College Football Betting Pace Report: Week 4 Over/Unders to Watch, Including Kansas State vs. Oklahoma & More
Brian Bahr/Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel.
Week 3 is in the books after a slate of games that didn't feature much drama — unless you're in the Sun Belt.
This week's slate is not great compared to what we have on the horizon for Weeks 5 and 6. However, there are some underrated matchups that are very intriguing from a pace perspective, giving value to the over/under.
With head coach and coordinator changes, 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, after this week games, plays per minute and plays per game numbers will be provided.
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.
Now, let's dive into Week 4.
Florida vs. Tennessee
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
If you haven't heard by now, Josh Heupel has come in and turned Tennessee into one of the fastest-paced offenses in the country. He also has one of the most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks to run it.
Hendon Hooker has started 2022 on fire, averaging 9.9 yards per attempt with an 85.3 PFF passing grade. He also has eight big-time throws compared to only one turnover-worthy play.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 18, 2022
Tennessee led college football at 3.12 plays per minute in 2021. This season, the pace slowed a bit to 2.98 plays per minute — but a lot of that has to do with the fact it wasn't playing at its normal pace in blowouts of Ball State and Akron.
Tennessee possessed an incredible rushing attack last season, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and ranking fifth in Rushing Success Rate and 22nd in EPA/Rush. This season, its numbers are a little inflated with the two games against bottom-tier MAC schools, but Florida's front seven is getting gashed for 5.2 yards per carry and ranks 104th in EPA/Rush Allowed.
Anthony Richardson has been horrid as a passer through Florida's first three games. His PFF passing grade sits at 43.9, and he's averaging just 5.5 yards per attempt. On top of that, he hasn't recorded a big-time throw and has six turnover-worthy plays.
However, he's still been very effective as a runner, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Luckily for the Gators, Billy Napier stuck with his Louisiana roots and implemented a run-heavy offense.
The Gators have two outstanding running backs in Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne, who are both averaging over 7.0 yards per carry and have a combined 16 runs over 10 yards. That has led Florida to rank first nationally in Power Success Rate and 17th in rushing explosiveness.
— Gator Guy Billy (@GatorGuyBilly) September 18, 2022
Tennessee is currently 114th in rushing explosiveness allowed and 94th in Power Success Rate Allowed, even after playing two bottom-tier MAC schools. So, Florida should be able to move the ball on the ground.
Also, if the Gators fall behind they're going to be forced to play this game at Heupel's tempo, which should turn it into a high-scoring affair.
I have 73.1 points projected for this game, so I like the value on over 62.5 points.
Pick: Over 62.5
James Madison vs. Appalachian State
|James Madison Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Appalachian State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Appalachian State continues its reign as the most exciting team in college football through three weeks.
How do you top going on the road and beating a top-10 team? How about a Hail Mary at the buzzer after notching a safety in the final minute to even have a chance?
— App State Football (@AppState_FB) September 17, 2022
Clemson transfer Chase Brice is having another really good season after transferring to Appalachian State. His PFF passing grade through three games (two were against North Carolina & Texas A&M) is 80.6. He's averaging 7.8 yards per attempt and has nine touchdowns to only one interception.
However, Appalachian State is a more rush-dominant offense because the Mountaineers have a dynamic pair of running backs in Camerun Peoples and Nate Noel.
Noel has been out the last two games, so Peoples has handled the bulk of carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and a whopping 4.0 yards after contact.
Peoples had 102 yards after contact against Texas A&M, so James Madison's front seven could struggle to bring him down in this matchup.
CAMERUN PEOPLES PUTS APP STATE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/3YJMCUTqbH
— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 10, 2022
The Mountaineers also have four starters back on an offensive line that ranked 39th in Offensive Line Yards in 2021. The unit is already 54th in that same category, and Appalachian State is 26th in EPA/Rush.
James Madison has made the move to FBS after dominating the FCS for years.
Through two games, the Dukes pace college football in yards per play allowed and Success Rate Allowed. However, they've played Middle Tennessee and Norfolk State, so Appalachian State on the road is going to be a massive step up in competition.
They return just four starters from a defense that was one of the best on the FCS level a year ago and didn't really add many impact transfers. So, I expect Appalachian State to move the ball with ease on Saturday.
James Madison has just five starters returning on offense, but it did bring in some impact transfers — most notably former Colorado State quarterback Todd Centeio.
Centeio is a dual-threat quarterback who was mainly used as a runner in Colorado State's rush-heavy offense. But he's shown through two games that he can throw the ball as well.
Highest-graded QB in the country:
🟣 Todd Centeio, James Madison – 94.9
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 15, 2022
Centeio has a lot of weapons at his disposal like Kris Thornton, who had over 1,000 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns in 2021.
The Appalachian State secondary ranks 115th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 88th in EPA/Pass Allowed. The Mountaineers' front seven has been gashed as well, ranking 117th in EPA/Rush and allowing 4.5 yards per carry.
I have 65.8 points projected for this game between two high-powered offenses, so I think there's a ton of value on over 57.5.
Pick: Over 57.5
Kansas State vs. Oklahoma
|Kansas State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Brent Venables seems to have completely turned around the Oklahoma defense in record time. Through three games, the Sooners have allowed 22 total points, 3.8 yards per play (11th in FBS) and rank 18th in Defensive Finishing Drives.
Now, the argument is that Oklahoma hasn't played a difficult schedule, going up against UTEP, Kent State and Nebraska. However, I'm not so sure Kansas State is a massive step up offensively.
The Wildcats were awful last Saturday at home against Tulane, averaging only 4.6 yards per play with a 39% Success Rate. They passed Tulane's 40-yard line just three times and came with only 10 measly points.
Image via collegefootballdata.com
You'd think an offense with Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn would be putting up bigger numbers than what Kansas State's doing right now.
The Wildcats have been extremely rush-heavy, running the ball on 62.50% of their offensive plays. It hasn't been that effective because they're averaging 4.9 yards per play. The Cats rank 89th in EPA/Rush and sitting 53rd in Rushing Success Rate.
Martinez has also been really bad as a passer. Through three games, Martinez has averaged 4.9 yards per attempt while his team ranks 116th in Passing Success Rate and 130th in passing explosiveness
Dillon Gabriel and the Oklahoma passing attack has been an absolute wagon through the first three games. Gabriel is already averaging 9.6 yards per attempt and has seven touchdowns and no turnover-worthy plays.
However, this will by far be the best secondary he's seen this season, as Kansas State ranks sixth in the country in EPA/Pass Allowed and 15th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
Running back Eric Gray has also been on fire for Oklahoma, posting the best PFF rushing grade of anyone in the country in Week 3.
Gray runs behind a very experienced offensive line with 125 starts combined coming into the season. Oklahoma may favor the run game in this one, ask Kansas State ranks 68th in EPA/Rush allowed.
The Wildcats play at a really slow pace of 2.14 plays per minute, which is 105th in the country. I expect them to try and slow things down because the worst thing they could do is get into an offensive matchup with the Sooners.
I only have 46.6 points projected for this game, so I like the value on under 52 points.
Pick: Under 52