top three quarterbacks in the fold for this weekend’s encounter with the visiting Stanford Cardinal. Reshirt senior Brandon Wimbush missed last week’s game against Florida Atlantic due to an undisclosed injury, but head coach Jeff Lebby says Wimbush will be in action Saturday. Wimbush and Dillon Gabriel have split the majority of the work so far, but Darriel Mack has been cleared to return and might also hit the field against the Cardinal.

While winning the game is certainly the Knights’ top priority, they might be almost as concerned with getting multiple quarterbacks into Saturday’s game. And with this line having climbed all the way to UCF -9, the conditions are ideal for bettors to favor the visitors ATS given the uncertainty of the UCF offense.


The Arkansas Razorbacks have named graduate transfer Nick Starkel their starting quarterback ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Colorado State. Starkel will take over for Ben Hicks, who started each of the Razorbacks’ first two games but was pulled from both due to poor performances. Starkel, who came to Arkansas from Texas A&M, has been the far superior option so far, having completed better than 72 percent of his pass attempts while throwing the Razorbacks’ only passing touchdown to date.

While the upgrade from Starkel to Hicks (who completed less than half of his attempts) is a favorable one, Arkansas’ team total in this one is a sky-high 37.5. With the Razorbacks having scored just 37 points in two games, and Colorado State having finished in the top-30 in plays per game in two straight years (and is 18th this season), the Arkansas U37.5 is a decent play here.


It’s been a good-news, bad-news kind of week for the Stanford Cardinal as they prepare to face the Central Florida Knights on Saturday. First, the good: The Cardinal will have quarterback KJ Costello back in the fold after he missed last week’s loss to USC after suffering an injury in the first half of the season opener against Northwestern. Unfortunately, he’ll be missing one of his key offensive lineman, with tackle Walker Little set to undergo season-ending knee surgery; he was also injured vs. the Wildcats.

While losing Little certainly hurts, the return of Costello is a big one for a Cardinal team that saw backup Davis Mills struggle against the Trojans (237 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT). The Knights like it fast (ranking 30th in plays per game last season) and Costello is talented enough to lead Stanford over its 26.5-point team total.


A disappointing 24-10 setback to No. 1 Clemson wasn’t the only loss the Texas A&M Aggies suffered last week; they’ve learned they’ll be without leading rusher Jashaun Corbin for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury. Corbin suffered the injury midway through the third quarter of last week’s loss; he had compiled 34 yards on 13 carries to that point but gained over 100 yards the week prior in a victory over Texas Southern. Corbin finishes the year with 137 rushing yards and a score.

Given that the Aggies are ridiculous 43.5-point favorites for this week’s game against visiting Lamar, look for head coach Jimbo Fisher to take full advantage and give as many of his players as much rest as possible; temperatures will also approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is another good reason to pump the brakes. We like the Under-63 option here.


After comparing his team to “The Titanic,” Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt will look to right the ship this week as the winless Volunteers host state rival Chattanooga. And getting back on track could mean a heavier reliance on a run game that has looked a lot better than the passing game through the first two weeks. Ty Chandler (202 yards) and Eric Gray (106) should both see plenty of action in a game in which the hosts are favored by four touchdowns.

Their early-season success, coupled with struggles from starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, could make this a 55-carry kind of game as Tennessee looks for its first win of the season. And with the Mocs coming in having averaged just 22 points per game against far inferior competition, we see the Vols controlling the game sufficiently to keep their foes below their team total.

Running up the points with Rockets, and the college football bets you need to make in Week 12

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Are you ready for some more MAC-tion? Because there are two more games on the schedule Wednesday night. We break down the best bets for these games and take a look at the weekend ahead in college football – from sides and totals to props and everything in between.


The Toledo Rockets might be only slight favorites for Wednesday night’s MAC tilt with visiting Northern Illinois, but they have a significant advantage in at least one area – and it could turn this one into a bit of a laugher. The Rockets come into the game with the nation’s No. 12 rushing offense, averaging nearly 251 yards per game on the ground – and they’ve been especially dominant over their previous two games, racking up a combined 664 rushing yards in narrow victories over Eastern Michigan and Kent State. The Huskies, meanwhile, are coming off getting routed 48-10 to Central Michigan in which the Chippewas posted 327 rushing yards.

An edge like this makes Toledo a terrific option in a variety of different bet scenarios; we recommend buying a few points in their favor and taking an alternate line of -6.5.


The Miami (OH) Redhawks should have little trouble filling the board Wednesday night as they host a Bowling Green defense that ranks among the worst in the nation in points allowed. But while the Falcons have surrendered a mind-boggling 33.8 points per game so far this season, the Redhawks might not necessarily be headed for a parade to the end zone. Miami (Ohio) has one of the worst touchdown-to-field-goal ratios in the country coming into Week 12, having scored 22 TDs compared with 16 FGs – six of those coming over the course of their current three-game winning streak.

Miami (Ohio) is a big-time favorite here, and is a good bet to open the scoring given BGSU’s 2.5 first-half-points-per-game average on the road this season. We like the Redhawks FG to kick off the point parade.


