College Football Betting Picks: Our Experts’ 6 Favorite Bets on Saturday
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Hawaii Warriors quarterback Cole McDonald (13).
- Looking for a quick way to add a few bets to your Saturday college football card?
- Our experts give out their favorite betting picks for the Week 3 slate, which includes betting analysis on Arizona State at Michigan State (4 p.m. ET), Louisville at Western Kentucky (4 p.m. ET), Buffalo at Liberty (6 p.m. ET), Hawaii at Washington (7:30 p.m. ET) and Texas vs. Rice (8 p.m. ET)
This weekend’s college football slate may not look like much on the surface, but this is a card only a bettor could love.
Casual fans may not find the beauty in Liberty vs. Buffalo, but you’re here because you do.
Without further ado, here are our favorite games to bet for Week 3.
All odds as of Monday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Our Staff’s College Football Best Bets for Week 3
- Game: Arizona State at Michigan State
- Spread: Michigan State -14
- Over/Under: 42.5
- Time: 4 p.m. ET, FOX
After returning a ton of production on defense, Sparty has picked up right where it left off. Two games into the 2019 season, Michigan State leads the nation with an almost unbelievable -0.1 yards per carry. You read that right; it has allowed -6 total yards on the ground through two games.
I just can’t envision Arizona State getting anything going on the ground. If it couldn’t run it against Sacramento State, good luck against the best run defense in the NCAA. But Herm Edwards will try to establish the run anyway.
On the other side of the ball, Michigan State should have more success than it did last year in Tempe. Not only did it see Arizona State’s rare 3-3-5 defense last season, it also saw it against Tulsa in this year’s season opener.
Without flukes, this looks like an easy Spartan win that could finish around 31-7.
Pick: Michigan State -14
- Game: Buffalo at Liberty
- Spread: Buffalo -6
- Over/Under: 55
- Time: 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+
We have waited all week for word on Hugh Freeze and what his whereabouts will be at kickoff.
Ridden to a hospital bed two weeks ago and a dental chair last week, Freeze has been coaching practice from a golf cart this week.
While all of this may seem like a punchline, the truth is ‘Buckshot’ Stephen Calvert has been disconnected after the first few scripted series have passed. Freeze has been unable to mentor his quarterback and make on the fly adjustments.
While the offense should have a major upgrade on offense, the defense ran into its worth nightmare with Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns are one of the best explosive rush units in the country, and Liberty was faced with returning fresh faces in the front seven.
Buffalo will not have as much success on the ground as ULL. Expect the defense to put in a better performance, while Freeze will make sure those red zone attempts from Week 1 turn into points.
Pick: Liberty +6
- Game: Hawaii at Washington
- Spread: Washington -21
- Over/Under: 58.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Hawaii has one of the most high-powered offenses in the country behind Nick Rolovich’s Run-N-Shoot scheme.
Quarterback Cole McDonald and his super-talented receiving corps are picking up where he left off last year — Hawaii ranks 19th in explosive plays and 22nd in offensive efficiency so far this season. The Warriors also rank 119th in rush play percentage so you know they’ll have the ball in the air almost exclusively.
The Hawaii defense has been the complete opposite so far, ranking 125th in defending explosiveness and 119th in defensive efficiency. I’m expecting Jacob Eason and Washington to score at will on Saturday on the Warriors defense.
The Cal defense forced Eason into some tough situations but when faced a subpar defense in Week 1, he threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns.
Hawaii should carry its weight in the scoring department because this Washington defense isn’t nearly as good as its been in year’s past.
In fact, Washington has given up the 32nd most explosive plays despite playing an FCS team and Cal. Take the over in this matchup.
Pick: Over 58.5
- Game: Louisville at Western Kentucky
- Spread: Louisville -10
- Over/Under: 50
- Time: 4 p.m. ET, STAD
When all is said and done in 2019, I think we’ll look at this Louisville team a lot differently than we do now. And we’d make the Cardinals a bigger favorite over Western Kentucky.
Scott Satterfield has this program moving in the right direction and there’s a lot to like about what Louisville has shown through two games with a +1.9 yards per play differential.
Quarterback Jawon Pass has looked poised and dynamic, which certainly wasn’t the case last season. The Cardinals have an identify with their ground game and motion, and though WKU has been stout against the run so far this season, I still give Satterfield’s squad the edge. If they do have to abandon the run, Pass has been more than capable.
Louisville has the talent edge, coaching edge, and Western Kentucky still has plenty to figure out on offense. Our power ratings make this about Louisville -14, which feels more on the nose than the -10’s that are out there now.
Pick: Louisville -10
- Game: Texas vs. Rice (neutral site)
- Spread: Texas -32
- Over/Under: 56
- Time: 8 p.m. ET, CBSSN
The Longhorns lost to LSU in a shootout last week and bettors expect No. 12 Texas to bounce back as nearly 80% of spread tickets are on Tom Herman’s team.
Ranked teams that lost their previous game usually win — nearly 70% were victorious since 2005 — but covering isn’t guaranteed. Since 2005, ranked teams after a loss have gone 244-297-17 (45.1%) ATS.
It has been profitable to fade ranked teams after a loss because top 25 squads tends to be overrated by the betting market and oddsmakers.
Pick: Rice +32
- Game: Maryland at Temple
- Spread: Maryland -7
- Over/Under: 66.5
- Time: 12 p.m. ET, CBSSN
By no means do I consider myself a college football handicapper. I couldn’t tell you exactly what this spread should be (so thank you Collin Wilson and his power ratings) but I can tell you that it probably shouldn’t be Maryland -7.
Two impressive wins to start the season have vaulted the Terps into the No. 21 spot in the AP Poll. As if the public wasn’t already overvaluing them enough, that little number next to their name will surely won’t be turning many folks away.
Maryland’s specific ranking makes it an even more ideal fade target this week. Teams at the bottom of the Top 25 (20 through 25) are often given too much credit in the betting market simply because they are ranked. In reality, though, there’s no reason that we couldn’t give every team a ranking — we just decide to stop at 25 because it’s a nice looking number.
With that said, history has shown it to be profitable to attack the teams at the bottom of the AP Poll, specifically in some spots that Temple fits this weekend.
The earliest books to market had this line at Maryland -4, and given that Maryland’s stock in public betting circles is at an all-time high, I’m inclined to believe that the opening number was more accurate than the current one.
Pick: Temple +7