Heading into Week 3 in college football, Justin7 and Peter Loshak continue their discussions on capping and betting the opening weeks of college football.

Weeks 3 and 4 can be a tricky time to bet on college football. There are stats and on-field performances to work with, but they can be misleading for a variety of reasons. They are not valueless, however, if you know what to look for and how to analyze what you may find.

A few things to take note of when looking at the stats from games from the opening weeks are fumbles that result in turnovers, rushing yards per attempt, and the ratio of total yards to total points in the opening games.

A team that had an unusual amount of turnovers caused by fumbles in the opening weeks may have final score results that were skewed by the turnovers. If the market overreacts to this, there may be line value on the side of that team in the immediate following weeks.

Also, a team that shows a good median yards rushing per attempt in the first two weeks - 4 or better - is likely to be a quality offensive team for the rest of the year. If their good rushing didn’t result in the points it would be expected to produce, that team may be a good bet going forward before the market lines and final scores begin to clearly reflect that. Along the same lines, any major discrepancy in a team’s ratio of total yards to total points – the average is about 1 point for every 15 yards – may contribute to line value in the weeks following.

Looking at some of the notable games in Week 3:

  • BYU had very impressive results in their first two games, while Florida State suffered a disappointing home loss in Week 1 and followed that with a lackluster home win over a Division 1-AA opponent in Week 2. Is there any value with BYU as a 7.5-point home favorite?
  • USC, led by a freshman starting at QB, eked out a tough high-profile win over Ohio State last week, overcoming some notable problems on special teams. Last year, USC experienced a let down after their win over Ohio State with an outright loss the following week. Going into Washington this Saturday as a 20.5-point road favorite presents an intriguing Pac-10 handicapping scenario.
  • Oklahoma State suffered a “surprise” loss to Houston last week, and now follows with two straight home games against far inferior opponents, starting with Rice in Week 3. Will the Cowboys look to run up the score and be a good bet to cover the big 32-point spread?

Justin7 and Loshak discuss these three games, as well as touching on this week’s Notre Dame-Michigan State matchup, Notre Dame being a team Justin7 follows particularly closely.