Red-Hot College Football Expert Predictions

Red-Hot College Football Expert Predictions

The third week of the NCAA college football season promises to be another exciting weekend for fans with plenty of top 25 action and a few potential upsets.

With so many games on the schedule, we decided to make things easier by highlighting the best matchups of the weekend.

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NCAA Football Picks, Predictions, Odds and More

Tennessee Volunteers vs Florida Gators

  • When: September 16, 2017, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Spread: Gators -5.5
  • Over/Under: 49
  • Moneyline: Gators -215 vs Volunteers +185

This is a matchup between the 23rd and 24th ranked team in the nation, which usually means it’s expected to be a close game. Since this is a bitter rivalry, expect to see a very physical game.

The Volunteers are 2-0 this season with wins over Georgia Tech and Indiana State.

However, while Tennessee basically steamrolled over the Sycamores, 42-7, their game against the Yellow Jackets on Labor Day was too close for comfort.

The Volunteers, in fact, needed a bumbled two-point conversion by the Ramblin’ Wreck to edge out a 42-41 win in Week 1.

Meanwhile, the Gators are 0-1 after losing their season opener to the Michigan Wolverines.

It was an embarrassing loss for Florida against Jim Harbaugh’s team, 33-17, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, their first season-opening loss in 27 years.

The Gators were unable to play last week due to Hurricane Irma, but they plan to be back in action at The Swamp this weekend.

Vols vs Gators Betting Trends

  • Tennessee is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Tennessee is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
  • Tennessee is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Florida's last 8 games
  • Florida is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games at home
  • Florida is 15-4 SU in its last 19 games at home

Pick and Prediction

The Gators are favored to win at -4.5.

The Vols have scored over 40 points in each of their two games, but the Gators were barely able to move the chains against Michigan so I’m picking the Volunteers to win this game. Take Tennessee +4.5.

Texas Longhorns vs USC Trojans

  • When: September 10, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
  • Where: Nissan Stadium
  • Spread: Titans -2.5
  • Over/Under: 50
  • Moneyline: Titans -140 vs Raiders +120

The Longhorns were embarrassed at home by the Maryland Terps in their season opener, but they were able to bounce back with a 56-0 thumping of San Jose State last week.

The Trojans looked unimpressive in their opening weekend win over Western Michigan, but looked every bit like the national championship contender they are expected to be last week when they dropped Stanford.

The Trojans defeated the Cardinal 42-24 on Saturday night. The game, between two top 15 teams in the polls, saw USC now taking its place atop the Pac-12 Conference standings with the win.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold also stepped back up as the Heisman Trophy candidate he is, passing the ball around with relative ease and came up with some great plays as you can see below.

Darnold’s performance led to him being named the Pac-12’s offensive player of the week in completing 21 of 26 passes for 316 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions against Stanford.

The Trojans will be facing a Texas team trying to prove the season opening loss was a fluke so don’t be surprised if this one goes down the wire.

It’ll be a tough match for Texas considering how well USC is playing; however, new head coach Tom Herman heads into this game with a revamped offense that can go toe-to-toe with the Trojans.

he Longhorns have averaged 48 points per game through the first two weeks, ranking 12th in the FBS, and averaged 548 yards per game, 15th in the FBS, despite instability at the quarterback position.

Herman has not let on on who will be their starting quarterback after rotating through Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele in the previous two games.

It’ll be the first time USC hosts Texas since the programs clashed in the 2006 Rose Bowl epic, when the Longhorns prevailed on a winning touchdown run by Vince Young in the final seconds of the game.

Pick and Prediction

The Trojans are favored to win this game at -15.5.

USC is a very good team when they are clicking, but after last week’s big win against Stanford, this could be a trap game for them. Despite the possibility of this being close, I haven’t been impressed with Texas’ defense so I’m taking the Trojans at -15.5.

Clemson Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals

  • When: September 16, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
  • Spread: Clemson -3
  • Over/Under: 58,5
  • Moneyline: Tigers -160 vs Cardinals +140

The game of the week features two teams expected to battle for the ACC crown.

The Clemson Tigers had their first real test of the season last week against Auburn and managed to pull through with a win.

Things will even be tougher this week against a Louisville team that almost defeated them last year. In that game, Clemson had a 28-10 halftime lead but then Louisville answered with 26 points to take an eight-point lead.

Clemson followed with two scores in four minutes to take back the lead; but, with less than a minute left, Louisville came up short on fourth down at the Clemson 3.

This week, Louisville’s offense will be get a chance to prove that they are as good as advertised against a Clemson team that lost a lot of talent to the NFL.

However, they face a tough-as-always Clemson defense. The Tigers sacked Auburn's Jarrett Stidham 11 times last Saturday, through a combination of an aggressive front-seven and a nearly flawless big-play prevention play.

Through two games, they've allowed one gain of 20-plus yards. Austin Bryant, himself, has more sacks (four) than 59 FBS teams.

Louisville’s defense will also need to step up in this game because opponents are averaging over 30 points against them, which could come back and bite them against a team like Clemson.

Neither Purdue’s nor North Carolina’s offenses can compare to that of the Tigers. Yet, they both did well against Louisville’s defense.

Considering the Cardinals replaced three of their best defensive players (linebacker Keith Kelsey and Devonte Fields and safety Josh Harvey-Clemons), and that they traded defensive coordinators with Mississippi State, it might be too much of a stretch to stop Clemson’s high-powered offense.

That said, this year Clemson’s offense has sputtered with the lack of manpower. Against AU, Clemson gained 172 of its 281 yards on two drives — the last one of the second quarter and the first one of the third. Bryant threw nearly half his passes in that span.

Want to watch more in depth views for this game?

Clemson vs Louisville Betting Trends

  • Clemson is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Clemson is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Clemson's last 8 games
  • Louisville is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Louisville is 17-5 SU in its last 22 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Louisville's last 6 games

Pick and Prediction

Clemson is favored to win this game by 3 points. The Louisville offense will keep them in the game but their defense will let them down in the end. Take Clemson -3.

 
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