Wilson: How a Havoc Mismatch Will Affect Betting in Auburn-Florida
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyle Trask.
- Collin Wilson loves defenses that cause havoc, but offenses that avoid it are just as important.
- Based on Football Outsiders' original measures, he quantifies the most and least disruptive defenses in the country.
- Auburn and Florida are both strong havoc teams, so which team holds the edge?
We used this space in Week 5 to discuss the Havoc rate of both Nebraska and Ohio State. Both teams ranked in the top three entering the contest, so it was fair to expect plenty of turnovers. Sure enough, there were plenty of them … but only for one team.
The missing piece of information from our analysis was Havoc allowed. Nebraska was the top team in the nation in passes defensed, but one of the worst in turnovers lost. Havoc allowed for the offense is as equally important as Havoc rate for the defense. Our Week 6 rankings now include Havoc allowed for each teams offense.
Havoc rate is defined as a tackle for loss, forced fumble or pass defended. It can take a defense from good to great. Havoc allowed is interceptions, tackles for loss and fumbles offensively. Investing money in offenses that protect the ball is vital to a bettor.
With just one fumble and no interceptions, the nation’s best offense in the havoc department is Iowa. Duke, Iowa State, Temple and Georgia are the best offensive line combinations in the country in tackle for loss prevention.
All odds below as of Tuesday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
My handicapping always starts with the Action Network power ratings, but the Havoc statistic for both offense and defense will be used to gauge which teams can cause volatility and lead to betting value. It is no surprise to this point that Utah, Michigan State, Clemson, Wisconsin and Oregon rank in the top 25 on both sides of the ball.
College Football Week 6 Havoc Rankings
PD is passes defensed, FF is Forces Fumbles, and TFL representing Tackles for Loss. Havoc Rate is calculated per Five Factors definition.
Auburn at Florida (+3)
On Sunday afternoon Circa Sports was the first to open the marquee SEC showdown for Week 6. The opening point spread was pick before a deluge of money toward Auburn pushed the Tigers to a field goal favorite on the road. True freshman Bo Nix has led Auburn to a 5-0 record with impressive victories over Oregon, Texas A&M and Mississippi State. Nix has been a reliable caretaker of the offense, racking up multiple sub-200 yard passing games without a turnover. That all changed against the Bulldogs, as Nix had just 5 incompletions, 3 touchdowns and 335 yards.
— Jason DiRienzo (@allpurposescout) September 29, 2019
Nix’s metamorphosis has masked some issues plaguing the offensive line. Mississippi State’s front seven generated a couple of sacks, six tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry. The Auburn offensive line has allowed 31 tackles for loss while the skill positions have 12 total fumbles, one of the worst ranks in the nation. Auburn ranks 88th offensive in Havoc Allowed, a number that may come into play against Florida.
Florida has thrived despite an injury to starting quarterback Feleipe Franks. Kyle Trask had just two incompletions against Towson, bringing his 2019 total to 51 of 66 for 647 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. The Gators started the season with a sleuth of new offensive linemen, but have managed to rank 53rd overall in Havoc allowed. This game will be determined on defense, where the Gators rank third in the nation defensively in Havoc.
Florida ranks in the top ten in passes defensed and top five in tackles for loss. This will be Auburn’s toughest test of the season by a wide margin, especially for Bo Nix and the offensive line. The Tigers have been fortunate to recover seven of their 12 fumbles, but the Gators defense should be in the backfield during plenty of Nix’s pass attempts. Our Action Network projection makes this game a pick, and I will happily take the havoc minded home defense getting points.
Pick: Florida +3