I hope you’re as excited for another weekend of college football as I am! This weekend, we’ll see Oklahoma and Ohio State face their first real tests of the season. Florida State will also take on a tough Clemson team on the heels of a tougher-than-expected challenge against Boston College. Keep reading for my favorite bets for this weekend!
All college football odds courtesy of FanDuel.
3. Florida State at Clemson
Florida State: -1.5 (-114)
Clemson: +1.5 (-106)
Both teams have had at least one clunker to start this season. The difference is that Florida State was still able to salvage their poor performance and come away with a victory last week against Boston College football. Clemson, meanwhile, started their season off with a lost to an unranked Duke team. Both teams have played well overall outside of those games, and I don’t believe that either performance should be held against the team too harshly.
Florida State has both depth and talent at their receiver position, and this will cause headaches for many defensive coordinators throughout the season. Clemson will have to contend with Johnny Wilson, who is 6-foot-7 and has a nose for the football. Wilson will require extensive attention from the Clemson defense. In addition to Wilson’s natural talent allowing him to still make plays himself, this will also benefit the rest of the Florida State offense. Even if Wilson has zero receptions, the defense’s focus on him should allow more room to operate for FSU’s other playmakers.
The biggest challenge for FSU so far in this young season has been their secondary, and this is an avenue for Clemson to exploit and potentially win this football game. However, it isn’t all dark skies for the Seminoles defensively. Their pass rush is elite, and if their rushers can get home and make the opposing QB uncomfortable, that should help cover up their deficiencies in the secondary.
Ultimately, I believe that Florida State’s pass rush will cover up their deficiencies in the secondary, and that the Noles’ receivers will carry the day against Clemson and lead FSU to victory in this college football showdown.
Florida State-Clemson Pick: Florida State -1.5 (-114)
2. Oklahoma at Cincinnati
Oklahoma: -14 (-110)
Cincinnati: +14 (-110)
Oklahoma should win this game, but this spread is giving me some concerns. I don’t think the Sooners are quite as good as they’ve looked the past few weeks, given the lack of quality opponents that they’ve faced. Cincinnati will be OU’s first real test, and this weekend will tell us a lot about what kind of team we can expect Oklahoma to be this season.
The Sooners dominated the first two weeks but came back to earth quite a bit against SMU, and that doesn’t bode well for their chances to blow out Cincinnati.
While Cincinnati is in a bit of a rebuilding year, they have an opportunity to build confidence against a weak OU defense that has already started to show its cracks, even when facing opponents of significantly lesser quality.
Cincinnati’s offense features a dual-threat quarterback that should keep Brent Venables up at night and give his defense fits on game day.
I like Oklahoma to win this game, but I don’t see any value in the moneyline. I think Cincy will keep the game within striking distance, but OU will make a few key plays when they need to and come away with the win. I’ll take Cincinnati and the two touchdowns in this matchup.
I also like the over in this game, as I trust OU’s ability to score points in bunches, I just don’t trust their defense to keep Cincinnati out of the end zone.
Final score prediction: 38-28 Oklahoma
Oklahoma-Cincinnati Pick: Cincinnati +14 (-110), over 57.5 (-110)
1. Ohio State at Notre Dame
Ohio State: -3.5 (-104)
Notre Dame: +3.5 (-118)
This is shaping up to be one of the most competitive college football games between big name teams that we will see all year. The Buckeyes are still trying to find their identity, and they will be traveling to take on a formidable opponent on the road.
If you’re the risk averse type, you might want to stay away from this game. That being said, if you are committed to finding value bets, this game offers an opportunity.
My model grades this game as a true toss-up on a neutral field, with perhaps the slightest of edges going to Ohio State. That being said, this game isn’t being played on a neutral field, and Kyle McCord hasn’t seen much playing time yet at the collegiate level, and certainly hasn’t played in an environment such as this one.
My estimation is that Notre Dame should be around +115 on the moneyline, maybe +120. Therefore, even if I’m not completely confident that they’ll win, I’ll gladly take the Fighting Irish to win outright at +136. Finding bets like this all season long is what will help you have a winning record at the end of the year.
Ohio State-Notre Dame pick: Notre Dame (+136)