College Football Betting Pace Report: The Week 5 Over/Unders to Watch

College Football Betting Pace Report: The Week 5 Over/Unders to Watch article feature image
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Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Bailey Zappe.

It’s time to take a look at Week 5 totals.

It will be an in-depth look at the totals market using yards per play, Success Rate, plays per minute and more. Using those metrics along with a look at the weather and key injuries, the goal of this piece is to hopefully help bettors beat the market before Saturday morning.

Let’s dive into this week’s totals.

Duke vs. North Carolina

Duke Odds +20
North Carolina Odds -20
Moneyline +700 / -1125
Over/Under 71.5 (-110/-110)
Time 12 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Duke offense is nothing like its teams of the past. The Blue Devils are playing a fast, up-tempo offense that ranks fifth in plays per minute through the first four weeks. The change has helped their offense too because the Blue Devils are rank in the top 25 in both Passing and Rushing Success Rate.

The Blue Devils are running the ball 57.71% of the time, and they are doing it really effectively behind Mataeo Durant, who is gaining 5.8 yards per carry. Durant and the Duke offensive line rank 25th in Rushing Success Rate, 17th in rushing explosiveness and 22nd in Offensive Line Yards.

Duke should be able to establish the rushing attack against a North Carolina front seven that ranks 72nd in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

MATAEO DURANT GOES FLYING. OH MY ✈️✈️

(🎥 @CBSSportsNet)

pic.twitter.com/lbIsUyBpmO

— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 4, 2021

The Duke passing offense under Gunnar Holmberg has also been really effective. Holmberg is averaging 8.8 yards per attempt and ranks 18th in Passing Success Rate.

He’s likely going to have success against a North Carolina secondary has been terrible up until this point, ranking 92nd in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 110th in coverage, per Pro Football Focus.

Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell has rebounded from a bad start on opening weekend against Virginia Tech by throwing for 10.84 yards per attempt and rushing for 7.71 yards per attempt since. That has led the North Carolina offense to ranking inside the top 20 in passing explosiveness, which will be a big advantage against a Duke secondary that ranks 116th in explosive passing allowed and 81st in coverage, per PFF.

ARE YOU KIDDING, SAM HOWELL #CFB

pic.twitter.com/YFpJWSXOma

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 26, 2021

North Carolina also plays a fast tempo, ranking 33rd in plays per minute. This is going to be a high-tempo game with two offenses that have very distinctive advantages over the opposing defenses.

I have 81.34 points projected for this game, so I think there is some value on over 71.5 points at -110 on PointsBet and would play it up to 73.

Pick: Over 71.5 (Play to 73)

Bowling Green vs. Kent State

Bowling Green Odds +17
Kent State Odds -17
Moneyline +575 / -850
Over/Under 56 (-110/-110)
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Bowling Green is fresh off one of the biggest point spread upsets beating Minnesota last weekend in Minneapolis 14-10 at 30.5-point underdogs.

While the upset was historic, the Bowling Green offense has been pitiful this season. The Falcons are averaging only 4.0 yards per play and can’t run the ball to save their life.

If you throw out their game against FCS opponent Murray State, Bowling Green is averaging only 0.9 yards per attempt, which is dead last in FBS. They also rank 128th in Offensive Line Yards, 119th in Rushing Success Rate and 121st in rushing explosiveness.

Bowling Green’s passing offense with Matt McDonald under center hasn’t been able to get anything going either, as the senior is averaging just 6.7 yards per attempt. The Falcons rank outside the top 100 in Passing Success Rate and passing explosiveness.

The offensive line hasn’t done McDonald many favors, ranking as the third-worst pass-blocking unit in college football, per PFF.

Kent State, meanwhile, has played a very difficult FBS schedule to this point, having already taken on Texas A&M, Iowa and Maryland on the road. The Golden Flashes defense hasn’t been able to stop much, allowing 6.9 yards per play, but they have been able to cut down on the number of explosive plays, ranking 47th in explosive plays allowed.

Facing a very poor offense like Bowling Green’s will be a breath of fresh air for Kent State.

The Flashes have played a very tough schedule to this point, so it makes sense that their offense has done nothing. Kent State is averaging only 4.5 yards per play, and the main problem is its passing attack hasn’t been able to get going. It ranks outside the top 100 in Passing Success Rate and explosiveness.

The Bowling Green secondary has been amazing so far in 2021, allowing only 5.6 yards per attempt, ranking seventh in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 23rd in coverage, per PFF.

