Week 3 College Football Underdog Picks & Bets
College football’s last full week of non-conference games brings us a few intriguing matchups, including a few ones you might be overlooking. Let’s take a look at which underdogs could provide serious value in Week 3.
Western Kentucky (+6.5) vs. Indiana
Sometimes you can see a group of five vs. power five upset coming. Oddsmakers might be smelling blood in the water with Indiana favored by less than a touchdown against Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers tore through Hawaii two weeks ago, scoring 49 points. Now, they seem ready for a tougher challenge.
Western Kentucky’s offense is probably going to keep the team in this game. Transfer QB Austin Reed has had a strong start to his WKU career, tossing 7 touchdowns in two games. The defense notched five interceptions in the win over Hawaii, so Western Kentucky might be able to take advantage of a shaky quarterback in Indiana’s Connor Bazelak.
The key to this matchup might be Indiana RB Shaun Shivers, who broke out in his last game. If the Hilltoppers can keep him contained, they have a real chance to win. Western Kentucky is a strong value at +6.5 and even worth a look at +198 on the moneyline.
BYU (+3.5) vs. Oregon
This is a game I’d monitor leading up to kickoff. BYU is a slight road underdog at +3.5, but the Cougars are coming off a gritty overtime win against a well-coached Baylor team and might have some more help on the way. Top receivers Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua both missed the matchup with Baylor due to injuries, and with both being listed as game-time decisions for Saturday, there’s a chance BYU’s offense is much more potent than it was a week ago.
Oregon was trounced by Georgia in Week 1, only to come back and eviscerate Eastern Washington 70-14 last weekend. The real Oregon is, of course, somewhere in the middle. I don’t see much reason to trust Bo Nix against a BYU team that is solid from top to bottom. If it’s looking like at least one of the two receivers will be ready to go later in the week, BYU is a nice value at +140.
Kansas (+9.5) vs. Houston
This is a fun one. Kansas is off to its first 2-0 start since 2009, and it’s not a fluke. The Jayhawks have been legitimately competitive since they took down Texas in November. Jalon Daniels is becoming one of the Big 12’s must-watch quarterbacks. Do they have a chance to keep this momentum going against Houston?
The Cougars are coming off a tough loss at the hands of Texas Tech. Their defense hasn’t been overly impressive between a narrow win over UTSA and the loss to the Red Raiders. After Kansas scored 55 points against West Virginia, this could be a high-scoring game.
Daniels is a dual threat quarterback, and Kansas has a potent run game with Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw Jr. also in the mix. Winning outright on the road will be a difficult task for Kansas, which enters at +270 on the moneyline, but the Jayhawks might just have enough firepower to cover the +9.5 spread.
Texas Tech (+10) vs. NC State
NC State nearly lost to East Carolina in Week 1 and would’ve lost if not for some egregious kicking issues from the Pirates. While the Wolfpack rebounded to crush Charleston Southern last week, we haven’t seen them prove it against a team like Texas Tech yet this season.
Texas Tech is coming off a huge win against a ranked Houston team. The Red Raiders held Houston to only 20 points in regulation and racked up 468 yards of offense in the win. The program is already looking much improved under new head coach Joey McGuire, and Texas Tech goes into Raleigh with plenty of momentum.
The key will be slowing down NC State QB Devin Leary. Leary didn’t play well at all against East Carolina, and Texas Tech did a nice job limiting Houston’s Clayton Tune last week. The Wolfpack have the quarterback advantage, but that can change if all-or-nothing QB Donovan Smith keeps turnovers to a minimum for the Red Raiders.
I don’t think Texas Tech goes on the road and wins this one, but at +10, there’s plenty of value to be had in what has a good chance to be a close game.