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College Football Expert Picks - Week 3

Here are Zach and Jon’s plays for Week 3 in college football (Denard Robinson Heisman pose not included):

Zach Rosenfield’s Picks
East Carolina +19 vs. Virginia Tech
19 points seems way to high here considering that East Carolina has had a lot of early success with their wide open offense.  While we figure Virginia Tech to be a strong favorite, they have already proven to be greatly overrated and to struggle with their pass defense. We did not simulate their loss to James Madison because we don’t cover FCS schools, but it is safe to say like most we figured them for the win. However, in the three games we have forecasted in 2010 involving the Hokies and Pirates, AccuScore is 3-0 ATS. Additionally, the computer is 64% ATS in selections where the home team is favored by 14 or more points (as is the case here).

Oklahoma State –6.5 vs. Tulsa
It’s hard to win if you can’t tackle and Tulsa can-not-tackle. This is a game of contrasting styles that lends itself to Oklahoma State’s zone read option and power running game. While critics might be quick to remember OSU’s 2009 home loss to a finesse Houston team, Tulsa is not the team to replicate that. AccuScore is 3-1 this season ATS in games involving Tulsa and Oklahoma State and simulates the Cowboys to be an 11.5 point favorite.

Jon’s Picks
Cal -2.5 vs. Nevada
Nevada and quarterback Colin Kaepernick have looked terrific running their pistol offense the past three seasons – that is until they have to face a school from the six BCS conferences.  Over the past three seasons Nevada has an 0-7 record against BCS schools averaging just 19 points per game in the process.  The Wolf Pack have also gone 0-3 against Boise State during that time. The difference in the level of athlete appears to be a big factor in limiting Kaepernick and the pistol attack.  Cal is not a team I was particularly high on before the season started, but the Bears are 2-0 and have put up 104 points. Quarterback Kevin Riley has completed 66% of his passes (which would be a career high) and has yet to throw an interception. True freshman Keenan Allen has proven to be the playmaking wide receiver Cal desperately needed. The line suggests that Vegas and bettors think Cal and Nevada are evenly matched. History tells me that’s far from the truth.

Kansas State -3.5 vs. Iowa State
Daniel Thomas is one of the best running backs in the nation. The junior was All-Big 12 last season rushing for 1,265 yards, and has already rushed for 371 yards on 49 carries this season (7.6 ypc). Kansas State’s entire offense revolves around Thomas which is bad news for Iowa State. The Cyclones ranked 10th in the Big 12 in rush defense last season allowing 166 yards per game. This year they look even worse against the run having allowed 431 yards on the ground through 2 games.  Kansas State won this game by a point on the road last year.  This year at home, look for Thomas to run all over the field on the way to a solid win.

Follow Zach on Twitter @accuscorezach
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