Betting Against the Spread: Week 3 Picks

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Athlon's Braden Gall offers his top college football picks against the spread each week.

Athlon's Braden Gall offers his top college football picks against the spread each week.

-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on twitter)

After a middle of the road effort in Week One of the college football season, I bounced back with force in Week Two, nailing each of my top three locks of the week. Of course, there is no rest for the weary as Mississippi State (vs. Auburn) and Iowa wildly underachieved in games they both should have won.

I still feel Andrew Lucky as I am going back to the Cardinal well for the third straight week after Stanford covered the spread in both of its games thus far. And since my road favorites were such a big hit last week as well, I might as well keep that train rolling along too.

Season Record ATS: 11-7-1 (6-3 last week)

Week 3's Top Picks (all times eastern):

1. Oklahoma State (-13.5) at Tulsa
The Cowboys look just as good as if not better than they were last season on offense. And last year, they dropped a 65 spot on Tulsa (65-28 final). Brandon Weeden, Joseph Randle, Justin Blackmon and one of the nation's top offensive lines will walk into Tulsa (which could have a heavy Orange and Black tint to it) and run away with this one. My Pick: Oklahoma State -13.5

2. Nevada (-6) at San Jose State
I know it was a blowout and I know they allowed 69 points, but against the national runner-up in Oregon, the Wolf Pack rolled up 516 yards of offense, including 283 yards rushing. It was Nevada's first game of the season, so they should be much improved in Week Two. San Jose State played improved football against UCLA last week, but hasn't closed the gap after a 57-3 drubbing against Stanford in Week One. Chris Ault and company beat the Spartans 62-7 last fall. My Pick: Nevada -6

3. Houston (-6.5) at Louisiana Tech
Case Keenum threw for 458 yards and five touchdowns last week. Louisiana Tech allowed 372 yards, four touchdowns and 42 total points to Central Arkansas and Nathan Dick last week. There is no way the Bulldogs can slow down the Cougars offense. Houston will roll. My Pick: Houston -6.5

4. Texas Tech (-20.5) at New Mexico
Few teams have played as poorly as the Lobos. They have scored 13 total points against Colorado State at home and Arkansas on the road. The Rams sacked New Mexico 10 times in the opener and Texas Tech knows it. The Red Raiders are rested after the bye week and are prepared to travel into the Land of Enchantment for an easy win. My Pick: Texas Tech -20.5

5. Stanford (-9) at Arizona
Andrew Luck plays football at a different level than anyone else in the nation. Weird things can happen in the desert but not normally until October. Luck was 23-of-32 for 299 yards and two scores in the 42-17 win over the Wildcats last season. Meanwhile, the Cats are coming off a nationally televised loss to Okie State in which they allowed 398 yards passing to Weeden and 197 yards rushing to Randle and company. My Pick: Stanford -9

6. Auburn (+3.5) at Clemson
The nation's longest current winning streak (17) is on the line when Auburn heads down to Death Valley. Clemson has not looked good in either game, both of which were against clearly inferior opponents (Troy, Wofford). There is just no way anyone can pick against the defending national champs. Watching the Mississippi State defense play well enough to win against LSU on Thursday night only highlights the job Guz Malzahn has done with the young Auburn offense. This one should be a shootout with Auburn winning No. 18 in a row. My Pick: Auburn

7. Wyoming at Bowling Green (54.5 O/U)
Bowling Green is averaging 45 points per game (yes, against Idaho and Morgan State) and Wyoming is averaging 40 points per game (yes, against Weber State and Texas State). The Cowboys allowed 32 points to Weber State in week one, and this game has shootout written all over it with solid quarterback play from Matt Schilz and Brett Smith respectively. My Pick: Over 54.5

Tier Two Picks if you are feeling lucky:

Take the road underdogs to cover - and in Ohio State's case - to win outright:

Ohio State (+2.5) at Miami
Navy (+18) at South Carolina
Michigan State (+5.5) at Notre Dame

Other Week Three Content:

College Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 3

Week 3 Prediction: Florida State vs. Oklahoma

Steven Lassan's Week 3 Upsets and Match-ups

Athlon Sports Predicts Every Game of Week 3

Exclude From Games: 
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<p> Athlon's Braden Gall offers his top college football picks against the spread each week.</p>
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