College football Week 3 picks against the spread for every top-25 matchup | Sporting News

Week 3 of the college football season does not have matchup between two ranked teams.

Thank heavens we can bet against the spread, right? No. 19 Iowa traveling to Iowa State and No. 1 Clemson visiting Syracuse is the best we can do this week.

MORE: Week 3 picks straight up

Here is a look at our record after Week 2:

Straight up: 40-6, .870 (17-5 last week)
Against the spread: 24-18, .571 (10-8 last week)
Upset picks: 0-2

With that in mind, here is a look at the dates, times, TV and odds (provided courtesy of Sportsbook Review as of Monday, Sept. 9) for every top-25 matchup in Week 3:

Friday, Sept. 13

No. 20 Washington State (-6.5) vs. Houston

9:15 p.m., ESPN

It’s a battle of Cougars at NRG Stadium, and Washington State averages 58.5 points per game. Anthony Gordon (884 yards, nine touchdowns, one interception) is off to a hot start, too. Houston will score, but Washington State pulls away in the fourth quarter. This is an OVER game too.

Washington State wins 52-38 and COVERS the spread.

Saturday, Sept.14

Arkansas State at No. 3 Georgia (-33)

Noon, ESPN2

The Bulldogs didn’t cover a 49.5-point spread last week, and Arkansas State averages 36.5 points per game. Georgia will want to be sharp in anticipation of Notre Dame, but we think the Red Wolves can slip in a back-door cover with a touchdown pass from Logan Bonner.

Georgia wins 51-21 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

No. 6 Ohio State (-14) at Indiana

Noon, FOX

There is a “trap game” feel to it whenever the Buckeyes go to Bloomington, and most of that is based on the 2012 and 2015 games. It’s easy to forget Ohio State won by 28 on their last visit, and Justin Fields will stay in the zone on the road.

Ohio State wins 41-14 and COVERS the spread.

Pitt at No. 13 Penn State (-17)

Noon, ABC

These in-state rivals are meeting for the last time for the foreseeable future, so emotions will be high. The Panthers have not generated a turnover this season. The Nittany Lions improve to 3-0 against the spread with another strong second half.

Penn State wins 40-17 and COVERS the spread.

No. 21 Maryland (-6.5) at Temple

Noon, CBS Sports Network

Maryland’s offense under Mike Locksley has been one of the top stories of the early season, but the Owls had an early bye week to prepare Anthony Russo for the Terps. We’re going to take the home team to cover.

Maryland wins 30-27 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

MORE: SN’s Week 3 bowl projections

New Mexico at No. 7 Notre Dame (-37)

2:30 p.m., NBC

Notre Dame had a bye week to prepare for New Mexico, who will be without former Irish coach Bob Davie this week. Ian Book will be much sharper after the bye week, but the Lobos will get a few scores in the second half.

Notre Dame wins 49-14 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

No. 2 Alabama (-25.5) at South Carolina

3:30 p.m. CBS

The Crimson Tide lost their last visit to Williams-Brice Stadium in 2010, and Nick Saban remembers the recipe for that game. Ryan Hilinski played well in his first start for the Gamecocks last week, but Alabama is a different beast this time around. Look for them to make a statement in their SEC opener with Tua Tagovailoa.

Alabama wins 50-20 and COVERS the spread.

Stanford at No. 17 UCF (No line)

3:30 p.m., ESPN

We’re going to wait to see the status of K.J. Costello and reserve the right to change this prediction, but we like the continued momentum of the Knights in Josh Heupel’s second year. Dillon Gabriel or Brandon Wimbush will start for UCF, but does it matter? The system continues to work.

UCF wins 31-24.

No. 24 USC (-4.5) at BYU

3:30 p.m., ABC

The Trojans have been a pleasant early-season surprise, despite the injury to JT Daniels. Kedon Slovis handled his first start with ease. USC is plus-1 in the turnover department, so they must protect the football on the road. We think they will.

USC wins 28-21 and COVERS the spread.

Arizona State at No. 18 Michigan State (-11)

4 p.m., FOX

Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels gets his first big test on the road against a veteran Michigan State defense that stuffs the run and creates turnovers. The Sun Devils have been good on defense, too. This will be tight.

