Predicting College Football Week 3 Top Games (Sept. 15-17)

Posted by Joe Solari on September 13, 2016 in

Expect plenty of college football betting action and tons of surprises as we enter the third week of the new season, which usually features a sumptuous football slate of in-conference matchup. From SEC’s Alabama vs. Ole Miss to ACC’s Florida State vs. Louisville, or even the non-conference showdown between Oklahoma and Ohio State; we won’t be short of must-watch TV in Week 3. Here are our early thoughts on the best of Week 3’s NCAAF games, complete with free online college football odds.

Predicting College Football Week 3 Top Games (Sept. 15-17)



#6 Houston (-7.5) at Cincinnati, Thursday, September 15

Winning NCAAF Pick: Houston

The Cincinnati Bearcats have won five straight at home over Houston and gone 4-0-1 ATS in the process, and are hoping to tap into that home stadium magic when they host the Cougars at the Nippert Stadium this Thursday. That, however, is easier said than done, as Houston is the hottest non-conference team in the nation right now, following their impressive upset win over Oklahoma with a 42-0 shutout win over Lamar last weekend. In addition, Houston’s Greg Ward Jr. brings a huge QB advantage over Cincy’s Hayden Moore, and the Cougars are impressively 5-1 SU and ATS in their last 6 road games. All things considered, the Cougars should therefore be your preferred winning pick in this crucial AAC encounter.

#2 Florida State (-4.5) at #10 Louisville, Saturday, September 17

Winning NCAAF Pick: Louisville

Led by defensive end DeMarcus Walker (league-high 4.5 sacks in 2016, the Seminoles have one of the best defenses in the nation, while the 48.5 PPG scoring and 344 passing yards averages in the Deondre Francois-led offense attest to FSU’s strength on the attacking end of things. More than that, the Noles have owned this series against Louisville in recent times, winning three of the last four vs. the Cards. That being said, the Cardinals are playing arguably their best football in over five years, thanks to their anomaly of a player in 19-year-old QB Lamar Jackson. The young dual-threat QB, whose seen his Heisman Trophy odds skyrocket up the betting boards, has accounted for 13 touchdowns through the first two games (seven passing and six rushing), including 5 total TDs and 610 total yards of offense in the 62-28 decimation of Syracuse last weekend. With Jackson and Louisville peaking offensively and the defense also playing up to its strengths, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cardinals deliver an upset, particularly now that Florida State’s starting safety Derwin James is set to miss this game with a knee surgery while highly-regarded RB Dalvin Cook hasn’t been at his best so far in the season.

#3 Ohio State (-2.5) at #14 Oklahoma, Saturday, September 17

Winning NCAAF Pick: Oklahoma

The Buckeyes are off to red-hot start and are looking to cement their name as 2016-17 college football playoff favorites with a signature win over the Sooners, who already lost to the Houston Cougars two weeks ago. On paper, Ohio State looks like the more balanced side, with defensive stars such as Malik Hooker (three interceptions) and Rodijay Burns and a hell-of-a-quarterback in J.T. Barrett. That makes them trendy pick for the win here, and rightfully so. But make not the mistake of sleeping on the Sooners. Baker Mayfield is as solid as they come at QB and the RB duo of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon will keep Ohio State’s defense on its toes all day, and the Sooners defense is no slouch either. Add the extra-motivation from the Sooners’ small margin of error for reaching the playoffs plus the electric stadium at Norman into the mix; you get a game-of-the-week candidate right here, with Oklahoma serving as dangerous upset threat over the talented—but largely inexperienced—Buckeyes who haven’t been battle-tested against a free-flowing offense like the Sooners.

#1 Alabama (-9.5) at #19 Ole Miss, Saturday, September 17

Winning NCAAF Pick: Alabama

Here we go again riding on the rarely-disappointing Alabama hype train. In spite of losing to Ole Miss over the last two straight seasons, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have been favored by more than a touchdown in their visit to Mississippi this Saturday. Chad Kelly and his Rebels are talented to make this game interesting, and I strongly bet that they’ll do that at least until the third quarter. After that, Alabama’s defense stifling defense will take over and someone will rise up big in the same way Derrick Henry came up against LSU last season, giving the Crimson Tide a much-needed boost for the win. It’s doubtable that the Rebels will give as many as 10 points to Alabama, but you should almost be guaranteed that Saban will do everything to get the stubborn Rebel monkey off his back with an outright win.