There’s a lot to like on the Week 3 college football betting board. However, I’m not one to fire on a dozen bets in hopes of finishing 7-5. I like to hone in on less than a handful of wagers that I feel strongly about — high-conviction plays.
Betting tip: Make wagers you love, not wagers you like. That being said, here’s what I love this week:
Best bet: Kansas +9.5 at Houston
The Jayhawks' season win total was set at 2.5. Kansas is 2-0 for the first time since 2011. Yes, I made coach Lance Leipold’s squad my best bet. And yes, I sprinkled on that near 3-to-1 moneyline. You can listen to my reasons here:
— Yahoo Sportsbook (@YahooSportsbook) September 14, 2022
South Alabama +16 at UCLA
This line opened at 14 with money coming in on the Bruins and for good reason. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and this UCLA offense is one of the better units in the Pac-12. The problem with UCLA at the moment — like with most teams — is that the stats are a bit skewed based on early weak competition. As it stands, UCLA is fourth best in the country in total defense, but who has it played? A Bowling Green team that finished 4-8 SU in 2021 is already 0-2 straight-up this year.
This early, we still have to look at some of the 2021 metrics because there’s just not enough information with a one- or two-game sample size. The Bruins were bottom 30 in pass defense last season and is facing a pass-heavy team in South Alabama that was ranked top 30 in passing yards last year, and thus far looks to be continuing with the same style of offense. The vulnerabilities in the UCLA secondary mimic that of Central Michigan, the Jaguars' opponent last week. Jaguars QB Carter Bradley threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns against just one interception. Bradley can exploit this UCLA defense that looks to be better on paper than it actually is.
Miami +6 at Texas A&M
My first look at this game was the under 48, but the line is now 45. I contemplated still buying at the total but practice what you preach. Even if it works out, I would have bought in on a worse number, and long term that’s a big no-no. I missed out. There will be more opportunities. Fortunately, I also loved the spread, and I’m getting a better number here after it initially opened at five. You can look at the Aggies' loss last week to App State and be shocked, but you really shouldn’t be. This is an A&M team that has so many new parts. It lost its quarterback, leading receiver, all three top defensive ends and its top linebacker.
The Aggies' defense held App State to 4.5 yards per pass but allowed 181 rushing yards. Well, Miami has a one-two punch with Henry Parrish Jr. and Thaddius Franklin Jr., who have combined for seven scores so far. Defensively, the Hurricanes' strength appears to be the pass rush with five sacks so far. I do worry about this Aggies offense. Though it's just a two-game sample size, A&M is 127th in total offense with QB Haynes King, who leaves more questions than answers after throwing for 97 total passing yards last week. When you have two good defenses, the edge comes with the better offense — and that’s Miami.
I'll be looking to the live total in this game. If it looks like both defenses are taking center stage, then I'll be looking on the live line to grab a 48 if possible.