Week 5 College Football Pace Report & Picks: 3 Over/Under Bets for Kansas vs. Texas & More
David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers.
After one of the best college football slates of the past decade, Week 5 takes a little step back. But that doesn't mean there isn't value in the totals market.
Here are the pace numbers for each team through Week 4:
Using those metrics — along with a look at the weather and key injuries — the goal is to hopefully help bettors beat the market before Friday and Saturday morning.
Let's kick things off with three over/unders to bet in Week 5.
Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan
The total in this game is a little too high for me.
Eastern Michigan got shut out at Jacksonville State last weekend in what was a pitiful offensive display. The Eagles averaged just 2.4 yards per play, turned the ball over three times and went 1-for-15 on third down.
But that's nothing new for this offense after it put up just six points against Minnesota and 19 against UMass.
To say Eagles quarterback Austin Smith has been struggling would be an understatement, as he's averaging only 5.4 yards per attempt and has a 50.6 PFF passing grade.
Image via PFF.
They haven't run the ball with any success either, as they're 96th in Rushing Success Rate and 84th in EPA/Rush.
Central Michigan has been one of the worst defenses in college football, but it's played two steps up in competition in Michigan State and Notre Dame so far.
The Chippewas put up 34 points on the road at South Alabama last weekend, but this offense hasn't been that efficient as a whole this season. The Chippewas are averaging just 4.3 yards per play against FBS opponents while ranking 121st in Success Rate and 103rd in EPA/Play.
They've also made a change at quarterback. Bert Emanuel Jr. took the starting job to begin the season, but Jase Bauer has since taken over.
The sophomore out of Ankeny, Iowa, has now started two games, but neither of them have been great. On paper, he had a solid showing against South Alabama, going 19-of-30 for 224 yards and a touchdown — but he put up a PFF passing grade of just 65.7 and had three turnover-worthy plays.
Most importantly for this game, it's fourth in the country in average field position because punter Mitchell Tomasek has put 10 of his 23 punts inside the 20-yard line.
The pace of this game is going to be pretty slow. Eastern Michigan ranks 94th in second per play, while Central Michigan sits at 122nd. Ultimately, I like the value on under 48.5 points.
Ball State vs. Western Michigan
Ball State is coming off a downright terrible offensive performance against Georgia Southern in which it put up just three points and averaged 3.5 yards per play.
To be fair, the Cardinals have played a tough schedule thus far after traveling on the road to play both Kentucky and Georgia. But the game against Georgia Southern on Saturday showed how inept they are offensively.
What it comes down to is its inability to run the ball effectively — which is surprising considering they brought in Kent State transfer Marquez Cooper at running back after he was a first-team All-MAC performer last year.
Cooper hasn't found any running room against their three FBS opponents, averaging just over two yards per carry. His offensive line hasn't done him any favors with the unit ranking outside the top 100 in PFF run-blocking grade, Offensive Line Yards and Stuff Rate Allowed.
That means a lot of the pressure has been on true freshman Kadin Semonza, who has won the starting job over Layne Hatcher. In his four games this season, Semonza has a PFF passing grade of 54 and is averaging just 5.9 yards per attempt with five turnover-worthy plays.
Western Michigan's defense sits outside the top 100 in a lot of key categories after getting lit up by Syracuse, Iowa and Toledo, but it's still 17th in Havoc. So, going up against a freshman who already has five turnover-worthy plays could lead to some turnovers for the Broncos.
Western Michigan's offense is entirely built on running the ball effectively. The Broncos are running the ball on close to 54% of their offensive snaps, as Jalen Buckley already has 81 carries on the season. He ran for over 180 yards against St. Francis (PA) and Toledo, but he was held in check against Syracuse and Iowa.
Running the ball is not how you attack this Ball State defense. Even with their difficult strength of schedule, the Cardinals rank 37th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 52nd in EPA/Rush Allowed.
That means a lot more pressure is going to be on WMU freshman quarterback Treyson Bourguet, who has similar numbers as Semonza, with a 54.3 PFF passing grade and five turnover-worthy plays.
Ball State plays at a very slow pace, ranking 120th in seconds per play, while Western Michigan sits around the national average. So, with two bad quarterbacks and below-average rushing attacks, I like the value on under 52.5 points.
Kansas vs. Texas
The scoreboard should be lit up with a ton of points in this game.
Kansas' rushing attack is one of the most dynamic in the country. The Jayhawks are averaging over five yards per rush attempt while ranking 24th in Rushing Success Rate and 10th in Offensive Line Yards.
Running back Devin Neal has continued to build off of a 1,000-yard season in 2022, as he already has almost 400 yards rushing, has forced 24 missed tackles and is averaging 3.5 yards per rush after contact.
Meanwhile, Kansas' passing attack can be described with one word: "Efficient." Last year, with Jalon Daniels under center, the Jayhawks led the country in EPA/Pass with Daniels putting up crazy good numbers.
That has continued into this season. Daniels owns a 90.5 PFF passing grade in his three starts, while Kansas ranks third in Passing Success Rate and is once again top-10 in EPA/Pass.
Texas has one of the most stacked defensive units in college football, and it's difficult to run on it. However, opponents have found some success throwing against the Longhorns, who rank 67th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 78th in EPA/Pass Allowed.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers had a really efficient game against Baylor last Saturday, throwing for 293 yards on just 23 attempts. He had a down game against Wyoming the week before that but still had the game of his life against Alabama, putting up 349 yards with three big-time throws and a 90.6 PFF passing grade.
Texas hasn't put up the offensive numbers that we've been expecting, but it's still a top-20 team in explosiveness, which is big against a Kansas team that ranks outside the top 100 in both passing and rushing explosiveness allowed.
The Jayhawks have maybe the craziest combination of defensive rankings in college football. They rank fifth in generating Havoc, but they sit dead last nationally in Finishing Drives Allowed.
Opponents have crossed their 40-yard line 10 times and have scored 62 points. With how talented this Texas offense is, the Horns should score every time they get into Kansas territory.
Both of these offenses are playing at a slightly above-average pace in terms of seconds per play, so I think we'll see a high-scoring affair in Austin. The best price in the market, as of writing, is over 63.5 points at FanDuel.