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College Football Week 3 Best Bets: Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida vs. Tennessee!

McNeese v Florida

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 09: head coach Billy Napier of the Florida Gators takes the field with his team before the start of a game against the McNeese State Cowboys at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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Vaughn Dalzell breaks down three team total Unders in Big Ten play, plus why Florida will upset Tennesee and Alabama will blow out USF.

Join in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11AM ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.

Alabama (-32.5) at South Florida: O/U 61.5

I said on our NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A that whoever loses between Alabama and Texas will be a larger bet in Week 3 on the spread.

Alabama should come out the gates to blow South Florida out after the home loss to Texas. South Florida lost 41-24 at Western Kentucky in Week 1 and beat FCS opponent Florida A&M in Week 2 (38-24).

Last year USF hosted ranked BYU in Week 1 and was blown out 50-21 after trailing 28-0 in the first quarter and 38-7 by half. I see a similar result here, so I will lay the first-half points with Alabama.

I grabbed the Crimson Tide’s 1H -17.5 at -138 odds. This line is currently at -20.5 (-110), which I would play for 1 unit. I would opt for Alabama 1H Team Total Over 27.5 (-135) or full game Team Total Over 47.5 (-115) if you missed out.

Pick: Alabama 1H -17.5 (Risk 1.5u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Tennessee (-5.5) at Florida: O/U 56.5

This has upset written all over it. The line opened at Tennessee -8 and has come down in favor of Florida to +5.5. That is no mistake as The Swamp is a tough environment for any opponent.

I was a hater of Mertz at Wisconsin, but through two weeks, I like how Florida has used Mertz, especially in the first half of Week 1 against Utah before the elevation caught up to the Gators.

For Tennessee and Milton, there’s still much to be desired after beating Virginia (49-13) and Austin Peay (30-3). This will be the Vols’ first real test of the season and first road game.

I am taking Florida to kick off its SEC season with a big home win in The Swamp as the underdog. I played the Gators +8 at the opening line and ML at +225 odds. I think Florida wins, so I would still take them at +5.5 for a 0.5 unit after giving them out at +7.

Pick: Florida +7 (1u) / Florida ML (0.25u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Western Kentucky at Ohio State (-28.5): O/U 63.5

Ohio State is having one of their best starts to a year on the defensive end. The Buckeyes, like the Michigan Wolverines, are one of five teams to allow one touchdown on the season (Georgia, Air Force, Syracuse).

Western Kentucky enters with 41 points recorded on USF and 52 points on FCS Houston Christian. Ohio State is an entirely different animal and so is playing in Columbus.

Indiana managed 82 passing yards and was only sacked once versus Ohio State. Youngstown State totaled 135 passing yards and took two sacks at OSU. The Buckeyes held both opponents to a combined 10 points.

I played Western Kentucky’s Team Total Under 17.5 at -128 odds and played the Under 16.5 at +100 as well. This line is currently at 17.5 heavily juiced or 16.5 for -110.

Pick: Western Kentucky Team Total Under 17.5 (1u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Western Michigan at Iowa (-28.5): O/U 42.5

Western Michigan was held to seven points at Syracuse last week, which came in the first quarter on a 75-yard run with 14:30 to go.

Syracuse scored 49 straight points and shut out Western Michigan for the remainder of the game, winning 49-7. Iowa’s defense will be even tougher and the environment will be too.

Iowa’s defense pitched two shutouts last year and held five more opponents to 10 or fewer points. Western Michigan will be the weakest offense that Iowa will face so far.

Western Michigan was held to six points at San Jose State last year and nine points at Bowling Green, so Iowa’s defense will be fun to watch here.

I like the chances the Hawkeyes will hold the Broncos to seven or fewer points, so I played Western Michigan’s Team Total Under 6.5 at +102 odds. I’d play this out to -130.

Pick: Western Michigan Team Total Under 6.5 (1u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Bowling Green at Michigan (-40.5): O/U 53.5

Michigan’s defense limited UNLV and East Carolina to 10 total points and should look elite once again at home versus Bowling Green.

Bowling Green has former Missouri and Indiana QB Connor Bazelak and he’s struggled in his only FBS game this season, recording 71 passing yards and three interceptions versus Liberty (34-24 loss at Liberty).

The Wolverines are ranked 13th in total defense (232 YPG) and are one of five teams to allow only one touchdown so far this season (Georgia, Ohio State, Air Force, Syracuse).

On offense, Michigan should be run-heavy here after Liberty went for 249 rushing yards on 49 carries (5.0 ypc) against Bowling Green.

Michigan’s Blake Corum will be a good bet on a rushing prop or touchdown prop, but I don’t think Bowling Green scores a touchdown here. I rolled with the Falcons Team Total Under 6.5 at -113 odds. I would play this out to -130.

Pick: Bowling Green Team Total Under 6.5 (1u)
*Odds provided by BetMGM

Check out our People’s Parlay, Best Bets and ML Sprinkles over at NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A starting at 11 AM ET every Saturday.