College Football Predictions & Best Bets for Week 3

min read
Georgia Southern tight end Ethan Dirrim (27) runs during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Lafayette, La.
(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Sep 13, 2023, 7:35 PM
  • College Football Week 3 is approaching, providing a new slate of good bets.
  • College Football underdogs from down the board are great options.
  • Best bets for Florida State, Minnesota, Georgia Southern, and more.

College football is drawing nearer to widespread conference play. Week 3 brings a smattering of early conference games and one huge rivalry, but most of college football this weekend will be occupied by P5-G5 matchups and FCS beatdowns.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about upcoming college football odds, though. My handicapping specialty is sifting through the weeds and finding great, overlooked college football betting spots.

So today – as I do every Wednesday throughout the college football regular season – I’ve put together a handful of my favorite NCAAF bets for you to consider this weekend. 

College Football Best Bets: Week 3 Predictions

After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my best plays from the wider canon of college football odds. 

I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone.

If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM. 

Last week’s college football best bets for Week 2 was a winning set, going 3-2. 

This week, I hope you’re prepared to bet some underdogs that are way, way off the radar.

Florida State at Boston College Spread Prediction

Florida State is far and away the superior team in this matchup, so I am predicting that Florida State covers its current 26-point spread at Boston College.

In college football, bettors must be prepared to lay big numbers on the right occasion. To my eye, this is the right spot. Florida State has proven it’s legitimate with a legitimate top-15 win over LSU. 

It’s also proven it can win by margin, absolutely dusting Southern Miss last week in a 53-point win. 

Boston College, on the other hand, lost to a bad Northern Illinois team in Week 1 and was outplayed by Holy Cross last weekend. 

The road can be a dangerous place for some teams, some of the time. In this case, I just don’t see Boston College being competitive with a veteran, senior-led Florida State team that’s been through the wars together. 

Best Bet: Florida State -26

Georgia Southern at Wisconsin Spread Prediction 

Because of Georgia Southern’s capable offense, I am predicting that Georgia Southern covers its 19.5-point spread against Wisconsin.

Georgia Southern might seem like an irrelevant direction school if you’re not paying attention, but in truth, this is a very competitive team playing in the vaunted Sun Belt East. It’s where Clay Helton landed after his USC stint. 

In 2022, Georgia Southern averaged about 33 points per game, which ranked 34th in FBS. They appear to have seen no drop off after the departure of Kyle Vantrease, as the offense has already rung up 83 points. 

The perception of this game is that a top-35-ish Wisconsin team is going to come home and lick its wounds after losing to Washington State, then return to form with a commanding win over Georgia Southern. But that just doesn’t check with who Wisconsin has been through two games under Luke Fickell, nor how good Georgia Southern has been under Clay Helton. 

Recall that this is the team that put the nail in Scott Frost’s coffin at Nebraska. They won’t be afraid of a road game at a Big Ten school.

At bottom, 19.5 points is far too much advantage to hand an offense like Georgia Southern. Not only am I piling units on the spread play here, but I’m also going to throw a small dart at the +650 moneyline. 

Best Bet: Georgia Southern +19.5; Georgia Southern ML +650

Charlotte at Georgia State Spread Prediction

Charlotte may be vastly underrated, as the betting markets have yet to realize the progress that’s been made under new head coach Biff Poggi. For that reason, I’m taking Charlotte to cover its 7.5-point spread against Georgia State.

Charlotte has been mostly irrelevant since making the move to FBS in 2015, which means the 49ers are an underdog in just about every game. Since the beginning of 2021, they’ve been favored four times against 22 total FBS opponents. 

Charlotte got rid of Will Healy last year – a move I was critical of at the time – but perhaps new head coach Biff Poggi is onto something. 

Charlotte handled business against South Carolina State in Week 1, which might not sound like much, but it lost to William & Mary by 17 points last season. 

In Week 2, Charlotte quietly led Maryland in College Park at halftime before ultimately losing. Because the Charlotte vs. Maryland game wasn’t on anybody’s television last weekend, though, no one in the market has really caught on what Charlotte might have yet. 

Georgia State, for its part, squeaked out a win against FCS Rhode Island in Week 1 before beating UConn, 35-14, in Atlanta last weekend.

What have we seen that merits Georgia State laying a touchdown and the hook in Charlotte this weekend? This number seems mostly predicated on Charlotte’s historical irrelevance and not necessarily the upside that the 49ers have shown through the first two weeks of the season.

I like Charlotte here in both the point spread and moneyline markets. And for what it’s worth, Charlotte was dreadful in 2022, but won one of its only games of the season at Georgia State as a 20-point dog.

Best Bet: Charlotte +7.5; Charlotte ML +240

New Mexico State at New Mexico Spread Prediction 

I disagree with the college football odds market that these teams are roughly equal. I am predicting New Mexico will win at home as a nominal -1 favorite.

This game has essentially become a pick ‘em, with New Mexico available at -115 on the moneyline at BetMGM and New Mexico State available at -105.

Neither team is going to challenge USC any time soon for southwestern dominance over college football, but I’m also not sure they’re roughly equal in talent levels. 

I had high hopes for New Mexico State this season, as the Aggies won seven games last year and brought back nine starters on offense. It really seemed like the program was making fast strides under Jerry Kill.

But NMSU never led UMass in a disastrous Week 0 loss, and the Minutemen appear to still be quite bad. It was a warning of some real regression potential in Las Cruces. 

This line would have made sense in the preseason, but after two weeks, I think New Mexico may actually be the better team with a small but clear edge.

Best Bet: New Mexico ML -115

Minnesota at North Carolina Spread Prediction 

North Carolina has been overvalued since its Week 1 win over South Carolina, which is why I am predicting that Minnesota will cover its 7.5-point spread in Chapel Hill this weekend.

In the NFL, we see an ATS drop after a team overperforms in a key primetime broadcast slot. The market gets too high after a singular data point, and the spread market gets priced out.

I think we may be seeing something similar with North Carolina after a dominant Week 1 win over South Carolina. The game was played in Charlotte and was tabbed as one of this season’s early 2023 College GameDay locations. A large audience soon followed.

That led to App State closing last week as a remarkable near-20-point underdog, which was preposterous from the jump. (This is not hindsight. I had them right away in my best bets column.)

Now, North Carolina must lay a touchdown and the hook against a talented PJ Fleck Minnesota team, which we know is going to run the ball effectively and play good defense. A 7.5-point advantage in such a scenario is clearly valuable.

Best Bet: Minnesota +7.5

Best College Football Parlay This Week

One NCAAF parlay to consider for Week 3 is:

  • Kansas State -200
  • LSU -375
  • Penn State -600

This three-leg road team parlay is priced at +121.

Make sure to check out my 2Kparlay later this week. 

College Football Picks Against the Spread

If you like this sort of content, I’d recommend checking out my podcast, The Lion’s Edge, which I host on behalf of our content team here at BetMGM.

Every week, I highlight odds and bets that I think are interesting or ripe for advantage bettors, like me. I also bring on expert guests from both inside and outside of the sportsbook, so you can learn a little bit more about key topics in online sports betting.

Check it out and subscribe on the podcast player of your choice. You can also listen to some of the most recent episodes in the podcast player below.

Place a Football Bet at BetMGM

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If you don’t have a sportsbook account, sign up for the BetMGM welcome offer, one of many sportsbook offers at BetMGM.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.