Michigan State wins 27-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

MORE: SN’s Week 3 college football rankings

No. 19 Iowa at Iowa State (-1)

4 p.m., Fox Sports 1

ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in Ames, and Matt Campbell will try to get his first victory against the Hawkeyes. The Cyclones had an extra week to prepare, but Nathan Stanley — who averages 10.5 adjusted yards per attempt — will handle that pressure for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa wins 28-24 in an UPSET.

Idaho State at No. 11 Utah (-35.5)

4:15 p.m.

Bengals quarterback Matt Struck threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns in Idaho State’s opener, but Utah will be the toughest defense he faces this year. Tyler Huntley has been efficient at quarterback, and the Utes will cruise in the second half.

Utah wins 41-10 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

Kent State at No. 8 Auburn (-35)

7 p.m., ESPN2

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix will have his way against a defense that has allowed 200-plus against the rush and pass this season. The Tigers will be a little sharper after an emotional letdown against Tulane; this is the game where Auburn pours it on.

Auburns wins 49-10 and COVERS the spread.

No. 9 Florida (-8.5) at Kentucky

7 p.m., ESPN

Kentucky lost Terry Wilson for the season, which makes Gunnar Hoak’s transfer from the program that much more painful. Florida will be looking for revenge after last year’s loss to the Wildcats, and Feleipe Franks continues to trend in the right direction.

Florida wins 31-21 and COVERS the spread.

Lamar at No. 16 Texas A&M (-43)

7 p.m., ESPNU

Texas A&M faces Lamar after the tough loss at Clemson. There won’t be much to this game, and the Aggies should be focused knowing they can’t lose again. How much will Kellen Mond play?

Texas A&M wins 49-7 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

MORE: Buying, selling Week 3’s biggest storylines

No. 1 Clemson (-27) at Syracuse

7:30 p.m., ABC

Syracuse was blown out by Maryland last week, which took the shine off this primetime spotlight game in the Carrier Dome. The Orange are scoring an average of just 22 points per game through two weeks. Clemson will double that with ease.

Clemson wins 44-19 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.

Northwestern State at No. 4 LSU (-56)

7:30 p.m., SEC Network

What are we supposed to do with that spread? The Tigers are coming off an emotional victory at Texas, Joe Burrow is barging into the Heisman discussion, and the Tigers cruise in preparation for the SEC opener against Vanderbilt. The spread is still too high.

LSU wins 55-3 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

Hawaii at No. 23 Washington (-21)

7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Washington is coming off a bizarre late-night loss to Cal, and Hawaii can’t be taken lightly knowing they have already beaten Arizona and Oregon State. Cole McDonald has thrown five interceptions through two games. Is that why this line is too high?

Washington wins 43-24 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.

Florida State at No. 25 Virginia (-7.5)

7:30 p.m., ACC Network

Florida State barely beat UL-Monroe in overtime, and that might relax a Willie Taggart-coached team heading into a tough one at Virginia. The Seminoles are allowing 520 yards of offense per game, and that’s bad news against a player like Bryce Perkins. Virginia’s defense will be the difference.

Virginia wins 31-21 and COVERS the spread.

No. 5 Oklahoma (-20) at UCLA

8 p.m., FOX

Jalen Hurts and the Sooners take the show on the road with the intent of dropping the Bruins to 0-3. If the Bruins turn it over like they have been — they have seven through two games — this will get out of hand.

Oklahoma wins 52-21 and COVERS the spread.

MORE: Week 3 college football playoff picture

Rice at No. 12 Texas (-30.5)

8 p.m., CBSSN

Texas will have to bounce back after an emotional loss to LSU, and we will see what kind of team Tom Herman has in that situation. Rice is 0-2 and its quarterbacks have combined for just one touchdown pass this season.

Texas wins 41-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

Portland State at No. 22 Boise State (-31.5)

10:15 p.m., ESPN2

Boise State is emerging as one of the Group of 5 busters again, and they are heavy favorites against a Portland State team that lost by a touchdown at Arkansas. Broncos quarterback Hank Bachmeier has been good, but he’s still a work in progress.

Boise State wins 41-14 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.

Montana at No. 15 Oregon (-28)

10:45 p.m., Pac-12 Network

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Oregon demolished Nevada and can keep that rolling against the Grizzlies, who are 2-0 but will have trouble dealing with the Ducks’ perimeter speed on both sides. Oregon puts another big number on the board.

Oregon wins 59-17 and COVERS the spread.

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