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College Football Odds & Market Report: 3 Early Bets for Week 3, Including Kansas vs. Houston

College Football Odds & Market Report: 3 Early Bets for Week 3, Including Kansas vs. Houston article feature image
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Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Hasaan Hypolite III (Houston)

We all know the college football market moves a lot over the course of the week. Money pours in all over the place from the time lines open on Sunday afternoon to kickoff on Saturday.

Like any other sport, it’s paramount to get the best price possible when betting on college football.

For example, a -6.5 favorite could move to -7.5 on Saturday morning and then you run the risk of that team winning by one of the most likely outcomes — a seven-point victory — and you just lost your bet. It could have all been avoided if the bet was locked in at -6.5 Monday morning.

I’m here to help you navigate the market by providing a few lines I’m buying right now with my specific thresholds or other lines that I’m waiting to buy for later in the week.

The hope for this piece is to beat the market, get the best price possible, and in the long run, save you some money with closing line value. To do that, we’ll utilize our TAN projections, ESPN’s SP+ and my own projections to create a consensus.

You hear all the time, “process over results.” The best way to know if the process is working is by closing line value (CLV), meaning how many points did you beat the closing line by? I’ll be keeping track throughout the year of exactly how many points we’ve beaten the market by:

Week 0

  • 3.5 Points: UConn +27.5 → +24 closing line

Week 1

  • Pittsburgh -7.5 → -7.5 closing line
  • Cincinnati +6.5 → +6.5 closing line
  • Rice +34.5 → +32.5 closing line
  • Boise State +3 → +2.5 closing line

Week 2

  • Louisville +6.5 → +5.5 closing line
  • Iowa -3.5 → -3.5 closing line
  • Virginia +5 → +4 closing line

Now, let’s dive into Week 3.


Western Kentucky vs. Indiana

Saturday, Sept. 17
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Western Kentucky Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+6.5
-110
59
-110o / -110u
+215
Indiana Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-6.5
-110
59
-110o / -110u
-255
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Western Kentucky vs. Indiana Projections

Cunningham SP+
Indiana -0.3 Western Kentucky -2.5 Western Kentucky -3.4

Indiana made a lot of changes in the offseason, as Tom Allen brought in 15 new players from the transfer portal.

In the Hoosiers’ first game of the season against Illinois, the new-look offense — with Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak, Auburn running back Shaun Shivers and Florida State wide receiver D.J. Matthews Jr. — only gained 4.6 yards per play and a measly 1.2 yards per rush.

Last week, the Hoosiers hosted Idaho, were losing 10-0 at the half and needed a second-half rally to beat a team that was 4-7 the year before.

Bazelak was pretty poor in the game, putting up a PFF passing grade of 70.1 while averaging 6.8 yards per attempt.

More importantly, the secondary — which was suppose to be the strength of the Hooisers’ defense — allowed Idaho quarterback Gevani McCoy to throw for 8.9 yards per attempt and three touchdowns.

Western Kentucky has been more balanced through its first two games against Austin Peay and Hawaii, basically going with a 50/50 split between run and pass.

That’s a big change from being the most pass-heavy offense in college football last season, thanks to offensive coordinator Zach Kittley and quarterback Bailey Zappe.

Even though those two opponents were very weak, gaining a cool 6.4 yards per play is nothing to snuff at.

Western Kentucky has a quarterback that transferred in from Division II West Florida in Austin Reed. As a freshman, Reed threw for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. Through two games, his PFF passing grade is 76 with seven touchdowns.

The first points of the college football season — and it’s from a QB you should get used to throwing TDs in 2022: Austin Reed shakes the rust and we have 6! pic.twitter.com/di47nWNyhc

— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) August 27, 2022

With Indiana’s struggles in the secondary versus an FCS opponent, it could be a long afternoon going up against a quarterback of Reed’s talent. I mean the Hooisers have a coverage grade of 58.2, per PFF, which is 106th in the country.

Not to mention, Western Kentucky had an extra week of rest and an extra week to prepare after coming off of a bye in Week 2.

As you can see all three projection models are showing significant value on Western Kentucky +6.5, and I highly doubt that number will be available on Saturday morning.

