College Football Betting Odds & Pace Report: Target FIU vs. Louisiana Tech Over/Under in Week 0

College Football Betting Odds & Pace Report: Target FIU vs. Louisiana Tech Over/Under in Week 0 article feature image

Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Smoke Harris of Louisiana Tech.

A new college football season is upon us, as Week 0 kicks off on Saturday.

There's a major rule change that's going to effect totals this season. The clock will not stop on first downs in play unless it's the final two minutes of each half. Per Collin Wilson, with the new rule change, we could see game time decrease 3.2-to-5.1 minutes, which means totals would decrease anywhere from 5-8% compared to last season.

With head coach and coordinator changes and the transfer portal and new quarterbacks in new systems, we can't really rely on each team's pace numbers from last season.

Instead, we have to take it on a case-by-case basis. So, until Week 4, plays per minute and plays per game numbers will not be provided.

If you're new to this piece, we'll take an in-depth look at the totals market using yards per play, Success Rate, Finishing Drives, plays per minute and more.

Using those metrics — along with a look at the weather and key injuries — the goal is to hopefully help bettors beat the market before Friday and Saturday morning.

Let's kick things off with an under for Week 0.

Saturday, Aug 26
9:00pm ET
CBS Sports Network
FIU Odds
-110o / -110u
LA Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The final game of Week 0 should be a doozy between two Conference USA rivals.

Last season, Louisiana Tech was the definition of a "boom-or-bust" offense. It ranked 104th in Success Rate but sixth in the entire country in explosiveness.

Things are going to change with the Bulldogs' offense, as Parker McNeil has moved on and in comes former Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier.

Bachmeier had a good three seasons with Boise State before falling off a cliff in 2022, starting just four games before offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter took over for the remainder of the season.

It'll be a new system for him in Sonny Cumbie's explosive air raid attack, but the thing is, he'll have to improve on his downfield passing. Two years ago, Bachmeier had over a 91 PFF passing grade on throws over 10+ yards, but in his four starts last season, he fell more toward the national average.

He does have a fantastic weapon, though, in Smoke Harris, who lit the Conference USA on fire last season by compiling 733 receiving yards. However, Harris is more of a catch-and-run receiver rather than a deep threat.

Harris had an average depth of target of just 5.6 yards and only 1.77 receiving yards per route run.

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Florida International wasn't a great defense last season. It finished outside the top 100 in a lot of key metrics, but it'll return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball.

In the second year of the Jovan Dewitt era as the defensive coordinator, FIU should see some improvements.

Grayson James will be back as the starting quarterback after a pretty inefficient 2022. He only averaged 5.5 yards per attempt and had a PFF passing grade of just 64.2.

Because of his inefficiency, FIU was 115th in EPA/Pass and 116th in passing explosiveness.

The offensive line isn't going to improve, as they have three starters — plus their offensive line coach — leaving. FIU only had a 38.7 PFF pass-blocking grade a season ago as well, so James will have limited time to throw this season.

With an inexperienced offensive line that finished 101st in terms of a run-blocking grade and 110th in Offensive Line Yards, it's hard to see FIU running the ball effectively this season.

These two offenses were incredibly inefficient when they got inside the opponent's 40-yard line, ranking outside the top 100 in Finishing Drives. So, even though these two offenses play at an above-average pace, the total is a tad too high.

I only have 53.2 points projected for this game, so I like the value on under 58.5.

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