Wilson: Finding Undervalued Teams By Meshing Returning Production With Explosiveness & Efficiency

Wilson: Finding Undervalued Teams By Meshing Returning Production With Explosiveness & Efficiency article feature image

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Pictured: Cameryn Bynum

  • Collin Wilson identifies teams that are experienced and thrived in the advanced stats department last season to find betting value.
  • FIU and Tennessee are two the teams to keep an eye on.

Earlier this summer, we presented a case for why explosiveness will lead to good things for your bankroll and by default, the teams you bet on. While having an offense that regularly produces 20-plus yard plays will lead to points, the ability to stop big plays is also important when trying to cover the spread.

The five factors of college football can read as a bible for any gambler. Efficiency metrics show the best in steady offenses or defenses that specialize in punts after three downs. Any time a ball is not in the hands of an offensive player, somewhere a havoc rate is increased.

Explosiveness (as defined by IsoPPP), Efficiency and Havoc are vital to a college football investor. Mixing the statistics with returning production will help gain a gambling edge on what offense and defenses to back the following season.

Here is a list of all FBS teams’ returning production versus Explosiveness, Efficiency and Havoc ratings from 2018. Use the table to sort and find the best combination of each stat.

Highlights from Explosive Teams

Two of the highest IsoPPP rated offenses from 2018 are Houston and Memphis. At a rating of 1.37, only Maryland and Oklahoma had a higher offensive explosiveness probability. Both teams have stellar quarterback play surrounded with weapons.

D’Eriq King racked up 50 total touchdowns in a Kendal Briles-led offense at Houston. Briles has moved on, but King will look for Marquez Stevenson and Keith Corbin in the end zone as both targets had 19 combined touchdowns in 2018.

Other highly rated IsoPPP offenses with top 15 returning production ranks include Tennessee, Appalachian State, Florida International and North Carolina.

The Tar Heels will continue to be a quick strike offense no matter the personnel as Phil Longo moves over as offensive coordinator from Ole Miss.

The ability to stop explosive plays is just as important to a gambler. Cal had a 0.99 IsoPPP rating, good enough for top 10 in the nation.  The Bears defense is 21st in returning production and any contribution from the offense will get Justin Wilcox far in the Pac-12 (though that’s no guarantee).

Other top IsoPPP defenses with top 30 rankings in returning production include Ball State, Arizona State, Troy, Florida International and Georgia Southern.

Yes, the Golden Panthers of FIU show up on the IsoPPP list for both offense and defense.

Highlights from Havoc Teams

Chase Young may be the poster child for the term havoc. The Ohio State defensive end had 9.5 sacks, 15.5 run stuffs, a forced fumble and 5 pass breakups last season. Ohio State ranked 26th in overall Havoc and has a defensive returning production number at No. 8 in the country.

The loss of defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and his complicated schemes will be addition by subtraction.

The only other teams that can come close to the Buckeyes are two Sun Belt leaders. Troy and Arkansas State rank 11th and 13th respectively in overall havoc. The two Sun Belt teams also have returning production ranks on defense just within the top 30.

Highlights from Efficient Teams

Moving the chains is mission objective No. 1 for the Wisconsin offense. A returning production rank of No. 7 with a 2018 Success Rate of No. 4 may lead to an edge in Week 1 against South Florida. Jonathan Taylor will begin another Heisman campaign with a host of new faces on the offensive line.

One team you could blindly guess makes the Efficiency list is Army. The Black Knights are 22nd in offensive success rate and have a returning production rank of 16th entering the season. Expect Army to top their 36 attempts from fourth down with increased efficiency.

The defensive version of efficiency is Texas State, whom I’ve already wagered on against Texas A&M in Week 1. The Bobcats are No. 3 in overall returning production, led by a defense that was 15th in success rate. Texas State should continue to get offenses off the field quickly, similar to Cal.

The Bears, who already made an appearance in this column limiting explosiveness, are 20th in defensive efficiency and have a returning production rank of 21st.

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