Week 7 College Football Betting Pace Report: 3 Over/Unders to Watch, Including Georgia vs. Kentucky & Wisconsin vs. Army
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The Wisconsin Badgers’ defensive line.
We’re back for the second iteration of a deep dive into the college football totals market, and there’s plenty to keep an eye on heading into Week 7.
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.
First, before we dive in, let’s take a look at where each team is at after Week 6 in terms of plays per minute and plays per game.
(Data via collegefootballdata.com)
Now, let’s dive into this week’s totals.
Auburn vs. Arkansas
|Moneyline||+160 / -190|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Despite somewhat struggling offensively with Bo Nix under center, Auburn actually plays a really fast pace offensively, as the Tigers are 24th in plays per minute.
Auburn, though, has been most successful when it takes the football out of Nix’s turnover-prone hands and hand it to one of the best running back tandems in football in Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter.
The duo is averaging a whopping 7.04 yards per carry this season. That’s led the Tigers to a ranking of 25th in Rushing Success Rate, 17th in rushing explosiveness, and 15th in Offensive Line Yards.
Tank Bigsby gets Auburn within two touchdowns. What a grown man run. pic.twitter.com/jIKCNfi13g
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) October 9, 2021
Rushing the ball is exactly how teams beat the Arkansas defense, which Ole Miss showed last weekend by running for 324 yards on 49 carries. What was even crazier about that game is Matt Corral attempted only 21 passes and the Rebels still put up 52 points on the board.
Well, Arkansas ranks 75th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 61st in rushing explosiveness allowed, and 79th in terms of a rush defense grade, per PFF.
Arkansas plays at a very average pace by FBS standards, ranking 72nd in plays per minute. The Razorback rushing offense with Trelon Smith, Raheim Sanders, and KJ Jefferson has been incredible this season, averaging 5.51 yards per carry.
However, a lot of Arkansas’ success in this game is going to have to come through the air.
Auburn is a top-25 defense in terms of Rushing Success Rate Allowed and top-10 in Defensive Line Yards. However, its secondary sits outside the top 100 in terms of Passing Success Rate Allowed and allow 7.7 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks.
Jefferson has been efficient this season, throwing for 9.8 yards per attempt and had his second-best game of the season against Ole Miss last Saturday, putting up a 79.8 passing grade, per PFF.
I have 67.92 points projected for this game, so I think there’s plenty of value on over 52.5 points at BetMGM and would play it up to 60.
Pick: Over 52.5 (Play to 60)
Kentucky vs. Georgia
|Moneyline||+1000 / -2000|
|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 Kentucky is going to score more than 10 points in this game. Georgia’s defense is without a doubt the best in college football because it doesn’t have a single weakness.
The Bulldogs lead college football, allowing only 3.4 yards per play, and if they can keep that up that pace for the entire season, it would be the lowest mark since the 2011-12 season when Alabama allowed 3.0 yards per play.
The Bulldogs are the second-ranked team in the country in terms of Success Rate Allowed and top the nation in explosive plays allowed.
Kentucky offensively is a rush-heavy offense, carrying the rock on 63.64% of the time, and it’s been very successful playing that style this season, averaging 5.8 yards per carry and ranking inside the top 15 in Rushing Success Rate, Offensive Line Yards, and Stuff Rate Allowed.
However, the Wildcats haven’t been explosive at all, ranking outside the top 70 in both rushing and passing explosiveness. So, having to sustain long drives on the ground against the No. 3-graded run defense in the country, per PFF? Good luck.
1. Georgia – 91.3
2. Michigan – 87.3
3. Oklahoma State – 82.1
4. Wisconsin – 76.4 pic.twitter.com/o5VeQUyWih
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 12, 2021
Georgia hasn’t been that much of an offensive juggernaut this season. Sure, it ranks top-20 in terms of Success Rate, but it’s have had zero explosiveness whatsoever, ranking outside the top 100.
Defensively, Kentucky is the No. 6 team in the country in explosive plays allowed and ranks inside the top 25 in terms of run defense and coverage, per PFF. So, this game is going to likely be a defensive slugfest.
On top of all of that, Georgia and Kentucky play at literally the exact same pace on offense, averaging 2.04 plays per minute which is 115th and 116th in FBS.
I only have 36.58 points projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on under 44.5 points on DraftKings and would play it down to 42.5.
Pick: Under 44.5
Army vs. Wisconsin
|Army Odds||+14.5 (-113)|
|Wisconsin Odds||-14.5 (-108)|
|Moneyline||+450 / -670|
|Over/Under||39.5 (-113 / -108)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
If you love offense, maybe you should watch Ole Miss versus Tennessee on Saturday night. But if you’re not a fan of points, this is your Super Bowl.
Wisconsin very quietly has one of the best defenses in college football, allowing only 3.8 yards per play, which is the third-best mark in FBS. The Badgers are also the No. 1 team in the country in Success Rate Allowed, and most importantly for this game, second in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and first in EPA/Rush.
You simply cannot run the ball on Wisconsin’s front seven, as it allows 1.7 yards per carry. So, this is about the worst possible matchup for Army’s triple option on Saturday.
Army also could potentially be without starting quarterback Christian Anderson on Saturday night, as he missed the game against Ball State after getting injured in the Black Knights’ win over Miami (Ohio). Without him under center, the triple option averaged only 3.5 yards per carry against Ball State.
Anderson is questionable to play on Saturday as of writing, and without him, I don’t know how the Black Knights are going to move the ball against Wisconsin’s front seven, especially given the fact that Army has not faced a run defense that ranks inside the top 60 in yards per carry allowed.
It's good vs. good at Camp Randall Saturday night.#ArmyFootball rushing offense (No. 2 in country) vs. top-ranked Wisconsin run defense
Wisconsin rushing yards allowed this season
Penn State: 50
Eastern Michigan: 16
Notre Dame: 3
— Sal Interdonato (@salinterdonato) October 11, 2021
One of the main reasons why Wisconsin’s defense has gone under the radar is because of how bad its offense has been this season. The Badgers are gaining a measly 4.9 yards per play and rank 117th in EPA/play, with a lot of the blame solely put on the shoulders of Graham Mertz.
Mertz owns a 51.2 passing grade, per PFF, which is the third-lowest grade in FBS for a quarterback who has attempted over 100 passes this season.
That’s going to be a problem on Saturday because throwing the ball is the way a team beats the Army defense. The Black Knights are allowing 7.9 yards per pass attempt and rank outside top 50 in both Passing Success Rate Allowed and passing explosiveness allowed.
The Badger rush offense hasn’t been that bad this season, gaining 4.5 yards per carry and ranking inside the top 30 in Rushing Success Rate, Offensive Line Yards, and run blocking, per PFF. However, Army’s defense is top-45 in all three of those categories, so it’s going to be difficult for the Badgers to establish the run.
Not surprisingly, Army is the slowest team in the country in terms of pace, running only 1.79 plays per minute, while Wisconsin is 105th in plays per minute.
I have only 36.01 points projected for this game, so I think there’s still some value on under 40 points, which is currently available at BetRivers, but I would only play it down to 39.5.
Pick: Under 40