After a 4-1 start in Week 1, I dropped to 2-3 in Week 2. I am still 6-4 overall, but I am disappointed I was not able to take advantage of an overreaction week. I am ready to atone with a strong Week 3! Here are my favorite big underdogs of Week 3.
The Bulldogs may be looking ahead to next week, as Georgia hosts Notre Dame in what will likely be the game of the week between two top 10 teams. Arkansas State may catch the Bulldogs sleeping in this noon-kickoff matchup. The Red Wolves bring in a balanced offense that put up 43 points last week at UNLV. Arkansas State may be without leading rusher Marcel Murray on Saturday, but possible replacement Ryan Graham averages 7.7 yards per carry this season. The early kickoff and the possible trap-game scenario makes me love the Red Wolves to cover this giant spread.
Just like the trap-game scenario for Georgia, the Fighting Irish are in the same predicament. New Mexico brings in a solid offense that uses many weapons in the passing game. Both quarterbacks played well two weeks ago, and with starter Brandt Hughes questionable, it was important that Sheriron Jones got snaps against Sam Houston State. This seems like a great situational play.
This play is strictly a trend and anti-Auburn pick. I do not have any statistical reason to tell you Kent State is a good football team. However, this spread is a number that leads me to believe that the Golden Flashes only need to score one touchdown to cover. Auburn has yet to score 35 points in a game, and Kent State has yet to allow 35 points in a game. Kent State is 4-2 ATS in the past three seasons as a road underdog of 21.5 or more points. Auburn is 2-9 ATS in the past three seasons coming off a home win. I do not believe Auburn will reach 36 points to cover this spread, even if it shuts out the Golden Flashes.
This spread seems like a bit of an overreaction to an Orange pummeling at the hands of Maryland last week. Clemson is the best team in the nation, but this is still going to be a tough environment against a solid conference opponent. Before last week this spread would have landed around 17-20 points.
Another interesting trend is how these teams have performed with similar spreads during the past three seasons. Clemson is 1-4 ATS as a favorite of 21.5-31 points, while Syracuse is 3-0 ATS as an underdog of 21.5-31 points. The last time these two teams met in Syracuse, the Orange took down the Tigers in a shocking, prime-time upset. I predict the Orange will give the Tigers another scare.
The Bruins have gotten off to a rough start, while Oklahoma looks like a powerhouse on offense. As great as Oklahoma has been offensively during the Lincoln Riley era, it struggles to cover on the road. The Sooners are 1-5 ATS in the past three seasons as a road favorite. The UCLA defense has yet to give up more than 24 points in a game. While the Sooners will likely surpass that number, the Bruins can put up around 20 points and should be able to hold Oklahoma to under 42 at home.