NCAA Football Weekend Preview: The Big Three

Charlie Boccanegra | Updated Oct 04, 2017

A look, now, at the three big NCAA college football games for this weekend, with all relevant sports betting information. All college football lines are courtesy Sports Interaction.

No. 20 Oklahoma at No. 3 Texas Longhorns -3.5, 1.59 (moneyline)

College football fans might not have the national title implications they originally pegged for this matchup (Oklahoma has two losses on the docket), but the Sooners and Longhorns game does offer one mouth-watering tet-a-tet – a battle of star QBs in Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy. Bradford is now healthy after missing most of the regular season with a shoulder injury; he’s now in a position to battle McCoy for the possible No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. This game isn’t just about who’s under center, however. Texas won last year’s battle 45-35, but it was Oklahoma that went to the national title game and Bradford who captured the Heisman. So there’s a revenge factor at play. Also, keep an eye on WR/KR Jordan Shipley, the wildcard of the Texas offense. Last year he returned a kickoff for a TD that shifted the game in Texas’ favour; over his last three games he has caught 11 passes (Texas Tech), 10 (UTEP), and 11 (Colorado) and returned punts for scores against Texas Tech and Colorado.

No. 6 USC at No. 25 Notre Dame Trojans -10.0, 1.25 (moneyline)

One of the most storied rivalries in all of college sports goes in South Bend this Saturday as the Fighting Irish host the Trojans. It’s a star-studded affair to be sure. On the heels of the most productive season of his college career, ND quarterback Jimmy Clausen has played his way into Heisman candidate talks and could solidify that position with a strong performance against USC. Of course, he’ll have a tough go of it on Saturday when he lines up against Trojans safety Taylor Mays, arguably the finest defensive prospect in America. At 6-3, 225lbs, Mays is a physical presence who can change games with big hits and/or blazing speed – in a game full of gifted players, he’ll easily be the best athlete on the field this weekend. Clausen will need to find his two favourite receivers – TE Kyle Rudolph and highlight-reel WR Golden Tate – early and often while trying to avoid the roaming Mays in the secondary. If he can do that, Notre Dame could be in line for the upset.

No. 4 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Georgia Tech Hokies -3.0, 1.63 (moneyline)

Who’s the class of the Atlantic Coast Conference? That’s what we’ll find out this weekend as the Yellow Jackets host the Hokies. We’ll also likely find out which dual-threat QB – Georgia Tech’s Josh Nesbitt or Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor – is the more dynamic threat with his arm and feet. Give Taylor the edge this year as the more accurate passer for sure; he’s thrown eight TDs in 104 attempts and ranks 10th in the nation in passing efficiency. Nesbitt has shown flashes at times in leading the Jackets to their 5-1 mark – he had a career high 32 rushes for 97 yards and two touchdowns against North Carolina, and is averaging more than 27 carries over the last three games, all victories. With a boisterous home crowd behind him, Nesbitt could turn those runs into a key victory for Georgia Tech’s ACC title hopes.