Week 12 College Football Betting Pace Report: 3 Totals to Watch, Including Auburn vs. South Carolina
Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: TJ Finley (1) and the Auburn Tigers.
It’s another busy week in college football with MACtion taking over on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with five games on Friday night.
There’s plenty to keep an eye on from a totals perspective heading into Week 12, including a Big Ten East battle between Michigan and Maryland, a Big 12 slugfest between Baylor and Kansas State, and an interesting SEC matchup between Auburn and South Carolina.
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 11.
Now, let’s dive into this week’s totals.
Michigan vs. Maryland
|Moneyline||-675 / +475|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
I’ll be honest, I don’t know how Maryland is going to stop Michigan in this game.
The Wolverines offense sputtered a bit against a really good Penn State defense last week, but they’re going to have a much easier time moving the ball this weekend.
Maryland is one of the worst teams in the Big Ten at defending the run, as the Terrapins are 88th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 69th in EPA/Rush allowed, and 71st in Defensive Line Yards.
Those are big problems going up against a Michigan rushing attack that is carrying the ball for 5.1 yards per carry.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 10, 2021
Cade McNamara hasn’t been incredibly efficient in the passing game this season, averaging 7.9 yards per attempt with a 74.4 passing grade, per PFF, but he should be able to attack a Maryland secondary that is allowing 8.6 yards per pass attempt and ranks 100th in EPA/Pass allowed.
Additionally, Michigan ranks 18th in the nation in passing explosiveness, while Maryland’s secondary is 107th in that same category.
Maryland is going to run into the same problem Penn State had against Michigan last week because the Terrapins can’t run the ball to save their lives.
The Terps gain only 3.3 yards per carry and rank outside the top 100 in Offensive Line Yards and EPA/Rush.
So, that means Taulia Tagovailoa is going to be throwing the ball a ton on Saturday similar to last weekend against Michigan State.
Michigan does have a good secondary, ranking 21st in Passing Success Rate Allowed but will have to deal with a fast tempo for the first time this season, as Maryland is 21st in plays per minute.
I have 64.96 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on over 55.5 points.
Pick: Over 55.5
Baylor vs. Kansas State
|Baylor Odds||+0.5 (-105)|
|Kansas State Odds||-0.5 (-115)|
|Moneyline||-105 / -115|
|Time||5:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Baylor had maybe the best defensive performance of the Big 12 season last weekend in Waco, holding Caleb Williams and the high-powered Oklahoma offense to only 14 points and 260 yards.
Now, the Bears travel to Manhattan to take on a completely different kind of opponent in Kansas State.
The Baylor offense is built around its rushing attack, which ranks sixth in college football, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
Lead back Abram Smith is already over 1,000 yards rushing on the season and comes into this game off four straight 100-yard games.
Smith and the Bears rank third in Rushing Success Rate, 16th in Offensive Line Yards and 14th in EPA/Rush, and their offensive line has the eighth-best run-blocking grade, per PFF.
However, they’re going up against a very stout Kansas State run defense. The Wildcats are quietly on a fantastic defensive run, holding opponents under 30 points in their last four games.
Kansas State is allowing only 3.6 yards per carry, ranks 35th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, and 14th in Defensive Line Yards. So, it’s going to be difficult for Baylor to run the ball on Saturday.
Gerry Bohanon hasn’t been called on to throw much this season since Baylor is running the ball 60.27% of the time, but he’s been very efficient this season, throwing for 8.5 yards per attempt. However, he only has a 75.5 passing grade, per PFF.
The big thing for Bohanon in this game is having time to throw because he has a 90.2 passing grade from a clean pocket compared to a 34.2 passing grade when under pressure, per PFF. That’s a problem against a Kansas State that sits 40th nationally in creating Havoc.
Kansas State continues to run the Bill Snyder-style offense with Skylar Thompson under center. The Cats run the ball 55.8% of the time and have been very effective, gaining 4.7 yards per rush and ranking 15th in Rushing Success Rate.
However, that’s going to play right into Baylor’s hands, as it’s allowing 3.5 yards per rush, ranks 15th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, and just held one of the best rushing attacks in the country to 2.9 yards per carry last weekend.
The question is, can Kansas State move the ball on Baylor’s secondary, which has been below average this season with ranks of 81st in EPA/Pass and 66th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
Thompson does have a passing grade of 82.9 but only 10 big-time throws compared to 10 turnover-worthy plays. His average depth of target is only 9.3 yards, per PFF.
So, for two offenses that run the ball at a very high rate and rank outside the top 100 in plays per minute, I think we’ll see a low-scoring contest.
I only have 42.85 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on under 50 points and would play it down to 48.5.
Pick: Under 50 (Play to 48.5)
Auburn vs. South Carolina
|South Carolina Odds||+7.5|
|Moneyline||-305 / +240|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Yes, Auburn’s Bo Nix is out for the season after suffering an ankle injury, which means TJ Finley is going to get the start against South Carolina in Columbia on Saturday night.
Finley transferred from LSU and wasn’t a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school, rated as a three-star prospect and the 19th-ranked pro-style quarterback.
However, Finley did get the start in LSU’s 52-24 over South Carolina last season, throwing for a whopping 12.6 yards per attempt and two touchdowns.
The South Carolina secondary has been very average this season, allowing 7.3 yards per attempt and ranking 56th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
However, I don’t think Finley will be called on to throw very often because of how good Auburn’s rushing attack is.
Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter are both averaging over 5.0 yards per carry, and Auburn ranks top-35 in Rushing Success Rate, rushing explosiveness, and Offensive Line Yards. So, the Tigers should be able to gash a South Carolina front seven that’s allowing 4.6 yards per rush and ranks 91st in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.
— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) September 19, 2021
Jason Brown has taken over at quarterback for the Gamecocks in the last two games, but he hasn’t been that efficient, throwing for 6.7 yards per attempt.
They haven’t had much success overall this season, ranking 95th in Passing Success Rate, but Auburn’s secondary has been terrible this season. The Tigers are 107th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 80th in EPA/Pass allowed.
Also, South Carolina is 25th in passing explosiveness, so it may be able to throw over the top of the Tigers’ secondary.
I think this total is way too low, especially considering Auburn is 33rd in the country in plays per minute.
I have 51.8 points projected for this game, and our PRO Projections have 48 points projected, so I think there’s some value on over 44.5 points.
Pick: Over 44.5