Favorites Come Up Short
While all the teams ranked in the top 10 in the Associated Press poll entering the weekend won their games, Saturday wasn’t a good day among those who bet online and rolled with the favorites to take care of business.
The top four teams in the rankings were all favored by at least 26 points and none of them covered against the college football lines.
No. 1 Georgia was a 26-point favorite against South Carolina.
The Bulldogs trailed 14-3 at halftime before scoring touchdowns on three of its first four drives of the second half on the way to a 24-14 win.
Spencer Rattler lived up to his 5⭐️ rating out of high school in the 1st half vs. No. 1 Georgia 🏈
-152 passing yards
South Carolina leads the Bulldogs 14-3 👀pic.twitter.com/hafENWV1bH
— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 16, 2023
It would have been four consecutive scoring drives if not for a missed field goal. Even if that field goal went through the uprights, the Bulldogs wouldn’t have covered.
It was the same as No. 2 Michigan continued with its pathetic non-conference slate. Michigan was listed by the sportsbook as a 41-point favorite versus Bowling Green and fell well short of covering in a 31-6 victory.
Michigan led by 25 points heading into the fourth quarter.
An interception and three-and-out on the next two drives ended any hopes of the Wolverines covering in the college football score predictions.
Third-ranked Florida State was just happy to win outright as host Boston College scored the game’s final 19 points. However, a missed extra point and then a failed two-point conversion try left Boston College two points short of the huge upset.
Boston College had the ball at its 40 with just over three minutes to play but could not move into position for the go-ahead field goal. The Seminoles came into the game as the 35½-point favorite
No. 4 Texas was tied with Wyoming heading into the fourth quarter.
The Longhorns scored 14 points in 15 seconds en route to the 31-10 win. However, Texas was favored by 30½ points.
I honestly feel like this was the most talented Tressel team and with Troy playing all 4 qtrs vs Texas they probably beat the Longhorns and then who knows? Maybe they end up playing USC in the Rose Bowl? https://t.co/8AeHq31Pv4
— Mike (@MikeBCSN) September 18, 2023
There were 14 teams favored by at least 25 points on Saturday and, while all of them won outright, they were just 7-7 against the spread.
No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 10 Alabama also failed to cover.
The highest-ranked team to lose was No. 11 Tennessee as host Florida won with relative ease 29-16.
No. 6 Ohio State had no problems covering as a 29½-point favorite as TreVeyon Henderson and Emeka Egbuka each scored twice in a 63-10 win over Western Kentucky.
Things got interesting late for Penn State. The Nittany Lions led 30-13 but Illinois had the ball in Penn State territory in the final minute.
No. 8 Washington had no problem covering as 15-point favorites with a 41-7 win over Michigan State.
Crimson Tide Not Rolling
Only the Miami teams of the 1980s and 1990s had a streak of being ranked in the top 10 longer than Alabama.
The Crimson Tide won’t be catching the Hurricanes.
After struggling to beat South Florida, Alabama fell from 10th to 13th in the Associated Press poll.
Alabama had been a top-10 ranked team for 128 consecutive weeks, nine shy of the record set by Miami from 1985-1993.
The last time Alabama wasn’t in the top 10 in the writers’ poll came on Sept. 27, 2015. The Crimson Tide returned to the top 10 the following week.
Georgia, the No. 1 team in both national polls, has the longest active streak of 37 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10.
No. 10 Oregon, No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 17 North Carolina and No. 18 Duke are the biggest movers in the AP poll as all those teams moved up three spots.
Week 3 Bad Beats
There were most definitely some bad beats of note in Week 3.
Iowa was favored by 28½ points versus visiting Western Michigan. Rather than run the clock out in the final minute, Max White scored on a 2-yard run with 30 seconds to play as the Hawkeyes covered during the 41-10 win.
— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) September 16, 2023
Wisconsin, listed as a 20½ -point favorite, took a 35-14 lead with 5:51 to play after converting on second-and-15 earlier in the drive.
