Are you all revved up and ready to go for the 2013 college football season? Week 3 is here, and that means it’s time to break down all of the NCAA football odds that you have in front of you to sink your teeth into!
The TCU Horned Frogs have had themselves a rough couple weeks. They lost their biggest game of the season against the LSU Tigers in Week 1, and in Week 2, they lost QB Casey Pachall in a game in which they were pushed for the better part of three quarters against a team out of the FBS. Now, on a short week of preparation, QB Trevone Boykin has to get ready to go to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. QB Baker Mayfield, a walk-on has really been playing well for the Red Raiders, but he has a lot to live up to in this one. These two teams met last October in Fort Worth, and T-Tech won 56-53 in overtime. This time around, the Horned Frogs are giving 5.5.
We also have three other games on the docket before we get to Saturday that aren’t expected to be games that are nearly as good. The closest spread of the bunch is the -7.5 that the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are in their instate rivalry game against the Tulane Green Wave. Meanwhile, the Arkansas State Red Wolves are -10 against the Troy Trojans and the Boise State Broncos are -21 against the Air Force Falcons.
Boise State isn’t nearly the only team this week that is favored by at least three touchdowns. When you get to Saturday’s college football schedule, you’ll find just gobs of FBS vs. FBS games where one team is getting the huge nod over the other. In fact 14 games on Saturday alone feature spreads of at least 21 points, the biggest of which is the LSU Tigers, who are laying 38 against the Kent State Golden Flashes. We saw LSU act as the biggest favorite on the board last week, and they covered with ease. This time around though, there is a good chance that the Bayou Bengals won’t be the only ones expected to win by 40+. The West Virginia Mountaineers (-37.5 vs. Georgia State), Kansas State Wildcats (-37 vs. UMass), Michigan Wolverines (-35.5 vs. Akron), Northwestern Wildcats (-34 vs. Western Michigan), and Florida State Seminoles (-31 vs. Nevada) are all favored by at least 30.
This week though, we also have some big time road favorites, and that’s not something that we see all that often. The Stanford Cardinal have never been afraid to travel anywhere, and this year, they are going to be heading to West Point to take on the Army Black Knights. Army isn’t nearly as good as its counterparts in this game, and the point spread is definitely showing. Stanford is -28.5, making it the biggest road favorite that we have seen all season long. Meanwhile, in a nationally televised game at night, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are giving 21.5 on the road to the Purdue Boilermakers. The Boilers have covered three of the last four in this series though, and that includes last year when the team only lost by a field goal against the Irish in South Bend.
The Big Ten and the Pac-12 are going to be getting together twice this week in games that could conceivably be Rose Bowl previews. Sure, it isn’t all that likely that the UCLA Bruins or the Arizona State Sun Devils will get to Pasadena, and it is really only slightly more likely that the Nebraska Cornhuskers or Wisconsin Badgers will be in the Rose Bowl, but at least it is plausible. The Children of the Corn are going to be hosting the Bruins in Lincoln in one of the best games of the day. Nebraska is -4 at home, but there clearly isn’t a result that would shock anyone. The winner of this game is going to take a huge jump up the rankings in the Top 25. Meanwhile out in the desert, the Sun Devils are going to try to take a stand on the national stage against the Badgers. We haven’t learned much about Wisky yet this year, as the team has merely just blown out a pair of lousy teams. This is where we are going to learn whether QB Joel Stave and his Badgers will be able to handle their business come Big Ten season or not, as this is a game that they should at least be competing in. The oddsmakers though, have handed the early favorite line to Arizona State at -5.5.
Other games of note… The Kentucky Wildcats are +10.5 in the Battle of the Commonwealth against the Louisville Cardinals. The Oregon Ducks are -21.5 against the Tennessee Volunteers. The Iowa Hawkeyes opened as a field goal favorite against the Iowa State Cyclones. The Auburn Tigers are -6.5 in Head Coach Gus Malzahn’s first SEC game as a head coach at Jordan Hare Stadium against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Penn State Nittany Lions are only -3.5 at home against the AAC’s UCF Knights. The Oregon State Beavers and Utah Utes are lined at a pick ’em in the only game of the week that opened with a spread less than two.
The game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cal Golden Bears is off the board until the status of QB Braxton Miller is known. The clash between the Ole Miss Rebels and Texas Longhorns also started off the board this week.
But of course in Week 3, all eyes are going to be on the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas A&M Aggies. Last year, the Aggies were two-touchdown underdogs on the road against the Tide, and they rolled to a victory right at the death. It was the game that assured Texas A&M’s place amongst the elite SEC teams for the rest of the year and going into the 2013 season, and it was probably the game that won the Heisman Trophy for QB Johnny Manziel. This year, all eyes are going to be on Manziel and his off the field antics. If he can back it all up with a second win against Alabama, there is a good chance that the Heisman Trophy is going to be heading back to College Station for the second straight year. If the Tide come in and blow out A&M though, Manziel is going to be forced to shut up and will look like nothing but a pompous kid. Alabama opened up at -7, but almost immediately, that line jumped to -7.5. Remember that Head Coach Nick Saban has absolutely dominating in games coming off of bye weeks, and the Tide were off after their 35-10 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies two weeks ago.
For more odds checkout our live odds here: College Football Odds Week 3
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.