Posted 09/23/2013 at 04:10 PM
In a weekend with few compelling top 25 matchups, favorites racked up a big week in college football, going 35-21-1 last week. Big favorites mostly got the job done with double-digit favorites going 23-13 and favorites of 30 or more going 11-2 ATS. That includes many wins over FCS competition and while in the first few weeks of the season there are usually some upset losses against the lower level, a few weeks in that risk is generally much less with teams on the same page after what can often be big transitions in personnel on the field and on the sidelines. With conference play mostly taking over this week a move back towards a slight edge to underdogs is very likely.
Fresno State has not won with style points but with two one-point wins the Bulldogs are through the biggest hurdles on the schedule. The Bulldogs won’t get championship consideration but they will likely be in position to take a BCS bowl game spot if they keep winning. They will be heavy favorites in the next five games before a couple of challenging but winnable road games late in the year.
Should Central Florida win this week against South Carolina they could get thrown into the discussion with a little more credibility. Most assume Louisville will win the AAC but if the Knights sweep the conference games and have wins over Penn State and the Gamecocks as well as a one-loss Louisville team, it becomes a more compelling case if there are no other undefeated teams. That is assuming a lot and Louisville is still likely the best bet to be undefeated. Northern Illinois, Navy, and Houston are the only other teams still without a loss outside of the top five conferences at this point in the season but BCS busting seems pretty unlikely for those squads.
The AFC continues to dominate the NFC, scoring big wins last week led by Cincinnati, Miami, and Indianapolis all taking out top NFC contenders. While the Steelers and Jaguars spoiled the 5-0 start for the AFC last week vs. the NFC, the AFC is now 11-3 S/U vs. the NFC through three weeks. The only remaining undefeated NFC teams will all be facing stiff tests this week including two of those teams facing tough AFC competition as Seattle is at Houston and New Orleans hosts Miami.
One thing that certainly no one predicted is that the AFC East would have the best record in the NFL with no losses outside of the division through three weeks, going 6-0 in those games with Miami doing most of the heavy lifting. It has been less surprising that the NFC East has been the worst division and the home to some truly awful defense with the exception of a solid start for Dallas.
It is no surprise that Seattle has allowed the fewest points in the NFL through three weeks but the next teams on the list are a bit shocking. New England, Kansas City, and New Orleans would be the next three teams in scoring defense through three weeks assuming Oakland allows at least eight points against Denver Monday night. All three of those teams allowed at least 20 points per game last season with truly awful numbers from the Chiefs and Saints.
On offense there is no big surprise as Denver will likely be the top scoring team by a significant margin through three weeks, followed by Green Bay, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas. Jacksonville has allowed the most points in the AFC but the second worst scoring defense belongs to Houston, a team most assume has one of the better defenses in the league. In the NFC it is now panic time for three teams that had winning records last season with the Giants, Redskins, and Vikings a combined 0-9 with a ton of points allowed. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…