College Football Odds: Best ATS Picks For Late Games Saturday Week 3

Arizona Wildcats teammates celebrating

Matthew Jordan

Saturday, September 17, 2016 5:06 PM GMT

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2016 5:06 PM GMT

I previewed three NCAA games on Saturday's action for college football ATS picks. Now let's look at three interesting games that start in the evening -- and I like the underdogs.

No. 17 Texas A&M vs. Auburn (-2.5 On College Football Odds)
The losing head coach of this 7 p.m. ET game is one big step closer to unemployment, especially if it's Auburn's Gus Malzahn because the Tigers already have a loss -- albeit a close one to an excellent Clemson team. Malzahn played all three of his quarterbacks in that one and the offense sputtered. He named sophomore Sean White his clear starter heading into last week's game against Arkansas State and White was excellent in the 51-14 win. He completed 17-for-23 for 244 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries. Fellow QB John Franklin III did play when the game was out of reach but didn't pass at all, carrying four times for 70 yards. The third QB, Jeremy Johnson, appears out of the rotation.  Texas A&M starting 2-0 is nothing new under Kevin Sumlin -- it's around midseason this team usually starts to fade and that's why Sumlin is on the hot seat. 

The Aggies leave home for the first time after an overtime Week 1 win over No. 16 UCLA and a 67-0 destruction of Prairie View A&M  last week. The Aggies have been strong running the ball, averaging 6.1 yards per carry, second in the SEC, and running for more than 200 yards in both their victories. Auburn allowed 151 yards on the ground to Clemson. If Auburn beats Texas A&M and Ole Miss knocks off Alabama for the third consecutive season on Saturday, six of the seven SEC West teams will already have one loss. That would create potential chaos. Auburn won at Texas A&M 26-10 last year in probably the best game the Tigers played all year. White was out injured that game.


Free NCAAF Pick: Texas A&M. That half-point could be crucial. Auburn is 3-10 ATS in  past 13 home games.
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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UCLA vs. BYU (+3.5 In NCAAF Betting)
A 10:15 p.m. ET start. When a coach goes for a winning 2-point conversion at the end of a game early in the season, the result -- good or bad -- can set the trajectory for the rest of the year. Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio did that in Week 1 in New Orleans, which almost never happens in the NFL, and he was successful. BYU first-year coach Kalani Sitake was in the same position last week in the Holy War vs. Utah. The Cougars had pulled to within 20-19 on a Taysom Hill 7-yard TD run with 18 seconds left. Sitake went for the win and a quarterback draw was stuffed. It's not often a team will lose when it forces six turnovers but BYU managed. 

The Cougars gave it away three times themselves, all interceptions by Hill.  BYU ranks 113th nationally in offense (18.5 ppg) and the Cougars are the only team in the FBS without a pass play of more than 20 yards. They go up against one of the nation's best passing quarterbacks in UCLA sophomore Josh Rosen. The Bruins bounced back from a Week 1 OT loss at Texas A&M with a 42-21 win over UNLV last week at the Rose Bowl. Rosen threw for 267 yards and one touchdown and rushed for one score. UCLA beat visiting BYU 24-23 last year. Rosen had the worst game of his young career, going 11-for-23 for 106 yards, a TD and three picks.


Free NCAAF Pick: BYU has won four straight home openers and eight consecutive games at home overall. Take the Cougars. UCLA is 0-4 ATS in its past four non-conference games. BYU is 4-0 ATS in its past four at home.
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Hawaii vs. Arizona (-23.5 On College Football Picks)
The latest game on the schedule with a 10:45 p.m. ET kickoff. At least it's a relatively short flight for the Hawaii players as their first game of the year was a 20-point loss in Australia to Cal and in  Week 2 they had to fly to Ann Arbor and get slaughtered by Michigan. Last week in their home opener, the Rainbow Warriors squeaked by FCS school UT Martin 41-36. Ikaika Woolsey overcame three interceptions by throwing a career-high four touchdowns, including a 63-yarder to Marcus Kemp that gave UH the lead for good with 6:43 left. I would say it's concerning that Hawaii had to overcome a double-digit second-half home deficit to an FCS school last week, but Arizona (1-1) had to do the same thing in a 31-21 win over Grambling.  

The Wildcats were down a stunning 21-3 at halftime, but backup QB Brandon Dawkins led the second-half rally. He started because Anu Solomon, who is from Hawaii, was out with a knee injury. He is currently listed as doubtful. Arizona also got an unwanted distraction this week when backup running back Orlando Bradford was arrested Wednesday and charged with seven felony counts of domestic violence. He was quickly dismissed from the team. Tune into this game if you can simply to see Arizona's special uniforms. They are amazing. The Wildcats are honoring the sunken battleship USS Arizona to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Several facets of the ship will be represented on the uniforms, including the hull number and the date of the attack.


Free NCAAF Pick: No Solomon, that arrest distraction, and the potential to  look ahead to next week's Pac-12 opener vs. No. 8 Washington for Arizona. Take the points. Hawaii is 7-1 ATS in its past eight vs. the Pac-12.
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes now offering 50% Free Play

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