College Football Betting Pace Report: Week 9 Totals to Watch, Including Florida vs. Georgia & Duke vs. Wake Forest
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaquarii Roberson.
We’re now officially deep into the college football season when sample sizes of data for each team keep getting bigger and bigger.
That will help us a ton with diving into the college football totals market. And there’s plenty to keep an eye on heading into Week 9, including an SEC East battle between Georgia and Florida, a Big Ten West matchup between Purdue and Nebraska, and a high-scoring affair in Duke and Wake Forest.
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.
Before we dive in, let’s take a look at where each team sits in terms of plays per minute and plays per game after Week 8.
Now, let’s dive into this week’s totals.
Georgia vs. Florida
|Moneyline||-600 / +450|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Georgia takes the nation’s best down to Jacksonville to try and shut down Anthony Richardson and the Florida offense.
The Bulldogs lead college football, allowing only 3.4 yards per play, and are the second-ranked team in the country in terms of Success Rate Allowed and explosive plays allowed.
Trying to throw on this Georgia secondary is an absolute fool’s errand, too. The Bulldogs are first in the country in EPA/Pass allowed, Passing Success Rate Allowed, explosive passing plays allowed, and are allowing only 5.0 yards per attempt.
The Florida passing offense has been solid from a Success Rate standpoint, ranking 10th in the nation and 11th in EPA/Pass attempt, but this is by far the best secondary it’s seen this season.
The battle in the trenches when Florida is on offense will be an interesting one to watch. Florida sits 17th in EPA/Rush, 12th in rushing explosiveness, and 10th in Offensive Line Yards, while Georgia is fifth in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 15th in rushing explosiveness allowed, and 10th in Defensive Line Yards.
Georgia hasn’t been that much of an offensive juggernaut this season. Sure, it ranks top-20 in terms of Success Rate, but it’s had zero explosiveness whatsoever, ranking outside the top 100. The Bulldogs also haven’t really been that effective running the ball, as they’re 83rd in the country in EPA/Rush.
That will play right into Florida’s hands, as its strength is in the secondary. The Gators allow only 6.4 yards per attempt, rank 21st in EPA/Pass attempt, and 31st in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
Georgia plays at one of slowest paces offensively, averaging only 2.04 plays per minute, good for 117th in the country. Florida, meanwhile, averages 2.27 plays per minute, which is 73rd in the nation. So, if Georgia’s defense is able to control this game, the pace is going to be really slow, which favors the Bulldogs.
I only have 43.71 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on under 51 points and would play it down to 48.5.
Pick: Under 51
Purdue vs. Nebraska
|Purdue Odds||+7.5 (-105)|
|Nebraska Odds||-7.5 (-115)|
|Moneyline||+245 / -310|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Purdue may have given up 30 points to Wisconsin last Saturday, but a lot of that was on the offense, which turned it over four times and put the defense in some really difficult situations.
The Purdue defense has been really good overall this season, ranking eighth in Success Rate Allowed while giving up only 4.9 yards per play. Its strength is in the secondary, which allows only 6.2 yards per attempt and ranks inside the top 15 nationally in EPA/Pass allowed and Passing Success Rate Allowed.
That will come in handy against Nebraska’s offense, as most of its success offensively has come through the air.
The Huskers are top-25 in EPA/Pass, passing success rate, and Adrian Martinez is averaging 9.5 yards per attempt, which is a massive improvement from 2020.
However, as is the case with Martinez every year, he can’t stop turning the ball over. Sure, Martinez has thrown only three interceptions this season, but he has nine turnover-worthy plays, per PFF. Purdue’s defense is 42nd in Havoc, and its pass rush grades out inside the top 25.
Purdue also has one of the best edge rushers in all of college football. George Karlaftis has a 90.2 pass-rushing grade and will be in the backfield all game long, as Nebraska’s offensive line ranks 123rd in pass blocking, per PFF. So, it’s going to be tough for Martinez to move the ball through the air against a solid secondary with limited time to throw.
Some guys are just fun to watch. #Purdue DL George Karlaftis.
Aligns up and down the LOS. Consistent power. Reliable motor. Pass rush technician.
— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) June 28, 2021
Jeff Brohm has been rotating three different quarterbacks in Purdue’s offense, and while it worked against Iowa, it completely flopped against Wisconsin. The Boilermakers are gaining only 5.1 yards per play, rank 86th in Offensive Success Rate, and sit 84th in EPA/Play.
The reason for that is because they have no run game to speak of whatsoever.
Purdue gains only 2.4 yards per carry, ranks 125th in EPA/Rush, 112th in Rushing Success Rate, and 127th in rushing explosiveness. That’s a big problem in this game because Nebraska is only allowing 3.9 yards per rush attempt and ranks 24th in EPA/Rush allowed. So, Purdue is going to be forced to throw the ball with its three quarterbacks in projected 15 mile-per-hour winds in Lincoln.
I only have 42.63 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on under 51.5 points and would play it down to 48.
Pick: Under 51.5
Duke vs. Wake Forest
|Duke Odds||+17.5 (-106)|
|Wake Forest Odds||-17.5 (-114)|
|Moneyline||+540 / -850|
|Over/Under||69.5 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Sam Hartman and the Wake Forest offense was almost literally unstoppable last weekend against Army, as they scored touchdowns on 10 of their 11 offensive drives.
The Wake Forest passing attack with Hartman and Jaquarii Roberson has been one of the best in the nation this season, as the Demon Deacons are sixth in Passing Success Rate, 12th passing explosiveness, and fourth in EPA/Pass.
Hartman has been unbelievable throwing the ball deep, as his passing grade on throws over 20+ yards is 93.9 with 11 touchdowns.
Sam Hartman: 11 pass TDs of 30+ yards
Tied for most in college football 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yX1yhnnLVq
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 26, 2021
Roberson is also graded as the seventh-best wide receiver in college football with over 35 targets this season, which makes Hartman’s job a lot easier.
Those explosive plays aren’t going anywhere anytime soon because Hartman and Roberson will be going up against a Duke secondary that is 127th in explosive passing plays allowed and allows9.3 yards per pass attempt.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) October 23, 2021
So, don’t be surprised if the Wake Forest offense puts up another performance like we saw at West Point last Saturday.
The Duke offense has been much improved this season. The Blue Devils rank 41st in Offensive Success Rate and gain 5.8 yards per play.
A lot of their success has come through the air, as Gunnar Holmberg is averaging 8.1 yards per attempt and has the Blue Devils ranked as the 34th-best passing offense based on EPA/Play. Duke also runs the ball with some success, as lead back Mataeo Durant is carrying the ball for 5.2 yards a touch this season.
Duke will be able to have much more success offensively than it did in its last game against Virginia because it’s going up against potentially the worst defense in the ACC.
Wake Forest sits 125th in Offensive Success Rate Allowed and 119th in both Rushing and Passing Success Rate Allowed. I mean, it just allowed a triple-option team to hang 56 points last week and allows 5.8 yards per play.
Additionally, both of these teams rank inside the top 10 nationally in plays per minute, so the pace of this game is going to be extremely fast.
I have 78.13 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on Over 69.5 points and would play it up to 71.5.
Pick: Over 69.5