If Week 3 is anything like last weekend, we should be in for quite the college football slate.
There aren’t four huge matchups between Top 25 teams like last Saturday, but the schedule still features plenty of marquee games, the biggest of which is between ACC foes Clemson and Louisville.
Every week, NESN.com will pick every Top 25 matchup against the spread. This week, Cameron McDonough, Adam London and Dakota Randall will make the picks. All lines are from MyBookie.ag.
Friday, Sept. 15
Illinois at No. 22 South Florida (-16 1/2)
Cam: Illinois. South Florida will win, but the Bulls might be a bit rusty after having last weekend’s game postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
Adam: Illinois. South Florida will handle business at home, but the Fighting Illini will make it competitive.
Dakota: South Florida. Like Cam, I think the Bulls will win, but also will be a bit rusty. But I expect that to last only until halftime, after which they’ll pull away from the Fighting Illini
Saturday, Sept. 16
Air Force at No. 7 Michigan (-23)
Cam: Michigan. The Wolverines got their scare last weekend. They won’t let that happen again.
Adam: Michigan. The Wolverines “struggled” with Cincinnati last weekend and still topped the Bearcats by 22 points. They’ll run away with this one.
Dakota: Air Force. The Wolverines are a vastly superior team, but I think Air Force gets a late score — or two — to beat the spread.
No. 9 Oklahoma State (-12) at Pittsburgh
Cam: Oklahoma State. Pitt had a rough showing against Penn State, and it won’t get any easier against the Cowboys.
Adam: Oklahoma State. The Panthers haven’t shown anything through the first two weeks that indicates they can hang with the Cowboys.
Dakota: Oklahoma State. Pitt isn’t horrible, but they’re woefully mismatched against the Oklahoma State. The Cowboys will run away with this one.
No. 25 UCLA (-3 1/2) at Memphis
Cam: UCLA. Josh Rosen is a touchdown machine, and that trend will continue against Memphis.
Adam: UCLA. The Tigers haven’t played since Aug. 31, while the Bruins are averaging 50.5 points through two games.
Dakota: UCLA. No chance Memphis keeps this game that close.
No. 10 Wisconsin (-16 1/2) at BYU
Cam: Wisconsin. BYU looked overmatched against LSU and Utah, so there’s no reason to believe they will keep this one close.
Adam: Wisconsin. The Badgers’ defense isn’t as strong as LSU’s, but it will be more than enough to handily defeat the Cougars.
Dakota: Wisconsin. BYU fields competitive teams in some years, but this isn’t one of them. Badgers in a blowout.
No. 16 Virginia Tech (-22) at ECU
Cam: Virginia Tech. ECU might be one of the worst teams in college football. The Hokies, meanwhile, look like they could be in the ACC title game.
Adam: Virginia Tech. The Pirates lost to James Madison by 20 points. Virginia Tech should take this one with ease.
Dakota: ECU. Everyone once in a while, you have to pick a stunner, and this game has me feeling a little risky. The Hokies will win, but ECU will keep it surprisingly close.
SMU at No. 20 TCU (-20)
Cam: SMU. The Mustangs haven’t exactly played top competition in their first two games, but they have looked impressive on offense. This all-Texas matchup will be closer than the experts think.
Adam: SMU. This could be a trap game for TCU, as Oklahoma State awaits the Horned Frogs next weekend.
Dakota: SMU. I agree with Cam. SMU isn’t getting nearly enough love here.
No. 23 Tennessee at No. 24 Florida (-4)
Cam: Tennessee. Sorry, Gators, but betting on a team with that offense isn’t a good idea.
Adam: Tennessee. The Volunteers put up 42 points in each of their first two games. With the way the Gators’ offense has looked, Tennesse could win this one outright.
Dakota: Florida. I’ve got a funny feeling about Florida teams this week. I expect the Gators to rise up in front of a home crowd that just made it through one of the worst hurricanes in history.
Mercer at No. 15 Auburn (no line)
Cam: Auburn. Yawn.
Adam: Auburn. This one won’t exactly be a barn burner.
Dakota: Auburn. Next.
Army at No. 8 Ohio State (-30)
Cam: Ohio State. The Buckeyes have looked vulnerable, but they’ll let out all their frustration this weekend after losing at home to Oklahoma.
