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College Football Week 3 Betting Recap

NCAAF Week 3 Betting Recap

Each week during the college football season, we will do a Monday morning autopsy to figure out where we were right, where we were wrong and where the box score may not have lined up with the final result. Here are some notable results from Week 3:

Where We Were Right…

Maryland -15 vs Virginia
We projected a final score of 38-13. The final score was 42-14, but the Terps certainly didn’t make it easy. After going down 14-0 to Charlotte last week, Maryland dug another 14-0 hole to Virginia on Friday night. The Terps benefited from a 4-0 turnover differential AND a kickoff return for a touchdown, but were not impressive in the effort, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Here’s the kicker: Take a look at Maryland’s schedule. The Terps will be heavy underdogs to Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, but outside of those three games, Maryland may stumble its way into at least an 8-4, possibly 9-3 season just based on their list of upcoming opponents: Michigan State, Indiana, Northwestern and Nebraska.

Air Force vs Utah State Over 45
These teams combined for 94 and 61 points in their last two meetings. Why was the total for this one only 45.5?! We’re not sure, but Air Force had this one on cruise control from the opening kickoff. The Falcons are going to be a tough out in the Mountain West this season.

Ohio +2.5 vs Iowa State
What a day for the MAC as a whole. Ohio took down Iowa State. Miami (Oh) beat Cincinnati as a two-touchdown underdog. Toledo took down San Jose State in a quality Group of Five matchup. The battle for the MAC is likely going to come down to those three teams, and if that’s the case, MACtion Tuesdays in November should be quite entertaining.

LSU -9.5 at Mississippi State
Zach Arnett may be in for a long year in Starkville. Most of Mississippi State’s offensive personnel was brought in to run the Air Raid offense under Mike Leach. That group is now adjusting to Kevin Barbay’s offense, and the early returns have not been met with good return. Barbay has done most of his coaching in the MAC at Central Michigan. We’re skeptical that his concepts are going to transition to the SEC.

UMass +7 at Eastern Michigan
The Minutemen are going to be a very tough team to bet on (or frankly, bet against) until they achieve some stability. All four games that UMass has played this season have fishy box score results, and Saturday’s game against Eastern Michigan was no exception. UMass ran 23 more plays than the Eagles, out-gained them by nearly 100 yards and had a 23-14 advantage in first downs. They lost the turnover battle 4-1, which cost them the outright win, but thankfully not the point spread cover.

North Carolina vs Minnesota Under 51
PJ Fleck isn’t going to be rowing the boat very fast with Athan Kaliakmanis under center. Minnesota’s quarterback was 11-for-29 with 133 passing yards and an interception. The Tar Heels’ defense looks to be much improved this season, but if the Gophers couldn’t get anything going in Chapel Hill, that’s not a good sign heading into Big Ten season.

South Alabama +7 at Oklahoma State
Now that we are a few weeks into the season, we have some more data to work with. On the South Alabama side, the Jaguars’ loss to Tulane was pretty surprising in the opener, but since then, Tulane had a shot to beat Ole Miss with their backup QB last week, and the Green Wave just crushed Southern Miss on Saturday. That loss to Tulane doesn’t look so bad anymore. On the other side, Oklahoma State’s signature non-conference win came at Arizona State last week. Arizona State just lost 29-0 at home to a Mountain West team on Saturday. Oklahoma State’s profile just took a big hit this week.

Where We Were Wrong…

Let’s just say, the state of Georgia owes us a few favors over the next couple weeks.

Georgia Southern +20.5 at Wisconsin
The Eagles out-gained the Badgers, had one more first down, won the time of possession and converted better than 50-percent of their thrird downs. And still didn’t cover the spread because of six turnovers. That was a rough day at the office for veteran QB Davis Brin, but overall, Georgia Southern was largely impressive in their their trip to Madison.

Georgia Tech +18 at Ole Miss
This was a seven-point game midway through the fourth quarter. Georgia Tech had 26 first downs, converted 55-percent of their third downs, did not turn the ball over and only punted twice. Lane Kiffin wanted to make some kind of statement by continuing to run offense with less than a minute remaining and adding the spread-covering touchdown in the final seconds.

Charlotte vs Georgia State Under 52
To complete the Georgia trifecta, we turn to Georgia State. This one was doomed by big plays. The Panthers scored on touchdowns of 78 and 97 yards, and Charlotte added two of their own from 46 and 58 yards. A nice chunk of our handicap was surrounding the prior lack of production from Charlotte QB Jalon Jones, who had previously been ineffective through the air. Biff Poggi and the 49ers turned to Trexler Ivey under center for this one, who was 20-of-28 for 257 yards.

Louisville -10 vs Indiana
Strange game. Louisville was up 21-0 then didn’t score in the second half. Hoosiers’ freshman QB Tayven Jackson was solid in his first start against FBS opposition. His progression will be interesting to watch, because Indiana appears to have a pretty solid defense after holding the Cardinals to 21 points in this one and Ohio State to 23 points in Week 1.

Old Dominion vs Wake Forest Over 60.5
The Monarchs are improved, but they have been really reliant on big-play receptions over the last two weeks. Last week against Louisiana, Reymello Murphy caught two passes. Those two receptions were a 36-yard TD and a 61-yard TD. Saturday against Wake Forest, Javon Harvey caught three passes. Those three passes went for 68, 57 and 41 yards. How long is that sustainable? They hit some big plays, but their down-to-down production was very limited against the Demon Deacons.

Troy -2.5 vs James Madison
Before the game, if you would have said, “James Madison is going to have 290 total yards on 4.5 yards per play and go 3-for-16 on third down,” we’re betting on Troy once again with very little hesitation. For as good as Troy’s defense was, the Dukes’ defense was equally up to the challenge.

Arizona State vs Fresno State Over 48
The Sun Devils’ offense was a MASH unit heading into this one. Starting QB Jaden Rashada, tight end Jalin Conyers, running back DeCarlos Brooks and offensive linemen Ben Coleman, Emmit Bohle, Cade Briggs and Isaia Glass were all out.