CFB Week 3 Picks: The Gambler Experts Love Penn State Against Auburn


The "White Out" inside Beaver Stadium is one of the best traditions in college football.

On Saturday night, Penn State will play in front of the raucous night time environment for the first time in two years.

Instead of "White Out" night featuring a Big Ten opponent, the Nittany Lions are playing Auburn in the first part of a home-and-home series.

Penn State is 3-1 in its last four "White Out" games and it has a favorable matchup on paper against Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, who has some of the worst road splits of any power five quarterback.

The Nittany Lions have been favored by less than a touchdown all week. No matter where the line fluctuated during the week, both of our experts are locked in on the Big Ten East side.

In fact, it is the only game in which Jon Jansen and Joe Tansey are picking and on the same side for.

Below is the breakdown of our entire College Football Week 3 betting cards.

Joe Tansey

Record: 10-7 (4-5 Week 2)

Michigan State at Miami (-6.5) (Noon ET, ABC)

It's Week 3 and I'm already chasing some teams.

I was on Miami to cover in Week 2 against Appalachian State and that didn't happen.

I'm still high on Miami cover within a touchdown on Saturday because at some point D'Eriq King is going to have a breakout game to prove the ACL he tore in December is 100 percent.

King attempted 63 passes and had 28 carries in his first two games. He only has one passing touchdown. He needs to improve in that category so the Canes do not stall out in opponent's territory, like they did against App State.

Michigan State put up 80 points in its first two games, but those performances came against Northwestern and Youngstown State.

The Spartans have not played an athlete of King's caliber yet and I think the athleticism of the Miami quarterback finally becomes a difference-maker again.

Northern Illinois at Michigan (-27.5) (Noon ET, BTN)

Michigan looked impressive in its Week 2 win over Washington.

The Wolverines are just under a four-touchdown favorite against Northern Illinois. That number should be covered as long as they continue to dominate the trenches.

Michigan ran for 343 yards in the win over Washington. Northern Illinois conceded 191 ground yards in a wild 50-43 loss to Wyoming in Week 2.

NIU's win over Georgia Tech in Week 1 was nice, but that result speaks more about how poor the Yellow Jackets are.

I think this game will be all Michigan and we will get another look into how dominant the rushing attack can be.

Alabama (-14) at Florida (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

I took Alabama at the two-touchdown mark earlier in the week.

I'm following the same logic with the Crimson Tide in Week 3 as I did with Ohio State on the opening weekend.

If Alabama is favored by 14 points or less over anyone, you bet it. Georgia and Texas A&M are the only in-conference opponents that could potentially hang with Nick Saban's team right now.

Florida's two-quarterback rotation flew against Florida Atlantic and South Florida, but it will not help against a disciplined Alabama defense.

Baylor at Kansas (Over 49.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Any Over bet in a Kansas game is reliant on the Jayhawks putting up one or two touchdowns in a blowout loss.

The Jayhawks helped push their Week 2 clash with Coastal Carolina over by scoring 22 points in a double-digit defeat.

Baylor put up 47.5 points per game against a pair of weaker in-state foes and it should have no problem scoring points on a Kansas defense that allowed 361.5 yards per game against South Dakota and Coastal Carolina.

Kansas quarterback Jason Bean has not turned the ball over through the air yet. That is a critical key for Kansas to score a few touchdowns and at least push Baylor for a half.

USC (-7) at Washington State (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

If USC has any fight left in the program, it will demolish Washington State.

The Trojans have much more offensive talent than the Cougars and they should be motivated to produce a win after Clay Helton was fired.

Most of this pick is based off the interim coach bump (Donte Williams) after Helton was fired two years after he should have been.

Oh, if you want a numbers breakdown. Wazzu allowed 430.5 yards per game in a loss to Utah State and a win over Portland State. The Cougars should get ripped apart by Kedon Slovis.

Old Dominion at Liberty (-27) (6 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Liberty is 9-1 against the spread in its last 10 games.

The Flames covered for me last week against Troy. There is a good chance of that happening again on Saturday versus a brutal Old Dominion team.

