Best Bets for 2021 College Football Season: Week 3

09/16/2021
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Normally, I stay in my lane with writing and evaluating prospects for the NFL Draft No question about it, if you go into my work history here with Cover 1, there’s plenty of breakdowns on prospects and scenarios it. Throwing a curveball once in a while is always a good thing.

In my spare time, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn the ins and outs of sports betting. Especially with the NFL and college football.

Much like everyone, some weekends are more successful than others but I think Week 3 of college football has some intriguing games where you might be able to cash in on a couple of tickets. Let’s review some of my best bets for week 3 of the college football season!

Maryland (-7.5) vs. Illinois | 9pm EST on Friday (9/17/21)

Despite beating the brakes off Nebraska to start the season, Illinois has quickly come back to earth. They got smoked by Virginia last week 42-14. They allowed over 550 total yards and were incredibly inefficient throwing the ball. They only completed 53% of their passes and were 6-for-17 on third down. After consecutive losses, some would say they’re destined to bounce back as a 7.5-point underdog at home but I don’t see it.

Maryland has only allowed 235.5 total yards per game this season while averaging 535 total yards on offense per game. The Terrapins have outscored their opponents 92-24 to start the season and that’s with an impressive 30-24 win against West Virginia.

While Tua Tagovailoa is playing with the Miami Dolphins, his brother, Taulia is of to a hot start by completing 76% of his passes and has over 600 yards passing with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. Look for him to continue to build on that this week with senior wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr., who is averaging 21.8 yards per catch. The Terrapins beat the Fighting Illinis 63-33 in 2018 and I expect another blowout win on Friday night.

Best bet — Maryland -7.5 (-110)

Michigan State (+6.5) @ #24 Miami(FL) | 12pm EST on Saturday (9/18/21)

Losing to the Crimson Tide to start the season was expected for the Hurricanes, however, it wasn’t expected that they would lose in a blowout. Last week, they turned their attention to App State and while they won, it was a lot closer than expected. They escaped with a narrow home win of 25-23 and things don’t get easier for Miami.

They welcome in the Michigan State Spartans for a week 3 tilt that could lead to plenty of fireworks. Miami is allowing 33.5 points per game and have only scored 19 points per game so far this season. Their offense is due to get going with D’Eriq King at quarterback but Michigan State is only allowing 17.5 points per game.

Certainly, the Spartans blew out Youngstown State last weekend but they looked impressive on the road against Northwestern to start the season. Their leading rusher is transfer running back from Wake Forest in Kenneth Walker. In years past, their offense starts incredibly slow but for consecutive weeks, they’ve been able to score on the first play from scrimmage. Could they do it again on Saturday?

The key will be which team can run the ball efficiently and so far, the Spartans have been able to do that. This is the best they’ve looked in the last few seasons and they’re hitting a tough road game at the right time. Before the Big Ten schedule kicks into high gear and they’ve got a plethora of running backs to use at their disposal from Walker to Simmons or Collins. Keep tabs on Spartans wide receiver Jayden Reed who is able to make a splash play whenever he’s on the field.

Maybe I’m a Spartan homer but +6.5 is far too juicy of a number for a Michigan State team that is clicking on all cylinders while Miami looks like the same overhyped Hurricane team that we see every single season.

Best bet — Michigan State +6.5 (-105)

Nevada @ Kansas State | 2pm EST on Saturday (9/18/21)

Don’t get me wrong, this is the game I’m most hesitant on. We don’t know what Kansas State will actually be but they’re playing without starting quarterback Skylar Thompson who is out indefinitely with a knee injury. The offense will run through their running back Deuce Vaughn but if there’s any inconsistency at quarterback, it could be a long day for the Wildcats.

As for the Wolf Pack, they bring in a quarterback that’s been turning heads all summer long with Carson Strong. He’s got an elite connection with talented wide receiver Romeo Doubs. This connection could going early and it’s poised to be the difference maker in the game.

Kansas State is 2-0 on the season and have only given up 156 yards per game through the air while not surrendering a touchdown. That’s destined to change as the old saying goes, “not all great things are meant to last forever.” Last week against Southern Illinois, the Wildcats allowed 23 points in the 2nd quarter and were down two points (23-21) going into the half.

While I do have hard time deciding a winner of the game, I do think Nevada can grab a lead in the 1st half. They were up big last week against Idaho State and were only down 1 point against Cal in the season opener. Now that they’ve shook off the summer rust, the Wolf Pack will continue to build on this with over a 1-point lead on Saturday against Kansas State.

Best bet — Nevada 1H Spread -0.5 (-105)

#19 Arizona State @ #23 BYU (+3.5) | 10:15pm EST on Saturday (9/18/21)

Some unbeaten team is destined to lose on this one. That’s obvious, right? But who will it be? Starting with Arizona State, they’ve got an intriguing quarterback prospect that has caught my eye since he arrived on campus for the Sun Devils. That’s junior prospect Jayden Daniels. His freshman season was impressive with 17 touchdowns and 2 interceptions but this year he’s been off to a slow start.

It could be tough for him on Saturday on the road against a BYU defense that has only allowed 178 passing yards per game. In their in-state rivalry game against Utah last weekend, BYU held the Utes starting quarterback Charlie Brewer to only 147 yards passing.

While the Cougars lack the same star power they had last season with Zach Wilson in the NFL, their offense is averaging 25 points per game to start the season. Much of that is behind the legs of their running back Tyler Allgeier. He’s got 196 rushing yards on 44 carries this season. While the Sun Devils have only allowed 83 yards on the ground this year, I’d expect BYU to find ways to create openings led by center James Empey (Junior IOL 6-4 303 lbs.).

One player to keep close tabs on in this one is Arizona State running back Rachaad White (Senior 6-2 210 lbs). He’s got 148 rushing yards on 29 carries and four touchdowns so far this season. He’s got the ability to power forward on short yardage but he’s got some impressive start-stop ability. His pad level can be an issue but keep tabs on him for potential prop bets or again as a player to be a difference maker down in the red zone.

As of now, the over/under on this game is set at 51.5 points but I’ll be staying away from that total as I’m not sure what type of offenses we’ll be getting from either team on this game. However,  I do like the home team and I trust that the Cougars can run a balanced offense and have a good enough defense to limit the Sun Devils from an offensive explosion.

Best bet — BYU +4.5 (-120)

 

National Scout for Cover 1. Host of Cover 1 | The NFL Draft Podcast. NFL Draft Enthusiast. X's and O's. Heard on ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio and CBS Sports Radio.

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