College football predictions Week 3 from Wes Reynolds

September 15, 2023 06:32 AM

College football expert betting picks for Week 3

Wes Reynolds is on VSiN Tonight (9 p.m.-12 a.m. ET / 6-9 p.m. PT) and will be posting his weekly college football and NFL best bets for us. He is also one of the hosts of our Long Shots golf betting podcast. He also writes weekly golf previews 

College Football Odds | College Football Betting Splits | College Football Power Ratings

(odds as of September 14, 9:35 p.m. PT)

Liberty (-3.5, 55) at Buffalo

Matchup Analysis

Buffalo is off a home loss to an FCS team in Fordham as 23.5-point favorites. Now the Bulls host 2-0 Liberty, who defeated Bowling Green and New Mexico State, two teams that are power-rated in the bottom 10-20 teams in the country. Liberty also benefited from eight turnovers in its first two games.

Buffalo was actually competitive in Week 1 for 2.5 quarters at Wisconsin before the Badgers broke off an 89-yard touchdown run to bust the game open.

The Bulls lost at home to an FCS team last year against Holy Cross (who nearly won at Boston College last week) and then covered at Coastal Carolina the following week. Coincidentally enough Coastal was coached by the new Liberty coach Jamey Chadwell.

This is the Flames' first road trip of the year, and Buffalo has been game as a home dog (2-1-1 ATS under current coach Linguist and 14-7-1 ATS over the last ten seasons).

Bet: Buffalo +3.5 (to +3)

Louisville (-10, 50.5) vs. Indiana

(Indianapolis, IN: Lucas Oil Stadium)

Matchup Analysis

The Brohm Brothers may have left Purdue to return home to their alma mater at Louisville but get one more crack at Indiana, who has bought out of the second game in the scheduled series. Jeff Brohm was 4-1 vs. Indiana during his tenure at Purdue.

Despite being in a different locale now, the Brohms and Indiana are familiar with each other. Indiana also faces another familiar face in this matchup with former Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer calling the signals for the Cardinals. Plummer has been a bit up and down to start the season with four touchdown passes but three interceptions in his first two games. He will be taking on an Indiana defense that held Ohio State to just 23 points in the opener.

Meanwhile, Indiana looks to have finally decided on its quarterback as Tennessee transfer Tayven Jackson, the younger brother of former Indiana Basketball standout and now Golden State Warrior Trayce Jackson-Davis, will make his second start. Jackson was 18-for-21 for 236 yards against FCS Indiana State, but this is a major step in class.

Indiana has yet to prove that its offense can move the ball against a power five program, and it is likely to struggle here. On the other hand, Louisville has committed four turnovers in two games, the Hoosiers defense is opportunistic, and new defensive coordinator Matt Guerrieri has been an upgrade over head coach Tom Allen in calling the defense.

Bet: Under 50.5 (to 49)

Central Michigan at Notre Dame (-34.5, 51)

Matchup Analysis

Notre Dame is off an impressive road win at NC State but is in a big-time sandwich here with Ohio State coming to South Bend next week.

After a 31-7 blowout loss at Michigan State (just 10-7 with 3:00 left in the third quarter), Central Michigan needed a 47-yard field goal as time expired to get by FCS New Hampshire, 45-42.

The Chippewas have been solid against the run but have allowed 772 passing yards (493 last week) in two games. The question is how much will the Irish attempt to pass in this game as they have run the ball 56.4 percent of the time thus far this season.

Central Michigan quarterback Bert Emanuel Jr. is a dynamic athlete and runner, but not the most accurate passer (just 50 percent completions in two games).

Notre Dame could get up big early and park the bus in the second half (consider the Chippewas and the under on a second-half wager). This looks like a just-get-through-it game for the Irish before next Saturday's big showdown.

Although they covered vs. FCS Tennessee State, Notre Dame was just 1-4 ATS as a home favorite last season.

Bet: Central Michigan +34.5 (to +33)

Western Kentucky at Ohio State (-29, 65)

Matchup Analysis

Ohio State ranked No. 2 in the nation last year for scoring offense averaging 44.2 points per game. This year, the offense has gotten off to a slow start with Kyle McCord replacing CJ Stroud at quarterback. The Buckeyes are only averaging 380 yards per game, which is currently good for only 58th in FBS. This week would be a good time for Ohio State to get its offense clicking with a showdown at Notre Dame on deck.

Western Kentucky's offense numbers are slightly down from averaging 506.7 yards per game in 2022. WKU is averaging 465 in 2023 through two games.

Ohio State's defense has allowed the second-fewest yards per game (153), but do not be fooled by those numbers. In the opener, Indiana was afraid to even attempt a forward pass.

