The Saturday Football crew is back for another week to provide picks against the spread for 10 of the biggest games in college football. Week 3 might be a bit of an appetizer weekend for what should be a stuffed Week 4 slate, but there are still some interesting matchups throughout the sport.

Here’s how things stand through two weeks:

  • Spenser Davis: 13-7
  • Ethan Stone: 12-8
  • Derek Peterson: 10-10
  • Paul Harvey: 8-12

Let’s dive in.

No. 7 Penn State (-14.5) at Illinois

  • Spenser Davis: I’m tempted to take the points here (especially with the hook), but I’ll go with Penn State. Illinois has looked hapless on defense so far this season. Penn State should be able to overwhelm the Illini with its athleticism and team speed. PICK: Penn State
  • Paul Harvey: Illinois has given up at least 28 points in the first two games of the season, and neither Toledo or Kansas possesses the QB talent or backfield of Penn State. The Ryan Walters hangover in Champaign is real. Nittany Lions win BIG. PICK: Penn State
  • Derek Peterson: Not saying Champaign, Illinois, is a particularly daunting place to play, but 14.5 points in a road Big Ten contest for a young quarterback has me wanting to lean Illinois here. A garbage-time score gets it done. PICK: Illinois
  • Ethan Stone: I have been wildly disappointed with Illinois this year. Inversely, Drew Allar is having a great start to the season. I like the Nittany Lions. PICK: Penn State

No. 14 LSU (-9) at Mississippi State

  • SD: Mississippi State needed overtime to beat Arizona at home in Week 2. I think LSU is the much better team and is probably being undervalued too much by the market because of how it lost to an elite Florida State team in Week 1. PICK: LSU
  • PH: Despite a tight fight in 2021, 5 of the last 6 in this series have been decided by 10+ points. Two of those games were MSU wins, but I’ll go with Brian Kelly and the Tigers to find some momentum in Week 3. PICK: LSU 
  • DP: Yeah I’m rolling with LSU here. Arizona turned the football over five times — including three interceptions on the first eight passes of the game — and Mississippi State needed OT. PICK: LSU
  • ES: Mississippi State’s ground attack vs. LSU’s defensive front is the matchup to watch here, and I’ll give it to the Bulldogs at home with the points here. PICK: MSU 

No. 15 Kansas State (-4) at Missouri

  • SD: Kansas State is a really solid football team and Chris Kleiman is one of the better coaches in the entire country. I don’t think 4 points is enough, even on the road. PICK: Kansas State
  • PH: Neither team has really been challenged yet this season. The difference is Kansas State is scoring over 40 points per game while Mizzou has scored 29 points per game. Being a road favorite against an SEC opponent is a tricky place to be, but I think Will Howard is a seasoned enough QB to keep the Wildcats on track. PICK: Kansas State
  • DP: This one’s for Bill Snyder. Wildcats by two scores. PICK: Kansas State
  • ES: This one feels weird. I wish Mizzou had a few more points, but I’m going to take the Tigers anyway. PICK: Mizzou

No. 19 Oklahoma (-27.5) at Tulsa

  • SD: Tulsa made a very questionable head coaching hire this offseason when it brought in Kevin Wilson. Brent Venables and Wilson are very familiar with each other, as they overlapped on Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma staff once upon a time. Tulsa’s QB situation is still a little bit dicey and the Sooners should have the crowd advantage, even on the road. Pick: Oklahoma
  • PH: The number is extremely large for any team to cover, but I don’t see Tulsa having a counterpunch ready for the Sooners. Also of note: Tulsa is returning home after a West Coast trip to Washington in Week 2. PICK: Oklahoma
  • DP: Oklahoma was focused on just about everything but football this week. Be it the continued Lincoln Riley drama or a much more serious situation with Art Briles popping up on the sideline last weekend in OU gear against the wishes of the administration. I think the product of all that outside noise is you get an offense that shows up looking for blood. PICK: Oklahoma
  • ES: Love Tulsa to cover here, especially at home against the big, bad in-state Sooners. They’ll show up enough to make it a game in the first half. PICK: Tulsa

South Carolina at No. 1 Georgia (-27.5)

  • SD: In general, I’m a big believer in what Shane Beamer is doing at South Carolina. But the Gamecocks might have the worst offensive line in the SEC and I don’t think they have the talent to hang with Georgia. Beamer is a former assistant of Kirby Smart’s as well — he was UGA’s tight ends coach before he left for the same role at Oklahoma in 2019. The Bulldogs have had no issues covering this line in their 2 previous matchups against Beamer and South Carolina. PICK: Georgia
  • PH: I still think Georgia wins this game by a lot, but this is an exceptionally large number for a division game. Georgia’s offense hasn’t quite looked like last year’s offense, so I’m not ready to pick the Bulldogs in a major SEC blowout quite yet. PICK: South Carolina
  • DP: Since the start of the 2020 year, Georgia is 8-13 against the spread when favored by at least 20 points. I’ll take the Gamecocks at that number. PICK: South Carolina
  • ES: I don’t believe in the Gamecocks this year, but as Tennessee fans would know they have a habit of turning up when it matters recently. Georgia will still win convincingly but give me the Gamecocks to cover. PICK: South Carolina

