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Lock$ of Saturday: Week 3

By Sam Jessee | September 16
Lock$ of Saturday: Week 3

No more double digit spreads. We got some good ones this week!

Last week was all about picking whether the heavy favorites would blow out their opponents. For Clemson and Notre Dame, the spreads were just too much to handle as both teams had to settle for only marginal blowouts. North Carolina did their thing where they suck for three quarters then decide to start trying in the fourth. I do believe one of us told you to parlay UNC -22 with the under, so whoever that was nailed it. But alas, our picks were a bit off in Week 2. But that's okay! You know how when a kid just takes a first-pitch fastball down the middle of the plate and 4 different dads yell from the stands, "That's alright now you're ready!" Most of us are down in the count, but now we're ready.


This week, the board is a whole lot more competitive and features some really intriguing matchups. In the ACC, a showdown between two dynamic QB's will headline the nightcap between Miami and Louisville. Outside the conference, a battle in Huntington, WV between App State and Marshall promises to be a well played affair.

Appalachian State -3.5 @ Marshall

Robert - Appalachian State -3.5

Minus the 2017 National Champions (UCF), these two programs have been two of the best of the Group of Five in recent years. Appalachian State in particular is coming off an amazing 13-1 season last year. Though they looked shaky at certain points last week against Charlotte, they were still able to close it out with a strong 4th Quarter. I think Marshall is no joke, and Doc Holliday is one of the best in the business. But App State is a program with legit New Year's Six aspirations, and I see them making their way through the Herd.

Sam - Appalachian State -3.5

I'm a huge fan of Marshall and what Coach Doc Holliday has done with that program. They are set up well for the future with freshman QB Grant Wells looking like Joe Burrow a couple of weeks ago. But the mountaineers are the real deal. Appalachian State QB Zac Thomas is a pure dual-threat guy, which poses a challenge for Marshall. Last season, 3 of Marshall's 5 losses came against dual-threat QB's. I think the Mountaineer defense will also be somewhat of a reality check for a freshman QB. Close game that Appalachian State wins by a touchdown. I also like the under at 59. Both teams have solid defenses that won't get thrashed no matter the opponent.

Chris - Marshall +3.5

Appalachian State is a solid program that was built into a consistent winner starting in 2015 under then-head coach Scott Satterfield (now at Louisville). However, stability has not been a commodity since they are now on their third head coach in as many years, meaning could they soon see a brain drain from constant turnover? My bet is yes.

Marshall enters this game looking excellent in a tune-up game last week (albeit against an overmatched FCS opponent) and seems primed to reprise the effort in Week 2 as a home underdog.

Brett - Marshall +3.5

App State is good don't get me wrong, but Marshall looked like a well oiled machine last weekend. App State struggled on both ends of the ball last week, but also got the win. This game is a tough one, but Marshall is at home and they will have fans. As the home dog and looking to get in the top 25, my vote is for the Herd.

Ed - Appalachian State -3.5

I love everything about App St. Between the colors, the potential upsets over P5 schools, and the fact that Luke Combs and Eric Church both went there, I am all in on the Mountaineers. Oh, and the fact that they are a very, very good football team (see 13-1 in 2019).

An active defensive front will pose a tough task for Marshall freshman QB Grant Wells

South Florida +26.0 @ Notre Dame

Robert - Notre Dame -26.0

Not sure if anyone realizes this, but Notre Dame looked pretty bad for most of the Duke game last week. However, South Florida didn't look too hot either against a much worse opponent in the Citadel. I still think Ian Book is the most overrated QB in the conference (if not the country), but Kyren Williams is legit at RB, and I expect that ND offense to put up a good many points on the mediocre-at-best Bulls.

Sam - Notre Dame -26.0

Am I obligated to pull for the Irish now that we have a sister podcast up in South Bend? Hopefully not, but I still like Notre Dame in this one. South Florida looked less than stellar against The Citadel, riding three turnovers and an absolutely horrid blocked punt for a touchdown. Notre Dame was exactly what I said they were: boring. I think they wake up this week and put 40+ on the Bulls and I don't see them letting up more than a couple touchdowns. Irish big.

