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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NCAA Football Week 3 Top 25 Games Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football Week 3 Top 25 Games Preview and Prediction

Publish Date: 09/12/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Top 25 Games

No. 3 Florida State (-26.5) at Boston College

Florida State is fourth in FBS at 55.5 points per game and easily defeated Boston College 44-14 last season, but Holy Cross edged BC 31-28 during Week 2. The spread concerns me, but I will take Florida State to win 48-17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Florida State -26.5
  • Over/Under: Florida State vs Boston College(48.5)
  • Spread: Florida State -26.5
  • Pick: Bet Florida State -26.5
โ€“
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No. 7 Penn State (-14.5) at Illinois

Illinois beat Penn State 20-18 at Happy Valley in 2021 in an intense nine-overtime contest; therefore, they will be wary of any misstep against Illinois in this contest. So far through two weeks, Illinois averages 224 rushing yards per game, ranking them 122nd among FBS schools – providing easy money for Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton, and sophomore Drew Allar will continue their impressive performances on the road. Take penn State 38-17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Penn State-14.5
  • Over/Under: Penn State vs Illinois(48)
  • Spread: Penn State -14.5
  • Pick: Bet Penn State -14.5
โ€“
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No. 14 LSU (-9) at Mississippi State

Mississippi State has made strides since Zach Arnett took over, while the LSU offense is led by Jayden Daniels, who scored five touchdown passes against them last season and totalled 303 yards against them. Although it remains a challenging road game, this line seems lower than anticipated – maybe Will Rogers can force some errors? We think so! LSU 37ย  Miss State 17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet LSU -9
  • Over/Under: LSU vs Mississippi State(53.5
  • Spread: LSU -9
  • Pick: Bet LSU -9
โ€“
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No. 15 Kansas State (-5) at Missouri

Kansas State defeated Missouri 40-12 at Manhattan last season. Missouri will look for redemption this time, though they must find an effective running game to overcome a Kansas State defense that ranks first nationally at 38 yards per game against the run and will feature veteran quarterback Will Howard. We tend to avoid home underdogs despite Missouri’s impressive defense; Kansas State may just be underrated; under Chris Klieman, they are currently undefeated against the spread betting as away favorites since 2020! Kansas 27ย  Missouri 20.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Kansas State -5
  • Over/Under: Kansas State vs Missouri(46
  • Spread: Kansas State -5
  • Pick: Bet Kansas State -5
โ€“
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Central Michigan at No. 9 Notre Dame (-33.5)

Notre Dame was in a 32-29 close call against Toledo last season, so don’t expect them to take a MAC opponent lightly just one week before their showdown against Ohio State. Bert Emmanuel Jr. of Central Michigan may pose some issues at quarterback. Still, Notre Dame should have enough defensive personnel on its roster to contain him – CMU allowed 493 passing yards against New Hampshire last week! Sam Hartman should enjoy himself as the Irish score 40+ points again this weekend. Notre Dame 56ย  CMU 10.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Notre Dame -33.5
  • Over/Under: Notre Dame vs Central Michigan(54.5
  • Spread: Notre Dame -33.5
  • Pick: Bet Notre Dame -33.6
โ€“
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South Carolina at No. 1 Georgia (-26.5)

This line has moved down by one-half point from its opening price, marking Georgia’s inaugural SEC test against South Carolina. South Carolina averages just 53 rushing yards per game, so they must not rely on just Spencer Rattler as an offensive threat; Georgia will go after him aggressively on defense. The Bulldogs win this one easily. Georgia 48ย  South Carolina 17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Georgia -26.5
  • Over/Under: South Carolina vs Georgia(54.5
  • Spread: Georgia -26.5
  • Pick: Bet Georgia -26.5
โ€“
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San Diego State at No. 16 Oregon State (23.5)

