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Ducking the Odds: Week 3 of the 2015 Season

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While Oregon might have a layup opponent (fingers crossed) Rusty and Sean preview and pick against the spread, for entertainment purposes only, for this weekend's top matchups. Sean had a solid week 2 and returns with another set of consistent wins.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Did I have a rough week or what?  Sean keeps on chugging along.  The living definition of consistency.  We've got some great matchups, maybe not top matchups between highly ranked opponents but there a ton of fascinating games.  If you're a deep college football, which you probably are since you're on ATQ, you'll see an exciting weekend of football.

Last week:

Sean:  4-3

Rusty:  2-5

Season:

Sean: 8-9

Rusty: 7-10

S: Clemson (-3) at Louisville

Louisville, a team that by all accounts was set to really step ahead in the ACC this year, is suddenly reeling after a shocking loss to Houston. I don't want to overvalue that loss or overvalue how inconsistent Louisville has looked so far. But the truth is, I would have taken Clemson even if Louisville had beaten Houston by 3 scores. Clemson has a ton of experienced talent on offense, a great defensive scheme, and young talent on defense that is just as good as the defenders that just graduated.  Clemson covers this easily.

R:  Clemson at Louisville (+3)

I picked Louisville to win the ACC and I'm sticking to it.  Maybe I'm one of those people who think I can win my money back at the tables and then get down even more.  It's entirely possible.  This is Clemson's first big game of the season after playing two teams who are someone's last name or haven't been relevant against FBS opponents since 2007.  The loss to Auburn and Auburn as a whole, in my opinion, have been overreactions.  Houston has a great offensive coordinator so I don't fault the loss to Houston.  I'm picking the 'Cards and taking the points.

S:  South Carolina at Georgia (-15.5)

South Carolina's offense is real, real bad. I don't love how high this line is, but I'm not betting on 'SC right now. And Georgia has the talent (even if not the consistency) to win this by 20+.

R:  South Carolina at Georgia (-15.5)

After a win over North Carolina, who is decent, and a loss to Kentucky who is actually pretty solid, I get the feeling that Spurrier's heart really isn't into it this year.  That doesn't negate his Hatin' Ass though.  South Carolina's offense won't be able to keep pace with the UGA offensive line that serves to unleash Nick Chubb.

S: Auburn (+6.5) at LSU

This is an overreaction line. Auburn looked real bad - repeat, real bad - against Jax State, obvs. But I think Auburn still has plenty of offensive talent. And definitely enough to keep it tight with LSU, who apparently forgotten that the forward pass is, in reality, a perfectly legal American football play. Take the points. I think Auburn keeps it tight, and maybe even wins in Death Valley.

R:  Auburn (+6.5) at LSU

This line is a huge overreaction in my opinion.  LSU's win over the projected last place team in the SEC West was uglier than the score indicates.  Auburn demolished the Tigers last year 41-7.  With a lot of returning starters on defense, and the addition of Will Muschamp, they'll be able to slow a one-dimensional offense to a stand still.  Especially with the points the Auburn Tigers are the pick for this game.

S: Ole Miss (+8.5) at Alabama

Alabama has looked underwhelming offensively in games vs. Wisconsin and MTSU. They've gotta score over 35 to cover 9. I don't think they can. Take the points, again. Ole Miss has scored a bajillion points in two cupcake games, so you have to expect they can score 24 or 28 in Tuscaloosa.

R: Ole Miss at Alabama (-8.5)

This game takes place at Saturday in Tuscaloosa, which means that place is going to be turnt.  The Ole Miss Rebels have a ton of talent on their team and might actually have better skill players than Alabama.  One thing that Alabama has is Derrick Henry who is an unstoppable force of a human that is probably the scariest person to try and tackle in the open field.  Watch him run, seriously, it's like staring at a piece of art, the Sistine Chapel, and wondering how it came together and looks so astonishing.  With the loss last year for the Crimson Tide they've got a ton of motivation heading into this game.  The Tide front seven is terrifying and a first year starter on the road creates an environment he might be crushed by.

S:  Nebraska at Miami (FL) (-5)

Something feels off with the Huskers. I can't trust them here. Even though Miami is not that talented, they have very good QB play and that will play dividends in a home spot. The Canes should be able to win this by a touchdown.

