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College Football Week 3: Spread, over/under and moneyline picks

By Ben Brown
Sep 12, 2019

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After a hot start to the 2019 college football season, our picks took a step back in Week 2. Greenline had a few tough breaks in games with slightly above breakeven probability percentages. The written picks went 3-3 with Ohio and North Texas not performing anywhere near our expectations. Texas had a chance to cover but couldn’t get off the field on third down. Thankfully, the over was a lock as that game turned into a track meet late. Colorado had a thrilling comeback and ended up winning outright in overtime. For the second week in a row, Kentucky covered with ease. Unfortunately, Terry Wilson was lost in the process. On the season, written plays are now 9-5 (with a parlay win) as we head into Week 3.  Let’s dive into some of the best bets according to Greenline.

[Editor’s Note: All ELITE subscribers have access to NFL and NCAA Greenline, an online dashboard with projections for spread, over/under and moneyline for every NFL and FBS game ever week. Subscribe today to gain access!]

IOWA HAWKEYES AT IOWA STATE CYCLONES (TOTAL 44.5)

Game of the Week

Why the over hits:

The biggest question mark facing the Iowa Hawkeyes to start the season was if the play of Nate Stanley could survive the loss of NFL pass-catching talent that surrounded him in 2018. Stanley has exceeded expectations, boosting his passing grade by 18 points to start 2019. He has the ninth-best accurate plus throw percentage in the FBS. As a unit, the Hawkeyes have an 83.4 offensive grade and have put up at least 30 points in their first two contests. Iowa State has only had one contest where they underachieved but emerged victorious against Northern Iowa. Both quarterbacks in this contest have 120 passer ratings when kept clean. Oddsmakers anticipate a low scoring, defensive battle with this total being the second-lowest among all FBS games in Week 3. It simply is not going to play under this game script, as both quarterbacks will look to push the ball downfield. With a 54.8% cover probability, the over is one of the best bets this weekend.

What could go wrong:

When playing overs, there are always an assortment of things that can go wrong. Turnovers when deep in the opposing team’s territory are obviously detrimental to scoring points. However, neither Brock Purdy or Nate Stanley has a single turnover-worthy throw in 2019. It is possible that each team trades punts for the entire first half. In a rivalry game with all of the cameras on, the expectation is that both offenses will come out firing. In a game that is expected to stay close, we have a hard time envisioning a scenario where this low total is not exceeded.

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