It’s crazy to say as we are only entering Week 3, but after Saturday, we will be a quarter of the way through the college football regular season. For the Michigan Wolverines, that has meant largely nothing. Bloodbath wins over Colorado State and Hawaii have shown that this team is capable of being one of the best in the country. But until they see better competition, it’s hard to really judge where this team is at after a College Football Playoff appearance last season.
Unfortunately, we likely won’t get much more clarity this week as the Connecticut Huskies come to Ann Arbor. While UConn is slightly ahead of where the Rams and Rainbow Warriors are, the difference is not large, as the spread shows.
Here’s how you can watch Saturday’s game and some of the others in action:
No. 4 Michigan Wolverines vs Connecticut Huskies
- TV: ABC
- Time: Noon
- Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Weather: 77 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: MICH -51.5, O/U: 60, ML: NONE
- Best Bet (2-4): Over 60
J.J. McCarthy showed us last week how dynamic this offense can be with him under center. Now, officially the starting quarterback, McCarthy should put up astronomical numbers against a Husky defense that had 48 points dropped on them by Syracuse last week. News flash, this Michigan offense is much better than the Orange’s. Expect a similar showing this week from the Wolverines’ new starter.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Wolverines had another strong performance in Week 2 against Hawaii. I think it was not talked about as much because of how little the Rainbow Warriors were actually on the field against Michigan’s first team.
The Huskies have a little more firepower. They have a slippery and speedy back in Nathan Carter who can take any carry to the house. Carter surpassed the century mark in two of the three games this season, and he will pose a threat to the Michigan run defense with his Power 5 agility.
Still, the Wolverines are a far superior team, and 60 seems like a dangerously low number for a Michigan squad that is favored by 51.5. As long as Michigan gets close to that benchmark, like it did last week, and UConn scores a few times late, the over looks to be in pretty good shape.
No. 12 BYU Cougars vs No. 25 Oregon Ducks
- TV: FOX
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Location: Eugene, Ore.
- Weather: 61 degrees, potential for rain
- DraftKings Odds: ORE -3.5, O/U: 58, ML: BYU +150, ORE -175
- Best Bet (2-4): ORE -3.5
Oregon ran into a buzzsaw Week 1 against the Georgia Bulldogs, who are now No. 1 in the AP Poll. The Ducks were not only debuting their new coach, former Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, but also starting quarterback Bo Nix, who transferred from Auburn. The 49-3 loss was shocking, but it came on essentially home turf against the reigning National Champions.
Week 2 was more indicative of what this team could be as the Ducks cruised to a 70-14 win over Eastern Washington. Dropping completely out of the top-25 seemed like a bit of an overcorrection for the loss to the Bulldogs, Now, they are back in as the No. 25 team in the country and host No. 12 BYU.
The Cougars opened the year unranked, but shot up to No. 12 after beating No. 9 Baylor last week at home in double overtime. This too seems like a bit of an overreaction as BYU was playing in Provo against an overrated Baylor squad. While the Bears are also a good football team, I don’t think they are at the same level as they were in 2021, and they are going through a change at quarterback that appeared to be a rough one in their first ranked matchup of the season.
Now they head to Eugene and are 3.5-point dogs. I think the public eye is going to see the higher ranked Cougars as an underdog and throw a bunch of money at it. But this is the same trap that many fell into last week where Baylor was 3.5-point underdogs against BYU. I expect the same result on Saturday as Oregon wins on its home turf and do so convincingly enough to cover.
No. 11 Michigan State Spartans vs Washington Huskies
- TV: ABC
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Location: Seattle, Wash.
- Weather: 62 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: WASH -3, O/U: 56.5, ML: MSU +135, WASH -155
- Best Bet (2-4): WASH -3
We’re following pretty similar logic here for this game on the betting side. Washington at home against a Michigan State squad that hasn’t proven much so far in 2022 to earn its top-15 spot. Both teams have similar resumes by playing bottom-tier FBS, or even FCS opponents, and wiping the floor with them. I like Washington at home to cover the spread, one that might dip to 2.5 or lower closer to game time.
The Spartans are coming off a shutout 52-0 win over Akron, but quarterback Payton Thorne has been mediocre at best. He’s thrown for only four touchdowns and three interceptions against Akron and Western Michigan. The Spartans struggled early in that game against the Broncos in Week 1, before pulling away late. His receivers have bailed him out of some pretty poor passes already this season. Washington’s secondary, which has allowed only 121.5 yards per game through the air so far, could cause some problems.
Washington has the better quarterback in former second-team All-Big Ten quarterback Michael Penix Jr. He already has experience beating a Mel Tucker-led Spartan squad back in 2020, Tucker’s first season. Now, he is showing out at a better Washington program, throwing for 682 yards and six touchdowns in the first two weeks. The Spartans have allowed almost 200 passing yards per game to bad opponents, and now they have their first real test against a veteran and experienced quarterback and receiver group.
Give me Washington with an upset against a good Michigan State team that has struggled on the road against strong opponents in the Tucker-era.