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Brendan's Best Bets: Week 3 picks

Week 2 was a nice bounce back. We finished 7-4 and got back to an even 11-11 on the season.

Week 3 does not feature any games between ranked teams but many top teams could be on upset alert.

For this edition of Brendan’s Best Bets, we are taking a look at the Week 2 slate. Odds are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Penn State -13.5 (-142)

Penn State is 2-0 against the spread to open the 2023 season. The Nittany Lions look like a serious contender in the Big Ten. Illinois, on the other hand, has looked shaky. They needed a last second field goal to beat Toledo and lost at Kansas by double digits.

If Illinois looked decent in its first two games, I would say that this has upset potential, but Penn State should win this game comfortably, despite it being Drew Allar’s first true road test as the starting quarterback at Penn State.

Mississippi State +9.5 (-105)

The Bulldogs narrowly escaped with a victory in Week 2 against Arizona. Mississippi State was outgained by the Wildcats 431-307. Arizona turned the ball over five times. Sure, Mississippi State was fortunate to win the game but I don’t expect to see the Bulldogs roll out the same game plan against LSU. That game plan against Arizona was to pound the rock. Mississippi State ran the ball 39 times and only passed the ball 17 times. That’s quite the change from the Mike Leach Air Raid offense.

The Bulldogs are a quality team and can expose LSU’s weakness on defense. This game is in Starkville which is an undoubtedly difficult place to play. It is an 11 a.m. local kickoff time so LSU as the road team could come out sleepy. I like the Bulldogs to keep this within 10 points.

Oregon State -24.5 (-115)

Oregon State hosts San Diego State on Saturday. The Oregon State defense will be the main story in this game. The Beavers gave up only 17 points against a good San Jose State offense. USC gave up 28 points against the Spartans one week prior. San Diego State’s offense will struggle to put up points, especially on the road. The Aztecs posted 20 points against Ohio and 10 points against UCLA. Oregon State will have the best defense that the Aztecs have played so far this season.

The Beavers should be able to dominate this game and win pretty comfortably. The spread is at -24.5 and I think Oregon State is the best team in the Pac-12 right now.

Oklahoma -27.5 (-136)

Oklahoma is 2-0 straight up and 2-0 against the spread to start the season. On Saturday, Oklahoma “travels” to Tulsa. I use quotation marks because this will be a favorable crowd for Oklahoma. Tulsa has a questionable quarterback room as Braylon Braxton is still working through his injury. The defense isn’t anything to write home about either as they allowed 43 points in Week 2 against Washington.

If you can get this spread at -27.5, take it. The spread has gone up to -28.5 but I expect another Sooners blowout like we saw in Week 1. Maybe not a 73-0 blowout, but a blowout nonetheless.

Minnesota +7.5 (-130)

It’s a dangerous game betting against Drake Maye, but Minnesota’s defense has looked really good this season. The Golden Gophers have the best defense that North Carolina has faced so far this year.

The public has been on the Tar Heels. The spread opened at -6.5 and has been bet up to -7.5. Since it’s above a touchdown, with the hook, I’ll take Minnesota to keep the game within a touchdown, even on the road.

FIU +7.5 (-124)

FIU is traveling to UConn on Saturday. The Panthers averaged an impressive 6.4 yards per carry in Week 2 against North Texas. UConn’s weakness is its rushing defense. The Huskies allowed 250 rushing yards in a 35-14 loss against Georgia State last week.

This spread is just too big. FIU will keep this close and can put up points. The environment in Storrs won’t be that intimidating.

Michigan State +16.5 (-110)

Sometimes when a head coach departs or gets suspended, a team is more motivated to play to show that they never needed that coach. Michigan State hosts Washington at Spartan Stadium. The environment should be one of the best in College Football in Week 3.

While I expect Michael Penix Jr and the Huskies to win given their elite passing attack and questionable Spartans’ secondary, I will take my chances with Michigan State playing ultra motivated.

Syracuse -2.5 (-105)

Syracuse has looked really good this year but has yet to be tested. This will be the Orange’s first test of the season on the road at Purdue. The Boilermakers won at Virginia Tech last week. The defense is still a question mark for Purdue after they gave up 39 points against Fresno State in Week 1.

This will be a close game, but I like Syracuse to win by at least a field goal. It will be a high-scoring affair but Syracuse is the more experienced team.

To recap, here are the bets we are making:

  • Penn State -13.5 (-142)

  • Mississippi State +9.5 (-105)

  • Oregon State -24.5 (-115)

  • Oklahoma -27.5 (-136)

  • Minnesota +7.5 (-130)

  • FIU +7.5 (-124)

  • Michigan State +16.5 (-110)

  • Syracuse -2.5 (-105)

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