College Football PrizePicks: Week 3 Plays for Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye & Joe Milton III (Sept. 16)
Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III.
Last week we swept the PrizePicks board, so we’re back for more with three college football squares that differ significantly from my projections.
All three plays involve Power 5 passers — two from the SEC and one out of the ACC.
These markets are the highest profile and seem to be swayed a bit by public sentiment around these passers, including their NFL Draft stock, which is wholly irrelevant in my eyes.
Week 3 College Football PrizePicks
In the table below, you'll find each of Mike Calabrese's PrizePicks plays from Saturday's slate of games. Click on any pick or team logo to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Time (ET)||Player Prop|
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
LSU vs. Mississippi State
The Florida State debacle is now squarely in the Tigers’ rearview mirror, and that’s good news for Daniels.
Last week, he bounced back with a stellar performance against Grambling, going 18-for-24 for 269 yards and five touchdowns.
To me, that ensures he’s the clear-cut QB1 for LSU in this conference matchup and won’t be looking over his shoulder at Garrett Nussmeier.
As for this square, Mississippi State has serious issues in its secondary. It has lost starting cornerbacks to the NFL in back-to-back drafts, and it appears the cupboard is finally bare.
Arizona’s Jayden de Laura completed nearly 70% of his attempts for 342 yards last week in an OT thriller. Daniels has a better offensive line to give him time in this game to operate, and I love the tandem of Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr.
Daniels is averaging 307 yards per game through the air, and that includes a game script in which he was pulled early against Grambling.
This game should be competitive and potentially high-scoring, with near-perfect weather conditions on tap in StarkVegas.
Pick: Daniels More Than 251.5 Passing Yards (Play to 257)
Minnesota vs. North Carolina
Maye has two things working against him in this matchup.
The first is his offensive scheme, which isn’t as pass-happy as it was a year ago. He’s attempted only 62 passes through two games and is averaging just 238.5 yards per game through the air.
That’s a significant drop for Maye in both statistical categories year over year.
The second element working against Maye is this Minnesota pass defense.
In three of the past four seasons, Minnesota has fielded a top-15 pass defense. This year, the Gophers are allowing just 92.5 yards per game through the air. They dominated Nebraska and did the same to Eastern Michigan, which was a bowl team last season.
Joe Rossi, Minnesota’s veteran defensive coordinator, is a nightmare to deal with, and it appears he has the goods to ground any aerial attack this season.
This number is predicated on Maye’s NFL Draft stock and not his on-field statistical ceiling, plain and simple. I’m happy to hop in and take advantage of a number I believe is off by close to 15 yards.
Pick: Maye Less Than 264.5 Passing Yards (Play to 260.5)
Tennessee vs. Florida
Tennessee has faced two awful run defenses in Virginia and Austin Peay to start the season. As a result, Josh Heupel’s team has leaned into the ground attack.
If you remove service academies, Tennessee is averaging the 20th-most rush attempts per game at 42. This is a testament to Heupel and his staff taking what the defense gives them. Florida and its 23rd-rated run defense will not be giving them an invitation to run the ball Saturday.
Now that I anticipate a different game script, it’s important to remember what UT, and specifically its QB1, did to this Florida team last year. Hendon Hooker threw for 349 yards and rushed for 112. He nearly set season-highs in both categories.
I like Milton’s running ability and the staff's willingness to call his number while also encouraging him to tuck it and run.
In Milton’s last three starts, dating back to last season's Orange Bowl, he’s averaged eight carries per game. Utah’s quarterbacks burned Florida for 56 yards and a pair of scores in the opener.
I foresee between 15 and 25 yards for Milton on the ground and at least 250 through the air against the Gators. My projection sets this number at 271, so it’s a play for me up to 260.