The third week of the college football season is missing some the marquee matchups of the first two weeks, with a number of Top 25 team taking a cake walk before starting up conference competition in Week 4.
That doesn’t mean there’ll be a lack of excitement, especially if the college football odds are involved. Here’s a look by Sports Handicappers at some under-the-radar games that could prove to be worth the watch and the wager in Week 3:
Washington State at Houston (+9, 75.5)
If this tall total tells you anything, it’s that there won’t be much defense played in this non-conference clash. Washington State comes to Houston to take on the Cougars, who opened as 6-point home underdogs and have since been bet up to +9.
The WSU Cougars have posted back-to-back 59-point efforts in blowout wins against New Mexico State and FCS-school Northern Colorado, and sit second in passing yards per game in the country under head coach Mike Leach’s famed “Air Raid” offense.
Houston lost Week 1 against Oklahoma and then cruised over FCS Prairie View last week. The Cougars are expected to have running back Patrick Carr in the lineup for the first time this season versus Washington State. He rushed for 868 yards and five touchdowns in 2018 and should help this UH offense control the tempo and keep Wazzu’s attack off the field.
USC at BYU (+4.5, 55.5)
Southern California waltzes in Week 3. The Trojans knocked off Fresno State in Week 1, and after losing starting quarterback JT Daniels to a torn ACL in that game, turned to freshman passer Kedon Slovis to lead USC past Stanford in Week 2. Slovis passed for 377 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout win over the rival Cardinal.
Brigham Young has played two tough games out of the gate, losing to a very good Utah team in the Holy War in Week 1 and needing late-game heroics and a heated overtime to escape Tennessee with a win. The Cougars offense will need to keep pace with the Trojans up-tempo play calling, but have struggled to score points, totaling just 28 in regulation through the first two games.
Books have BYU as a 4.5-point home underdog with the total jumping from 52 to 55.5 points. The Trojans have struggled to cover the spread in non-conference games, coming through for bettors just once in their last eight contests outside of the Pac-12.
Arizona State at Michigan State (-14, 42.5)
Revenge is on the minds of the Spartans in Week 3 when they welcome Arizona State to East Lansing. Michigan State is looking to return the favor, after losing 16-13 at Sun Devil Stadium last September and may have the upper hand, at least according to the line movement. The home side has climbed from -11 to -14.
Arizona State failed to impress bettors with a closer-than-comfortable win over FCS Sacramento State and send true freshman QB Jayden Daniels into the belly of the beast at MSU. The Green and White have nine sacks in their opening two outings of 2019 and own the 13th-best defense in yards allowed following wins over Tulsa and Western Michigan. The total for this game is set at 42.5 points, which is smallest Over/Under on the Week 3 board.