Week 3 Thursday/Friday College Football Betting Preview

Week 3 Thursday/Friday College Football Betting Preview

Notable Games

Thursday September 17, 7:30pm

CLEMSON TIGERS (-6.5) vs LOUISVILLE CARDINALS   O/U 51

Clemson: 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS, O/U 1-1.  Louisvile: 0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS, O/U 2-0    

The Clemson Tigers travel to Louisville to take on the winless Cardinals in a Thursday night ACC matchup. If you’re looking at the records and think this is a mismatch you’re jumping the gun. Clemson played their first 2 games at home against FCS schools Wofford and Appalachian State where they won by a combined score of 90-20. Louisville lost to 6th ranked Auburn in Atlanta by 7 points and lost a 3 point heart breaker at home to Houston in a game where The Cougars returned a 100 yard kickoff and Louisville’s defense couldn’t get a stop in 4th quarter on 2 long drives.

KEYS FOR CLEMSON

Clemson did most of their damage the first 2 games through the air with QB Deshaun Watson throwing for almost 500 yards and 5 td’s. Against Louisville they have to get the running game going with RB Wayne Gallman. They rushed for 200 yards against physically weaker Wofford but only managed 144 yards on 44 carries against Appalachian State. Obviously running against Louisville is going to be tougher with the step up in competition and finally playing a team that can match them athletically. Clemson’s defense only returned 3 starters from a year ago and they feel pretty good about themselves with how they’ve played thus far. This is going to be a real test to see where this defense is at. You’re not going to get much from that Wofford game but Appalachian State is a good FCS program and they ran for over 200 yards on Clemson. Louisville will feast on this run defense if it isn’t fixed quickly.

KEYS FOR LOUISVILLE

It’s such a bad cliche to say “they need to get off to a fast start” but the fact of the matter is they do. Against Auburn they fell behind 24-0 before they realized the season had started and they allowed Houston to score a TD on their opening drive. The crowd at Papa John Stadium is going to be jacked for this nationally televised night game and The Cardinals must use that emotion to strike quickly on the young Tiger defense. The Cardinals passing game has been atrocious and QB Lamar Jackson has to play better. They love his running ability but he’s struggled throwing the ball with just 1 TD and 3 picks on the season. They will obviously lean on their running game that shredded Auburn for over 200 yards but without getting something in the passing game Louisville might be staring 0-3 in the face. It’s imperative for the defense to get a couple 3 and outs in the beginning of the game to keep the crowd jacked up and give the offense a chance to play from ahead for once.

OVERVIEW

The betting public is on Clemson with the bets 60/40 so far coming in on the road favorite. The public is also on the OVER in this matchup with about 65% of bets going that way. It would be real easy to look at Clemson’s ranking and Louisville’s record and side with the public but be careful here. Louisville is a desperate team, playing at home and they have the talent not only to win this game outright but to compete in the ACC Atlantic Division. If you’re looking at the total of 51 it does look enticing with the way Louisville has played on defense and the fact that the young Clemson defense haven’t been really tested yet and may be ripe to give up some points this week.

Friday September 18th 8pm 

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (-7.5) vs BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES  O/U 47

Florida State: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS, O/U 1-1  Boston College: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS, O/U 1-1, 

The Florida State Seminoles travel to Boston to face The Boston College Eagles in a early season ACC matchup. The Seminoles have beat two low level D1 teams Texas State and South Florida while BC has picked on 2 FCS schools Maine and Howard. It’s time for both of these teams to really see where they are at. The line opened up at FSU -10 and has been bet down to 7.5.

KEYS FOR FLORIDA STATE

Florida State definitely has the offensive weapons to beat everyone they will face in The ACC. QB Everett Golson played well in the opener throwing for 300 yards and 5 Tds against Texas St. and let the running game take over in week 2. Golson will be asked to do more in this game as BC’s secondary was the weak link last year and it has a young untested secondary with 3 new starters. The real strength of this team is sophomore running back Dalvin Cook who had 156 yards and 2 Tds in the opener before exploding for 266 yard and 3 scores against South Florida. Florida St only returned 1 starter on the offensive line but were optimistic about the young guys stepping in. Early returns look positive but BC is very good at stopping the run so it will be interesting to see if Cook has many running lanes. On defense it’s pretty simple stop BC’s running game and FSU will win big, if not it’s coming down to the wire.

KEYS FOR BOSTON COLLEGE

The keys to success for Boston College are simple (on paper) Run the ball, stop Dalvin Cook from running all over them and ride the wave of emotion from the crowd to keep it close to the end. Boston College has inexperienced sophomore QB’s Darius Wade and Troy Flutie. Like last year they aren’t going to beat teams through the air. BC will try and run the whole game. Even if they fall behind they will not stray too far away from the running game because they can’t throw on a consistent basis. If the Eagles can’t run for over 200 yards against a fast Florida St defense it’s going to be a long night. Boston College has a good front 7 that will have to play lights out if it hopes to contain Dalvin Cook. They have to bring extra guys in the box and dare Golson to beat them with his young receivers. Friday night will be BC’s red bandanna game honoring alumni Welles Crowther who perished in the 9/11 attacks saving dozens of people. The crowd will be amped and turn into a factor in this game if BC can keep it close.

OVERVIEW

The betting public is slightly on FSU with a little over 60% of bets going to the road favorite. Although the sharp money is coming in on BC as the line is steadily falling. It may fall to 7 by kickoff but probably won’t dip below that number. The public is also leaning slightly on The OVER with about 60% liking the OVER. We are leaning with the public here on FSU  if that number drops to 7 only because Cook looks unstoppable early on and BC just doesn’t have the athletes or experience at QB. The total looks low at first glance but remember that both of these teams are going to run a ton in this game and BC wants to make it low scoring and ugly.

OUR TOP 5 COLLEGE HANDICAPPERS

 

Check back for Saturday’s notable game previews