USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chip Kelly, AJ Dillon, Lane Kiffin
After five college football games Thursday night, some better than others, we’ve been blessed with another five-game slate on Friday.
Let’s follow up with some more winners.
>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
Louisiana Tech at Florida Atlantic
- Odds: Florida Atlantic -3.5
- Over/Under: 58
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
The market caught up to Florida Atlantic in a big way this season.
After going 10-4 against the spread and winning Conference USA in 2017, Lane Kiffin’s group is 1-6 ATS this year. The Owls have failed to cover by an average of 11.8 points per game, second-worst in the country only to Louisville.
Can Louisiana Tech Prevent Big Plays?
Can Louisiana Tech prevent FAU explosive plays, which doomed the Bulldogs last year? La Tech has especially struggled defending explosiveness in the running game (88th), which FAU can take advantage of. I fear this might play out like last year’s game when the Bulldogs moved the ball efficiently but the Owls just killed them with huge plays.
If you do decide to bet the Lane Train, I will warn you about FAU’s special teams, which have been dreadful all season. Just ask anybody who backed the Owls vs. Air Force.
Time to Buy Low on FAU?
Kiffin’s bunch put up the worst showing during his tenure (and probably since his days at Tennessee) in a 31-7 loss to Marshall last week. The Owls actually outgained the Herd but had five turnovers.
Trouble is, I don’t think you’re getting any reactionary value on FAU because the betting public doesn’t care about C-USA. If this line gets inside a field goal, I’ll end up on the Owls.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
Florida Atlantic scored seven points in a loss to Marshall last Saturday. Teams favored at home after a poor offensive game (less than 10 points scored) have gone 166-244-4 (40.5%) ATS since 2005, per Bet Labs.
By Evan Abrams
Under Kiffin, Florida Atlantic has been a completely different team at home vs. on the road…
- At home: 10-1 SU (won 10 straight), 7-4 ATS (+8.7 ATS diff), 21 Pass TD, 6 INT
- On road: 4-6 SU and ATS (-0.3 ATS diff), 8 Pass TD, 12 INT
Miami at Boston College
- Odds: Miami -3.5
- Over/Under: 49.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Boston College’s once-promising season has been derailed in the last few weeks while it’s been without star running back AJ Dillon. The good news is, Dillon is expected to return Friday.
The Eagles host a Miami team that’s behind the 8-ball in the ACC Coastal after a loss to Virginia two weeks ago.
Can Either Offense Get Going?
By Ken Barkley
This is actually a fascinating game because each team has two losses and, despite only one conference loss each, their hopes could be fading fast to accomplish anything of note this season.
Boston College still plays Clemson, so it at least has a shot of winning the Atlantic, but with the Eagles’ recent form, how reasonable is it to expect much against the Tigers in THAT game? Meanwhile Miami’s conference loss is to ACC-leading Virginia, and the Hurricanes’ chances of making it to the conference title game are now very much in doubt, too.
To me, this is about Miami being by far the best team in terms of talent that BC has played so far, and if Dillon is banged up, I don’t think the Eagles have any reasonable advantages to exploit. Miami has a coaching edge, and both teams have had extra time to prepare.
Although the number is close to what I have (I made Miami -5) I am actually more interested in the under. Miami will be able to stop anything the Eagles are doing, and BC’s defense has improved in S&P+ all season, ascending to the top 40 (and maybe rising even further following the time off). Considering Miami’s disastrous quarterback situation, points may be hard to come by on either side.
Barkley’s Pick: Under 49.5
Does Boston College Match Up Well Enough?
Whenever a team plays Miami, I look at three things first:
- How do they defend the pass rush? Miami has an elite defensive line that gets tackles for loss in its sleep and leads the nation in adjusted sack rate. Well, BC’s offensive line doesn’t inspire much confidence in that regard, especially in passing situations. However, BC can have the same success on the other side of the ball.
- How do they defend explosiveness? Miami has a very inefficient offense that relies on explosive plays. BC actually matches up well in this regard.
- Havoc rate, as Miami’s defense ranks No. 1 in the nation. These two teams each have a defense that ranks in the top 25 in Havoc. And while Miami ranks No. 1 overall, its offense has allowed the 89th-worst Havoc against, while BC ranks in the top 10 in that regard. BC can win this Havoc battle.
A Pace Mismatch
I like the under here, too, but Boston College’s new-found (well, found in 2017) pace is something to be aware of. The Eagles rank fourth in adjusted pace, while Miami is 84th.
BC is averaging 15 possessions per game and 2.70 plays per minute, which is 11th in the country. Miami is bottom third in FBS at 2.19.
Miami hasn’t faced a team that plays with any pace like the Eagles, but the ‘Canes rank high in all kinds of important metrics — average third-down distance (first), stuff rate (first) and efficiency (fifth).
To me, that means the Miami defense can get off the field quickly because BC will be in not-so-manageable third-down situations, and the ‘Canes can use that opposing pace against an Eagles defense that will be on the field again quickly. That plays into Miami’s favor, especially in the second half.
Trends to Know
By Evan Abrams
Miami is coming off a loss on the road against Virginia two weeks ago is now looking to bounce back. Under Mark Richt, Miami is 2-5 straight up and ATS after a SU and ATS loss in his previous game.
One of those wins was a 77-0 victory against Savannah State, which you can pretty much can throw. In road games in that spot, Miami is 0-3 SU and ATS under Richt.
Indiana at Minnesota
- Odds: Indiana -2.5
- Over/Under: 54
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1