2012 College Football Week 3 Predictions: Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh and More

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Went a very decent 5-2 in week 2 of my ACC football picks, and hit most of my leans as well.  At this early point in the season I’m still basing plays off of my preseason notions, with increasing consideration being given to what we’re learning every Saturday.   In my opinion weeks 2-4 can offer a great deal of value if our offseason evaluations were accurate and we stick to the value that we see against the (over)reactions of the market based on early returns.

My free time aside from handicapping is pretty short for the next few weeks, so I’m keeping the write-ups a bit on the lighter side for awhile.  If anyone has specific questions I’ll be more than happy to expound where I can.

Week 3 ACC Plays:

*** NC State / South Alabama Over 51 -102
*** Boston College / Northwestern Over 53.5 -110
*** Maryland Terrapins +3 -115
*** Pittsburgh Panthers +10 -108

Week 3 ACC Plays:

*** NC State / South Alabama Over 51 -102

Looking for the Wolfpack offense to get back on track this week.  In some ways this play is similar to the Clemson Over from last week in that I’m banking on a big performance from a heavy favorite that struggled a bit offensively the previous week.

The expectation here is that State makes a big effort to get the offense back on track, and stays aggressive offensively a bit longer than you normally may.  The game to get the back-ups serious minutes is next week vs the Citadel, but this week it’s important to hone that offensive cohesion that Bible and company expected to hit the ground running with this season.

A big thing that was missed by some from last weeks game vs UConn was just how terrible the weather conditions were.  There was some pretty strong wind and intermittent rain that left areas of the field really difficult to play.  NCS didn’t go for a late FG in the 4th that would have covered the number because conditions were so poor on that end of the field; the conservative TOB instead opted to go for it on 4th and 2.

After an unimpressive start to the campaign State will be looking to make a bigger splash in their home opener vs a drastic step down in competition.  To me, that means lots of points. State 45, USA 17.

*** Pittsburgh Panthers +10

Yeah Pittsburgh has looked absolutely awful, and backing them last Thursday was a real easy way for me to lose 2 units.  I can’t resist getting back on the wagon with the panthers as the DD home doggie here.  A big part of the play is going against a Hokie team that hasn’t proven they really can do anything very well offensively and going on the road for the first time.

The VT offensive hallmark has always been that the run the football.  So far this season, it’s been a bit of a struggle for them   The OL has struggled in run blocking (3.9 ypc) which has left the offense in a lot of long yardage situations (only 41% on 3rd downs).  Logan Thomas has been pretty inconsistent so far in the passing game and it remains to be seen just how much of the load he can bare.  For what it’s worth, the oft-maligned Tino Sunseri has a higher completion percentage, more yards per pass and a 2-1 TD-INT ratio.

As bad as Pitt has been, VT has also struggled and find themselves at 0-2 ATS.  This is a gut check game for Pitt; I look for a big effort from a team looking to get their season back on some kind of track.  The Hokies haven’t proven they have the kind of consistency offensively to go on the road and be trusted to cover DD spreads.  It takes a strong running game to pull away from teams for VT and they’ve yet to show they have it.  The Hokies schedule has left a relatively inexperienced secondary untested here versus an experienced QB who should be able to move the football and put some points on the board.  I like this to be an ugly and low scoring game that is still very much a contest in the 4th quarter.  VT 21-Pitt  17.

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Get more great college football analysis over at Saturday Edge.