Following the chaos last week that effectively turned the 2022 college football season on its head, top-25 teams who are big favorites in Week 3 will perhaps be a little more cautious Saturday. With two games between ranked opponents on the schedule and a number of top-tier nonconference games to be played, plenty can still shake out before league play begins in earnest to close the month of September.
Most notable Saturday is the nightcap as No. 13 Miami visits No. 24 Texas A&M with the Aggies fresh off one of those aforementioned upset losses to Appalachian State. The Hurricanes are looking to flex under first-year coach Mario Cristobal, while Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher is aiming to keep his seat from becoming too hot. Speaking of Cristobal, his former team is featured in that other top 25 showdown as No. 25 Oregon hosts No. 12 BYU. The Cougars are feeling themselves after a huge home win over Baylor, while the Ducks are still aiming to bounce back from a rough showing against Georgia in Week 1.
Also on the slate are No. 6 Oklahoma welcoming rival Nebraska fresh off the Cornhuskers’ firing of coach Scott Frost, newly minted No. 1 Georgia visiting SEC East rival South Carolina and Auburn welcoming a tough nonconference test from No. 22 Penn State in the featured game on CBS. In other words, there will be no shortage of storylines to chew on before Saturday is out.
Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff onward. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games in Week 3.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
No. 6 Oklahoma at Nebraska
Noon | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — Oklahoma has not faced a Power Five foe under new coach Brent Venables. In fact, its two wins were against teams ranked No. 95 and No. 108 in the CBS Sports 131 Rankings. While Nebraska is struggling, the talent jump — along with a new coaching direction — makes this game slightly trickier than early results would assume. A worse Nebraska team played a better Oklahoma team within seven points last season. With the game being held in Lincoln, Nebraska, don’t expect things to get out of hand. Pick: Nebraska (+11.5) — Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 1 Georgia at South Carolina
Featured Game | South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Noon | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — South Carolina’s woes on the offensive line spell disaster in this matchup. The Gamecocks are struggling to protect quarterback Spencer Rattler and haven’t shown much of a rushing attack through two games. Georgia’s defense looks like it has hardly dropped off at all after having five players taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Bulldogs may be able to keep South Carolina from reaching double-digits. While coach Kirby Smart is unlikely to run up the score on a respected former assistant, Georgia should cover even if its offense keeps things tame. Prediction: Georgia (-24.5) — David Cobb
No. 22 Penn State at Auburn
Featured Game | Auburn Tigers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
3:30 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App — While Penn State has the bigger win of the two teams, the Nittany Lions didn’t look great on the road against Purdue. As a result, I’m not ready to trust the Nittany Lions as road favorites against Auburn, even if Auburn hasn’t inspired much confidence. The best units on the field in this matchup will be the defenses, so it’s hard to imagine either team ever manages to pull too far away from the other. That makes Auburn and the points an attractive option. Prediction: Auburn (+3) — Tom Fornelli
No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon
Featured Game | Oregon Ducks vs. BYU Cougars
3:30 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — Simply put: BYU is better than Oregon at the vast majority of position groups. Quarterback Jaren Hall flashed his NFL arm in an upset over Baylor last weekend despite missing his top two receiving targets. The offensive and defensive lines have excelled for most of the past three seasons. The secondary played at a high level, while running back Christopher Brooks has slotted in nicely. Conversely, Oregon has gone 1-4 in its last five FBS matchups and been outscored 201-90. With wins over Baylor, USC, Utah and four other Power Five foes in the past year, don’t expect the Cougars to be intimidated by Oregon’s recruiting stars. Prediction: BYU (+3.5) — Jeyarajah
UTSA at No. 21 Texas
Featured Game | Texas Longhorns vs. UTSA Roadrunners
8 p.m. | Longhorn Network — This is a potential trap game for the Longhorns, but I do think they pull out the win. However, the status of Hudson Card makes me hesitant to take Texas as a 12.5-point favorite. Card is at his best when he is making plays with his legs, and his ankle injury could limit that part of his game. On top of that, Jeff Traylor’s squad has plenty of motivation against one of the Big 12’s flagship institutions. Texas gets the victory, but the Roadrunners cover. Prediction: UTSA (+12.5) — Austin Nivison
No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M
Featured Game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. Miami (FL) Hurricanes
9 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — This is going to come down to a battle of quarterbacks, and the winner of that battle is clear. Tyler Van Dyke is more talented, has better protection and more weapons outside than Haynes King. Van Dyke and the Hurricanes offense will set the tempo, which will result in this game being played in the 30s. Texas A&M won’t be able to hang. Multiple mistakes by Texas A&M in the second half will not only give Miami the cover, but a straight up win. Prediction: Miami (+5.5) — Barrett Sallee
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 3, and which favorites will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,400 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.