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Spread Options: Dr. Saturday’s Week 3 picks against the spread

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Dr. Saturday is on a roll.

Despite the complaints that we didn’t pick a side on any of the marquee games last week, we managed to go 9-2, which was far better than expected. Western Kentucky’s turnover fest was a little tough to take as was Tulane’s struggles with South Alabama. Otherwise, most of our teams covered without issue.

The pick of the week was definitely the Texas A&M-Sam Houston State over. That was good by halftime.

We’re now 16-5 this season.

Here’s what we like this week:

Boise State (-23.5) vs. Air Force, Friday 8 p.m. ET: Boise State has been undervalued by oddsmakers because of its season opening performance against Washington. However, the Broncos seemed to get back on track last week and they are nails at home. Not to mention Air Force was thrashed by Utah State last weekend.

Bowling Green (+2.5) at Indiana, 12 p.m. ET: Unless you’re a diehard Mid-American Conference fan, you probably haven’t watched much Bowling Green football this season, but this is a really talented team, especially offensively. This might end up being a high-scoring affair, but Bowling Green, which already has two road wins this season, is a more consistent offensive threat.

[Watch: Can Texas A&M upset Alabama again?]

UCLA (+3.5) at Nebraska, 12 p.m. ET: Nebraska is traditionally good at home, but they’ve struggled a little bit this season. UCLA, which beat Nevada 58-20 during the opening weekend, has had two weeks to prepare, but is also dealing with the tragic loss of receiver Nick Pasquale, who was hit and killed by a car. That should fuel the Bruins' emotions and power them to this slight upset.

Rutgers (-28) vs. Eastern Michigan, 1 p.m. ET: Anyone who watched Rutgers play Fresno State two weeks ago knows this is a much better Rutgers than it’s been in the past. Quarterback Gary Nova is playing really well and it’s making the Scarlet Knights a surprise this season. Eastern Michigan showed some fight against Penn State last week, but were overmatched. And if they were overmatched in that game, they’ll definitely struggle against a seasoned Rutgers team.

Washington (-10) at Illinois, 6 p.m. ET: Don’t get excited about Illinois’ win over Cincinnati. It was good, but it didn’t mean the Illini were a vastly improved team. Washington, on the other hand, was impressive in its beatdown of Boise State and I think they have the potential to be one of the best teams in the Pac-12. Expect the Huskies, which had last week off, to win the game handily.

UCF (+5.5) at Penn State, 6 ET: Not many people have seen UCF play this season, but trust that it is one of the better opponents on Penn State’s schedule. The Nittany Lions have looked good this year, but they’ve had some growing pains with freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg. He won’t be able to get away with some of his turnover issues with a UCF squad that has a veteran quarterback and a tough offense.

Cal (+15.5) vs. Ohio State, 7 ET: If you haven’t seen Cal freshman quarterback Jeff Goff this season, you’ll be in for a treat. He leads the country in passing and has been the ideal person to run Sonny Dykes pass-happy offense. Make no mistake, Ohio State is the better team here, but Cal is going to have success against the Buckeyes young defense and keep this game close.

Maryland (-6.5) vs. UConn, 7:30 p.m. ET: Maryland has been surprisingly good this year regardless of its mediocre schedule. UConn lost to Towson in its season opener, but had a bye week to correct any issues. However, I just don’t think UConn is good enough to keep up with the speed and talent of Maryland. The Terps should cover this easily.

[Watch: College football's Week 3 upset alert]

Wisconsin (+5) vs. Arizona State, 10:30 p.m. ET: This game is a little tough to read simply because neither team has played a quality opponent. I lean toward Wisconsin because of its strong running game and the fact that the Arizona State rushing defense was one of the worst in the Pac-12 a year ago. As a side pick, I also like the over of 54.5.

Utah State (-36.5) vs. Weber State, 8 p.m.: I’m not usually a fan of big lines, especially against inferior opponents because coaches will pull starters or limit scoring to keep from embarrassing the other team. However, Utah’s thrashing of Weber State last weekend laid the groundwork here and I think the Aggies are going to want to match the Utes effort. Also, the Aggies didn’t take their foot off the gas against Air Force last week. I see a similar beatdown this week.

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