Just like the NFL, as the season progresses in college football, we are building a sense of what teams are and aren’t, which teams can cover spreads and which are perhaps vulnerable but still get a lot of love because of public perception.
I’m all about transparency, so I have to warn you, I am 0-2 in my predictions with favorites so far this CFB season. That’s the basis for this article, I want to improve on a potential weak area while also continuing to share my perspective on certain matchups. It’s no secret that I like underdogs but here are three favorites I’d expect to cover the spread in Week 3 of college football. Theme: Run, guys, run!
The line opened with K-State as 16-point favorites and has been bet down. Why? The Green Wave were 87th in rushing defense last season and gave up 200 rushing yards to UMass in its Week 1 opener. Meanwhile, the Wildcats rushed for 235 yards on 15 fewer attempts.
I was high on QB Adrian Martinez leaving Nebraska to join this squad and I was even more high on the K-State offense doing some damage now having a one-two punch in Martinez and RB Deuce Vaughn, who rushed for 145 yards with two ground scores.
Tulane’s defense last year gave up 372 rushing yards to Ole Miss in a 61-21 romp and another 310 rushing yards to East Carolina in a 52-29 loss. I expect the same to happen here with the K-State defense continuing to grow stronger. It forced four turnovers against Missouri (though weather could have played a factor), but Tulane was 129th in giveaways last year.
Lay the points with Kansas State and don’t be discouraged by the line move.
Row the boat with the Golden Gophers as huge home favorites. Minnesota was top 30 in rushing yards last season and that’s because it was plagued by injuries. This year, P.J. Fleck’s unit is looking to be even stronger with offensive playmakers back in the lineup, including RB Mohamed Ibrahim, who already has 262 rushing yards through two games (one game was against an FCS team). That's not even mentioning RB Trey Potts holds a stellar supporting role, with the two backs combining for seven rushing scores.
The Buffaloes were 116th against the run last season, and against two good rushing teams in TCU and Air Force, they have lost by an average of 28 points. They've been outscored 79-23, giving up 275 rushing yards to TCU and another 435 to Air Force. FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE.
Minnesota was the second-best team last year in opponent yards per game. This Golden Gophers defense will limit Colorado, while putting up massive yardage on the ground to cover the spread.