It's already Week 3 of the college football season and there are some huge matchups on the board. So we're looking ahead to the weekend delivering need-to-know notes for cracking the NCAAF odds, including Hurricane Florence moving more kickoffs, Iowa State avoiding a huge scare with their starting quarterback and much more in today's college football odds and analysis.
MOVIN' ON UP
While a handful of games have been cancelled due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence, at least one game set for the Carolinas is still on. The game between host Charlotte and Old Dominion originally scheduled for Saturday has been moved up to late Thursday afternoon so the teams can get it in before the powerful storm invades the area. Mike Hill, the 49ers' athletic director, said in a statement that the rescheduling made sense given that Old Dominion was already in Charlotte, and that the earlier game time will allow the visitors to head home before the storm arrives.
The line hasn't moved much – Charlotte is a two-point underdog after opening at +3 – but the total has dropped significantly, from an opening of 45 down as low as 40 in some spots. Bettors should expect a low-scoring affair, with both teams having two fewer days to prepare.
EARLIER START IN WINSTON-SALEM
Old Dominion-Charlotte isn't the only game being moved because of Florence – though Thursday's encounter between Boston College and host Wake Forest has only been adjusted by two hours, to a start time of 5:30 p.m. ET. The move was made to avoid the bulk of the inclement weather, and to allow the Eagles to return to Boston before things get nasty. Both teams are off to 2-0 starts and have done the majority of their damage on defense, combining for 15 sacks, five interceptions and a pair of defensive fumble recoveries through two games.
That said, bettors aren't buying either team's early-season defensive prowess – they've bet this total up from a low of 50 to a high of 56.5 before settling in at 55.5 as of Thursday morning. Wake Forest was as high as +7 earlier in the week, but is now +4.5.
DEFENSE = OFFENSE AT UTAH STATE
The Utah State Aggies aren't one to limit themselves to offensive touchdowns as they prepare to host FCS Tennessee Tech on Thursday night. Utah State has put up a whopping 91 points through its first two games, highlighted by a 60-13 drubbing of New Mexico State last week; the Aggies had a kickoff-return touchdown and an interception return for a score in the victory, giving them three non-offensive TDs through the first two games of the season. That's nothing new for Utah State, which scored seven non-offensive TDs in 2017 (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, one kickoff, one blocked punt return.)
There is no line or total for the Aggies' Thursday encounter with Tennessee Tech, but bettors should strongly consider a wager on the home side to score a special teams or defensive touchdown; the Golden Eagles allowed an interception return TD in their season-opening loss to Chattanooga.
KEMPT TO RETURN SATURDAY
The Iowa State Cyclones appear to have dodged a major injury to their starting quarterback. Kyle Kempt suffered a knee injury late in last week's loss to Iowa, but wide receivers coach Bryan Gasser says the redshirt freshman is "moving and trending in the right direction." It isn't yet clear if Kempt will be healthy enough to hit the field for this weekend's daunting tilt with the visiting Oklahoma Sooners; if he sits out, Zeb Noland would likely take over the starting role. Kempt was efficient last week, going 15-for-21 for 126 yards in the 13-3 defeat.
The Cyclones' chances of going over their team total of 17.5 (-110) take a major hit if Kempt is ruled out; Noland has completed just 40 of his 76 collegiate pass attempts, while the Sooners – who enter Thursday favored by 17.5 points – have held opposing QBs to a 58.6-percent success rate through their first two games this season.