Three best underdog bets for Week 3 on the college football schedule

Michigan State's Jeff Pietrowski and Jacub Panasiuk
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Ricky Dimon

NCAAF· 1 month ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The third full week of the 2021 college football campaign is here and it is delivering a trio of all-Top 25 showdowns—including Alabama vs Florida—plus a whole host of upset opportunities. It is the underdogs whom we will take a look at here; we are going to roll with the Michigan State Spartans, Purdue Boilermakers, and San Diego State Aztecs. Let’s break it all down:

Michigan State Spartans +6.5 over Miami (FL) Hurricanes

There is not a whole lot to be enthused about so far when it comes to Miami, so I will happily take almost a touchdown’s worth of points (well, a touchdown and half of an extra point to be exact) with Michigan State. After getting blown out by Alabama in week 1, the Hurricanes came back with a tough 25-23 victory over Appalachian State in their home opener. Quarterback D’Eriq King came into the season as a Heisman candidate but has been less than impressive so far. He went 20 of 33 for 200 yards and no touchdowns against the Mountaineers. On the other side of the ball, the Hurricanes’ defense has now given up 125+ rushing yards in back-to-back games to start the season.

The Spartans, meanwhile, rolled over an inferior Youngstown State squad 42-14 at home last weekend. Their rushing attack was yet again on full display, as this time it was Jordon Simmons with a monster performance (16 carries, 121 yards). MSU has now amassed 598 rushing yards in just 2 games. Its defense has also held each opponent to no more than 21 points.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Michigan State Spartans vs Miami Hurricanes

Purdue Boilermakers +7.5 over Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Purdue Boilermakers running back King Doerue

Like Miami, Notre Dame has already found the win column this season (twice, in fact) but has hardly been impressive. The Fighting Irish opened with a 41-38 overtime victory at the expense of Florida State, which was already bad-looking at the time and now looks even worse following the Seminoles’ loss to Jacksonville State. They proceeded to scrape past Toledo 32-29. Their defense is surrendering almost 200 rushing yards per game and they are averaging just 2.7 yards per rush, themselves.

Purdue has looked better than previously advertised, coming off a 30-21 win over Oregon State and a 49-0 humiliation of Connecticut. Quarterback Jack Plummer has developed a special connection with wide receiver Davis Bell, as they have hooked up 14 times for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns so far this season. The Boilermaker defense has also played well, ranking in the  top 45 nationally in almost every major statistical category. Give me more than a touchdown all day against a struggling Notre Dame side.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Purdue Boilermakers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

San Diego State Aztecs +8 over Utah Utes

Utah already knows a thing or two about being upset. The Utes were -16 road favorites and lost to BYU 26-27 last weekend. Their offense was held in check for most of the game, gaining fewer than 350 yards. On the other side of the ball they watched the Cougars rack up 219 yards on the ground.

San Diego State is coming off consecutive wins over New Mexico State and Arizona, the latter of which came as a +1 road underdog. The Aztecs are averaging 245 rushing yards per game, which should set them up well to take advantage of BYU’s generous run defense. From a trends perspective, Utah is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 non-conference contests. SDSU is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 as a home underdog. The Aztecs should cover, and an outright win is by no means out of the question.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Utah Utes vs San Diego State Aztecs

At Pickswise we offer free expert College Football Picks and College Football Predictions for all games in the Power Five conferences and the top 25 teams outside of Power five, including our College Football Parlay picks each week.

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