Georgia Southern wasn’t able to move the ball out of its own territory on its final possession and the Badgers barely covered.
Troy was on the James Madison 33 with 1:32 to play when a touchdown would have allowed the Trojans, a 2½-point favorite per the college football odds, to cover.
An intentional grounding penalty and incomplete pass ended any chance of an outright win for Troy as well as the chance to cover.
Kentucky was favored by 25½-26 points and led Akron 28-3 with just over three minutes to play before a short TD run by Demie Sumo-Karngbaye.
Akron drove to the Kentucky 12 before a Kentucky sack on the final play ended any chance of a back-door cover.
The Nebraska-Northern Illinois contest was five seconds away before Northern Illinois had a short touchdown pass followed by a two-point conversion with 4 seconds left to go over the 43-point total.
— Huskers Top Plays (@HuskersTopPlays) September 18, 2023
The Syracuse-Purdue game was sitting at 55 with a 56½-point total. Purdue scored a touchdown with 3:19 to play, only to have the score negated by a holding penalty.
Purdue’s fourth-down pass from the 18 with 1:29 remaining fell incomplete to keep the game from finishing over.
The Duke-Northwestern game’s outcome was no longer in question when Northwestern’s Brendan Sullivan scored on a 10-yard run with 1:27 left to play as the game went over the 48½-point total.
Some Key Losses to Monitor
Colorado found a way to rally past Colorado State to remain undefeated with a 43-35 overtime win.
However, one of the Buffaloes’ top players went down in the game.
THAT COLORADO MAGIC!
The Buffaloes move to 3-0 with a double OT win over Colorado State 🔥
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 17, 2023
Travis Hunter, who has been playing on both offense and defense, is third on the Buffaloes with 16 catches.
He also has nine tackles, an interception, and two pass breakups as a starting cornerback.
He is expected to miss multiple weeks. Hunter was moving up in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy but when looking at the NCAA football best bets, he has come off the board in the Heisman odds.
Clemson receiver Cole Turner is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing multiple adductor muscles in a win over Florida Atlantic.
Turner averaged 20.3 yards on eight catches as a freshman in 2022. He had three catches for 28 yards in two games this season.
Then There Were Seven
There are seven Football Bowl Subdivision teams that are undefeated outright and against the spread.
Six of those teams come from the Power-5 conference.
The Big Ten leads the way with both Penn State and Rutgers both 3-0 on the field and ATS.
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) September 18, 2023
Syracuse out of the ACC, Ole Miss from the SEC, Oregon from the Pac-12, and Oklahoma from the Big 12 are in that select group along with Liberty, in its first season in Conference USA.
Penn State is favored by 14½ points against Iowa in Week 4 while Rutgers is a 25-point underdog versus Michigan. Jim Harbaugh returns to the sidelines for Michigan after serving a three-game suspension imposed by the university after NCAA investigators suggested that Harbaugh has been less than forthcoming in their investigation.
— RutgersSportsTalk (@RutgersFBTalk) September 13, 2023
Oregon is a 20½-point favorite versus Colorado, and visiting Oklahoma is favored by 14 points against Cincinnati. Syracuse is a 14-point favorite against Army while Liberty is favored by 10½ points on the road against Florida International.
On the Move
Here’s a look at the biggest line moves in Week 3.
Wisconsin went from being favored by 15½ points against Georgia Southern before the line closed at 21.
The Texas A&M matchup with Louisiana Monroe began with the Aggies listed as a 31½-point favorite and, by kickoff, the line was at 36-36½.
In the Pittsburgh-West Virginia, the Panthers went from being a 2-point favorite before West Virginia was the 2½-point favorite at kickoff.
Duke opened as a 20½-point favorite and went off as a 17-point favorite versus Northwestern.
The Alabama-South Florida contest moved from 31½ to 34½ points while UConn went from being favored by 10 to seven points, with Oregon State’s line closing at 24½ points after opening at 21½.
The Colorado-Colorado State, New Mexico-New Mexico State, and Miami (Ohio)-Cincinnati games also had three-point moves.