College Football Betting By the Numbers: Week 5


When you bet on NCAA Football, you should know all about the numbers. Numbers for stats, numbers for trends, numbers for betting lines, numbers for ‘totals’ – You should know it all. Here at Bang the Book, we are set to talk about the NCAA football betting lines for Week 5. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!

4: The number of Top 10 teams in the country that are going to have to go on the road this week. Perhaps the more accurate number would be ‘3’, as that is the amount of Top 10 teams that we think could be on legitimate upset alert this week in the Top 10. We have no fear of the Oregon Ducks losing to the Washington State Cougars, but we very well could see the Florida State Seminoles, South Carolina Gamecocks, and Stanford Cardinal all get picked off.

6: The number of touchdowns that RB Stefphon Jefferson scored last week for the Nevada Wolf Pack. This junior has been on absolute fire this year, as he already has 12 total touchdowns to go with his 697 yards as a rusher and 89 yards as a receiver. Not a bad four games worth of work, eh? What makes Jefferson’s numbers all the more impressive is that he has four more touchdowns this year than any other player in the entire country.
6.1: The number representing the average margin of victory in the games between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington since the two became SEC foes and played for the first time in 1992. South Carolina is laying three touchdowns in this one, and it hasn’t won a game by that margin over the Cats at Commonwealth Stadium ever in its history. In fact, last year’s 54-3 romp at home was the first time since 2005 that this game was decided by more than 15 points regardless of venue, and it is still one of the two times in the history of the rivalry that the game featured a victory or more than 20 points by either side.

6-2: The numbers representing the ATS record for the MAC last week in non-conference games against FBS foes. Included in there were four of the conference’s six wins on the season over Big Ten schools, and those four games don’t even include the fact that the Eastern Michigan Eagles were up 7-3 on the Michigan State Spartans at halftime last week in East Lansing or the fact that the Akron Zips were tied at halftime with the Tennessee Volunteers in Rocky Top. The MAC has owned the Big Ten for bettors this year the same way that the Sun Belt has owned the SEC, as we discussed last week.

7: The number of consecutive home games that the South Florida Bulls have failed to cover dating back to last season. Poor USF knows that it has its work cut out for it this week against the Florida State Seminoles, who have to be coming into Tampa Bay sky high after blowing out the Clemson Tigers in the second half last week. The Bulls have already lost back to back games, including inexplicably losing to the Ball State Cardinals last week, and they are going to have to really man up if they want to hang in there as 17-point home underdogs against the No. 4 team in the country.

20: The number of consecutive passes that QB Connor Shaw has completed for his South Carolina Gamecocks. Shaw threw an incomplete pass to start the day, and he fired off 20 in a row that hit his receivers against the Missouri Tigers in a game that proved to be a romp in the SEC East. Shaw is still quite a long ways away from the record for the most consecutive completions all-time, as he would need 17 more to break that record. His 95.2 percent completion percentage last week was awesome, but it was just a tad short of the 95.8 percent that Tee Martin put up for the Tennessee Volunteers in 1998, a game which was ironically played against – you guessed it – the Gamecocks.

23: The number of games on the college football rotation schedule this week that feature point spreads of a touchdown or less. That’s a whopping 42.6 percent of the games that are on the docket this week that are expected to be incredibly close games. There might be very few truly marquee games that pit Top 25 teams against one another, but that doesn’t mean that the action isn’t expected to be close. Stay tuned this week for what should be some remarkable action on the gridiron.

31.5: The number representing the biggest point spread of the weekend in college football. Once again, it is the Alabama Crimson Tide that have that distinction of being favored by more points than any team in the land, but the number might not be nearly as big as it should be. The Ole Miss Rebels were blown away by 35 at home by a significantly worse Texas Longhorns team a few weeks ago, and now they have to go on the road to take on the undisputed best team in the country. It could be a long, long night for the Rebs in Tuscaloosa.

36: The number of unanswered points that the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets put on the board against the Miami Hurricanes last week… and they still lost! The Ramblin’ Wreck are now just a train wreck under Head Coach Paul Johnson, and they need to get back in the saddle quickly if they have any aspirations of getting to a respectable bowl game this year. The problem for G-Tech is that it has already lost two games in conference play, and in its own Coastal Division, no less. The good news? The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are coming to town this week as 27.5-point underdogs. A blowout might be the best thing for the Jackets right now.

42: The number representing the lowest ‘total’ of the weekend. That distinction goes to the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Illinois Fighting Illini, who probably have the two worst offenses in the tremendously offensively challenged Big Ten. Get used to see the Nittany Lions and the Illini up there in the ranks of the lowest ‘totals’ of the week, as there are a lot of ugly looking games that are on tap. The worst part about this one? It’s on national television to start off the day on ESPN at high noon. Even worse? There really aren’t all that many games that we would want to turn on instead in that hour.

48-17: The numbers that Head Coach Bo Pelini has to have been showing his Nebraska Cornhuskers all week long. Remember last year, that the Children of the Corn were absolutely blasted at Camp Randall Stadium in a showdown of teams that were ranked in the Top 10 in the land at the time. Now, it might be payback time for QB Taylor Martinez, who should be in for a lot better effort this time around now that he is a year older, a year wiser, is playing at home, and has a significantly worse Wisconsin team staring at him on the other side of the field.

54.9: The number representing the percentage of home underdogs that have covered this year across all of college football in FBS vs. FBS games. Home pups are 28-23-4 over the course of those games, so yes, if you blindly bet every single home underdog on the point spread this year for one unit, you would be up 2.7 units. Last week alone, home underdogs went 6-3-2 ATS and barked quite loudly once again.

80: The number representing the highest ‘total’ on the board this weekend. That number is attributed to the Baylor Bears and the West Virginia Mountaineers thanks to the fact that they are both going to run no huddle offenses that throw the ball all over the place a heck of a lot more than they try to run it. QB Nick Florence and QB Geno Smith are both going to put the rock in the air at least 40-45 times, if not more if this one becomes a massive shootout, and knowing that both of these teams have defense that, at times can be sieves, who knows whether we’ll see that happen or not. Either way, this is the highest ‘total’ that has been on the board all year long in major college football betting action.

730: The number of passing yards that QB Taylor Heinicke threw for last week. He needed to throw the ball 79 times to get the job done for his Old Dominion Monarchs, and he completed 55 passes to do it. That 730 is the most all-time by a Division-I level quarterback, breaking the record once held by QB David Klingler. Is this something that is going to be vital to betting this week? Of course not. But we would definitely be remiss if we didn’t make mention of a statistic that is that outrageous in a piece that is all about the numbers. This is one of the more remarkable accomplishments that college football has seen this year.

1,201: The number of yards per game that the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Texas Longhorns are averaging combined this year. Of course, those numbers are almost certain to come down when these two teams play against each other, as they clearly also both have the best defenses that the other has seen this year as well. Still, there is no doubt that QB Wes Lunt and/or QB J.W. Walsh and QB David Ash are going to be gunning the ball all over the field, and they are both expected to lead their team to victory in what should be a very fun nationally televised battle on the gridiron on FOX.

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Aaron Ryan

Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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