Our expert 2018 college football picks for Week 3 include a trio of Big Ten predictions, including the SMU vs. No. 19 Michigan, Miami (OH) vs. Minnesota, and Rutgers vs. Kansas matchups. Bet previews and selections here.
Rutgers at Kansas (-3)
Pick: OVER 44.5
The public is hammering the UNDER with nearly 76 percent of action supporting the wager as of Friday, moving the number down to 44.5 from a 47.5 opener. Our models point to a figure in the mid 50s. Kansas plays at too fast a pace to justify the current offer.
Rutger’s offense is challenging, but they put up a decent amount of points (22.8) in games they have a chance to win under head coach Chris Ash—those going off with a single-digit line.
Kansas’ defense, meanwhile, leaves a lot to be desired, gifting 43-plus points in 2017. Eleven of the last 12 teams scoring fewer than 23 points per game the prior season have cashed the OVER playing the Jayhawks. An eye-opening 14.7 margin easily eclipses a 49.6 average total. The Scarlet Knights average 18.1 since the start of last year.
SMU at No. 19 Michigan (-35.5)
Pick: OVER 52
The OVER is 9-1 all-time when the Jim Harbaugh-led Wolverines kick off with a total higher than 53 points. Sonny Dykes’ Air Raid assault may be overmatched, but the up-tempo pace will give Michigan more opportunities to score and make up for any missing Mustang points. It would not surprise to see the Big Ten blueblood hit the mark on its own.
Miami (OH) at Minnesota (-13)
Pick: Gophers -7 FH
Sharps are penciling in the RedHawks as a good bet at Minnesota. The line has dropped a full point since opening at two touchdowns, despite Miami receiving just 37 percent of action across major offshore sportsbooks. This is partly due to the fact the Gophers have not beaten a MAC foe by more than a touchdown in their last seven meetings dating back to 2010.
We’re not convinced. Our model pits Minnesota a 16.8-point favorite. The fact head coach P.J. Fleck, former head of Western Michigan, has whipped the Redhawks under Chuck Martin twice by 22 points or more is a bonus. Minnesota will dominate in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Lay the touchdown in the first half, as a back-door cover could rear it’s head late.