College Football Plays Week 3 Free picks

***Northern Illinois +27.5 at Michigan  ***Over 54

Michigan’s defense has been stout over their first two games; however, Washington and Western Michigan did not bring much to the table offensively. Enter Northern Illinois, who could very well be the best offense Michigan faces so far this season. The Huskies have averaged a solid 389 points per game in their first two contests – one of which was on the road vs Georgia Tech. They return all five offensive lineman who are moving bodies – freshman running back Harrison Waylee is number three in the NCAA with 323 rushing yards early on in the college season. This line is just too high for the type of offense that Northern Illinois brings to the table. Take the underdog here and a play on the over (The total is listed at 54 at the Westgate Super Book) is also acceptable.  

***Illinois +8 vs Maryland (Circa line) 

Maryland hits the road for the first time this season after a good win vs West Virginia at home and a blowout victory vs FCS side Howard. Maryland’s recent ATS results away from home have been underwhelming. They’ve covered three out of nine on the road in their last 9 games and are 1-2 ATS in their last three as a road favorite. Illinois QB Brandon Peters will be back after getting hurt in week one and some changes to the Illini offensive line should be a positive. The buzz around Maryland’s defense is premature as most run-of-the-mill FBS teams could and should keep a team like Howard’s offensive production low. Only 28% of the public is on Illinois as of this writing. The Illini offense should get back on track at home here – take the home dog.  

***Oklahoma -22 vs Nebraska 

Nebraska has rebounded a bit after the debacle in week zero at Illinois, rattling off two strong defensive performances vs. Fordham and Buffalo. However, the Huskers climb on the E-ticket ride this Saturday, facing an Oklahoma offense that is averaging 58 points per game and 6 yards per play so far this season – solid numbers. Dating back to 2016, Nebraska has managed a 5-7 ATS (41.7%) record vs. ranked teams and is 12-14 (46.2%) ATS overall as an underdog… could get ugly quick in Norman folks. Lay it.   

**Alabama -14.5 at Florida (Circa line) 

In the Nick Saban era, the Crimson Tide holds a 33-22 (60%) ATS record as road favorites – the situation they find themselves in here as they visit Florida. Florida’s defense has allowed 21.5 first downs over their first two games vs. Florida Atlantic and a bad South Florida squad. The Gator defense was also last in the SEC last year allowing just under 30 TD passes in the pandemic-shortened season. Florida has upgraded the defensive backfield a bit, but not enough to withstand elite level SEC teams like Alabama. Since 2015, the Gators are 11-14 (44%) ATS vs ranked opponents. There’s just too much here pointing to Alabama. 

***Liberty -27.5 vs Old Dominion 

Liberty is much ballyhooed for their offense, led by Heisman dark horse QB Malik Willis. However, it’s their defense that I believe will allow them to cover the big number at home this week. The Liberty defense is #7 in all college football in yards per game allowed and there is no reason to think that the Flames D won’t be effective vs. FCS side Old Dominion. Liberty is 7-4 (63.6%) ATS as a home favorite over the past 3 seasons. Old Dominion put up only 127 passing yards in week one vs Wake Forest and are averaging 5.5 penalties per game – the lack of discipline won’t help as a big underdog on the road. Lay the points with Liberty.  

**San Diego State +9 vs Utah

This line has moved a bit too much (opened Utah -7) and the Aztecs are the live home dogs here. San Diego State has an injury issue at QB but back up Lucas Johnson is a mature player that shouldn’t make costly mistakes. Utah is 1-5 ATS in it’s last 6 non-conference games. Utah gave up over 200 rushing yards to BYU last week – I don’t see this defensive unit being good enough to keep the Aztecs from scoring enough to keep things close. Take the points.



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