I'm an idiot, but if there's anything I've learned over the years of publicly picking games for the world to see, it's that you should never celebrate good weeks. When you do, you only set yourself up for a terrible week to follow.
So I'll just say that I'm entering Week 3 of the college football season with some confidence after last week and that I like this week's slate of games even better than last week's. We know more about teams after seeing multiple games, and there are plenty of spots where we can take advantage of market overcorrections.
Lock Pod: The Cover 3 crew break down Week 3 slate and give picks for Alabama-Florida, Penn State-Auburn, Top 25 upsets, underdog picks of the week
So why don't we do that? All lines are via Caesars Sportsbook.
Games of the Week
No. 1 Alabama at No. 11 Florida: Yeah, you're not going to catch me giving you any reason to fade Alabama in this matchup. In theory, Florida is the type of team that can put a bigger scare into Alabama than most other SEC teams. To beat Alabama these days, you have to be capable of scoring at least 40 points, and a Dan Mullen team can do that. Well, last year's team could've, anyway. I'm not sold that the 2021 version of the Gators can.
Fans are clamoring for quarterback Anthony Richardson to see more snaps than he's been getting, but Richardson has torn apart two bad teams in limited time. He's gotten away with a lot of stuff he wouldn't be able to against Alabama, even if he does offer big-play potential. And, at the end of the day, whether it's Richardson or Emory Jones, this Florida offense isn't capable of keeping up. My only concern here is that Bryce Young struggles in what will be the most difficult environment he's played in so far. Of course, he could get off to a slow start, and I can still see the Tide covering this number with ease. Alabama 38, Florida 17 | Alabama (-14.5)
No. 22 Auburn at No. 10 Penn State: Auburn has looked awesome in the first two weeks, hasn't it? We're talking about an offense averaging 61 points per game while Bo Nix completes 74% of his passes for 9.8 yards per attempt with five touchdowns and no interceptions. That's awesome. The problem is, two games against Akron and Alabama State aren't going to convince me this is a new Bo Nix.
No, the Bo Nix I know has always been much better at home than on the road. Nix has completed 63% of his passes at home and averaged 7.7 yards per attempt with 15 touchdowns and one interception. On the road, his completion rate drops to 54.5%, his YPA plummets to 5.7, and he's thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (nine). Now Nix and Auburn are on the road against a Penn State team that has picked up two more impressive wins than the Tigers have, and the Nittany Lions will win out in this big cat battle at home Saturday night. Penn State 27, Auburn 17 | Penn State (-5)
Lock of the Week
Michigan State at No. 24 Miami: There are times when you bet a game because your numbers tell you that the point spread or total is off. Then there are the times when you bet a game based on a well-established principle, like last week when the under in Air Force and Army was our Lock of the Week. And then there are the times when you're placing a bet because you've watched the two teams playing in the game, and the lines put out don't make a lick of sense.
This is the latter. I mean, I could be wrong. It's certainly happened before. That said, there's nothing I've seen from either one of these teams that suggests to me Miami should be this large a favorite. A Miami that deserves to be favored by nearly a touchdown against Michigan State breezes past Appalachian State last week and doesn't need a late field goal to avert disaster.
Meanwhile, Michigan State has looked solid on both sides of the ball through two weeks. The competition hasn't been fierce, but this is more about how solid the Spartans have looked. I don't think the market has caught on yet. Michigan State 28, Miami 27 | Michigan State (+6.5)
Bounceback of the Week
Tulsa at No. 9 Ohio State: Talk about the wrong place at the wrong time. If you're Tulsa, facing Ohio State is already a monumental task, but catching the Buckeyes a week after they lost their first regular-season game under Ryan Day is horrible luck. This will be one of those "work out the kinks" weeks for the Buckeyes. Offensively, they've been explosive but inconsistent overall. Defensively, they've had serious problems generating pressure and getting stops.
Tulsa should provide opportunities to smooth out both sides of the ball, and I don't think the Buckeyes will be taking their foot off the gas if they get up big. With one loss on the resume, it will be important to look as powerful as possible any time the opportunity to do so presents itself. Ohio State 52, Tulsa 10 | Ohio State (-24.5)
Rodent of the Week
Minnesota at Colorado: We are two weeks into the season, and Colorado has one of the best rush defenses in football. The Buffs allow only 2.51 yards per carry, and have a defensive success rate of 81.3% against the run, which has them tied for third nationally with San Diego State. It's a remarkable turnaround considering the Buffs allowed 5.44 yards per carry last season, and it's one I'm not sold on as of yet.
First of all, the Buffs shut down Northern Colorado in their opener. Then last week, they limited an Aggies ground attack that had lost Haynes King to injury early in the game. This allowed the Colorado defense to load the box and force backup Zach Calzada to beat them. He struggled to do so. This week the Buffs face a Minnesota rushing attack that may be without its star but is relentless in its goal to run the ball nonetheless. Minnesota ranks 26th nationally in rushing EPA from non-QBs since the start of the 2020 season, and I think it can control the clock and keep this one close. Colorado 24, Minnesota 23 | Minnesota (+3)
QB Mismatch of the Week
Nevada at Kansas State: Last season, Kansas State got off to a 2-1 start and upset Oklahoma when Skylar Thompson was at QB. Then Thompson got hurt, and while the Wildcats won their first two games (against TCU and Kansas) without him, they lost five straight to finish the season with Will Howard. A big reason for this is Howard being one-dimensional. Opposing defenses don't show him respect in the passing game because they don't have to, and once they figured that out, the Kansas State offense was stifled.
Well, a year later, we're looking at the same situation. Add in the fact the Wolf Pack have a possible first-round pick at QB in Carson Strong, and I think it's too big of a matchup advantage to ignore. Which stinks, honestly, because I was very high on the Wildcats coming into the season. Sadly, the Thompson injury changed the calculus quite a bit. Nevada 27, Kansas State 23 | Nevada (-2)
SportsLine Pick of the Week
Games of the Week
Lock of the Week
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 3, and which Top 25 favorite goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past five-plus seasons -- and find out.