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The 15 best bets for Week 3 of college football gambling, including Ohio State

Let’s pick out some wagers for loaded Week 3 of college football.

Rutgers v Ohio State Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

All wagers at -110 odds and for 1 unit unless otherwise noted. My picks are in bold, with that team’s spread attached. All odds listed below are current as of date picks were made. Visit Odds Shark for updated lines throughout each game week.

Season record: 14-14 (50%) ($-125)

In Week 2, I went 11-5 ($555), in a solid bounce back.

Picks made Thursday, Sept. 13

These are mostly lines on which I’d waited, to see if they would move in my favor during the week.

  • Eastern Michigan at Buffalo-3: This is more of a fade of Eastern Michigan, which probably did not deserve to win against Purdue. The line has come down from 5 to 3.
  • ULM +27 at Texas A&M: This is an enormous sandwich spot for the Aggies, coming off a loss to Clemson and having Alabama on deck. ULM is a bad but not terrible team.
  • Georgia Southern +34 at Clemson: Georgia Southern is improved this season. This is a classic flat spot for Clemson.
  • Missouri at Purdue +7: Missouri has looked strong, but has a lookahead to Georgia next week. Purdue is 0-2, but has had post-game win probabilities of 65 and 57 percent in its first two games. That means I am getting a chance to take a team which the public sees is 0-2, but which the data says should probably be 2-0.
  • Fresno State -1 at UCLA: Fresno outgained Minnesota by 18 percent per play, yet lost. If the Bulldogs were 2-0, like their performance suggests they should be, this number would likely be over a field goal.

Picks made Sunday, Sept. 9 or earlier

I often tell readers of my college football gambling column that the best bets can be found in the opening lines on Sunday afternoons. Lines tend to be sharper after they’ve been bet all week. Note that many of the lines below have since changed.

Of course, if you’re trying to bet thousands of dollars on each game, the low limits (typically $250-500 max bets per game) early in the week can be a hindrance, but I’m figuring most of my readership is playing $100 per game or less.

So bolded here are my early hits from the Sunday before Week 3, along with ones from back in the summer.


  • I already had a play on Boston College +1.5 at Wake Forest (see below) from the summer.


  • Georgia State at Memphis -22.5: Memphis outgained Navy on a per-play basis and probably deserved to win a game it lost. My spread for this game would be 26.


  • TCU vs. Ohio State -12 (in Arlington): I am not convinced that TCU can hold up along the lines of scrimmage. And I believe that this will be a neutral crowd.
  • Old Dominion (-3) at Charlotte: I was on both of these teams over the weekend, successfully. But I believe ODU to be the better team. (This game has since been moved to Thursday, due to the hurricane.)
  • Miami at Toledo +11: Toledo is a strong MAC team, and this is a lot of points to lay on the road for a Miami team that did not have its act together offensively in the opening week.
  • Florida State -2.5 at Syracuse: FSU’s offense has been a disappointment. But so has Syracuse’s defense, which gave up 9.4 yards/play to WMU.
  • I already have a play on Alabama at Ole Miss +22 (see below) from the summer.
  • Georgia Tech at Pitt+3 (+100): The Yellow Jackets moved the ball well on Saturday against USF. But they also sustained a ton of injuries.
  • UMass +4.5 at Florida International: FIU is 2-0 against the spread, despite arguably not deserving to cover either game.
  • Boise State +3.5 at Oklahoma State: Boise has already gone on the road and passed a tough test when it crushed Troy in Week 1. QB Brett Rypien is someone I can trust.

Ongoing futures and prop bets

Before the season started, I made 26 futures or prop bets, which I published between May and August. My current record on these is 0-0, with a profit of $0.

This will be a crucial week for some of these wagers. Washington at Utah is important for their chances to get back in the playoff race. Virginia needs to beat Ohio in the game moved to Nashville due to Hurricane Florence. And if FSU loses at Syracuse any hope of going 8-4 is done. Meanwhile, if UCLA loses at home to Fresno, it could legitimately be staring a 2-10 type season in the face.


None yet.


None yet.

Up in the air

  • Washington to win the national championship (+2400)
  • Washington over 8.5 wins (-200)
  • Michigan State over 7.5 wins (-155)
  • Stanford under 9.5 wins (-170)
  • Tennessee under 6.5 wins (-160)
  • Virginia over 5 wins (-110)
  • Boston College over 5.5 wins (-110)
  • Oregon over 8.5 (-120)
  • Northwestern under 6 (+100)
  • Florida State over 7.5 wins (-110)
  • UCLA under 5.5 wins (-115)
  • Washington State under 6.5 wins (-110)
  • Pittsburgh under 5.5 wins (+100)
  • Virginia Tech under 8.5 wins (-110)
  • Boston College +1.5 at Wake Forest (Futures line)
  • Florida at Mississippi State -3 (Futures line)
  • Alabama at Ole Miss +22.5 (Futures line)
  • Wisconsin at Michigan -3 (Futures line)
  • N.C. State +19.5 at Clemson (Futures line)
  • USC to win the Pac-12 (+485)
  • NC State to win ACC (+6000)
  • Georgia Tech to win ACC (+6000)
  • Clemson to make the Playoff (-130)
  • Alabama to not make the Playoff (+280)
  • Oklahoma to make the Playoff (+425)
  • Notre Dame to make the Playoff (+600)

Do you have any favorite action for this week? Let me know in the comments.