The Falcons have also been incredibly fundamentally sound, ranking 11th in tackling. Also when you put the box score of Minnesota/Bowling Green besides Minnesota/Ohio State it’s quite astonishing.

As an Ohio State alum/fan, not great that your defense gave up 3x as many points and ~70% more yardage to Minnesota as Bowling Green pic.twitter.com/WMTrNPnWaY

— Andrew Moore (@OSUWXGUY) September 25, 2021

This game is also a clash of two different paces on offense. Kent State wants to play fast, ranking 11th in plays per minute, while Bowling Green is 118th in plays per minute.

I only have 47.65 points projected for this game, so I think there is some value on the under. Currently, the best odds are available at BetRivers with the total set at 56.5 and the odds on the under at -107.

I also would play the total down to 54.

Pick: Under 56.5

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Ohio vs. Akron

Ohio Odds -9.5
Akron Odds +9.5
Moneyline -350 / +270
Over/Under 55 (-110/-110)
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

This is going to be an ugly game between two offenses that have done nothing up until this point in the season.

The Ohio Bobcats are gaining a measly 5.1 yards per play and rank 83rd in Offensive Success Rate. They haven’t had any explosive plays either as they rank 119th in offensive explosiveness.

The main problem for Ohio has been its passing attack with has been atrocious with Kurtis Rourke under center, as he’s averaging only 5.9 yards per attempt and has Ohio ranking outside the top 100 in Passing Success Rate. If there is any good news for him, Akron might have the worst defense in college football this season and ranks second-last in coverage, per PFF.

Akron’s offense has been horrible through their first four games, gaining an abysmal 3.5 yards per play, which ranks 126th in college football.

The only bright spot coming into the season for the Zips offense was Teon Dollard, but he has been suspended indefinitely, leaving them next to nothing in terms of impact players at skill positions.

Oh, and Akron starting quarterback Kato Nelson is questionable for this game.

Also even with how bad these two offenses have and especially given the fact they’ve been behind in so many games, Ohio is 97th in plays per minute, while Akron is 118th.

I only have 48.81 points projected for this game, so I love under 55.5 points at BetMGM. I also would grab that line now with the rest of the market at 55 or lower.

Pick: Under 55.5

Western Kentucky vs. Michigan State

Western Kentucky Odds +10.5
Michigan State Odds -10.5
Moneyline +320 / -425
Over/Under 64 (-110/-110)
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV FS1
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

In case you haven’t heard the Bailey Zappe revolution has taken over Western Kentucky. The Houston Baptist transfer has completely changed the Hilltoppers offense, considering he brought offensive coordinator Zach Kittley with him.

Western Kentucky plays fast and throws the ball all over the field. So far this season, the Hilltoppers are 10th in the country in seconds per play and throwing the ball on 69.29% of plays, which is the second-highest rate in the country.

Zappe himself has been outstanding, averaging 10.3 yards per attempt and has thrown for 1,224 in just three games.

Bailey Zappe hits Daewood Davis in stride for 25 yards and the score.@WKUFootball within a score with the half winding down. pic.twitter.com/K9U5Be9ixX

— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 26, 2021

Despite losing to Army and Indiana, Western Kentucky’s offense is fifth in the nation in Success Rate, 13th in Rushing Success Rate and fourth in Passing Success Rate. The Hilltoppers should be able to throw the ball all over a Michigan State secondary that hasn’t seen a quarterback like Zappe yet this season.

That Spartans secondary currently ranks 26th in coverage, per PFF, but is allowing 6.6 yards per attempt and ranks 69th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.

Coming into the season, Michigan State did lose their starting corner, Shakur Brown, who had all five of the team’s interceptions a year ago, and starting safety Tre Person.

This is not the ground-and-pound, eat-the-clock Spartans offense that we are used to seeing. Michigan State is currently 29th in the country in plays per minute, and the offense has been very effective through their first four games, ranking 16th in Offensive Success Rate and gaining 6.2 yards per play.

The Spartans are still running 55.10% of the time, but they are dominating the line of scrimmage. Michigan State ranks 13th in Offensive Line Yards, 10th in Rushing Success Rate and 22nd in run blocking, per PFF.

The Spartans also have some explosiveness this season ranking inside the top 40 in both rushing and passing explosiveness.

They should be able to run all over Western Kentucky’s front seven, which was gashed by Army and Indiana for 4.5 yards per carry and rank outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and Defensive Line Yards.

I have 69.68 points projected for this game, so I think there is some value on the over, which currently has the best odds of 63.5 at FOX Bet.

Pick: Over 63.5

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