We bounced back with a 5-1 week last week, bringing our record for the season against the spread to 7-5. Here is who we like for week three.
Notre Dame (+6) at Michigan State: Notre Dame finished better than Michigan State in SRS the past two seasons (Sparty played a weaker schedule). The Irish beat Michigan State down in South Bend last year and should have beaten them in East Lansing the year before. Nine of the last 12 between these teams have been decided by one score or less. Both run defenses should cancel each other out. We have seen nothing from Andrew Maxwell to trust him more than Everett Golson. We’ll take the six points.
Connecticut (-2.5) at Maryland: Connecticut has a very strong defense, that allowed just 2.69 yards per play against UMass and N.C. State. Maryland, with an inexperienced quarterback, turned the ball over eight times in its first two games, against William and Mary and Temple. The Huskies will definitely be up for this one. Not a huge win, but they cover the 2.5 points.
Pittsburgh (+10.5) vs. Virginia Tech: I know. Hear me out. The Hokies are a big name team. Pitt lost to an FCS team and looked horrifying against Cincinnati. The money is pouring in on VaTech and the line dropped by 1.5. Despite this, the line went even lower to entice more money. Virginia Tech has not shown it can score against an FBS opponent. Statistically, Pitt should have been in that game against Cincinnati. The Panthers look better after a long week to regroup and keep it low-scoring and close.
Utah (+4) vs. BYU: Utah comes home after a tough rivalry loss on the road, but we have to accept the fact Utah State might just be good. Jordan Wynn is finished, but John Hays, a senior with extensive starting experience last year, should not be so much of a drop off. Utah has a far better defensive front than BYU, playing Washington State and Weber State, have seen. We’ll take the Utes at home, with the points.
Houston (+17) at UCLA: Houston rebounded after their week one debacle. They lost to a decent Louisiana Tech team 56-49, but gained nearly 700 total yards and lost because of penalties and turnovers. UCLA has an explosive offense, but we’re not sold their defense can shut down Houston. The Bruins win, but the Cougars aren’t embarrassed.
Miami of BROhio (+21) at Boise State: Boise State was spirited against Michigan State, but their offense showed about the level of stink expected with so few returning starters. They faced a good/great defense but Joe Southwick completed less than 50 percent of his passes. They could not manage more than 10 yards from a running back. What kept it close was self-inflicted turnovers and penalties by the Spartans. Whatever rhythm gained will have been lost on the bye week. Boise may end up being good, but they have shown nothing to suggest they can blow teams away yet.
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