Picking college football games against the spread proved to be slightly more challenging in week 2, which means we are setting ourselves up for a rebound in week 3. And there are plenty of good games to evaluate for our weekly picks against the spread. There are also some big point spreads that may entice you or steer you away entirely.
With a big showdown in the SEC, a Big Ten vs. SEC clash in prime time, and the resurrection of a storied Big 8 rivalry, there are some good games on the menu this week. Let's dig in and see if we can pick out some winners this week after coming up a bit short last week.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Oklahoma (-22) vs. Nebraska, 12 p.m.
Old rivals are reunited at last. For the first time since Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big Ten, the Cornhuskers will face future SEC member Oklahoma. The Sooners are a massive favorite with Spencer Rattler and Oklahoma expected to pile on plenty of points against Nebraska. Don't be surprised if Nebraska hangs around for a little bit, but don't be shocked when the wheels come off for and the Sooners go on a big run to pour it on. Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 24
Alabama (-14.5) at Florida, 3:30 p.m.
A possible SEC Championship Game preview? Florida still has to get by Georgia, but the Gators first must find a way to remain competitive with Alabama. Good luck with that, right? Our golden rule is to not bet against the Crimson Tide in too many situations, but this one could be an exception. Alabama will still win this game by two scores, but Florida as a two-touchdown favorite may be just a tad too dicey to consider. Against my better judgment, let's go with the Gators to keep it within two touchdowns at home. Alabama 34, Florida 21
Ohio State (-24.5) vs. Tulsa, 3:30 p.m.
A week after suffering a rare loss at home, expect Ohio State to take out all of its frustrations on Tulsa. The Buckeyes have a defense that the Golden Hurricane can capitalize on right now, but this is a game where you would not want to be Tulsa in any particular area. Buckeyes are about to roll. Ohio State 48, Tulsa 20
Auburn (+5.5) at Penn State, 7:30 p.m.
What is there not to love about a regular-season prime-time showdown between two Top 25 teams from the Big Ten and SEC? We don't get this every season, so we should all cherish it. Penn State is the favorite at home and is more battle-tested, but Bo Nix and the Tigers have been on cruise control on offense to start the year. They won't score 60 points this week but expect the Tigers to be scrappy enough to have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. But the Penn State defense comes up with a key stop to protect a lead in a tight one. Penn State 26, Auburn 23
Fresno State (+11.5) at UCLA, 10:45 p.m.
We are not that far removed from seeing Fresno State take Oregon deep into the fourth quarter, so why shouldn't we expect the Bulldogs to give UCLA a close call too? Chip Kelly has things cooking at UCLA right now, and the turmoil at USC certainly doesn't hurt the Bruins for now, but this may be a reminder we should not get too carried away with UCLA's success just yet. UCLA 30, Fresno State 20
Last Week: 2-3
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