D.J. Uiagalelei has been exceptional for Oregon State. Through two games, he has amassed 346 passing yards on average, five TD passes, and no interceptions. Meanwhile, San Diego State averaged 15 points against FBS opponents this season but could not generate much traction on the ground against UCLA. San Diego State will struggle to run the ball and lose 33-16 to the Beavers.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Oregon State -23.5
  • Over/Under: San Diego State vs Oregon State(48.5
  • Spread: Oregon State -23.5
  • Pick: Bet Oregon State-23.5
โ€“
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Minnesota at No. 20 North Carolina (-6.5)

North Carolina continues their challenging non-conference schedule against Minnesota at home this Saturday night. Drake Maye will have support from Omarion Hampton’s running game – who recorded 234 yards against Appalachian State last week! Minnesota running backs Darius Taylor and Sean Tyler averaged five yards per carry average, as well as their physical defense; will it hold up in North Carolina’s road matchup? The tar Heels are better and win this one 27-17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet North Carolina -6.5
  • Over/Under: Minnesota vs North carolina(48.5
  • Spread: North Carolina -6.5
  • Pick: Bet North Carolina-6.5
โ€“
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No. 10 Alabama (-31.5) at South Florida

The Bulls have had encouraging results under first-year coach Alex Golesh, but they are catching Alabama coming off a bad loss against Texas. Look for the Crimson Tide to avoid a hangover and knock the Bulls out with an efficient running attack behind Jalen Milroe. Alabama wins 45-10.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Alabama -31.5
  • Over/Under: Alabama vs South Florida(61.5
  • Spread: Alabama -31.5
  • Pick: Bet Alabama-31.5
โ€“
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Northwestern at No. 21 Duke (-18.5)

The Blue Devils have won the last four games in this series โ€“ and the previous two were one-TD victories. Duke averaged 6.3 yards per carry against the Wildcats last season. Northwestern found a running game with Cam Porter, and Bryce Gallagher leads a defense allowing 2.9 yards per carry. That’s a lot of points โ€“ even for Duke. The Wildcats cover as the Blue Devils suffer a slight letdown. Duke 31ย  Northwestern 13.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Northwestern +19.5
  • Over/Under: Northwestern vs Duke(46.5
  • Spread: Duke -18.5
  • Pick: Bet Northwestern +18.5
โ€“
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No. 19 Oklahoma (-26.5) at Tulsa

These schools haven’t faced off since 2015, and it will be an all-in home game for Tulsa coach Kevin Wilson, who worked at Oklahoma from 2002-10 as an assistant coach. Washington defeated Tulsa 43-10 last week; Oklahoma could provide similar matchup issues against Tulsa as their offense has rebounded nicely this season, and they improved to 3-0 ATS this week. Oklahoma 44 Tulsa 17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Oklahoma -26.5
  • Over/Under: Oklahoma vs Tulsa(60.5
  • Spread: Oklahoma -26.5
  • Pick: Bet Oklahoma -26.5
โ€“
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Western Michigan at No. 25 Iowa (-26.5)

Iowa’s poor offensive output versus Western Michigan last week (they averaged 22 points in each game so far) while Jalen Buckley has amassed 281 yards through two games for Western Michigan; additionally, they committed 99 yards worth of penalties against them; their opponent recently won four consecutive MAC games and averaged 23.4 points per win against them; is this the offensive explosion promised from Iowa? Iowa 31 WMU 10.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Iowa -26.5
  • Over/Under: Iowa vs Western Michigan(42.5
  • Spread: Iowa -26.5
  • Pick: Bet Western Michigan +26.5
โ€“
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Western Kentucky at No. 6 Ohio State (-27.5)ย 

Ohio State and Western Kentucky will face off for their inaugural meeting at The Shoe. Ohio State’s offense has found great success under new starting quarterback Kyle McCord, with Marvin Harrison Jr likely continuing their connection. In prior meetings games this neither has covered large spreads; Western Kentucky boasts one of the strongest offensive units. Ohio State 48 Western Kentucky 24.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Western Kentucky +27.5
  • Over/Under: Westren Kentucky vs Ohio State(42.5
  • Spread: Ohio State -27.5
  • Pick: Bet Western Kentucky +27.5
โ€“
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No. 8 Washington (-16.5) at Michigan State