Meanwhile, Western Kentucky gave up 540 in the opener vs. South Florida and also allowed 368 to FCS Houston Christian.

Both teams should be able to move the ball and run tempo here.

Bet: Over 65 (Bet to 68)

Miami (OH) at Cincinnati (-14.5, 45.5)

Matchup Analysis

With a 16-game winning streak, Cincinnati has taken a 60-59-7 lead in the "Battle for the Victory Bell". Now the Bearcats will attempt to add another victory the week prior to making their debut as members of the Big XII Conference.

After stops at Florida and Arizona State, quarterback Emory Jones seems to have found a home in Cincinnati as he has nine touchdowns (seven passing, two rushing) through two games in Scott Satterfield's offense which included a 27-21 victory at Pittsburgh last weekend.

Miami (OH) wrapped up its win at UMass last Saturday after five hours and 35 minutes of rain delays.

The RedHawks were backed in the market in their opener and laid an egg at Miami (FL), 38-3. However, this could be a spot to go back to them with Cincinnati in a big-time sandwich spot and looking to face Oklahoma next week.

When you win 16 in a row, you do not consider it a rivalry, but the RedHawks certainly do.

Bet: Miami OH +14.5 (to +14)

Georgia Tech at Ole Miss (-18, 63)

Matchup Analysis

Ole Miss is 3-0 SU/ATS the week prior to playing Alabama, so Lane Kiffin has been able to keep the Rebels focused. However, he is also 8-13 ATS at home in non-conference games.

Despite getting the win and cover, Ole Miss struggled for most of the game at Tulane, who was playing without starting quarterback Michael Pratt. The Rebels were just 1-for-13 on third downs and only mustered 89 rushing yards, so Kiffin will look to rectify that here against Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech certainly should be motivated here considering they got shut out at home 42-0 by Ole Miss last year and that led to the firing of Geoff Collins. Brent Key took over as interim coach and the Yellow Jackets went a respectable 4-4 to finish the season. Key and Kiffin actually coached together in 2016 on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama when Kiffin was the offensive coordinator and Key was the offensive line coach, so they know each other well. Kiffin tried to hire Key for the same role at Ole Miss a few years ago.

The Yellow Jackets lost in the opener to Louisville but did outgain the Cardinals 488-474 and held Louisville to 1-for-13 on third downs. Georgia Tech certainly has upgraded at quarterback as Texas A&M transfer Haynes King has completed 65.6% of his passes for 603 yards with seven touchdowns and an interception through two games against Louisville and South Carolina State.

Georgia Tech looks to have some positive momentum and can hang in here in a tricky spot for Ole Miss.

Bet: Georgia Tech +18 (to +17)

Colorado State at Colorado (-24, 61)

Matchup Analysis

Colorado was getting +20.5 at TCU just two weeks ago and are now laying -24 this week. Granted, the Buffaloes were highly underestimated by the betting markets and have at least a viable early-season Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Shedeur Sanders.

This is not meant to throw cold water on what is the best story thus far this college football season. However, TCU did have to replace its quarterback, running back, top two receivers, three starting interior offensive linemen, and offensive coordinator and still scored 42 and put up 541 yards (262 on the ground at 7.1 yards per carry) on Colorado. Nebraska also killed itself with turnovers (4 total, 3 turnover margin) and eventually were broken in the second half.

While the Buffs have exceeded early expectations, there are still some holes on this roster particularly on defense and on the offensive line. Colorado has only mustered 55 and 58 yards on the ground in its first two games.

Colorado State got boat raced in its opener vs. Washington State, 50-24. However, Wazzu clearly also looks better than expected with a big win last weekend over Wisconsin. The Rams had a bye week last week and have had two weeks to prepare for their state rival.

Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi had some success moving the ball in the second half of CSU's opener and will get the start here with Clay Millen also seeing some reps.

While Rams head coach Jay Norvell may have been loose with his mouth on his radio show Wednesday night and provided Coach Prime with some bulletin board material, Norvell has proven that he can turn teams around. He took a 3-9 Nevada team in 2017 to 8-5 the following year. Colorado State will also be highly motivated as all they have heard is that they are the "little brother" of the Centennial state.

Colorado, now ranked No. 18, has had yet another week of national media hype and attention and it will only get bigger with ESPN's College Gameday and FOX's Big Noon Kickoff both being in Boulder on Saturday.

The Buffaloes have games with Oregon and USC on deck and could lack a bit of focus here.

This line may continue to increase so it is prudent to wait as long as possible if you like the Rams.

Bet: Colorado State +24


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