College football game picks, odds for Week 3: Roll with Notre Dame, Virginia Tech
It's a busy slate in Week 3, but these picks should help you win
Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright.
Last week, I went 2-1 on the picks, plus a win in the upset special. Northwestern Wildcats let me down at Duke Blue Devils , but UTSA Roadrunners came through at Baylor Bears . I probably will not have a more obvious upset special all season. After two weeks, I am now 5-1 on the regular picks and 1-1 on the upset special.
Week 3 Picks
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Boston College Eagles (+13.5): The history of this series would indicate that Notre Dame is in for a fight against the Eagles. Since a 52-20 win by the Irish in 1997, Notre Dame has an 8-7 lead in the series, but only one of those wins was by enough to cover the spread in this game. That said, this Boston College team just got run off its own field by Wake Forest Demon Deacons . Even if BC is extra feisty for Notre Dame, that will probably not be enough to keep this game close. Pick: Notre Dame (-13.5).
Virginia Tech Hokies at East Carolina Pirates (+21): It is not that long ago that a trip to East Carolina for a major conference school was fraught with peril. Ah, but these are not those days. The Pirates will be breaking in a new defensive coordinator this week against the Hokies. Firing an assistant this early into the season is never a good sign. Virginia Tech's freshman QB Josh Jackson is off to a great start in his young career. Pick: Virginia Tech (-21).
Baylor at Duke (-14): So far, Baylor has lost -- at home -- to Liberty and UTSA. Now, they travel to Durham to play a Blue Devils squad coming off of a dominating performance against Northwestern. I think Bears coach Matt Ruhle will eventually get things turned around, but that is a larger task than originally expected. Unless Duke is too busy living high off of last week, covering this spread should be easy. Pick: Duke (-14).
Upset of the Week
Purdue Boilermakers at Missouri Tigers (-7.5): If you have followed this column the last couple of seasons, you have probably made a lot of money on my numerous recommendations that you bet against my Boilermakers. That's right … my Boilermakers. I am a Purdue grad, so I make this pick with no small amount of trepidation. However, things are different for Purdue in the debut season of coach Jeff Brohm so far. The Boilermakers are scoring points early and often, including 28 on Louisville Cardinals in the opener and 44 last week against Ohio Bobcats . Mizzou, on the other hand, just fired its defensive coordinator after allowing 31 points last week to South Carolina Gamecocks and 43 to FCS Missouri State in Week 1. Uh oh. I expect that the Tigers will get their share too, but if they are going to make this line stand up, let alone win, they may need to score 50. Pick: Purdue (+7.5). PS -- Over 78.5 looks pretty good, too.
Other CFP candidates in action
Colorado State Rams at Alabama Crimson Tide (-28.5) Pick: Alabama
Tulane at Oklahoma Sooners (-34) Pick: Tulane
Texas Longhorns at USC (-15) Pick: Texas
Clemson Tigers at Louisville (+3) Pick: Louisville
Georgia State Panthers at Penn State Nittany Lions (-38.5) Pick: Georgia State
Fresno State Bulldogs at Washington Huskies (-33) Pick: Washington
Air Force Falcons at Michigan Wolverines (-24.5) Pick: Air Force
Army West Point Black Knights at Ohio State Buckeyes (-30.5) Pick: Ohio State
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Pitt (+14) Pick: Oklahoma State
Wisconsin Badgers at Brigham Young Cougars (15.5) Pick: Wisconsin
LSU Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs (+7) Pick: LSU
Here are the early lines for big Week 5 games from Vegas
Louisville and TCU get big-time bumps after conference rivals fell on Saturday
Georgia jumped four spots to No. 8, while Florida State dropped 14 spots to No. 25
The Bulldogs jumped up to No. 7 after an emphatic win over Mississippi State
The Penn State running back made a case that he's a legit Heisman Trophy contender
The Nittany Lions came up huge when they needed to against Iowa