Chris - South Florida +26.0

New USF head coach Jeff Scott is a former “Dabo Disciple” having just arrived in Tampa this offseason to lead a program that was only a few seasons removed from a 10-3 record in 2017 before the bottom fell out last year and Charlie Strong was fired.

That means Scott comes in not having to completely rebuild the Bulls and also has experience beating Notre Dame, with a 2-0 record as Clemson’s Co-Offensive Coordinator since 2015. As we saw last week, the Irish are good but may not be built to blow teams out, considering they rely on a run-heavy approach and clock management to wear down the opponent.

Brett - Notre Dame -26.0

Sigh....this team is good but last weekend was like slowly pulling off a band-aid against Duke. Notre Dame honestly looked in control the whole game just wearing down the Devils until they took the lead. They will do the same this week l wearing down the opponent, but USF isn't as good as Duke. I'm giving them a second chance to cover.

Ed - South Florida +26.0

While I think Notre Dame controls this game and wins easily, the Irish just aren’t built to blow teams out. After a slow start last week they came on strong and easily beat Duke, but I still don’t see them winning by that wide of a margin. Notre Dame by 21.

The Irish are all about a strong stout defense

Central Florida -7.5 @ Georgia Tech

Robert - Central Florida -7.5

Did I call it, or did I call it? Jeff Sims is legit and provided a spark the Yellow Jackets needed to get a huge win to start the 2020 season. That said, UCF is probably the second-best team in Florida (better than FSU), and their offense is going to be hard to stop with Dillon Gabriel at the helm. Gabriel is one of the most efficient passers in the country, and I don't believe GT's defense can do enough to slow him down. 2017 National Champs big here.

Sam - Central Florida -7.5

If Florida State is as much of a dumpster fire as we all think, then we need to be asking the question of how the Yellow Jackets only put up 16 points against them. I think UCF simply outscores the Yellow Jackets here, and it's a snap back to reality for Geoff Collins and his startup project.

Chris - Central Florida -7.5

Since UCF turned the corner in 2017, they are 35-4 to include a 4-2 record against Power 5 teams, with the two losses totaling 9 points combined (LSU by 8 and Pitt by 1). Point being… UCF is good at football.

Georgia Tech looked solid last week against the Seminoles which is probably influencing this line a bit too much since based on past performances, personnel, and game experience, UCF should at least be favored by double, hence the value is on the Golden Knights as the better and more established team.

Brett - Central Florida -7.5

I knew I should have picked GT last week. I was even rooting for them to win. However I think FSU is in complete shambles and UCF is in a much, much better place. Jeff Sims is LEGIT, but UCF has some great players on both sides of the ball that actually want to be there. UCF gets it done by two or more scores.

Ed - Central Florida -7.5

While Georgia Tech came out and surprised some people with their win over Florida State, the fun stops this week against a much better football team in Central Florida. UCF is very good, and will add to their list of P5 victories with ease.

The Yellow Jacket's offense can sting an over-aggressive defense

Boston College +5.5 @ Duke

Robert - Duke -5.5

Here's the deal: I still have no idea whether Duke hanging around with the Irish last week is more of a testament to how good they are or how bad ND looked, but unlike BC, at least they played a game. Chase Brice looked pretty comfortable against one of the best defenses he will face all year, and I expect that to continue this week. Blue Devils by at least a touchdown here as BC will just be trying to shake the rust off.

Sam - Duke -5.5

I looked through so many numbers, so many matchups, and I just can't get a grasp on who's going to win this game. Lucky for me my best friend was able to sniff out a win for the Blue Devils.

Chris - Duke -5.5

Existential question. If a game of football is played, and nobody is around to see it, did it happen? Though I don’t plan on tuning in to provide the answer, I will say that Duke’s new transfer QB Chase Brice looked solid and the defense has the luxury of not facing the vaunted ND rushing attack in Week 2.

Brett - Duke -5.5

Duke looked much better than I anticipated last week, as I picked ND to cover -22. They have a much easier opponent this week and Brice will really be able to open up the playbook. Their defense also was extremely tough, so I think they will get after BC all game.