Minnesota at No. 20 North Carolina (-8)

  • SD: North Carolina barely escaped App State last week as the Tar Heels’ defense reverted back to some old, bad habits. Minnesota, meanwhile, had very few issues dispatching of Eastern Michigan and have likely been working on its UNC game plan for quite some time. I’m a little bit worried about Minnesota stopping the run, but I think PJ Fleck will have his team prepared enough to keep this close. PICK: Minnesota
  • PH: PJ Fleck will do his best to shorten this game on the road, but the one area UNC’s defense shines is against the run. Also, if all else fails, go with the team that has Drake Maye. No boat rowing will be found in Week 3. PICK: North Carolina
  • DP: A Minnesota team with a questionable offense has to go on the road to face one of the country’s best quarterbacks? Four Nebraska turnovers on the road yielded just a three-point Gopher win. I’ve not been impressed by Minnesota at all this year. I like North Carolina quite a bit here. PICK: North Carolina
  • ES: Why does anyone schedule App State anymore? North Carolina is fine, and I like a convincing bounce-back game here against the Gophers. PICK: North Carolina

No. 8 Washington (-16) at Michigan State

  • SD: This is a brutal travel game for Washington. I’m guessing the market will be overly tilted away from Michigan State given the turmoil that has taken place over the past week. I’d also expect the Spartans to come out fired up to play under Harlon Barnett in a major showcase game. I’m taking the points here. PICK: Michigan State
  • PH: Let’s imagine Michigan State does come out fired up and focused under interim coach Harlon Barnett. That wouldn’t change the fact the Spartans don’t have the players to matchup against UW’s receivers or the pass-rush to get to Michael Penix. Even with the travel factor, the Huskies should win by multiple scores here. PICK: Washington
  • DP: I think Washington is going to shred Michigan State’s secondary, but I also think this number is a bit inflated by the Mel Tucker situation. The Huskies are winning this football game — they’re the better team and I don’t think the Michigan State crowd closes that gap — but I don’t think it’ll be that much of a blowout. Last year’s win was convincing and it went in the books as an 11-point win. PICK: Michigan State 
  • ES: This is one of my tossup games. I have zero clue how Michigan State is going to respond to everything that has happened surrounding Mel Tucker recently, and Washington has looked good to start. Think I’ll lean Washington for this one. PICK: Washington

No. 11 Tennessee (-6.5) at Florida

  • SD: When a team shows you who they are, believe them. Billy Napier’s program showed us exactly who they were in Week 1 against Utah: a team that can’t get out of its own way. PICK: Tennessee
  • PH: The Vols have not looked fully in sync yet this season. However, I don’t believe in Billy Napier or the Florida offense, so I’ll go with the program I believe will at least keep putting points on the board, and that’s Josh Heupel’s program. PICK: Tennessee
  • DP: Give me the Vols for all the reasons my colleagues have said. PICK: Tennessee
  • ES: I know the history of Tennessee/Florida all too well. I also know the Gators that show up Saturday are very unlikely to be the same Gators that showed up against Utah. I’ll take Tennessee big anyway. PICK: Tennessee

BYU at Arkansas (-8)

  • SD: It has kind of gone under-the-radar, but Arkansas has not looked good to start the season. Neither has BYU, however, at least offensively. I don’t love the cross-country travel for the Cougars here. I will cautiously go with the Hogs. PICK: Arkansas
  • PH: BYU is not running the ball to start the season, and Arkansas is not allowing teams to run the ball through 2 games. KJ Jefferson shines in the matchup. Go Hogs. PICK: Arkansas
  • DP: Neither Sam Houston State nor Southern Utah is good enough to prepare a team for the challenges posed by KJ Jefferson. BYU is 4-10 against the spread in its last 14 games, as well. PICK: BYU 
  • ES: Arkansas is just bigger, man. Even without Rocket I don’t quite think this BYU squad has the firepower some of the other recent teams had. I’ll go with the Hogs. PICK: Arkansas

TCU (-7.5) at Houston

  • SD: I don’t think Houston is very good at all. There’s a chance Dana Holgorsen has lost the locker room, too. TCU’s defense is awful, but the Cougars aren’t equipped to take advantage of that. PICK: TCU
  • PH: I have no gauge for Houston after giving up 43 points in a loss to Rice. What I do know is TCU will hit 40 points no matter what (Provided Kirby Smart doesn’t lead the Cougars for a weekend). Can the Cougars keep up with that? Based on the numbers, I say no. PICK: TCU
  • DP: Houston scored just 17 in a three-point win to open the year, then scored 42 in a two-point loss to Rice last week. Does Dana Holgorsen know what he has in this group? This is the toughest one for me to call, as I’m pretty out on both of these teams. So I asked my dog to pick one of two toys. She picked the toy labeled TCU. Science. PICK: TCU
  • ES: I think Colorado beating TCU has wiped everyone’s minds clean of the Horned Frogs. They’re no 2022 Frogs, but they have plenty to beat the Cougars by a few touchdowns. PICK: TCU