After two weeks, it is clear that the top three college football teams in some order are Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State. All three have red flags, but all have overcome obstacles early in the season.
• Georgia had to replace more talent than some teams have ever seen, and they trounced the Oregon Ducks in Week 1.
• Alabama stumbled on the road against the unranked Texas Longhorns, but they remain undefeated with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
• Ohio State didn’t look perfect at home against Notre Dame, but a 2-0 record keeps them on track to win the Big Ten.
There are no elite matchups this week, but all teams have something to prove. What are the best college football picks for the top three teams in the country?
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, September 17, 2022 – 04:00 PM EDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium
Alabama is coming off of an embarrassing performance, but Nick Saban has a reputation for bouncing back with focus and poise. This team will not be making the same mistakes they made against the Texas Longhorns.
Look for Will Anderson to be on a mission after many mental mistakes against Texas. He did not play like the best player in college football outside of his single sack and blocked field goal, and he will be looking to prove himself after just one sack so far this season.
Alabama’s offense will be humming with the likely addition of injured receivers, and the defense will not let the Warhawks score consistently. That is why I prefer the spread over the totals line. Alabama’s offense is capable of hitting the over by themselves, but they could also take their foot off the gas in the second half. Either way, I expect an early lead that is maintained by the bench players in the second half of this game.
The run game will be steady, and the pass rush will disrupt the Warhawks’ offense. Look for the Tide to roll once again.
NCAAF Pick: Alabama -48.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Toledo Rockets vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, September 17 – 07:00 PM EDT at Ohio Stadium
I don’t like the spread here. Toledo will put up a fight, and this may remain close if they can run the ball consistently. However, the Buckeyes are more than talented enough to run away with this one. The outcomes are too volatile to make a confident pick with the spread.
Instead, I like the totals line. Both defenses have played quality football this year, so there won’t be many mental lapses that lead to easy scores. Also, Toledo’s preference for running the ball will chew the clock.
Ohio State will want to take care of this game, but they won’t be pushing tempo or running up the score. Both teams will want to methodically march down the field. Expect this game to end early as both teams try to efficiently make plays that put them in a position to win in the end.
I don’t think Toledo has the firepower to keep up, but I like the Under to hit after both defenses have stellar performances.
NCAAF Pick: Under 61 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Georgia Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Saturday, September 17 – 12:00 PM EDT at Williams-Brice Stadium
If this was a night game, I might have more faith in the Gamecocks. However, we’ve seen what happens when turnover-prone quarterbacks play against this Georgia defense. They turn the ball over.
Georgia looks to be the best team in college football so far. They deserve the top spot until Alabama proves itself against a quality opponent. I expect another dominant game from Georgia. The defense will smother Spencer Rattler, and the offense has yet to turn the ball over.
Georgia won’t beat themselves. They need an opponent to do that. Against this team, that won’t happen.
This may be exciting for the first half, but the Bulldogs are too disciplined to let this one come down to the wire. Expect Georgia to pull away and cover the spread in this game.
NCAAF Pick: Georgia -24 (-110) at BetMGM