Top 3 bets for Week 3, including Kansas vs. Houston

We all know that the college football market moves a lot during the week. Money is pouring in everywhere, from the opening hours lines on Sunday afternoon to the kick-off on Saturday.

Like any other sport, getting the best possible price is paramount when betting on college football.

For example, a -6.5 favorite might drop to -7.5 on Saturday morning, and then you run the risk of that team winning by one of the most likely outcomes – a seven-point win – and you just lose your bet. It all could have been avoided had the bet been locked at -6.5 on Monday morning.

I’m here to help you navigate the market by providing you with a few lines that I’m buying right now with my specific breaks or other lines that I expect to buy later in the week.

The hope of this coin is to beat the market, get the best possible price, and in the long run save you money with the close line value. To do this, we will use our TAN projections, ESPN’s SP+ and my own projections to build consensus.

You hear “process rather than results” all the time. The best way to tell if the process is working is to use the closing line value (CLV), i.e. how many points did you beat the closing line by? I will keep track throughout the year of exactly how many points we beat the market by:

Now, let’s dive into week 3.

Indiana made a lot of changes in the offseason as Tom Allen brought in 15 new players from the transfer portal.

In the Hoosiers’ season opener against Illinois, the new-look offense — featuring Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak, Auburn running back Shaun Shivers and Florida State wide receiver DJ Matthews Jr. – gained just 4.6 yards per play and a measly 1.2 yards per rush.

Last week, the Hoosiers hosted Idaho, were down 10-0 at halftime and needed a second-half rally to beat a team that was 4-7 the previous year.

Bazelak was pretty mediocre in the game, earning a 70.1 PFF passing rating while averaging 6.8 yards per attempt.

More importantly, the secondary — which was supposed to be the strength of the Hooisers defense — allowed Idaho quarterback Gevani McCoy to throw for 8.9 yards per attempt and three touchdowns.

Western Kentucky was more balanced in its first two games against Austin Peay and Hawaii, with a 50/50 split between running and passing.

That’s a big change from the most assist-rich offense in college football last season, thanks to offensive coordinator Zach Kittley and quarterback Bailey Zappe.

Even though these two opponents were very weak, gaining 6.4 yards per play is nothing to complain about.

Western Kentucky has a quarterback who transferred from Division II West Florida to Austin Reed. As a freshman, Reed threw for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. In two games, his PFF pass rating is 76 with seven touchdowns.

The first points of the college football season — and it’s from a QB that you have to get used to throwing TDs in 2022: Austin Reed shakes off the rust and we have 6!

— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) August 27, 2022

With Indiana struggling in the secondary against an FCS opponent, it could be a long afternoon against a quarterback of Reed’s talent. I mean the Hooisers have a 58.2 coverage rating, per PFF, which is 106th in the nation.

Not to mention that Western Kentucky had an extra week off and an extra week to prepare after a 2 week furlough.

As you can see, all three projection models show significant value over Western Kentucky +6.5, and I highly doubt that number will be available Saturday morning.

Take: Western Kentucky +6.5 (Play up to +3.5)

Kansas vs. Houston

Future Big 12 Conference opponents face off in Houston’s home opener.

Kansas football is 2-0. Yes, you read that right. The Jayhawks pulled off a stunner at Morgantown on Saturday, beating the Mountaineers 55-42 as 14-point underdogs.

Houston, on the other hand, lost a heartbreaker, 33-30, in overtime to Texas Tech.

That being said, I think for the first time, maybe ever, we are in a high sell position in Kansas.

Houston has a fantastic offense led by Clayton Tune, who is back for his senior season at quarterback after an incredible junior year in which he scored 91.4 PFF, an 8.3 average yards per attempt and threw for 30 touchdowns.

Now he may have had his worst game of his college career on Saturday in Lubbock, but he now faces a Kansas defense that was last EPA/Play Allowed among Power Five defenses in 2021.

Tune will find its No. 1 target again in Tank Dell, who had 90 catches, 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns. His receiving rating of 88.8 PFF was ninth-best in college football for wide receivers who saw more than 100 targets last season.

Dell had 120 yards on just seven catches against Texas Tech last weekend.

The Kansas secondary in 2021 allowed 9.4 yards per attempt and ranked 118th in coverage rating. JT Daniels faced the Jayhawks last week, throwing for 8.9 yards per attempt and three touchdowns.

Kansas has nine starters on offense, including starting quarterback Jalon Daniels. However, this was a Jayhawks offense that fell outside the top 100 in EPA/Play and hit rate.

Houston’s defense is the main reason it went 12-2 last season. The Cougars finished the season ninth in EPA/Play, allowed just 4.9 yards per play (16th in FBS), and finished fourth in passing rate allowed.

They’re losing five key pieces of that defense, but that being said, it’s still going to be one of the best in the AAC.

As you can see, Houston threw over -13 for all three throwing models, so I’d grab the Cougars at -9.5 before it hits double digits.

Take: Houston-9.5

Arkansas State vs. Memphis

It’s a terrible game for Arkansas State for one main reason: the explosive plays. In 2021, Arkansas State was 128th in allowed pass explosiveness and 102nd in allowed rush explosiveness.

Well, that defense is losing six starters and four of its top five tacklers.

Early indications are that things haven’t improved much. You can give the Red Wolves credit for covering in Columbus last Saturday, but the reality is they still allowed the Buckeyes to average 10.0 yards per play.

On offense in 2021, Memphis was 11th in the nation in explosiveness, with most of that happening in the passing game under Sam Henigan.

As a freshman last year, Henigan put up some pretty impressive numbers for his age. He averaged 8.5 yards per attempt and had his best game of the season against Arkansas State, throwing for 417 yards and five touchdowns while boasting an 83.8 PFF passing rating.

Florida State transfer James Blackman is back at starting quarterback Arkansas State, but top receiver Corey Rucker and running back Lincoln Pare are gone.

Arkansas State’s offensive line was a real problem last year. The Red Wolves averaged just 2.8 yards per carry as a team, ranked 93rd in offensive line yards, and had a 50.0 rush blocking rating, per PFF (126th in FBS).

Well, only two starters are returning from this offensive line that also allowed 48 sacks in 2021, so one way or another it could get worse.

All three projection patterns are showing at least five points of value on Memphis, so I’d grab the Tigers at -13 (PointsBet) right now before this bet goes over -14.

Take: Memphis-13

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