Old Dominion lost by 32 points to Wake Forest in its only game against a FBS foe in Week 1. The Monarchs gave up 352 total yards in that loss.

Liberty quarterback Malik Willis should carve up the ODU defense. He is averaging 9 yards per pass and 5.9 yards per rush. He can hit ODU's defense in both facets of the offense. The best player on the field should appear right away.

Charlotte (+5 and +175) at Georgia State (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

This line does not make sense to me.

Charlotte is 2-0 with a win over Duke. Georgia State is 0-2 and is coming off a 59-17 loss to North Carolina.

Charlotte averaged 476 yards per game to start the season, while Georgia State conceded 481.5 yards per game.

To me, Charlotte should be favored by a few points, so I'm willing to run with the 49ers on both the spread and money line.

Auburn at Penn State (-5) (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

I locked into Penn State at -5 earlier in the week.

The Nittany Lions' defense will be the story of the game.

Penn State limited Wisconsin to 10 points in its first Top 25 clash of the season and then held a solid Ball State team to 13 points last week.

Auburn's early season totals do not impress me at all since it played one of the worst FBS teams in Akron and a subpar FCS side in Alabama State.

Bo Nix had three touchdowns and six interceptions on the road last season. He had six touchdowns and four picks on his travels as a freshman. If you take out three touchdowns against a bad Arkansas team in Fayetteville in 2019, the numbers look even worse.

I can't trust Nix in any road clash against a Top 25 team with a great defense. Add in the "White Out" environment and there is no way Penn State does not win by more than a touchdown.

Utah State (+9.5) at Air Force (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Utah State has had my attention all week.

The line moved in my favor over the last 24 hours. Although the spread is larger, I love the Aggies more in their matchup with Air Force.

Utah State owns a road win over Washington State and bounced back well in its Week 2 clash with North Dakota.

The Aggies allowed 107 rushing yards per game in those contests. That is the most important stat for taking on Air Force's triple option.

Keep an eye on wide receiver Deven Thompkins, who should be the fastest playmaker on the field. He has 16 receptions for 266 yards and two scores. He could be the primary reason why Utah State hangs with the Falcons.

Jon Jansen

Record: 3-6 (0-4 Week 2)

East Carolina at Marshall (-9.5) (6 p.m. ET)

I'm fully aware that I may be too attached to this game as a fan of the Pirates, but this game also just seems like a really bad matchup.

The Thundering Herd defense was excellent last season and they also have been great to begin the season.

Grant Wells and the offense is solid as well and should have no problems going up against a bad Pirate defense.

Why I like the -9.5 though is mostly because of the Pirates offense. It's broken. They're slow on the outside and have not generated many big play opportunities in the passing game. Quarterback Holton Ahlers looks lost out there which is also disturbing to see for a senior quarterback.

Auburn at Penn State (-4.5)

I got this number on Thursday and it's not available currently on the Parx Sportsbook app, but I still like it at -5.5.

The Penn State defense is one of the best in the country and they also have the benefit of the White Out game, which they have been very successful in.

Penn State QB Sean Clifford continues to remain a problem for the Nittany Lions offense, but there's enough talent here with a strong offensive line, good RB in Noah Cain and Jahan Dotson that they should be able to put up enough points.

What I can't see is Bo Nix and this offense moving the ball very well. In fact, with the Penn State defense being so good to begin with and the hostile environment, this Auburn offense could crumble as the game progresses.

Virginia (+8) at North Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

Virginia won this matchup last season by a thrilling 44-41 score.

Now, the Cavaliers make their way to Chapel Hill this Saturday.

Brennan Armstrong has been very good to start the season for the Cavaliers so I don't see many problems offensively.

The Cavaliers lost a number of starters on defense to start the year, but I don't think they'll have too much trouble against UNC.

Sam Howell is still very good, but they have no running game whatsoever. Plus, the talent on the outside at receiver is good, but not good enough to make up for the lack of a running game. UNC might win, but I think Virginia has a shot to win outright. Oh, and Virginia is 7-0 ATS in its last seven road openers.


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