Week 3 in the world of college football wasn’t good for me. I bet heavy on double-digit underdogs and ended up getting bit in the butt. No matter how many points I was getting I still came up short, as favorites were covering left and right in last week’s action.
Most would be gun shy about following that strategy again, but I’m doubling down with a few underdogs I love this week.
2017 CFB ATS Record
Week 1 Picks: —
Week 2 Picks: 1-2 ATS
Week 3 Picks: 1-3 ATS
Iowa +12.5 vs. Michigan – I have not been a fan of this Michigan team. All offseason, I was decrying the program’s inflated ranking, as the Wolverines are a shadow of the squad that nearly made the College Football Playoff last season. Only a handful of starters returned, and after a strong start against Florida this team has had some problems getting past Cincinnati and Air Force the past two weeks.
The offense just isn’t good enough to be laying double digits consistently. Wilton Speight is a serviceable quarterback at best and can’t be relied upon. The ground game is good, but solid defenses can load up against the run and put Michigan in a bad spot by forcing it to beat them through the air.
That’s where Iowa comes in. The Hawkeyes aren’t great on offense either, but they have a solid defense and will have a deafening home crowd at their backs this week. Iowa has a chance to get the outright upset, but I think Kirk Ferentz and Co. are a safe bet to cover.
Boston College +34 at Clemson – This is a classic letdown look-ahead game. Clemson is riding high after back-to-back wins over Auburn and Louisville and looks phenomenal, but it has a very tricky road game against Virginia Tech next week. The Hokies have a non-conference game against lightweight Old Dominion this coming week, and Clemson will almost certainly be looking ahead to VT.
It’s not hard to look past Boston College. The Eagles have gotten crushed by Wake Forest and Notre Dame in the last two weeks, and the offense has been very ineffective once again this season. The shocking part has been how bad this defense has been, but BC has been a little unlucky.
This is still too many points given the situation. Sure, Clemson could blow out Boston College if it was fully focused on this week’s game only, but the Tigers won’t be. Grab the points with the Eagles.
North Carolina State +13 at Florida State – It’s hard to know what to expect from Florida State in this game. The Seminoles will be starting a true freshman at quarterback, and while he has had three weeks to prepare, he is still a freshman.
The Seminoles have a fantastic defense, but they did last year too when they had to rally in the fourth quarter to knock off North Carolina State in Raleigh. This Wolfpack offense they are facing is a much better unit and has been very efficient this season.
Additionally, NC State has one of the best defensive lines in the nation. That will make it hard for FSU to run the ball with Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick, and the Seminoles won’t be able to cover as a result.
Charlotte PK vs. Georgia State – These are two of the worst football teams in the nation, but Georgia State might have the least talent on offense of any team in the country. The Panthers have scored just 10 points this season, and while one of their opponents was Penn State, the other one was FCS foe Tennessee State.
Charlotte can at least score. The 49ers also lost to an FCS opponent in North Carolina A&T, but that is a solid team, so the setback isn’t as embarrassing as you would think.
The 49ers should be a field goal favorite in this one because of home field, but they aren’t. Back them on the money line before the spread goes up.
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