Week 3 takes us into the final massive slate of nonconference play, and a handful of high-value matchups between Power Five teams takes center stage. With every team now multiple games into the season, trends are starting to come into focus. The ranked matchups this week are fascinating, but for our purposes, No. 13 Miami vs. No. 24 Texas A&M and No. 12 BYU vs. No. 25 Oregon provide a chance to cash in on road underdogs.
Finding value takes many forms for sharp bettors. Finding an underdog with the potential to win and deliver an inflated money line victory is a gold standard. However, identifying teams that can pull off a late cover or a favorite that can stretch a lead well past the line can result in winnings as well. If the time is right, we might even delve into over/under plays with upside.
Last week, we should have committed. Appalachian State as a 19-point dog was a layup, but betting the money line would have delivered you +700 by game time. Luckily, Kentucky delivered +185 on the money line over Florida, while the Iowa under remained one of the easiest plays in football. On the flip side, Baylor lost in double-overtime to ruin a money line play and the Texas vs. Alabama score, shockingly, went way under.
Week 3 provides plenty of opportunities for value plays. Here are five games where there's real betting value to be found.
Lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook. Lines may move between publication and kickoff.
No. 12 BYU vs. No. 25 Oregon
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET | Where: Autzen Stadium -- Eugene, Oregon
BYU just pulled off one of the best wins of the season by outlasting Baylor in double-overtime. Still, the Cougars are underdogs to Oregon as they travel to Eugene. Don't look now, but the Ducks have gone 1-4 and been outscored 201-90 in their last five FBS matchups. The only FBS data we have this season on Dan Lanning's team is a 49-3 loss to No. 1 Georgia. The people are all over this with 87% of the betting public taking the Cougars. Take the plus money. Pick: BYU ML (+150)
Texas Tech vs. No. 16 NC State
When: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET | Where: Carter-Finley Stadium -- Raleigh, North Carolina
With Donovan Smith at quarterback, Texas Tech has shown that it can be a real chaos team. The Red Raiders held Houston to just 354 total yards and 3.0 yards per carry in a 33-30 overtime win, while Smith posted 378 total yards with three touchdowns. NC State has a great defense, but the offense looked shaky at best in the opener against East Carolina. If QB Devin Leary can't play hero, Texas Tech's defense is more than physical enough to keep things close. Despite 75% of the public betting on the Red Raiders, the line has only grown from +8. Let bookmakers give you that extra cushion -- it's now a two-score line -- and take the points. Pick: Texas Tech +10 (-110)
Nevada vs. Iowa
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET | Where: Kinnick Stadium -- Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa is favored by 23 points. Put another way, if the Hawkeyes could bring all of the points they have scored this season (14) into this game and guarantee a shutout, they would still have to score twice (with at least one TD) to cover the final line. Nevada is not good but averaging 34 points per game. If the Wolf Pack can muster just a touchdown, Iowa will have to clear 30 points to cover, a mark the program has not matched in its last nine games. Oh, by the way, quarterback Spencer Petras has connected on just one touchdown and nine interceptions over that stretch. Fade Iowa until Iowa can hit a fade. Pick: Nevada +23 (-110)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET | Where: Maryland Stadium -- College Park, Maryland
If you like points and wild passing games, this matchup might be for you. The Terrapins have scored a combined 87 points in their first two games thanks to another strong start from quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. Not to be outdone, the Mustangs launched 93 points against UNT and Lamar, with seven touchdowns coming from the talented arm of Tanner Mordecai. The receiver play will be off the charts with perhaps a half-dozen future NFL pass-catchers on the field. The total has risen three points since open, but it's likely to keep going up. Each team could get into the 40s. Pick: Over 73.5 (-110)
When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET | Where: Kyle Field -- College Station, Texas
Texas A&M was upset 17-14 by Appalachian State thanks to one of the most embarrassing offensive performances in recent memory for a top-10 team. Now, oddsmakers still have the Aggies as 5.5-point favorites with nearly 2-to-1 money line odds. The Hurricanes aren't a perfect team, but quarterback Tyler Van Dyke can cause issues in the secondary and Miami's front seven will prevent Texas A&M from getting on track offensively. Texas A&M deserves zero benefit of the doubt until it accomplishes anything. Pick: Miami ML (+180)
Which picks can you make with confidence, and which Top 25 favorite goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread this week, all from a proven computer model that has returned $3,500 in profit over the past five-plus seasons.