High/Low Spreads & Totals for Week 3 College Football Picks

Matthew Jordan

Friday, September 12, 2014 3:14 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 12, 2014 3:14 PM UTC

Welcome to Week 3 of High/Low, a look at the highest and lowest spreads and totals on every NCAA football game Saturday. Last week we put up a 2-2 record on our projections and now stand with a 5-3 mark for the year. All odds courtesy of BetOnline.

Southern Miss vs. Alabama (-47.5)
Yeah, I was worried about this during non-conference action. I mean worried someone like an Alabama would have the highest spread in multiple weeks. The Tide were the biggest in Week 2 at -40 against Florida Atlantic. Bama won 41-0 in a game that was officially called with 7:53 left in the fourth because of lightning. That's fine by me since FAU might have scored a garbage TD against Alabama third-stringers to cover. While I didn't think the Tide would have a letdown last week, I see a look-ahead coming this. That's because the SEC opener is next Saturday against a much-improved Florida team. That's the only way Southern Miss covers as this is a terrible program. Last season it finished 1-11, and that win, in the season finale, ended a 23-game losing streak that had been the nation's longest. USM this year was clobbered 48-0 at Mississippi State and then won just by six last week at home against FCS team Alcorn State. Any Tide player who has even a minor injury probably sits this one out to get ready for the Gators.

College Football Pick: USM scores a late TD to cover. I am hoping this rises to 49.5

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Indiana at Bowling Green (total 73.5)
Can't say that back in August I expected I would be writing about an Indiana-Bowling Green matchup in the 2014 season. BGSU is the defending Mid-American Conference champion and widely expected to be the MAC's best team again. However, that all likely went poof when star quarterback Matt Johnson, one of the best mid-major QBs you might not have heard of, was lost for the year in the Falcons' season-opening 59-31 loss to Western Kentucky. Sophomore James Knapke, who threw 10 total passes last  year, started last week's 48-7 victory over VMI. Indiana plays at a really fast pace, usually throwing the ball all over the place. However, the Hoosiers rushed for 455 yards and threw for only 111 in their season-opening win over Indiana State. IU was off last week. Indiana beat Bowling Green 42-10 last year and that Falcons team was better. This total seems way too high with Johnson out.

College Football Pick:  'under.' 73.5 at 5Dimes

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Tulsa at Florida Atlantic (pick'em)
Pick'ems are great because you don't have to mess around with points. If you can't pick the right team, with no points involved, well more than 50 percent of the time then you are in the wrong business. These two schools were both in Conference USA last year but didn't play. Tulsa is now in the  AAC. The Golden Hurricane opened the season with a 38-31 double-overtime win over a bad Tulane team and then were blasted 52-7 at home by Oklahoma last week. It was 31-0 at the half and Tulsa had nine rushing yards at that point. The final score could have been much worse. I learned an interesting fact about Tulsa while researching this story. It has the smallest undergraduate enrollment of FBS schools with just 3,429 students. Just saying. FAU has gotten two nice paychecks to start the year but was crushed 55-7 at Nebraska and then 41-0 at Bama last week. Thus it's somewhat hard to tell what this club is yet. This will be the home debut of Owls head coach Charlie Partridge. Florida Atlantic also will get back starting QB Jaquez Johnson. He was hurt in the season opener and then sat out last week. FAU scored on its first drive of the season and not since.

College Football Pick: Tulsa.

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Wake Forest at Utah State (total 43.5)
This is the second time the Demon Deacons have been on the low total of the week. In their opener against Louisiana-Monroe it was set at 45.5 and I leaned 'under'. Wake lost 17-10. Last week, the Deacons managed only 23 points in a win over little Gardner-Webb. This is a terrible offensive team. Wake has rushed 63 times for 93 yards on the season. You could run 63 straight quarterback sneaks and gain more than that. Overall Wake Forest is averaging just 240.5 yards per game. The Deacons, who start a true freshman QB in John Wolford, will be the first ACC team to ever visit Utah State -- this was a fill-in game basically as Wake was supposed to originally play Notre Dame and was left scrambling. Utah State was supposed to be pretty good this year with the return of QB Chuckie Keeton, who blew out his knee midway through last year. But the Aggies managed only seven points in their opener at Tennessee. They beat Idaho State 40-20 last week. Keeton hasn't been great, completing 47.7 percent of his passes for 260 yards, one TD and three picks. The Aggies lost starting receiver Brandon Swindall to a season-ending injury against Idaho State.

College Football Pick: Will either team get into the 20s? Doubtful.  Go 'under.' The 'under' is 9-2 in Wake's past 11 on the road and 6-1 in USU's past seven overall. 

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