Week 6: 2-5, (28.67%)
Season: 20-22-1, (47.61%)
Sides: 10-16-1, (38.46%)
Totals: 10-6, (62.50%)
Overall: 20-22-1, (47.61%)
Worst week of the season there in Week 6 and now after 3 straight winning weeks to open the season it’s been 3 straight losing weeks since. Totals remain strong at over 60% but hitting only 38% of my side plays is just insane, the kind of thing that would be hard to do even if you were trying to do it. No excuses, I just need to get better on that front. Anyways no time to feel sorry for myself, the season moves along and so do I. Here’s what I what for Week 7….
San Diego State (-3.5): Going to back SDSU here in what looks like a nightmare matchup for the Cowboys. I actually make this line 7 and was surprised the early movement has been in Wyoming’s favor. Wyoming might have the worst passing attack in FBS. Their QB Sean Chambers is completing 38.6% of his passes, and no that isn’t a typo. They can run the ball well but if you keep that under control they have basically no shot at succeeding offensively. Enter the SDSU defense which is 7th in the nation in overall defense allowing only 271 yards per game, and 1st in the nation in rushing defense allowing only 45.4 yards per game. If there is a defense Wyoming doesn’t match up well against it’s the Aztecs. On the other side we have the Aztecs who are at least respectable at QB. Agnew isn’t a big play threat but he completes 64% of his passes and only has 2 INT’s. He’s more of a game manager type and if the defense is as good as I expect it to be even 24 points or so for SDSU should be more than enough. I see a 24-13 type Aztecs win.
UNLV/Vanderbilt Un 57: The last 6 quarters or so UNLV has really gotten away from what they truly are… a run heavy team. Last week in particular they went nuts with 91 plays run and 55 pass attempts (60 if you include sacks). After the game head coach Tony Sanchez made it a point to talk about how he’ll make sure they go back to the run game. “The way we’re built, mentality-wise, the way we’ve recruited, we’ve got to be able to run the ball downhill,” Sanchez said. “That’s a big part of who we’ve been the last bunch of years, and the last couple weeks it’s kind of gotten away from us.” Vandy is allowing 6.3 yards per carry which is 2nd worst in the nation so all signs point towards a heavy dosage of runs from the Rebels. On the other side Vandy is only 87th in the nation at 69.4 plays per game. In short if UNLV goes back to their run heavy offense and Vandy is playing at their typically slow pace then under 57 is just fine with me.
Louisville (+7): At 5-0 Wake Forest has quietly worked their way into the top 20 but how good are they really? Outside of North Carolina they haven’t even played a team that ranks inside my top 55. They beat Utah State by only 3, Boston College by only 6, and in that North Carolina game, again only won by 6. On the other side with Cunningham now at QB the Louisville offense has been rolling. Him over Pass at QB has been a big time improvement at QB and even now I still the market has undervalued just how big of that gap is. Cunningham can make it happen through the air, and on the ground the rushing trio of he, Hawkins and Hall average over 200 yards per game on the ground. Satterfield is really making an impact on this program and I’m very impressed. I only made this line 3.5 while I’d love to get 7, 6.5 is still a FG over my number and that’s enough to get me on the road dog.
Oklahoma/Texas Un 75.5: I only made this line 70 and clearly I think it’s inflated. Oklahoma’s offense numbers are gaudy as hell but in fairness they’ve only played one team this year that I rate in my top 60. They beef up those numbers by being efficient as hell but believe it or not they only run 64.2 plays per game which is 121st out of 130 FBS teams. Now against what’s by far the best defense they’ve faced this year the efficiency even slowing a bit should mean a clear drop in points due to the lack of volume in plays. Defensively Texas has had their issues but they have held up pretty nicely against the run. The Sooners run it about 56% of the time and while they’ll certainly have success there I do think Texas can keep it from getting out of hand. I also think Texas might slow their pace a little bit offensively in effort to protect their defense. As I said in the open, I make this total 70 so I’m not going to act like it’ll be a defensive struggle. I see a 38-30 type Oklahoma win.
Iowa (+3): Two weeks ago I had this line as Iowa -2.5 and even now I have it at PK so getting over a FG with Iowa is good enough for me. I think the market is overreacting to Penn State winning their last two games by a combined 94-7. I have Penn State rated 3.5 points but with Iowa at home that drops my line down to pick. It’s also worth noting this is a night game and has been sold out for nearly a month. Not all home fields are created equal and the atmosphere in Iowa City should be electric on Saturday night. To this point the most trouble Penn State’s offense has had was against a Pitt team that had a very solid front 4. Well the Iowa front 4 is going to be unlike anything they’ve dealt with yet this season. It’s the strength of an Iowa defense that’s 5th in the nation overall and 11th against the run. In a low scoring grind it out game like this have a FG in your back pocket is awfully nice.
Toledo/Bowling Green Un 66: More than anything else I just don’t think the volume of plays is enough to justify a total this high. Toledo is 47th in FBS running 73.2 plays per game and Bowling Green is all the way down at 89th averaging just 69 plays per game. Both teams prefer to keep it on the ground with Bowling Green rushing it about 53-54% of the time and on the other side Toledo is all the way up to 66.2% of the time rushing the ball. As we know running the ball keeps that clock moving and with a total this high that’s very important. Assuming Toledo jumps out to a big lead which they should then game script should lead to an already very heavy run heavy offense going that route even more to just bleed the clock and run the game out. The other side of that is as I mentioned at 89th in tempo Bowling Green isn’t build to speed things up and play fast when they fall behind. More than enough to have me on the under in this one.
Hawaii/Boise State Un 60.5: Another one where I just don’t think the pace and amount of plays justify a total in the 60’s. We’ll start with Boise State who is 12th in the nation at 80.2 plays per game but that is kept afloat by early season numbers. The first two weeks they were averaging nearly 100 plays per game and in the last 3 games they are all the way down to about 62 plays per game. It’s a similar story for Hawaii who is 27th at 76.5 plays per game, but again it’s been much slower lately. In their first 3 games Hawaii was at about 80 plays per game, but in the last two they are all the way down to under 60 per game on average. We all know Hawaii loves to throw it all over the yard and that should be a problem here against a Boise State defense that’s 14th in the nation in pass defense. I capped this total at 56 and disagree with the line movement that has now pushed it up and over 60.
San Diego State (-3.5)
UNLV/Vandy Un 57
Oklahoma/Texas Un 75.5
Toledo/Bowling Green Un 66
Hawaii/Boise State Un 60.5