These picks went 3-2 ATS in Week 2, moving to 6-4 ATS for the 2016 season. Here is who we like for week 3.
Notre Dame (-8) vs. Michigan State
Notre Dame has an explosive offense and one of the nation’s best quarterbacks. Michigan State has not had the lock down defense to shut that sort of team down since 2013. The Spartans don’t look like they have the offensive firepower to keep up and probe the weaknesses in the Irish defense. Notre Dame may run wild. They should pull away for enough of a win to cover that spread in South Bend.
Nebraska (-3) vs. Oregon
Trust the line over accrued public wisdom. Oregon has been explosive on offense. But, the Ducks looked unimpressive on defense against the likes of UC Davis and UVA at home. Nebraska has looked prolific on offense. They have a significantly better defense. Mike Riley has ample experience coaching against his former in-state rivals, and comes away with a big win at home.
Appalachian State (+3.5) vs. Miami
Miami is off to a hot start. Miami has not played anyone. Mark Richt heads on the road here, against a very well coached team. We saw Appalachian State man up and control both lines of scrimmage against Tennessee (better than Miami). The one thing you have to do against App. State is defend the run. Miami ranked 111th in yards/carry allowed against FBS winning teams in 2015. App. State will be fired up for their biggest home game in school history.
Iowa State (+24) at TCU
This is a let down spot after a tough, partially self-inflicted loss to Arkansas in overtime. This is a savvy, offensive-minded Iowa State staff facing off against a TCU defense that has been a near comprehensive dumpster fire to start 2016. Even if TCU comes out to play, this game has backdoor cover potential written all over it.
UCF (+8.5) vs. Maryland
Maryland has looked great so far under a new coach. Like Miami, Maryland has not played anyone. Scott Frost was not entirely off base assessing his team’s performance at Michigan. Their defense was solid. They made Michigan work for yards and held up well against the run. It was the special teams apocalypse that cost them. Maryland is not Michigan. The Knights at least keep at close at home.