Pick: Western Kentucky +6.5 (Play to +3.5)

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Kansas vs. Houston

Saturday, Sept. 17
4 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Kansas Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+9.5
-110
62
-110o / -110u
+280
Houston Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-9.5
-110
62
-110o / -110u
-340
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Kansas vs. Houston Projections

Cunningham SP+
Houston -13.2 Houston -14.8 Houston -15.4

Future Big 12 Conference foes square off in Houston’s home opener.

Kansas football is 2-0. Yes, you read that correctly. The Jayhawks pulled off a stunner in Morgantown on Saturday, beating the Mountaineers 55-42 as 14-point underdogs.

Wild & Wonderful pic.twitter.com/jBrWz1lGen

— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) September 11, 2022

Houston, on the other hand, lost a heartbreaker, 33-30, in overtime to Texas Tech.

With that being said, I think for the first time, maybe ever, we are in a sell-high spot on Kansas.

Houston has a fantastic offense led by Clayton Tune, who is back for his senior season at quarterback after an amazing junior year in which he put up a 91.4 PFF passing grade, averaged 8.3 yards per attempt and threw for 30 touchdowns.

Now, he had maybe his worst game of his college career on Saturday in Lubbock, but he’s now facing a Kansas defense that was dead last in EPA/Play Allowed among Power Five defenses in 2021.

Clayton Tune DEEP to Tank Dell🚀🚀

pic.twitter.com/Vs5xWzyEiI

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 10, 2022

Tune will get his No. 1 target back in Tank Dell, who had 90 catches, 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 88.8 PFF receiving grade was ninth-best in college football for wide receivers who saw more than 100 targets last season.

Dell had 120 yards on only seven catches against Texas Tech last weekend.

The Kansas secondary in 2021 allowed 9.4 yards per attempt and ranked 118th in terms of a coverage grade. JT Daniels went off against the Jayhawks last week, throwing for 8.9 yards per attempt and three touchdowns.

Kansas has nine starters back on offense, including starting quarterback Jalon Daniels. However, this was a Jayhawks offense that was outside the top 100 in EPA/Play and Success Rate.

Houston’s defense is the main reason why it went 12-2 last season. The Cougars finished the season ninth in EPA/Play, allowed only 4.9 yards per play (16th in FBS) and were fourth in Success Rate Allowed.

They do lose five key pieces from that defense, but with that being said, it will still be one of the best in the AAC.

As you can see all three projection models have Houston projected over -13, so I would grab the Cougars at -9.5 before this gets into double digits.

Pick: Houston -9.5

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Arkansas State vs. Memphis

Saturday, Sept. 17
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Arkansas State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+13
-110
62
-110o / -110u
+390
Memphis Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-13
-110
62
-110o / -110u
-490
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Arkansas State vs. Memphis Projections

Cunningham SP+
Memphis -20.0 Memphis -21.2 Memphis -18.4

This is a terrible matchup for Arkansas State for one main reason: explosive plays. In 2021, Arkansas State was 128th in Passing Explosiveness Allowed and 102nd in Rushing Explosiveness Allowed.

Well, that defense loses six starters and four of its top five tacklers.

Early indications are, things have not gotten much better. You can give the Red Wolves credit for covering in Columbus last Saturday, but the reality is they still allowed the Buckeyes to average a whopping 10.0 yards per play.

On offense in 2021, Memphis was 11th in the country in Explosiveness, with most of that coming in the passing game under Sam Henigan.

As a freshman last year, Henigan put up pretty impressive numbers for his age. He averaged 8.5 yards per attempt and had his best game of the season against Arkansas State, throwing for 417 yards and five touchdowns while owning a 83.8 PFF passing grade.

.@seth_henigan finds @eddielou__ for the 15-yd touchdown!

📺: https://t.co/aCu2JgXhVk #AmericanFB x @MemphisFB pic.twitter.com/1wLi04lRYz

— American Football (@American_FB) September 4, 2022

Florida State transfer James Blackman is back at starting quarterback for Arkansas State, but his top receiver Corey Rucker and running back Lincoln Pare are gone.

Arkansas State’s offensive line was a real problem last year. The Red Wolves only averaged 2.8 yards per carry as a team, ranked 93rd in Offensive Line Yards and had a 50.0 run-blocking grade, per PFF (126th in FBS).

Well, only two starters return from that offensive line that also allowed 48 sacks in 2021, so somehow it could get worse.

All three projection models are showing at least five points of value on Memphis, so I would grab the Tigers at -13 (PointsBet) right now before this gets bet above -14.

Pick: Memphis -13

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