Week 11 College Football Betting Pace Report: 3 Totals to Watch, Including Notre Dame vs. Virginia
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Coan.
It’s already been a busy week in college football with MACtion taking over, and it’s only going to get busier as we inch closer toward the weekend.
There’s plenty to keep an eye on from a totals perspective heading into Week 11, including a ACC battle between Notre Dame and Virginia in Charlottesville, a Pac-12 defensive slugfest between Utah and Arizona, and a lower-scoring game than expected between Southern Miss and undefeated UTSA.
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 10.
Now, let’s dive into this week’s totals.
Utah vs. Arizona
|Utah Odds||-24 (-115)|
|Arizona Odds||+24 (-105)|
|Moneyline||-2500 / +1200|
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
|TV||Pac 12 Network|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Utah is currently sitting at 6-3 and in the driver’s seat to win the Pac-12 South Division, while Arizona picked up its first Pac-12 win since 2019 last weekend against a depleted California team.
The Utah offense has a dynamic rushing attack with Tavion Thomas, who is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. The Utah rushing attack has been so good that it’s first in EPA/Rush, 15th in Offensive Line Yards, and 16th in Power Success Rate.
However, the Utes are running the ball only 52.18% of the time, as Cameron Rising has been steadily improving since the loss to San Diego State. Rising has a 83.8 PFF passing grade, with 11 big-time throws, and only two turnover-worthy plays. However, his yards per attempt is sitting at 7.2, which is around the national average.
Surprisingly, the Arizona front seven hasn’t been that bad this season. The Wildcats are 57th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 45th in EPA/Rush allowed, and 55th in rushing explosiveness allowed. So, they could slow down Utah’s rushing attack.
Arizona offensively this season has been pitiful. The Wildcats are averaging only 4.6 yards per play and rank 110th in EPA/Play.
The Wildcats are now on a third-string quarterback in Will Plummer after Gunner Cruz and Jordan McCloud suffered season-ending injuries.
In his three starts against Washington, USC, and California, Plummer has been awful, averaging only 5.5 yards per attempt and putting up a 64.1 passing grade, per PFF. In fact, he hasn’t even thrown a touchdown pass in his three starts this season.
Arizona also hasn’t been able to run the ball effectively either, as the Wildcats are gaining only 3.8 yards per carry and rank 124th in terms of a run-blocking grade, per PFF. While the Utah defense hasn’t been dominant from a Success Rate standpoint, it’s been good in the trenches, ranking 16th in Stuff Rate, and 21st in Power Success Rate allowed.
Additionally, Arizona is 126th in Finishing Drives, so I have a hard time seeing how the Wildcats are going to score more than 14 points.
I only have 49.76 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on under 55 points.
Pick: Under 55
Southern Miss vs. UTSA
|Southern Miss Odds||+33.5|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Meep Meep looks to remain undefeated on Saturday in San Antonio when it hosts Southern Miss.
UTSA had an offensive explosion last weekend against UTEP, putting up 44 points and 561 yards of total offense. However, for the season, UTSA’s advanced metrics on offense haven’t been that dominant.
It’s played one of the easiest schedules in college football and ranks only 34th in Success Rate and 85th in explosiveness. In fact, its rushing attack with Sincere McCormick is gaining 4.7 yards per carry and ranks 57th in EPA/Rush.
The Southern Miss defense, despite being 1-8, is 30th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, so maybe it’ll be able to slow down UTSA’s rushing attack.
The real handicap of this matchup is Southern Miss’ offense, which is the worst in all of college football, ranking dead last in EPA/Play and gaining only 3.3 yards per play, which is also dead last in college football.
The Golden Eagles can’t do anything through the air or on the ground, as they’re 128th in Rushing Success Rate and 120th in Passing Success Rate. However, they are seventh in nation in Havoc Allowed, so they may be able to keep UTSA from getting solid field position off of turnovers.
UTSA’s defense is allowing only 5.3 yards per play and ranks inside the top 30 in both EPA/Rush and EPA/Pass allowed. So, I don’t know how Southern Miss is going to score over 10 points.
Also, this is a big-time look-ahead spot for UTSA, which has UAB at home next week, so I expect the Roadrunners to sit a lot of their starters in the second half if this one gets out of hand.
I only have 43.47 points projected for this game. So, I think there’s some value on under 54.5 points and would play it down to 52.
Pick: Under 54.5 (Play to 52)
Notre Dame vs. Virginia
|Notre Dame Odds||-5.5|
|Moneyline||-220 / +180|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Notre Dame travels to Charlottesville to battle Brennan Armstrong and the explosive Virginia offense.
“Chaotic” would be one word to use to describe Virginia’s games this season, as the last time the Cavaliers were on the field, they were involved in a 66-49 loss to BYU in Provo.
That’s now the third straight game Virginia has put at least 48 points on the board, but it will be facing a much better defense on Saturday night.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, Armstrong is one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the country right now. Now, Armstrong is questionable to play on Saturday night with a rib injury that knocked him out of the last game, so keep an eye on his status throughout the week.
He did provide an update last week about his status, which seems optimistic.
WATCH: Brennan Armstrong made an appearance at BurgerFi's grand opening during this bye week (thanks to NIL allowance) and gave an optimistic update on his status 👀 pic.twitter.com/7kttNTUmPT
— Danielle Stein (@Danielle_Stein9) November 6, 2021
The Cavalier offense has torched opposing defenses, gaining 6.8 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 second in EPA/Play and 12th in EPA/Pass.
Armstrong owns a passing grade of 89.5 on the season with 28 big-time throws in only nine games, per PFF. He is also one of the best deep-ball passers in college football, as he already has 940 yards passing on throws over 20+ yards.
Even if Armstrong is out, the Cavalier rushing attack is also lethal, as the Cavaliers are averaging 5.0 yards per carry and rank seventh in EPA/Rush.
Virginia is also 10th in Offensive Line Yards and 31st in explosive rushing, so it should be able to establish the run on Notre Dame’s front seven.
The Notre Dame defense has been very susceptible to explosive plays this season, especially on the ground, as the Irish are 102nd in rushing explosiveness allowed.
Notre Dame also just allowed North Carolina’s Sam Howell to throw for 341 yards on only 31 attempts two weeks ago, so Armstrong should be able to find similar success against the Irish’s secondary.
The Fighting Irish offense with Jack Coan under center has been very average all season. But most of its success has come through the air, as Coan is averaging only 7.8 yards per attempt and has Notre Dame ranking 62nd in Passing Success Rate.
However, the rushing attack has really struggled from a Success Rate standpoint, ranking 98th in the country, but Kyren Williams is starting to heat up after rushing for 438 yards and 6.6 yards per carry in his last three games.
The good news is he’ll be facing one of the worst defenses in the ACC.
Kyren Williams is different pic.twitter.com/Fu50petYKH
— Jac Collinsworth (@JacCollinsworth) November 6, 2021
Virginia allows 6.7 yards per play, ranks 106th in Success Rate Allowed and 120th in EPA/Play.
The Hoos can’t stop the run or the pass, ranking outside the top 100 in both Rushing and Passing Success Rate Allowed. Additionally, Virginia is 117th in Defensive Line Yards and 123rd in Stuff Rate, so I have a hard time seeing how it’s going to stop Willams.
If Armstrong plays, I have 78.55 points projected for this game. Virginia ranks 23rd in play per minute, while Notre Dame ranks 55th, so the pace of this game is going to be fast.
Therefore, I think there is value on over 64 points, but I would wait to bet it until Armstrong is confirmed to play on Saturday.
Pick: Over 64 (If Armstrong plays)
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