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. amassed 397 yards and four touchdown passes against Michigan State last season in their 39-28 victory, the Spartans main issue may be their emotional state following the Mel Tucker scandal revelations. The Huskies are a high-octane offense that keeps opponents guessing.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Washington -16.5
  • Over/Under: Washington vs Michigan State(52.5
  • Spread: Washington -16.5
  • Pick: Bet Washington -16.5
โ€“
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No. 11 Tennessee (-6.5) at Florida

Tennessee ranks fourth in FBS with 257.5 rushing yards per game and should this translate onto the road, they would break a 20-year drought at Florida’s expense. Billy Napier suffered 10-point home losses to Kentucky and LSU last season, and a 10-point defeat would also seem likely for Tennessee here. Tennessee 88 Florida 17

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Tennessee -6.5
  • Over/Under: Tennessee vs Florida(58.5
  • Spread: Tennessee -6.5
  • Pick: Bet Tennessee -6.5
โ€“
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Bowling Green at No. 2 Michigan (-39.5)

Michigan has fallen short of covering two 30-point spreads over the last two weeks yet remain in control thanks to their formidable defense and quarterback J.J. McCarthy (FBS leader with an 87.3% completion percentage). Bowling Green coach Scot Loeffler – an alumni of Michigan’s quarterback corps – faces an uphill task here against an opponent that knows no mercy. Michigan 47-7.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Michigan -39.5
  • Over/Under: Bowling Green vs Michigan(51.5
  • Spread: Michigan -39.5
  • Pick: Bet Michigan -39.5
โ€“
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Georgia Tech at No. 20 Ole Miss (-19.5)

Ole Miss beat Georgia Tech 42-0 in 2022. Since then, the Yellow Jackets have made significant strides under Brent Key – particularly on offense with Haynes King as quarterback – but their rushing defense still allows 211 yards per game; Georgia Tech cannot rely solely on Quinshon Judkins to dominate their opponents; Tre Harris can often outwit defensive schemes through vertical passing plays. OLE Miss 37 Georgia Tech 17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet OLE MISS -19.5
  • Over/Under: Georgia Tech vs OLE MISS(63.5
  • Spread: OLE MISS -19.5
  • Pick: Bet OLE MISS -19.5
โ€“
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Wyoming at No. 4 Texas (-28.5)ย ย 

No doubt about it: Texas may be suffering a hangover after their 10-point win against Alabama, as Wyoming has won both of their games so far against the spread and Andrew Peasley has yet to throw an interception in two starts. Texas 34ย  Wyoming 17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Wyoming +28.5
  • Over/Under: Wyoming vs Texas(48.5
  • Spread: Texas -28.5
  • Pick: Bet Wyoming +28.5
โ€“
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Hawaii at No. 13 Oregon (-37.5)

Hawaii has already played four games and is giving up 36 points per game, failing to run the ball (49.3 yards per game). On the other hand, Oregon is undefeated against the spread and leads the FBS with 59.5 points per game – leaving no doubt about who will come out on top in this one. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix should leave no doubts here and lead Oregon into victory! Oregon 66ย  Hawaii 13.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Oregon -37.5
  • Over/Under: Hawaii vs Oregon(67.5
  • Spread: Oregon -37.5
  • Pick: Bet Oregon -37.5
โ€“
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Colorado State at No. 18 Colorado (-22.5)

This line has already increased one point, and the Buffaloes have won their last two games and scored a lot of points doing it. Colorado State had an extra week of rest after giving up 50 points against Washington State in its season opener on Sept 2. Colorado 52 Colorado State 17.

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Colorado -22.5
  • Over/Under: Colorado State vs Colorado(57.5
  • Spread: Colorado -22.5
  • Pick: Bet Colorado -22.5
โ€“
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