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Against the spread: Week Three CFB predictions

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This season, Rivals.com's weekly college football predictions involve anyone on the national staff brave – or foolish – enough to risk embarrassment by making their picks against the spread. So far, the Rivals.com crew is sporting a 45-35 record.

Here are the Week Three picks versus Wednesday's Vegas line, according to MGM Mirage.

MORE: Farrell's Three-Point Stance | Trocchi's Betting Man

PREVIOUS PICKS: Week 1 | Week 2

LOCKS OF THE WEEK

ROB CASSIDY: Oklahoma State (-13) over Pittsburgh. "Five-star raking or not, Pitt quarterback Max Browne looked erratic at best against Penn State. The Panthers’ running game carried the offense and that simply won’t be enough to stand toe-to-toe with a nuclear-powered Oklahoma State offense that can throw points on the scoreboard in bunches. This game will turn into a track meet and Pitt wants absolutely no part of that."

MIKE FARRELL: Notre Dame (-13.5) over Boston College. "The BC offense is anemic and the defense is a far cry from a few years ago. It's tough to lay almost two touchdowns in what is considered a rivalry game by BC, but I think Notre Dame cruises on the road."

ADAM FRIEDMAN: South Carolina (-6.5) over Kentucky. "The Gamecocks have shown a lot of progress on offense and have turned me into a Jale Bentley believer. Even though South Carolina lacks big-time talent on defense, I'm siding with Will Muschamp and his scheming to cover the spread here."

ADAM GORNEY: Ohio State (-30.5) over Army. "You know what happens the week after the Buckeyes lose at home to Oklahoma, recruits are calling out coach Urban Meyer's choice of quarterback and seemingly everybody wants J.T. Barrett benched? Destruction. Army has 17 passing yards in two wins. Seventeen! The Golden Knights run the ball on nearly every play and Ohio State's front seven is outstanding - and mad. Army won't be able to move the ball at all and even though Ohio State's offense has been bad, the Buckeyes will have enough opportunities to cover here."

JOSH HELMHOLDT: Illinois (-18) over USF. "This Illinois offense is not very awe-inspiring, but 18 points feels like an awfully lot for USF to overcome against a Power Five program. I mean, the Bulls couldn't manage an 18-point spread against an FCS team in their last game and in the interim their campus has been dealing with a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, which forced a cancellation of last weekend's contest with UConn. I'll take the Fighting Lovie Smiths and 18 points here."

DEREK SAMSON: Minnesota (-10) over Middle Tennessee. "Middle Tennessee is facing a third straight Power Five team – although not sure Syracuse should count – and it seems as if this might be the week it wears down."

BILL TROCCHI: Purdue (+7) against Missouri. "The Boilers took Louisville deep into the fourth quarter in Week 1 and crushed MAC favorite Ohio in Week 2. Missouri had its defensive issues with Southeast Missouri State and was handled by South Carolina at home. This spread should be flipped."

WOODY WOMMACK: Oklahoma State (-13) over Pittsburgh. "The Cowboys are doing quite a bit of traveling this month but I don't think that will slow them down against the Panthers. I expect Mason Rudolph to have a huge game and for the Pokes to win easily on the road."


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FIVE SPOTLIGHT GAMES

Midweek lines according to MGM Mirage (all games Saturday & Eastern time):

- Tennessee at Florida (-5), 3:30 p.m.

- Wisconsin (-17.5) at BYU, 3:30 p.m.

- Clemson (-3) at Louisville, 8 p.m.

- Texas at USC (-16.5), 8:30 p.m.

- Ole Miss (-3.5) at Cal, 10 p.m.

Staff Picks vs. The Spread
Name Tennessee-Florida Wisconsin-BYU Clemson-Louisville Texas-USC Ole Miss-Cal

Rob Cassidy

Florida

BYU

Clemson

Texas

Ole Miss

Mike Farrell

Tennessee

BYU

Louisville

Texas

Ole Miss

Adam Friedman

Florida

BYU

Clemson

USC

Ole Miss

Adam Gorney

Tennessee

Wisconsin

Clemson

USC

Ole Miss

Josh Helmholdt

Tennessee

Wisconsin

Louisville

Texas

Cal

Derek Samson

Florida

BYU

Louisville

USC

Ole Miss

Bill Trocchi

Tennessee

Wisconsin

Clemson

USC

Cal

Woody Wommack

Tennessee

BYU

Louisville

USC

Ole Miss

SEASON STANDINGS
Name Overall record Last Week "Lock" Picks

Rob Cassidy

8-2

4-1

1-1

Josh Helmholdt

7-3

4-1

1-1

Derek Samson

7-3

3-2

1-1

Adam Friedman

6-4

2-3

2-0

Mike Farrell

5-5

3-2

1-1

Woody Wommack

5-5

2-3

1-1

Bill Trocchi

4-6

2-3

0-2

Adam Gorney

3-7

1-4

1-1

Overall

45-35

21-19

8-8

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