Adam: Ohio State. The Buckeyes will be eager to avenge last week’s loss.
Dakota: Army. Ohio State will win, but I don’t love how J.T. Barrett has looked. Expect Army to put up a fight long enough to beat the spread.
Oregon State at No. 21 Washington State (-21)
Cam: Washington State. Washington State is good. Oregon State is putrid. Next.
Adam: Washington State. The Beavers loss to Portland State last week. Need I say more?
Dakota: Washington State. The Beavers don’t stand a chance. The Cougars will trounce them.
Tulane at No. 2 Oklahoma (-35)
Cam: Oklahoma. Good luck, Tulane.
Adam: Oklahoma. Baker Mayfield’s Heisman Trophy campaign will continue with a big performance against Green Waves.
Dakota: Oklahoma. Baker Mayfield, Maker Bayfield, Heisman Trophy, Treisman… Hophy?
Colorado State at No. 1 Alabama (-28 1/2)
Cam: Colorado State. Alabama will have no problem winning this one, but Colorado State is a decent team. It should keep this one at 28 points or less.
Adam: Alabama. The Rams only put up three points last week against Colorado. The Crimson Tide should win this in a rout.
Dakota: Colorado State. Tough picking against Alabama, who will win, but I also like the Rams to keep things relatively close.
No. 12 LSU (-7 1/2) at Mississippi State
Cam: LSU. The Bulldogs have had a snoozer of a schedule during the first two weeks, but the SEC reality is about to hit them hard over the next three games.
Adam: LSU. Mississippi State’s offense put up a lot of points in its first two games, but the Tigers boast one of the best defenses in the country.
Dakota: LSU. This will be a good game, but I think the Tigers pull away at the end.
Georgia State at No. 5 Penn State (-37)
Cam: Penn State. Yawn (2).
Adam: Penn State. This one won’t be competitive.
Dakota: Penn State. Saquon Barkley might run for 500 yards in this game.
Samford at No. 13 Georgia (no line)
Cam: Georgia. Yawn (3).
Adam: Georgia. Snoozefest.
Dakota: Georgia. What’s a Samford?
No. 18 Kansas State (-3 1/2) at Vanderbilt
Cam: Kansas State. This should be a good one, but the Wildcats will win in the end.
Adam: Kansas State. The Wildcats put up 55 points in each of their first two games. Vanderbilt won’t be an easy out, but Kansas State should improve to 3-0.
Dakota: Vanderbilt. The Commodores will shock the world. Well, the world according to Kansas.
No. 3 Clemson (-3 1/2) at No. 14 Louisville
Cam: Clemson. This should be a fun one, and Lamar Jackson has shown before that he can put up points against the Tigers’ defense. But Clemson has the slight edge.
Adam: Louisville. I think Jackson puts on a show in arguably the biggest game of his college football career.
Dakota: Louisville. Jackson has looked even better this season, with his commitment to passing from the pocket. This is the game he makes everyone start talking about a Heisman repeat.
Texas at No. 4 USC (-15 1/2)
Cam: Texas. USC will win, but Texas is a decent enough team to keep this game relatively close.
Adam: USC. These aren’t the Longhorns of old.
Dakota: USC. I was conflicted on this one, but in the end, I’m going with the Trojans, who will pull away in the second half.
Fresno State at No. 6 Washington (-33)
Cam: Washington. Kudos to Fresno State for scheduling Alabama and Washington in back-to-back weeks, but it has no chance in this one.
Adam: Washington. There’s a good chance Washington is one of the playoff teams this year. Fresno State doesn’t present much of a challenge.
Dakota: Washington. Logan Mankins went to Fresno, right? I think the brothers Carr did, too. Anyway, Washington covers.
No. 19 Stanford (-8 1/2) at San Diego State
Cam: Stanford. This could be a sneaky good game, but expect the Cardinal to get back in the win column after their frustrating loss to USC.
Adam: Stanford. The Cardinal bounce back with a big win.
Dakota: Stanford. Assuming this is Stanford, and not whatever Samford is, I’m taking the Cardinal.
Thumbnail photo via Joshua S. Kelly/USA TODAY Sports Images