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College Football Betting 2021: Week 3 college football over/under value picks

Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) throws the ball against the Stanford Cardinal in the third quarter at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After under bettors dominated in Week 1 of the 2021 college football season, overs/unders normalized again in Week 2. The lines were very tight last week in terms of totals, with an average over/under of 54.2, compared to an average actual point total of 54.4.

For Week 3, I’ll go over my model’s biggest edges compared to current prices and try to find some betting value. Check out PFF Greenline first when getting your college football bets in, but the model here can provide additional value from a different perspective.

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Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns vs. Ohio Bobcats — OVER 57

Projection: 63.5

If you’re looking for a bet on Thursday night, the over in the lone college football game of the day looks like a good opportunity. Louisiana’s offense got off to a rough start against Texas, but it still returns almost every contributor from last year’s team and should get back to its 2020 form going forward.

Dual-threat quarterback Levi Lewis returns for his third season as the starter in Lafayette and is coming off a season where he ranked second among Sun Belt quarterbacks in PFF grade. With so many important pieces back from a 2020 offense that ranked top 25 in success rate, there is a reason why Louisiana was favored to win the conference going into the year. The Ragin' Cajuns should be just fine after a slow start.

Austin, Texas, USA; Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis (1) throws a pass in the first half of the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

On defense, though, last week’s performance against Nicholls State after a bad showing in Week 1 is concerning. Louisiana’s run defense was the weakness of the team in 2020, but the secondary has struggled tremendously after two weeks this year. It allowed a ridiculous 0.662 expected points added (EPA) per throw to Texas, with a 45.8 coverage grade to boot.

Against an FCS offense in Nicholls last week, the Cajuns gave up nearly 10 yards per pass attempt. Louisiana has also missed 44 tackles in two games and currently owns the worst PFF tackling grade in the country.

On the other hand, Ohio’s defense has endured its fair share of struggles, too. The Bobcats allowed 0.244 EPA per play to a horrible Syracuse offense, which was easily the best offensive performance from the Orange since 2019. Then, it had a hard time getting FCS Duquesne’s offense off the field, as evidenced by the Dukes having over 41 minutes of possession in the game, and the Bobasts ended up losing as a result.

Louisiana should have a very good day against this defense, but Ohio should be able to chip in points against a questionable defense as well. 

Click here for PFF Greenline’s cover probabilities for side, total and moneyline.

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