College Football Games of the Week: Week 3


This week we are looking at the biggest matchups that provide us with the best money-making opportunities across college football. After breaking down this week’s best games, these are the lines in these big games where I see the largest edges in the market.


Miami at Texas A&M

(Texas A&M -5.5, O/U 44.5, FanDuel Sportsbook)

Last weekend, Appalachian State was able to go into Kyle Field and stun the Aggies in College Station. This week Miami will be looking to do the same thing, while Jimbo Fisher will be trying to keep any hopes for this season alive for Texas A&M.

Against a less talented opponent last week, A&M’s offense was abhorrent. They posted just a 28th percentile success rate on a fifth percentile EPA per play against the Mountaineers, who had just allowed 63 points to North Carolina the week before. Haynes King looked completely outmatched, throwing for just 97 yards and averaging -0.63 EPA/play.

On the defensive side of the ball, things were much more promising for Texas A&M. They held App State to a 14th percentile success rate and only 17 points, which should result in a win most days. This defense also shut out FCS Sam Houston State and is ranked as the No. 2 defense in the country by SP+.

The Miami Hurricanes will be one of their biggest tests all season. Miami has had a promising start to the season under new head coach Mario Cristobal. Miami’s offense currently ranks 14th in the country in SP+ behind the arm of start quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. The Hurricane offense has posted success rates in the 99th and 92nd percentiles against Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss, respectively. The schedule has been weak so far, but Miami has the best success rate in the country at 65% and also ranks first with a 69% rushing success rate.

Miami’s defense has had similar success against this weak schedule, ranking 11th in the country in success rate thus far. This side of the ball is not projected to be quite as strong as the offense though. SP+ ranks Miami’s defense as just the 39th best in the nation, which is well behind where you would want it for a team with conference championship (and possibly playoff?) aspirations.

In the end, I think the lack of offense is going to be what causes issues for Texas A&M. This game projects to play out as a lower scoring affair, but I think that the Hurricane defense should be able to manage Haynes King and keep the Aggies from scoring too much.

The Pick: Miami +5.5. Play to +3.5

Penn State at Auburn

(Penn State -3, O/U 47, PointsBet)

Penn State is going to become the first Big Ten team to ever travel to Jordan Hare Stadium this weekend. Last year these two played in Happy Valley and Penn State came out of it with a 28-20 victory.

Auburn is coming off victories against Mercer and San Jose State as would be expected of them. Their game against San Jose State was closer than expected last week as they only won by eight, failing to cover the large spread. This score was a bit misleading though as Auburn had a 99th percentile success rate to San Jose State’s 37th percentile success rate. The Tigers did dominate this game, but it doesn’t show by just the final score.

So far Penn State has demolished Ohio and picked up a tough conference road victory against Purdue on the opening Thursday night. If they are able to win this week, they should be able to take a big jump up in the AP Top 25.

This year’s Penn State team is having to replace a lot of production in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Only two starting offensive linemen and one starting defensive lineman returned this season. While Purdue has a good defense, they weren’t going to challenge Penn State in the same way that Auburn will be able to with the level of athletes and experience that they have up front. The Tigers have a top ten offensive and defensive line this season, which will make things tough on Penn State’s inexperienced players.

Quarterback is the main question for Auburn. Last week it seemed like TJ Finley separated himself from Robby Ashford as the official starting quarterback, but both have played this season. Finley was outplayed by Ashford against Mercer but got most of the passing opportunities last weekend while Ashford only had two pass attempts. If there is a downfall for Auburn in this game, it will be that the quarterback situation hasn’t resolved itself yet.

Still, I am going to trust that the offensive line of Auburn and star running back Tank Bigsby will be able to carry this offense against Penn State’s front seven. Sean Clifford will have his hands full with this defensive line all day and will have his worst game of the season. When in doubt, I’ll take the home underdog.

The Pick: Auburn +3 (-107). Play to +3


Michigan State at Washington

(Washington -3, O/U 56.5, BetMGM)

In another great matchup at a campus site, Michigan State travels to Seattle this weekend to take on Washington. Both teams so far have had very similar paths by blowing out multiple inferior opponents. It appears that Washington is starting to get their program back on track under Kalen Deboer, at least through these two easy games to the start of his tenure.

In terms of success rates, these two teams are basically identical in both running the ball and run defense this year, but the passing game is where the two are separate. Michigan State has been more average both passing the ball and defending the pass while Washington has been very good at both so far. Last time that Michael Penix Jr. faced Michigan State, he threw for 320 yards and two scores while leading Indiana to a win in 2020.

Playing at home, I think that Washington will be able to keep the momentum going behind the arm of Penix and come out of this one with a close win. Some of the market has moved to -3.5, but you can still find -3 (-115) at BetMGM using our FTN Bets Odds Page.

Pick: Washington -3 -115. Bet to -3

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