College Football Betting Pace Report: Week 8 Totals to Watch, Including Florida State vs. UMass & Georgia Tech vs. Virginia
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Brennan Armstrong.
We’re back for another week of a deep dive into the college football totals market, and there’s plenty to keep an eye on heading into Week 8, including UMass vs. Florida State, the MAC showdown between Miami (OH) and Ball State, and a high-scoring affair in Virginia vs. Georgia Tech.
If you’re new to this, we take 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.
First, before we dive in, let’s take a look at where each team is at after Week 7 in terms of plays per minute and plays per game.
Now, let’s dive into this week’s totals.
UMass vs. Florida State
|Florida State Odds||-35.5|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Florida State is one of the biggest favorites on the board on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean UMass won’t be able to do anything offensively.
UMass has been much improved this season, which I know isn’t saying much. Byt it’s gaining 4.6 yards per play and ranks 95th in Success Rate, which is much better than being near the basement of college football the previous two seasons.
Florida State’s defense has been far from elite and is giving up big plays left and right. The Seminoles are 106th in explosive plays allowed and are really struggling in their secondary.
This defense is giving up 7.7 yards per attempt, ranks 92nd in EPA/Pass Allowed, and sits ranked 88th in terms of a coverage grade, per PFF. So, even UMass may be able to throw the ball on the Seminoles’ secondary.
Florida State’s offense with Jordan Travis under center came alive in its last game against North Carolina, gaining 7.1 yards per play on the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
However, the Florida State offense is built around its rushing attack, which has been very potent, gaining 5.5 yards per carry and ranking 15th in rushing explosiveness.
The Noles should be able to run all over a UMass defense that is outside the top 100 in both Rushing Success Rate and rushing explosiveness.
JASHAUN CORBIN 89-YARD HOUSE CALL
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 6, 2021
Florida State loves to play tempo under Mike Norvell, ranking 44th in plays per minute, and if it goes ahead early, UMass is going to be forced to pick up the tempo to try and at least keep this game from becoming a massive blowout.
I have 68.33 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on over 59.5 points and would play it up to 62.5 points.
Pick: Over 59.5
Miami (OH) vs. Ball State
|Miami (OH) Odds||+6 (-115)|
|Ball State Odds||-6 (-105)|
|Moneyline||+185 / -225|
|Over/Under||52 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Boy, we have two really bad offenses in this game.
Sure, Ball State put up over 35 points the last two weeks against Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan, but the Cardinals rank 94th in Success Rate, 108th in explosive plays, and 103rd in EPA/Play, so they are due for some major regression.
They haven’t had success running or throwing the ball, as they’re gaining only 3.1 yards per carry on the ground and 6.5 yards per pass attempt, both of which rank outside the top 100 in college football.
While Miami’s defense hasn’t been that great from a Success Rate standpoint, it’s the No. 1 team in college football in Havoc, while Ball State is 93rd in Havoc Allowed this season. So, the RedHawks should be able to put a lot of pressure on Drew Plitt, who has a 59.9 passing grade with nine turnover-worthy plays and four fumbles on the season, per PFF.
He also had one of the more perplexing plays last season when he faced Miami.
Ball State (-1) QB Drew Plitt does literally the only thing he couldn't do in this situation 🥴pic.twitter.com/Ukgn0MNAq4
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 5, 2020
Miami’s offense has been below average this season, gaining 5.6 yards a play and ranking 117th in Success Rate. The RedHawks are, however, very explosive, as they’re in the top 35 in both passing and rushing big plays.
However, Ball State’s defense is fantastic at not allowing explosive plays, as it’s 17th overall in big plays allowed. So, for an offense that struggles to consistently move the ball, it’s going to be difficult for Miami to light up the scoreboard on Saturday.
I only have 44.66 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on under 52 points and would play it down to 50.5.
Pick: Under 52
Georgia Tech vs. Virginia
|Georgia Tech Odds||+7 (-115)|
|Virginia Odds||-7 (-105)|
|Moneyline||+215 / -265|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
In case you haven’t been paying attention, Brennan Armstrong is one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the country right now.
The Cavalier offense has torched opposing defenses, gaining 6.2 yards a play with most of that success coming through the air. Armstrong is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt and has the Virginia offense ranked 11th in EPA/Play and 22nd in EPA/Pass.
Armstrong owns a passing grade of 90.0 on the season with 22 big-time throws in only seven games, per PFF. He is also one of the best deep-ball passers in college football, as he already has 812 yards passing on throws over 20+ yards.
UVA QB Brennan Armstrong has been TEARING through College Football
💥 93.9 overall grade (1st)
💥 13 big-time throws (1st)
💥 473 deep passing yards (1st) pic.twitter.com/0vBoyBvxH6
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 23, 2021
He should be able to throw all over a Georgia Tech secondary that is really struggling, allowing 8.6 yards per attempt and ranking 92nd in Passing Success Rate allowed and 110th in explosive passing plays allowed.
This is now the third season since Georgia Tech moved away from the triple option, and the results from a Success Rate standpoint have not been great, as it ranks 101st in college football.
However, the Yellow Jackets have been producing a lot of big plays, ranking 24th in the nation in explosiveness.
Jeff Sims has fantastic dual-threat ability at the quarterback position, but he’s made great strides as a passer this season. In 2020, he had a passing grade of 48.3, per PFF, but this season he’s improved to 63.7 and averages 10.0 yards per attempt.
Now, he’s going up against a Virginia Tech secondary that ranks outside the top 90 in Passing Success Rate Allowed, explosive passing allowed, and EPA/Pass allowed.
Sims is even gaining 6.7 yards per attempt on the ground with four rushing touchdowns, so he will be a big problem for a Cavaliers defense that also hasn’t been able to get any pressure on the quarterback, ranking 101st in Havoc.
These two offenses also rank inside the top 50 in plays per minute, so the pace of this game will be fast with a ton of explosive plays by both offenses.
I have 70.50 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on over 62 and would play it up to 63.5 points.
Pick: Over 62