R:  Nebraska at Miami (FL) (-5)

We last saw Nebraska playing maybe the worst hail mary defense of all-time against the BYU Cougars.  I really don't think that Mike Riley is the type of coach that can turn a team around quickly and to be honest I'm not sure why he was the pick for Nebraska.  I'm still shocked and would love to know their reasoning.  I'm afraid Brad Kaaya is the next Jacory Harris but all the NFL scouts seem to be raving about him and he could have a big jump his sophomore year.  The most important thing to me is that the 'Canes have won their first two games how a team should win over weak opponents.

S: Georgia Tech (-1) at Notre Dame

Take this line and run with it.  Notre Dame *always* has trouble with the triple option offense (see: every year against Navy), and Georgia Tech is undoubtedly the best triple option offense since the early 2000s. Tech wins this one at South Bend.

R: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame (+1)

This is a huge overreaction to me.  The freshman quarterback played well late in the game after coming off the bench.  The strength of this team is the defense and even with a streak of injuries the talent disparity is overwhelming.  Triple-option teams are tough to prepare for but Notre Dame plays Navy every year and the last time Notre Dame lost to Georgia Tech they went 3-9 that season.  With the game in South Bend the Fighting Irish will be able to slow the Yellow Jacket offense down.

S:  Utah State at Washington (-3.5)

Washington finally showed a glimmer on offense and should be able to take care of a plucky Utah State squad at home.

R:  Utah State (+3.5) at Washington

I have zero faith in the Washington Huskies.  They looked lost against Boise State and still have an unproven quarterback.  Meanwhile, the Aggies have a 10-point loss to Utah that was much closer than the scoreboard shows.  Chuckie Keeton is a playmaker and should be able to earn Utah State a win.

S: Cal (-1.5) at Texas

Cal is secretly the 2nd best team in the Pac-12 North. Their offense looks superbly dangerous and they're even playing a little bit of defense.  Texas's secondary is beatable, and their offense is not scary enough to keep pace with Cal. Texas will need to score 35 points to win, and I don't think they can.

R:  Cal (-1.5) at Texas

This line is comically low.  How Cal isn't favored is hilarious.  The Cal defense is one of the most improved units in the country based on their first two games.  Now they match up against an offense that can't stop throwing up on itself.  Texas is incredibly dysfunctional.  The Longhorn defense has played well but the offense is just an abomination.  Cal's offense will continue to score points but Texas will struggle to put points on the board.  This one will get out of hand and Cal will crush Texas.

S:  Stanford at USC (-8)

USC has had serious trouble with Stanford since 2008. But this Stanford team is not any of those Stanford teams. Until they start doing Stanford-like things (take control and not relinquish), and until they start calling plays like they're not afraid of losing, I'm not betting on Stanford. USC's offense may be the best it's been since late-2011 Matt Barkley USC. I think the Trojans win by 10-plus.

R:  Stanford at USC (-8)

Stanford has always given the Trojans trouble going 5-3 since 2007.  The Cardinals just don't perform up to their talent.  The players seem happy to be on this team and don't play with passion.  Their lines were weak against Northwestern.  They have a quarterback is lacking and whenever he has to throw over 15 passes it's virtually a guaranteed loss.  USC's receivers are great, Tre Madden is unbelievable in the field and the offensive line opens up enough lanes for him to go wild.  This team is so talented that they'll make plays, get ahead early, and Stanford will fall behind that they have to throw a ton and the USC secondary will make a few interceptions.  If I'm wrong I'll be stoked though.

S: BYU (+14) at UCLA

Betting on BYU until they falter. They're 2-0 against the spread and have some serious mojo right now. Going on the road is tough, but it's not as if an early-season 2/3-full Rose Bowl crowd is going to be a real factor. BYU keeps it tight, even against #ChosenRosen and the Bruins.

R: BYU at UCLA (-14)

UCLA is locked and loaded on defense and Josh Rosen hasn't been as turnover prone or as susceptible to sacks as Brett Hundley was his whole career.  BYU is playing with their backup quarterback and needed a magical endings to their last two games in order to get a win.  BYU has only 5 guys back on defense and I think UCLA will eat the new quarterback alive.  UCLA plays pretty much mistake free and slowly separates themselves from the opponents and covers the spread.