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2014 College Football Week Three Picks
Week two of the season brought us a great day of Saturday college football, with blockbuster games such as USC beating Stanford 13-10 with a late 53 yard field goal and Oregon, and this week’s Heisman front runner Marcus Mariota, taking over in the second half to beat Michigan State 46-27. While week three only has one marquee game, Georgia at South Carolina, there is a near full slate of games to choose from as most teams early season feastings on lesser FBS teams is finally over. Before we get to this week’s selections, here is a quick rundown of last week’s picks.
Arizona – 7 UTSA - Larry Coker and UTSA continue to impress with a tough battle against Rich Rod and Arizona. Last second miracle cover defensive touchdown by Arizona called back by penalty, only win by four 27-23. (L)
Pittsburgh – 4 Boston College – Pittsburgh wins 30-20 as James Connor runs all over BC for 214 yards. In a primetime game against a quality opponent, nearly half of BC’s stadium was empty in the fourth quarter. Way to step it up ‘superfans’. (W)
Kansas State -12 Iowa State – Close game through out with no chance of covering, Kansas State scores late to win 32-28. (L)
Missouri -4 Toledo – The popular upset pick on the pregame shows proves incorrect as Missouri dominates and wins 49-24. (W)
North Texas – 2.5 SMU – Never close, North Texas wins big 43-6. (W)
Penn State -14 Akron – Penn State wins 21-3 in a sluggish game that was only exciting if you were an alum or had money on it. (W)
New Mexico State (pk) Georgia State – New Mexico State scores TD with 15 seconds left to win in a back and forth battle 34-31. (W)
Maryland -12 South Florida – Maryland needs a blocked punt return for touchdown to spark a fourth quarter rally to overcome six turnovers and take out lowly South Florida 24-17. (L)
Georgia Tech – 10 Tulane – Yellow Jackets score the last 24 points of the game to win 38-21. (W)
NC State – 17 Old Dominion – NC State continues underwhelm, winning only by twelve in a game that was closer then the final score appears, 46-34. (L)
UL Monroe -14 vs Idaho UL Lafayette -14 vs La.Tech – Much like a gimic episode of any TV show, this gimic pick of the two UL teams was awful, as neither team covered and the ‘getting votes in the AP poll’ team UL Lafeyette got whooped at home 48-20 in what was week two’s terrible pick of the week. (L,L)
Notre Dame -3 Michigan – In the series finale (for now), Notre Dame stomped on Michigan 31-0 in what was arguably the most dominating performance of the week. Jump on the Everett Golson bandwagon now, regardless of who went pro (Mirer, Powlus, Quinn, Clausen), he is the best ‘college’ quarterback Notre Dame has had since Tony Rice. (W)
Boise State – 10 Colorado State – Boise shows the overreaction spread their week one loss was mistaken, as they win 37-24 (they were up 37-10 going into the fourth quarter). (W)
Arizona State -25 New Mexico – Arizona State wins convincingly covering the large spread on the road, 58-23. (W)
Texas Tech – 21 UTEP – Second straight week of trying to pick the last game of the day and failing miserably as Texas Tech wins by only four, 30-26. (L)
Last weeks record – 9-7 Second record - 13-11
THIS WEEK’S PICKS
North Texas (-3) vs. Louisiana Tech Thursday 8:00 PM
Louisiana Tech and their high powered offense go on the road to take on a North Texas team that is 8-1 against the spread in their last nine home games, including 5-1 on Thursday nights. After Tech’s convincing win last week against UL Lafeyette, a let down can be expected, especially seeing their past history of going 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games following a win. The line drop from 6.5 to 3 does scare me a bit, but I’m still going with the Mean Green on this one.
PICK North Texas – 3
Boise State (-16) at UConn Saturday 12:00 PM
Boise State is well known for their blue turf home stadium, but lately they haven’t been so good on the road, going 1-5 in their last six games away from Bronco Stadium. Combine that with a west coast team traveling across the country for a noon time start and you have a recipe for an upset. Not this time, as I expect running back Jay Ajayi to lead Boise to a big win against a Connecticut team that is 2-7 the last nine games at home against non conference opponents.
PICK Boise State -16
Virginia Tech (– 10) vs. East Carolina Saturday 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech looked impressive in last week’s big win at Ohio State. While a let down wouldn’t be a surprise here, I still like the Hokies to continue their recent success (5-0) against the Pirates and win at home in Blacksburg and continue to add to Frank Beamer’s active coaching leader streak of 268 career wins.
PICK Virginia Tech -10
West Virginia (+3.5) at Maryland Saturday 12:00 PM
My first underdog pick of the year goes to a Mountaineer team that is 10-4 in their last fourteen games as a road dog. Last year Maryland won big against West Virginia 37-0, after going 1-7 in their previous eight matchups. In what should be a very entertaining game to watch, QB Clint Trickett and West Virginia wins.