Ed - Duke -5.5

Chase Brice will build on a solid week one and help the Blue Devils cover against BC, in a game that very few people will be watching.

Chris Rumph can make life for any O-line a living hell

Miami +2.5 @ Louisville

Robert - Louisville -2.5

2.5? That's all? Hey, reader, do you like free money? Good. Me too. Go bet on Louisville.

Sam - Miami +2.5

I just don't trust the Louisville defense until they show me they can compete against P5 competition. I think D'Eriq King is a dynamic football player but not a great QB. However, the one thing he does for the 'Canes is make up for that horrendous offensive line. The 'Canes put up over 500 yards of offense against a really good UAB defense last week. They'll do the same on Saturday and edge out the Cardinals in the first big time mathchup of the college football season.

Chris - Louisville -2.5

If the teams are even, the home team is afforded a 3 point favorite by default, just by playing at home. This line seems to infer that, even though Louisville is playing at home, they are actually considered an underdog by only being favored by 2.5 points. However, these teams are not even. Louisville is much better.

Brett - Louisville -2.5

After watching King last week, he is your typical "WR-at-QB-that-can-throw-only-sometimes-if-he-has-to". Cardinals defense is not great, but its good enough to contain King in order for their offense to get on the field. Cunningham looked really good last week minus a fluke interception that was off a player's back. I'm riding on the Cards all year and its not changing this week.

Ed - Louisville -2.5

Let’s make this clear, I think Louisville is the better team. Miami’s offense reminds me a lot of UVA last year, stop the QB from running all over and you win. I think Louisville will be able to contain King, and if not ill count on Miami’s lack of discipline to help Louisville cover 2.5

D'Eriq King can make up for a less than stellar Miami offensive line

Wake Forest +2.5 @ North Carolina State

Robert - Wake Forest +2.5

I don't think Wake is a good team or even an average team, but they certainly aren't worse than NC State, right? Plus, as I mentioned with the Duke-BC pick, the Deacs have the advantage of a game already under their belt while the Pack will be extremely rusty, as most ACC teams that played last week initially were. Wake Forest outright here.

Sam - Wake Forest +2.5

Google --> Images --> "Sam Hartman Wake Forest". When in doubt, bet on the handsome quarterback. The Demon Deacons and their devilishly handsome gunslinger by a field goal.

Chris - Wake Forest +2.5

Everyone saw Wake Forest get rocked by Clemson last week. It was ugly. However, because of that, it’s likely the public will see NC State as a -2.5 home favorite, and pick the Wolfpack due to the fresh stench of the Demon Deacons. But remember, before the season started, NC State was actually picked to have two fewer wins (4) than Wake Forest (6) for the season. Wake Forest may be bad (and I picked them to be bad), but NC State is slightly worse.

Brett - Wake Forest +2.5

In my preseason wins O/U I gave NC State some credit, but they still haven't played a game. Wake just played the best team in the country.....and somehow covered. I think Clawson has his team fighting and will punch the Pack in the mouth from the start.

Ed - Wake Forest +2.5

After playing Clemson in week one, Wake will be thrilled to line up against literally anyone else. NC State isn’t very good, and playing in a live game is a pretty solid advantage that Wake Forest will use to cover 2.5

Clemson vs Wake Forest Football Highlights 2020
The Demon Deacons quietly have one of the better defensive front 7s in the ACC
Sam Jessee

I'm a born and raised Hokie. My first game in Lane Stadium was in September of 1997 when Tech stomped Big East rival Syracuse 31-3. I graduated from Tech with a degree in Finance in 2019 and am currently in Blacksburg getting my MBA in data analytics and statistics. Born and raised in Richmond, VA, where I was a Deep Run Wildcat with fellow Son Grayson Wimbish, NFL Hokie Antone Exum, and Blacksburg legend Jack Click.

I'm a certified analytics nerd with a passion for data visualization and modeling. Much of my work is written with an analytical flair. I host the Lock$ of Saturday podcast where we talk all things college football betting as well work on the baseball beat.

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