Kansas State’s premier rushing threat might be back on the field this weekend. Wildcats senior James Gilbert practiced on Tuesday and is trending in the right direction as he recovers from an undisclosed ailment that kept him out of last week’s 27-24 loss to the Texas Longhorns. It was originally thought that Gilbert would be in the lineup vs. Texas, but he was a late exclusion – and Kansas State struggled in his absence, finishing with a paltry 51 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Gilbert ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards (558) while adding five touchdowns on the ground.

Gilbert’s return would invigorate a Kansas State rush attack that has a favorable matchup against a West Virginia defense allowing 173 rushing yards per game. We recommend the hosts ATS if Gilbert is deemed fit to return.


The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have seen their season take a terrible turn with word that standout wide receiver Sage Surratt will miss the remainder of 2019 with an undisclosed injury. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson confirmed Tuesday that Surratt, who wasn’t featured on the team’s depth chart ahead of its Week 12 encounter with Clemson, would be out for the rest of the season – though he wouldn’t specify what was wrong with the star wideout. Surratt finishes the year with 1,001 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 66 receptions as the premier target for quarterback Jamie Newman.

The absence of Surratt should give bettors even less of a reason to bank on Wake Forest, which has seen the line shift as far as four points in Clemson’s favor. Look for the Tigers to keep the undermanned Deacons below their team total.

Too late to start fading the Fins, and the NFL bets you need to make in Week 11

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This may require a double-take, but listen up. The Miami Dolphins have been the best bet in the NFL since the start of October. Yes, those Miami Dolphins. We break down the odds and let you know what bets we like in Week 11 of the NFL as we dive into sides, totals, props and more. 


The hottest team in the league right now is Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. After knocking off the Patriots in Week 9, they turned their crosshairs on the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. The Ravens ran just 48 offensive plays but managed to put up 49 points. Lost in the 49-13 win was the fact that Baltimore moved to 8-1 against the first-quarter spread after winning the first 15 minutes 14-0.

This week, Baltimore is a 4-point home favorite versus a Houston team that is coming off their bye. If you don’t trust a team coming off a blowout win versus the worst team in the league and/or covering their last three games, take a look at the 1Q Ravens -0.5 (-105) as an alternative.

Baltimore is second in the league in first quarter points per game at 9.5 and third in the league in points against in the first quarter at 3.67 while the Texans are 0-3-1 on the road this year in the first quarter. Take the Ravens 1Q -0.5.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a very motivated New Orleans Saints team Sunday, but NOLA will be without their top cornerback in Marcus Lattimore. The third-year CB is week-to-week with a hamstring injury meaning Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will face sub-par corners in P.J. Williams and Eli Apple.

As Brad Evans pointed out on twitter, this is especially great news for Mike Evans who has struggled over his career versus Lattimore. Evans put up a donut early this year in Week 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and averaged 9.5 targets for three catches and 34 yards in two games in 2017 (last year Lattimore struggled following up his 2017 DROY but has been much better this year).

Even with Jameis Winston getting sacked nearly four times a game, Evans is averaging 139 yards a game over his last four contests. Jump on Evans’ receiving yard total on any number below 85 and check in on his reception total, hitting the Over on any number below 7.


No team in the league relies on the screen game more than the Minnesota Vikings. Per ESPN, Minnesota is averaging 9.8 yards per screen attempt which is 3.5 yards more per attempt than the No.10 team.

The beneficiary of this is running back Dalvin Cook who gashed the Cowboys in primetime every time he got the ball with blockers ahead of him. Over the last three games, Cook has amassed 193 yards receiving and will face a Denver Broncos’ defense that is giving up 8.6 yards per pass to RBs since Week 8.

Grab the Over on Cook’s receiving yards on any total less than 40 yards.


If you’re tailing the Cook receiving yards play and want some action on the other side of the ball, maybe look to fade the Broncos’ backfield in receiving yards. Denver is the worst team at generating yards on the screen game (3.7 yards per attempt) and neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman has topped 17 yards receiving in the last two weeks. In the only game Brandon Allen has started at quarterback, Lindsay wasn’t targeted at all and Freeman saw one target which he lost a yard on.

Feel confident in taking Lindsay’s Under receiving yards on anything greater than 19 and Freeman’s Under on any number greater than 25.


The best team ATS over the last five weeks has been the Miami Dolphins. The former 0-7 team has rattled off five-straight wins ATS and face a Buffalo Bills team that has zero offensive identity of late and trailed the Dolphins by five points heading into the fourth quarter just four weeks ago.

We are a little bearish on Miami hitting a sixth-straight win ATS but have no problem fading Josh Allen’s Bills who are putting up just 288 yards of total offense over the last three weeks, good for sixth-worst. Their once stellar defense now sits 12th in Wtd DVOA — 9th against the pass and 27th against the run.

The Bills needed 22 4th-quarter points in their last meeting to cover their team total and we don’t see Brian Daboll’s offense clearing 23.5 points since they are 2-5 O/U that total in their last seven.

Get on the Bills’ team total Under 23.5 now, as it may drop under this key number later in the week.