College football’s Week 3 slate is not quite as rich as it was last week. Which means there is no better opportunity to go off the grid than this week.
While all eyes are on Clemson-Louisville, there is still plenty to watch in some of the off-the-radar games.
A theme for the week is the home underdog. Teams like Vanderbilt and ECU fit that category with no love from Vegas, despite the home field advantage. All five of our picks this week are underdogs, so not the best week if you are looking for favorites to cover.
All odds listed are courtesy of OddsShark, and are subject to change. Here’s a look at our best college football bets for Week 3.
No. 1 ECU +21 Against Virginia Tech
Hokies fans know ECU has been a thorn in their side. While the Pirates lost the 2016 matchup, ECU won their previous two matchups with Virgnia Tech. Aside from last year’s matchup, the last four games have been decided by seven points or less.
Vegas likes Virginia Tech on the road by three touchdowns. ECU will not win the game, but they will keep it closer than 21 at home. ECU covers the +21 spread.
No. 2 Texas +15.5 Against USC
We get it. Texas opened this season with a disappointing loss against Maryland. Here’s the truth about the Longhorns, they are not as good as we thought in the pre-season, but they also are not as bad as Vegas is projecting for this weekend. The Longhorns open as more than a two touchdown underdog against USC.
The same Trojans team that has not been the most consistent to start the season. The Trojans win this matchup, but I like Texas to cover the +15.5 spread against USC.
No. 3 MTSU +10.5 Against Minnesota
P.J. Fleck has Minnesota rowing the boat, but their first two wins (Buffalo and Oregon State) were not exactly against college football’s cream of the crop. Middle Tennessee is better than either of these two teams. The Blue Raiders got beat up against Vandy, but bounced back with a win at Syracuse.
MTSU is a double-digit underdog against Minnesota. Look for the Gophers to be in for a battle, as the Blue Raiders cover the +10.5 spread.
No. 4 Vanderbilt +3.5 Against Kansas State
Don’t look now, but Vanderbilt is 2-0. The Commodores have not had the toughest schedule, but have looked good early. Vandy is a 3.5 point underdog at home, and who does not love a home dog? Quarterback Kyle Shurmur has been a big part of Vanderbilt’s success. Shurmur is completing 76 percent of his passes for 498 yards and seven touchdowns.
I like Vandy to not only cover the 3.5 point spread, but win outright to move to 3-0.
No. 5 UAB +2 Against Coastal Carolina
UAB is still riding the momentum of bringing football back to Birmingham. UAB won their lone home game this season, but are a slight home underdog against Coastal. Look for the Blazers to not only cover the two point spread, but win the game outright.