• Rick

CFB Week 3 Early Bets

Georgia Bulldogs @ South Carolina Gamecocks (12:00 ET)

Line: Georgia -24

Total: 52

The Bulldogs entered the season as the #3 team in the country, but have quickly ascended to #1 in the AP Poll after utter domination of Oregon and a shutout of lowly Samford. We knew their offense would be exceptional with the return of the majority of their talent, but most didn't think they'd dominate a solid defense in Oregon the way they did. What is also surprising is their defense's domination early on. Kirby Smart and Will Muschamp had to replace a ton of talent that departed to the NFL, but we all expected them to still be a top-10 defense due to the talent they recruit and the track record of Smart.

Facing a South Carolina offense that can't block a soul will prove easy for the Bulldogs. The Gamecocks struggled against Georgia State in Week 1 and if it weren't for 2 blocked punts they would've only scored 21 points. They did rack up 30 points against the Razorbacks but it was largely due to the necessity to keep up with Arkansas. Only 3-10 on 3rd down and 40 rushing yards through the entire game, they face their biggest test to date. Georgia will be able to stop the run without throwing additional guys in the box as Jalen Carter should eat the Gamecocks alive up front. Christopher Smith and Malaki Starks are two of the best safeties in the country and they'll be keep everything in front of them.

Expect Georgia to allow at most 10 points and to abuse a South Carolina defense that allowed nearly 300 yards last week. I'll take Georgia with the points, and will sprinkle on the under as I don't expect them to cover 52 by themselves.

Pick: Georgia -24 -110 (2u) & u52 -110 (.5u)

BYU Cougars @ Oregon Ducks (3:30 ET)

Line: Oregon -3.5

Total: 57.5

This is a classic let-down spot for BYU. Coming off of a program defining win at home to Baylor in overtime, they are rewarded with the Oregon Ducks in the Autzen Zoo. There are rumblings about BYU being a College Football Playoff contender should they win this game given their current strength of schedule and the possibility to bolster it later with games against Notre Dame and Arkansas as well. Oregon's reputation took a hit after their aforementioned drubbing to Gerogia, and this game against BYU is a perfect opportunity to prove to the country why they were preseason #11 and put their talent on both sides of the ball on full display.

The Cougars will need their secondary to improve if they're going to meet those lofty goals the public is putting on them. It's the clear weakness of their defense and Bo Nix will be looking to target Dont'e Thompson and Troy Franklin to exploit just that. If they can establish the passing game, that spread offense will keep BYU on their heels given the threat of Bo Nix's legs combined sophomore Mar'Quise Irving at running back.

BYU's offense was hampered last week missing their 2 leading receivers in Puka Nucua and Gunner Romney, and while they are questionable to return on Saturday I think we'll at very least see Nucua return from an ankle injury that kept him out against Baylor. They'll need every bit of his presence if he plays as freshman Chase Rogers can't hold the weight twice in two weeks. Oregon's defense showed improvements last week, albeit against Eastern Washington, and former Georgia Defensive Coordinator Dan Lanning will continue to put his stamp on this Oregon defense. This line is an overreaction to BYU's upset of a Baylor team that can't throw and Oregon's loss to the best team in the country in Georgia. Give me the Ducks -3.

Pick: Oregon -3 -134 (1.5u)

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