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 let me down at Duke, but UTSA came through at Baylor. 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 at Boston College (+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. 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 at East Carolina (+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 at Missouri (-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 in the opener and 44 last week against Ohio. Mizzou, on the other hand, just fired its defensive coordinator after allowing 31 points last week to South Carolina 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
Tulane at Oklahoma (-34) Pick: Tulane
Texas at USC (-15) Pick: Texas
Clemson at Louisville (+3) Pick: Louisville
Oklahoma State at Pitt (+14) Pick: Oklahoma State
Alabama crushed USC 52-6 in their last meeting
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