PICK West Virginia +3.5
Georgia (-6) at South Carolina Saturday 3:30 PM
Week three’s game of the week pits running back Todd Gurley and the Bulldogs going on the road against South Carolina. The Gamecocks and Steve Spurrier have underwhelmed so far this year, and beating a Georgia team that they are on 3-1 against the last four years would be an ideal way to get their season back on track. Giving six points in this game is tough, especially at Brice Stadium, but I’m high on Georgia this year and expect them to continue to impress and much like against Clemson in week one, take over in the fourth quarter to cover and win.
PICK Georgia – 6
Duke (-14) vs. Kansas Saturday 3:30 PM
Charlie Weis is in his third year as coach of Kansas, but unfortunately for him this job doesn’t allow him the opportunity to succeed off the coattails of others, like he did with the Patriots (Belichick) and Notre Dame (succeeded his first with Tyrone Willingham’s players, then got a big contract and the only decent win he had after that was beating Gastric Bypass). Duke is 8-2-1 in their last eleven games, including 7-1-1 as a home favorite. This would be a much better basketball game, Duke wins big.
PICK Duke -14
TCU (–14) vs. Minnesota Saturday 4:00 PM
A battle of trends, as Minnesota is 10-2 in their last twelve road openers and TCU is 23-2 at home in their 25 against non conference opponents. The line opened at ten and has jumped to fourteen since. I would take this game at 20.
PICK TCU -14
Northern Illinois (-10) at UNLV Saturday 7:00 PM
The Huskies had three quarterbacks vying for the starting job to start the season, but after last week’s two passing touchdowns and one running touchdown performance in a upset win at Northwestern, Drew Hare seems to have solidified himself as the starter. Northern Illinois has won fifteen straight road games by an average of almost three touchdowns a game, the success continues against a UNLV team that barely got past Northern Colorado last week.
PICK Northern Illinois -10
Western Kentucky (+1.5) at MTSU Saturday 7:00 PM
The Hilltoppers started the year by crushing Bowling Green and then last week was leading Illinois on the road going into the fourth quarter before falling 42-34. In their last 21 games as a road underdog, they are a whopping 16-4-1 against the spread. In their first even Conference USA game, I like Western Kentucky to win on the road against Middle Tennessee State.
PICK Western Kentucky -1.5
UCLA (-7) at Texas Saturday 8:00 PM
This would have been a much better matchup if Texas didn’t lose quarterback David Ash for possibly the season with a week one concussion. UCLA has won both their games this season, but in underwhelming fashion, getting past both Virginia and Memphis by only a touchdown in each game. Quarterback Brett Hundley, the first African American to lead UCLA in passing since Jackie Robinson, will need significantly better play from his offensive line to get past the Longhorns in this one. Texas is an impressive 12-2 against the spread following a double digit loss at home, but I think Hundley and the Bruins are a touchdown better in this one and pick up the win in a game played in Arlington.
PICK UCLA -7
USC (-17) at Boston College Saturday 8:00 PM
Another game against a quality team, another pick against Boston College. The line has gone down due to the expectation of a Trojan letdown after last week’s win against rival Stanford. Let that misperception continue to drop the line and take whatever it is at game time. Last week BC let up 303 yards on the ground to Pittsburgh, so for those of you on Fanduel or Draftkings, expect a big game out of USC running back Javorius Allen.
PICK USC -17
Arizona State (-14) at Colorado Saturday 10:00 PM
The last three years Arizona State has beaten Colorado 54-13, 51-17 and 48-14. I expect nothing different this year for the Sun Devils as they take on a Colorado team that is 2-6 in their last eight games as a home underdog. I thought this line was going to be at least twenty, go with an Arizona State team that is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games as a double digit favorite.
PICK Arizona State – 14
Arizona (-15.5) vs. Nevada Saturday 11:00 PM
Saturday’s last game of the day has Arizona hosting a Nevada team that is 2-16 in their last eighteen road openers. For the third straight week, I’m going with the Wildcats.
PICK Arizona -15.5
The Big 10 has been a disappointment so far this year, none more so then for bettors, as they are only 2-11 against the spread so far this year…. If you like the option, check out the Georgia Tech vs. Georgia Southern game this week in a game of teams who favor college footballs best play formation…. In a battle of momentum, Penn State, who found out this week that their postseason probation has ended and can play in a bowl game this year, goes up against a Rutgers team playing in their first even Big 10 home game…. As this article is being posted on 9/11, thank you to all those brave men and women out there who defend or have defended our great country. God Bless America