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New Mexico at Arizona St -27.5, 65.5
Arizona St has been significantly overvalued so far this year, having lost both of their games ATS by around 20 points. They blasted New Mexico by 35 last year, but with Pac-12 play starting next week for them with a big home matchup with USC, they may again be looking at an inflated spread. New Mexico runs a similar run-heavy triple-option offense to last week's ASU opponent Cal Poly, and the Lobos are likely to be gunning to end, even if down by a wide margin. Still, the Sun Devils have a huge talent edge, so a 30-point win could easily be in the cards, as it was last season.
Georgia St at Oregon -44, 72.5
As is often the case with college football games with 40+-point spreads, the favorite could easily cover if fully motivated, but full motivation to win by 50 is almost certainly not likely. This is a warm-up game for Oregon, coming between conference play and the huge Michigan St clash, and the line movement so far is reflective of the scheduling spot. Despite their massive edge in talent, the line has actually moved slightly in Georgia St's favor, dipping a bit from an opener of 47. And going back to 2011, Oregon has been a losing proposition as a favorite of 40 or more, going just 2-5 ATS in 7 instances.
Utah St at Washington -6, 44
Washington is a young team at the beginning of a rebuilding process, but it's not a surprise that new well-regarded head coach Chris Petersen already has them outperforming their market valuations, and that they covered their first two games this year by comfortable margins. This week though, Utah St might not be the kind of team you want to be looking to bet against with Washington, as the Aggies are a scrappy program that has tended to be undervalued themselves in recent years. Utah St got a cover last week, losing by just 10 on the road to Utah, a significantly superior team at the moment to Washington. Utah St will also get back a top senior WR this week who was suspended for the first two games of the season.
Colorado vs Colorado St +3, 57
Colorado and Colorado St face off in their annual rivalry game in what has become a very evenly-matched series. Last year Colorado St won handily, but Colorado may be significantly improved this year with an excellent running game that was on display last week in their dominant home win over UMass. The first jump with this line, market-wide, did favor Colorado, as they went from -3.5 to -4. Recent action has bet the line down to 3, which is not a surprise in light of how generally competitive this series has been. But if we see another jump in favor of Colorado on game day close to kickoff, that might be telling. The injury situation may favor the Rams though, as Colorado lost one of their top offensive linemen to injury last week, while Colorado St might get back All-American WR Rashard Higgins, who was out last week but may be ready to return. Colorado St also has a poor turnover differential so far this year which is more likely than not to regress back to a less unfavorable number for them.
California at Texas +6.5, 57.5
Books that released preseason lines on this game in August had Cal as a 9.5-point underdog, which really underscores how much expectations have radically adjusted for both Cal and Texas heading into Week 3. Texas gave redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard the start at QB last week, and that move did give the Longhorns' offense a spark. Cal's defense appears to be improved from the disaster of last season, but Heard is fast and dynamic and could give Cal some problems. Texas is clearly a work in progress though, and they could be particularly vulnerable with their secondary, which is young, has not done well through the first two games this season, and now faces one of the toughest deep-threat passing attacks in the nation. We'll see where this spread closes, and whether the market takes any sharp action on Texas as a big home dog. I'm thinking about a play on the Over, though, with the offenses looking significantly more appealing than the defenses for both teams.
San Jose St at Oregon St -7.5, 48.5
Both teams looked unimpressive last week, especially on offense, and the total for the game has taken a significant drop from the opener of 52.5. If San Jose St couldn't get much going against the unimposing defense of Air Force, they figure to be held down again here. The spread on the game, interestingly, has moved slightly in San Jose St's favor, dropping from the opener of 9. The under may still have value even after the big move down. We'll probably see a run-heavy game with the offenses more likely than not to be sluggish.
Stanford at USC -10, 50.5
Stanford's opening week debacle against Northwestern is partially forgivable, but still troubling. Stanford has a quality team this year, as always, but QB Kevin Hogan is still inconsistent, the running game is a work in progress, and the defense is younger and more inexperienced than normal. USC, on the other hand, is unusually deep talent-wise, and clearly outclasses Stanford in terms of playmakers on the field. If Stanford has lapses, the game could get ugly in a hurry, especially with Stanford's biggest weakness on defense being their young secondary. Still, Stanford/USC games usually wind up being close, and the underdog has gone 7-1 ATS in the last 8 matchups (and that one ATS loss by the underdog was in 2011, when USC was a 7.5-point underdog, the game went into overtime, and Stanford wound up winning by 8 in OT). USC's favorite line has gotten bet up by the public, and it's not clear whether or not any sharp action will come in on Stanford.
Wyoming at Washington St -24, 61
Wyoming has been wildly overvalued on their spreads so far this year, with two outright losses, both as a double-digit favorite. It's hard to imagine, though, how bad a team would have to be to be overvalued against Washington St as a 24-point underdog. But Wyoming may be that bad. They're a very young team, and with some potentially serious injury issues at QB. Their starter will be returning from a knee injury he suffered in Week 1, and his backup was lost for the season in Week 2. If the starter goes down again this week, it could be an ugly scene for Wyoming on the field offensively, as the third-stringer has not looked good. Washington St got a nice bounce-back win last week at Rutgers, but Rutgers was a team is some disarray that had 3 starters in the secondary dismissed from the team, a nightmare situation when going up against Washington St's Air Raid offense. This figures to be a game with low betting volume.
BYU at UCLA -17, 60
BYU has had an eventful start to their season. They lost their starting QB, they threw two successful Hail Mary passes in their first two games, and have had on-field controversy surrounding dirty play. Through it all, they are still ranked heading into Week 3, and getting big points on the road at UCLA. BYU is rarely a double-digit underdog, but they have been in that position 5 times over the past 10 years, and they covered 4 of those spreads, including once each in 2011 and 2012. BYU is a less talented and less complete team than UCLA, but they play physically on defense and have the profile of the kind of team that makes for a live underdog.
Utah at Fresno St +14, 54
Utah has played gritty, low-scoring games so far this year, and in general they are a very formidable team with a particularly tough and aggressive defense. They will likely outclass Fresno St this year, as they did last year, but in contrast to last season's high-scoring affair played in Utah, I suspect we will see a lot of running in this one, and relatively conservative offensive game plans from both teams. The lines for this game came out late in the week as a result of uncertainty regarding injuries, so we will likely see these lines move by game day, and I suspect the total will close a bit lower than the current 54.
Northern Arizona at Arizona -35, 62
This could be an FCS/FBS matchup where the big FCS underdog has line value. Northern Arizona is a decent FCS team from the Big Sky conference, and they do have some respectable FCS-caliber talent this year. More importantly is the likely mindset of Arizona, which is sure to be one of just looking to avoid injury and get out with a win. Arizona has been hit hard by the injury bug this year, and while they do have depth in most areas, we already saw them in week 1 get a win as a huge favorite but lose by a mile ATS against UTSA. We could see a similar scenario play out here, as Northern Arizona is likely to be gunning all 4 quarters regardless of the score.