College Football Week 3 Top Betting Value Picks

Texas Longhorns fans cheering with their face painted

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, September 17, 2016 6:17 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2016 6:17 PM UTC

Our college football handicapping pro shares his top betting value for Saturday. Join us in reading this revealing article culminated with a college football pick.

California hosts Texas on Saturday night in what appears to be an intriguing non-conference game. These teams met a season ago in Austin, and California escaped with a 45-44 win. Texas enters tonight’s game having gone 2-0 SU&ATS thus far and is ranked #11 in the country. California is coming off a 45-40 loss at San Diego State last Saturday and opened their season with a 52-31 win over Hawaii.

Current (9:45 AM ET) college football betting odds at Heritage has Texas as a 7.0-point road favorite. Speaking of Heritage, they’re presently offering some terrific cash bonuses.


Porous Cal Bears Defense
California’s defense has been horrible in their first two games against Hawaii and San Diego State. They allowed 38.0 points and 472.5 yards per game in those contests. The most alarming aspect pertaining to their dismal defensive efforts has been their inability in stopping its opponents rushing attacks. They allowed 248 yards rushing to Hawaii and an additional 334 against San Diego State. Things will get even tougher against the balanced offensive attack of Texas. Through its first two games, Texas’ offense has averaged 267.5 yards passing, and 204.0 more on the ground per contest.


Star Quarterback in the Making
Freshmen Shane Buechele was the top-rated high school quarterback in Texas, and the Longhorns were ecstatic when they landed him. He’s proven exactly why he was so highly sought after. Through his first two collegiate games against Notre Dame and UTEP, Buechele has completed 71.7% of his attempts for 524 yards. He’s also tossed 6 touchdown passes against just 1 interception. Buechele was especially sharp during last Saturday’s 41-7 win over UTEP, going 22-27 for 244 yards, and he threw for 4 scores. That’s not to say his 284 yards passing against Notre Dame in his Longhorns debut was anything to sneeze about. Buechele has also displayed mobility, evidenced by his 67 yards rushing, and running for a 1 touchdown. Considering how bad California’s defense has been, I look for this up and coming star to expound upon his already impressive early resume.   


College Football Betting Angle
I’ve already alluded to Texas’ loss against California last season, California coming off a 45-40 loss a week ago against San Diego State, and Texas being a 7.0-point favorite tonight. One more additional note pertaining to my betting angle, California is 10-12 over its preceding 22 games.

Any non-conference away favorite (Texas) of 5.0 or more that’s playing with revenge, versus an opponent (California) coming off a non-conference loss, and they’ve won 10 or less of their previous 22 games, resulted in those away favorites going a perfect 12-0 SU&ATS since 1989. The average margin of victory in those 12 contests was a sizable 20.5 points per game.


Final Take and Pick
There’s no denying the fact that California has a dynamic offense. However, they’ll be hard pressed to win or stay competitive against an enormously talented Texas team if engaged in a shootout. The Longhorns defense will get some needed stops, and its offense will be able to score at will. I very rarely lay points on the road, but there’s an exception to every rule, and one of my free college football picks today will be further indicative of that.


Free NCAAF Pick: Texas -7.0 -110
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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