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Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide features in our college football parlay picks
Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after the Georgia Bulldogs score a touchdown. Emilee Chinn/Getty Images/AFP.

With 73 college football games involving FBS teams being played on Friday and Saturday, we have scoured the market and crunched the numbers to make our best college football parlay predictions for Week 3 based on the best NCAAF odds.

Most bettors don’t put much stock into “trap games” or “letdown spots,” but we absolutely do. There are two opportunities to capitalize with Notre Dame looking ahead to a top-10 matchup and Alabama coming off a loss, and the two teams comprise a big chunk of our three-leg parlay that pays +449 odds.

For even more college football coverage, we're hitting you with our college football best bets, some of the week's most enticing college football player props, and the most lucrative college football upset picks!

And for those looking for all of our favorite college football picks in one place, we've got you covered with our college football Week 3 predictions

Here are our best college football parlay predictions for Week 3 (odds via our best college football betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

College football parlay predictions: Week 3

(odds via DraftKings)

  • Central Michigan +35.5 (-133) vs. Notre Dame ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • East Carolina +7.5 first half spread (-165) vs. Appalachian State ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • South Florida Under team total 13.5 (-105) vs. Alabama ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Combined odds: +449 via DraftKings

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College football parlay Week 3

Central Michigan +35.5 vs. Notre Dame (-133) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Notre Dame took care of business in a 45-24 rout of NC State in its first road environment last week and extended its winning streak to 16 consecutive games in which it was favored in true road games. However, the Fighting Irish had to wait through a weather delay of more than two hours to complete the game, and that, coupled with a Week 0 trip to Dublin with no off week before its next game, has to start taking its toll on the players.

Now the Fighting Irish have their easiest game remaining on their schedule this week, one week before the current No. 6 team in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes, come to town. Head coach Marcus Freeman will have to do everything he can to get his players focused this week, but that will be challenging. 

Notre Dame has not seen a running quarterback (at least one that does not run a triple option) like Central Michigan’s Bert Emanuel Jr., who had three games with 173-plus rushing yards last year. The 11 freshmen and sophomores who played 150-plus snaps for the Chippewas are now a year older, and we do not expect them to roll over in a game of this magnitude. 

The line has already moved away from Central Michigan, as they moved from 33.5- to 34.5- -point underdogs. But since this is part of a three-leg parlay, we had more flexibility to add an extra point on the alternate spread while still returning a nice payday with our parlay, and will now still cash if Notre Dame wins by five touchdowns.  

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East Carolina +7.5 first half spread vs. Appalachian State (-165) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is another wager where we took advantage of an alternate spread, as East Carolina is +6.5 on the first-half spread. However, with the full game spread being +9.5, we are confident the Pirates can stay within a touchdown for the first 30 minutes.

Appalachian State nearly sent shockwaves through the college football world last week, falling in double overtime 40-34 to No. 17 North Carolina. We have doubts that the Mountaineers can pick themselves up over that crushing defeat, especially with a difficult trip to Laramie (Wyoming has already beaten Texas Tech at home) looming. 

East Carolina hung in well in Week 1, limiting Michigan to just 30 points, despite entering the season having lost eight of its top 12 tacklers from last season. Thus, the additions from the transfer portal have instantly made a difference, and the Pirates also started fast by playing Marshall to a 10-10 halftime draw last week (they also had a 13-10 lead at the end of the third quarter) before things got away from them over the final 15 minutes (they were outscored 21-0).

This is a four-star play, as Appalachian State’s strength is its offense (ranked 57th in preseason Offensive SP+ vs. 103rd on defense), which will help an East Carolina offense that is still trying to gel four new offensive line starters.

South Florida Under 13.5 team total points vs. Alabama (-105) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Over is 6-0 in South Florida’s last six September games against AP-ranked opponents. However, if it cashes again this week, we do not expect it to result from the Bulls’ offensive success.

Alabama is coming off a game where it lost by double-digits at home for the first time under Nick Saban. Quinn Ewers and the Texas offense torched The Crimson Tide for 349 passing and 454 total yards. However, Alabama did not register a quarterback sack against the experienced Longhorns offensive line, missed seven tackles, and too frequently gave up chunk plays, with Texas recording six catches of 20-plus yards. 

South Florida is not in the same stratosphere talent-wise as Texas, and Nick Saban is a master at motivating his players and correcting those mistakes. What did the Crimson Tide do after allowing 52 points to Tennessee last year (the most they had let up since 1907)? They held Mississippi State to six points and 293 total yards despite a whopping 60 pass attempts from Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers. And the last time it went on the road after a regular season loss, Alabama held an explosive Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss offense to seven second-half points last season.    

College football parlay picks made 9/15/2023 at 6:48 a.m. ET.

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