Oklahoma and Penn State Among Our Top Picks for NCAAF Week 3

Dillon Gabriel Oklahoma Sooners UTEP Miners
The Oklahoma Sooners celebrate after a touchdown against the UTEP Miners. Brian Bahr/Getty Images/AFP.

From the Midwest to the South, we’ve sent our trusty handicapper on the road in search of the top college football betting picks on the Week 3 card.

You have to go back 110 years to cover all of the history between a couple of the schools who collide in one of the top picks for the Week 3 college football schedule, and you only have to go back a quarter-century for all of the matchups in the other.

But whether it’s a good old-fashioned rivalry or a newer series that is being played for just the second time during the regular season, the money on the table is the same.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Saturday, September 17, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Memorial Stadium

Look, nobody feels worse than Scott Frost about the way things turned out at Nebraska, and if the Cornhuskers, who were shouting to fire him during last week’s loss to Georgia Southern, believe things will get immediately better, wait until they see the whipping Oklahoma is going to lay down this Saturday.

Oklahoma Has Won 7 of the Last 8 Meetings

The 88th meeting between the old rivals comes with Nebraska’s football program in turmoil, and it also comes with Oklahoma looking no worse for wear and tear after the shocking departure of Lincoln Riley at the end of last season.

Prior to Riley leaving, he was on the sidelines for a 23-16 Oklahoma win over Nebraska, a game that seemingly gave Frost new life at his alma mater in Lincoln since the Cornhuskers went to Norman as pronounced 22½-point underdogs.

Oklahoma and Nebraska had gone 11 years since last meeting in the 2010 Big 12 Championship game. The Sooners won that one and own a 46-38 lead in the rivalry along with three ties.

How Much Time Does Frost Have?

Frost’s end came this past Saturday when the Cornhuskers dropped a 45-42 decision at home as 23-point favorites at the best sportsbooks, but in all honesty, his job ended on a failed onside kick in Ireland to begin the season with a loss to Northwestern.

Venables Off to 2-0 Start In Norman

Brent Venables, meanwhile, and the Sooners have become quickly acquainted and have been clicking along on both sides of the football as if they’ve always been together in wins over UTEP and Kent State.

Line Movement Benefits Oklahoma Backers

This is definitely going to be Oklahoma’s toughest opponent so far, and Nebraska has shown it can move the ball behind grad transfer Casey Thompson. But the Cornhuskers have been awful on defense, and the line movement down to the Sooners favored by 11 makes them an easy free college football pick.

NCAAF Pick: Oklahoma -11 (-110) at Unibet

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Auburn Tigers

Saturday, September 17, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Jordan-Hare Stadium

It’s always a bit unusual to see a Big Ten team taking on a squad from the Southeastern Conference in the regular season, so it was only natural for the collision between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Auburn Tigers to stand out on the Week 3 slate.

Auburn Is a Rare Home NonCon ‘Dog

It’s also only natural for a college football bettor’s attention to be piqued upon seeing an SEC team drawing the underdog tag at home in a nonconference game, as is the case with this battle with Penn State giving up 3 points at BetMGM.

The last time Auburn was a home underdog in a noncon game was in the 2016 season opener against Clemson, and Saturday’s scoreboard target is listed from 48½ to 49½ at sportsbooks.

Penn State in Rare SEC Roadie

Even rarer than Auburn being an underdog at home against a team from outside the SEC is Penn State traveling into SEC country, with Saturday’s skirmish the Nittany Lions’ first such road game since a loss at Alabama in 2011.

The Nittany Lions got the job done in their one road game so far this season, picking up an important 35-31 win at Purdue in the season opener that just covered the college football odds.

Tigers Losing Turnover Battle

Despite Auburn starting off 2-0, one big concern for Bryan Harsin has been his team turning the ball over twice each in wins over Mercer and San Jose State, all while failing to come up with a takeaway in either of those games.

James Franklin’s Nittany Lions have only given the rock away once so far, and they’re a very balanced team in all phases of the game. Lay the field goal in a 27-21 PSU dubya.

NCAAF Pick: Penn State -3 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook