Spread ‘Em: Best Bets ATS for Saturday

Jay Pryce

Saturday, September 16, 2017 4:57 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017 4:57 PM UTC

The Week 3 schedule contains a ton of lopsided games with many points on the oddsboard separating matchups. We are targeting two of the more competitive contests on paper for out best bets against the spread.

Clemson (-3) vs. Louisville

Louisville fields zero seniors and returns two starters to an offense that averaged 42.5 points in 2016. The great Clemson defense should hold an edge, right? Nah, not with reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson still under center. The Tigers failed to contain the versatile Cardinals quarterback in Death Valley last season with Jackson accounting for 3 TDs and 457 yards overall. No telling what kind of video game numbers the junior might put up Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

The difference-maker in this matchup will be the loss of DeShaun Watson. The NFL-starting quarterback bailed the Tigers out of last year’s meeting with a pair of 20-plus yard touchdown strikes in the final 7:00 minutes of regulation time. Junior Kelly Bryant is the new signal-caller and can’t fill the shoes of arguably the program’s best player ever. With wide receiver Mike Williams and a few other pieces gone, the offense lacks explosiveness from last year. Bad news when attempting to match a unit lighting dynamite on every possession.

Without Watson, Clemson is 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS in road games with a line between -7 and +7 under head coach Dabo Swinney. The Tigers miss him here. A few shops are dangling the hook and offering Louisville +3.5. Gobble it up, sit back, and soak in the best game of the weekend.

Free College Footbal Pick: Louisville +3.5Best Line Offered: at Sports Interaction

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Ole Miss (-3.5) vs. Cal

If you like good defense, this matchup isn’t for you. Both Ole Miss and Cal roll out suspect units. The Golden Bears are allowing 505.5 yards per game (326 through the air) to begin the year. The secondary is the pits and are tasked with slowing down talented Rebels quarterback Shea Patterson and the new-look Air Raid offense. Good luck.

The Ole Miss defense is just as poor. It has issues tackling and allowed 219 rushing yards to FCS Tennessee-Martin last week. Overall, the unit is surrendering 33.3 points per game in its last 10 played and 32.8 in its last 10 away trips.

The Golden Bears are showing a more balanced offensive attack under first-year head coach Justin Wilcox than the pass-happy team fans have come to enjoy over the last few seasons. Patrick Laird will be the feature back after ripping off 3 TDs and 191 rushing yards on 12 carries in a 33-20 win over Weber State last Saturday. The walk-on junior will need to produce to help keep the dangerous Rebels offense off the field. Look for him to do just that.

The Golden Bears have not lost a home game to a team yielding more than 22 points per contest entering a matchup in the last two years, going 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS. They were catching points in three of the victories. There will be plenty of mistakes from both teams, but the Rebels will struggle to overcome their own in a tough road atmosphere. Ole Miss is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games, falling to the number by 12.0 points per game. That’s the greatest margin of any FBS team during this span.

Look for the Rebels to disappoint again. Cal +3.5 is the pick. Be patient and gobble up more points closer to kick off. As one of the last games scheduled on Saturday, public money will come in on Ole Miss late by those chasing their losses.

Free College Football Picks: California +3.5Best Line Offered: at BetDSI

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