In honor of the massive slate of high-profile matchups that is Week 3 of the college football season, here are four more bets to line your pockets this Saturday.
Michigan State vs. Notre Dame
Line: ND -7
Notre Dame and their Johnny Drama doppelganger Defensive Coordinator started the season by surrendering nearly 500 yards of total offense and over 40 points to Texas. Unlike the upstart Longhorns, Michigan State rolls into South Bend with perhaps their weakest roster of the Dantonio era, highlighted by the losses of Connor Cook, Aaron Burbridge, Shalique Calhoun, and Jack Conklin.
Now, with Tyler O’Conner under center and three new starters on the offensive line, the marginal recruiting of Dantonio and co. is put to the test against what is, regardless of the outcome Week One, an incredibly talented Notre Dame front seven. Offensively, with the Malik Zaire experiment reportedly coming to its merciful end, Kizer and the loaded collection of skill position players Coach Brian Kelly has assembled during his time on the sidelines in South Bend will run wild on what is, without a doubt, the worst Michigan State secondary of the last five plus years.
Spartans keep it close early, but crucial mistakes by the first year starter at QB and inability to run the ball consistently doom the fading Spartans.
Pick: ND 34 MSU: 20
Georgia vs. Missouri
Line: Georgia -7
As if the year hasn’t been enough of a struggle for the University of Missouri, football season brings its own set of horrors to the much-beleaguered fan base. Quarterback Drew Lock remains a complete disaster, though this time without the benefit of a stellar defense and the steady handed coaching of Gary Pinkel. Under a first-year head coach coming off of a historically inept recruiting cycle, though I wonder how any coach short of Urban Meyer could recruit to Mizzou at this point, the Tigers are less talented, poorly coached, and as hopeless as any time in recent memory.
Enter Georgia coming off of a near Michigan vs. App State level disaster in Athens against Nicholls State. Whatever the fuck that is. Coach Kirby Smart has not yet named a starter under center for this weekend, but logically one would have to assume Freshman Jacob Eason the clear choice with an opportunity to gain experience against perhaps the SEC’s worst overall team. Nick Chubb and the vaunted Dawg rushing attack will wear down a thin Mizzou front, and Coach Smart will put his foot to the gas pedal after the letdown of Week Two.
Pick: Georgia 38 Mizzou 13
Mississippi State vs. LSU
Line: Total 46.5
Has anyone in Vegas watched an LSU game during the Miles/Cam Cameron era? I honestly wonder. LSU, though stockpiling talent like Cold War weapons, vacillate between unwatchable and pitiful on the offensive side of the ball, even with the likely return of Heisman hopeful Leonard Fournette. The problem, which has seemingly always been the case for the Mad Hatter, is with Fournette’s fellow member of the Tiger’s backfield. Whether it is Brandon Harris or Purdue transfer Danny Etling under center, the Tigers possess the most inexplicably hopeless two-headed quarterback monster of despair in all of football.
With that in mind, remember MSU QB Dak Prescott is throwing to Dez Bryant now, not Fred Brown. Dan Mullen’s new look offense looked good against a largely overwhelmed South Carolina, but the ineptitude of the Cocks’ turnover prone offense hid what was largely an uneventful performance from MSU coming off of a loss to Southern Alabama at home.
LSU will grind out a few scores as MSU struggles to find the red zone in what could be the final matchup of Miles vs. Mullen.
Pick: LSU 24 MSU 10
Oregon vs. Nebraska
Line: Nebraska -3
After last season’s 5-7 debacle, the 2-0 start to 2016 has Lincoln buzzing about a possible return to Tom Osborne era glory. Not so fast my friend, give me the Ducks hat. Tommy Armstrong, amazingly still the quarterback of Nebraska for what seems like an impossibly long tenure, is also still terrible, making inexplicably ill-advised decisions that will have you wondering “wait, is that Brandon Harris?”
Mike Riley, everyone’s least exciting hire of 2014, is a nice guy and has the program on the right track. But Oregon, still riding the Chip Kelly wave for as long as the current regime can hold on, is the far more talented and experienced team. New Defensive Coordinator Brady Hoke is an immense upgrade for a team in need of a more physical identity, the lone success of his largely forgettable tenure as Michigan’s head man. FCS transfer Dakota Prukop is a perfect fit for the Oregon attack and has had the Ducks offense humming through the first two weeks.
This game will be a battle, but give me the more talented and experienced team AND the points every damn time. And Riley’s record against his arch rival during his Oregon State tenure? Hasn’t beaten the Ducks since the Bush Administration.
Pick: Oregon 44 Nebraska 38.
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