College Football Odds & Picks: 3 Key Stat Discrepancies in Week 9, Featuring South Carolina vs. Missouri, TCU vs. West Virginia
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler (left) and running back MarShawn Lloyd (right).
The Week 9 college football slate features a number of statistical discrepancies for categories that are key to covering the spread.
Check out three key discrepancies for Week 8 below.
Middle Tennessee vs. UTEP
UTEP Havoc, 24th · Middle Tennessee Havoc Allowed, 111th
Middle Tennessee Tackling, 20th · UTEP Tackling, 116th
A critical Conference USA matchup features advantages for both teams when UTEP hosts Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders are three wins shy of bowl season with just five games left to play.
Head coach Rick Stockstill looks to make a 10th postseason trip since taking over in Murfreesboro in 2006.
The visiting Blue Raiders will be at quite a disadvantage from a ball security standpoint when on offense. Middle Tennessee has one of the worst Havoc Allowed marks in FBS, primarily due to defenders playing in the backfield. Their 58 tackles for loss allowed ranks 120th (http://cfbstats.com/2022/leader/national/team/defense/split01/category21/sort01.html), an issue against a UTEP defense that places top-25 in Defensive Havoc.
Despite the poor numbers from the Blue Raiders’ offensive line, there are advantages on defense.
Middle Tennessee ranks 20th in tackling, a primary driver in a top-25 rank in defending passing downs explosiveness. The UTEP offense consistently finds itself behind the chains, running passing downs at the 30th-highest rate.
An opening total of 56 quickly crashed, as Action Network projects 47 points. Havoc for UTEP and tackling for Middle Tennessee make this game a strong under candidate.
Missouri vs. South Carolina
Missouri Havoc, 11th · South Carolina Havoc Allowed, 126th
South Carolina Defensive Standard Downs Explosiveness, 1st · Missouri Standard Downs Explosiveness, 114th
If Eli Drinkwitz plans to make a bowl, South Carolina may be the pivotal game on the remaining schedule. Missouri has an SEC schedule that includes Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas after the upcoming clash with the Gamecocks.
The Tigers have been great at causing chaos on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 11th in Havoc. There will be more opportunities against a South Carolina team that has volatile offensive marks in interceptions and fumbles.
Linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper has one of the highest number of stops of all defensive players, per PFF.
Defense bringing the 🔥 early. Ty'Ron Hopper forces a fumble and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. on the recovery.
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) October 1, 2022
While Missouri’s defense will be looking to force South Carolina’s offense into mistakes, the other side of the ball may not experience explosive plays.
The Gamecocks are the top defense in the nation in expected points allowed during standard downs. Generating positive yards and staying on schedule is a consistent issue with Missouri, which ranks in the bottom 20 of all teams in Standard Downs Success Rate and explosiveness.
Quarterback Brady Cook continues to record more turnover-worthy plays than big-time throws, and he won’t experience relief against a higher-ranked pass rush from the Gamecocks.
TCU vs. West Virginia
TCU Offensive Finishing Drives, 20th · West Virginia Defensive Finishing Drives, 91st
West Virginia Offensive Finishing Drives, 28th · TCU Defensive Finishing Drives, 108th
Will the clock strike midnight for Cinderella during a trip to Morgantown? TCU looks to finish October with an undefeated record before staying in the state of Texas with upcoming conference road games in Austin and Waco.
The Horned Frogs have gaudy offensive stats, with Finishing Drives being one of the bigger bullet points to date.
On 48 trips beyond the 40-yard line, TCU has averaged 4.7 points — a stark contrast to West Virginia’s mark on the defensive side. The Mountaineers have allowed 4.1 points per scoring opportunity to opponents, indicating that the Horned Frogs will score plenty of points if they sustain drives.
West Virginia has similar advantages on offense when in scoring position, an area the Horned Frogs have struggled in on defense. Converted tight end CJ Donaldson returned to action at running back against Texas Tech, posting a low yards-after-contact rate with just a single missed tackle created.
For the Mountaineers to challenge the Frogs, Donaldson and running back Tony Mathis Jr. must take advantage against a poor TCU rush-stopping unit that ranks outside the top 100 in Stuff Rate.