College football picks against the spread for Week 3 as we tackle the lines for every top 25 team in action on the week and place our bets.
There is an abundance of top 25 college football action on the slate this week including some incredibly intriguing games. Alabama vs. Florida is one of the headliners, joined just behind by Auburn visiting Penn State. But don’t overlook Cincinnati traveling to take on Indiana or a number of the other games as well. This all is to say that the college football picks in Week 3 are going to be difficult to make.
Sometimes when you’re making college football picks, especially when you’re picking against the spread and trying to bet point totals, you have boom weeks. There are other times when you have bad weeks. And then there are rare times when it’s right down the middle. That was Week 2 for me as I went 8-8-0 against the spread and 8-8-0 against the totals for games that had available lines. That brings me to 16-17-1 against the spread and 19-13-2 on point totals for the year with a combined record of 35-30-3.
College football picks against the spread for Week 3: No. 25-21
Northern Illinois at 25 Michigan (-27.5) – Under 54.0
Nothing that Northern Illinois has shown to this point makes anyone think they can contain what has been a pretty potent Michigan rushing attack to this point. The under depends on the Wolverines defense but I have enough faith in them controlling the pace and scoring well enough to cover a big line and still hit the under.
Michigan State (+6) at 24 Miami – Under 56.5
Both of these defenses should be able to come by enough stops to keep the point total under a relatively lofty line. But Michigan State has simply looked like the better, hungrier team to this point. Perhaps the Hurricanes can turn it around but, if I’m betting on what I’ve seen, this one goes to Sparty.
19 Arizona State (-3.5) at 23 BYU – Over 51.0
Yes, BYU pulled off an upset over another Pac-12 in Utah last week at home. But the Holy War rivalry is a bit different and changes things. There’s no animosity like that with Arizona State, who has the superior roster in this matchup. Defense will be at a premium but the Sun Devils should win by a touchdown.
22 Auburn at 10 Penn State (-5.0) – Under 53.0
Considering that neither Auburn quarterback Bo Nix nor Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford have a history of playing well against good defenses, I’m taking the under in a hurry. But the Tigers look a bit fraudulent in the top 25 to me as they haven’t played anyone to this point. That changes against the Nittany Lions who, in Happy Valley, will submit a victorious and suffocating defensive performance.
Virginia at 21 North Carolina (-8.0) – Under 66.5
While North Carolina already suffered an upset loss to a team from Virginia, the Cavaliers present another challenge. With that said, the Tar Heels defense has been more impressive than some might realize overall, which is going to cause problems for the potent UVA attack. That will open the door for enough Sam Howell-led explosive plays to give the Heels the win while keeping it under 66.5 points.