Last Updated: 2019-10-18
For our College Football total of the Week, where we fell to 3-4 last time out, we’ll take a look at the game between Clemson and Louisville, where the Tigers are favored by 24 and the total just climbed up to 62.
This is obviously a huge revenge game for Louisville, who were completely waxed by a 77-16 final score, as the Tigers rushed for 492 yards and added 169 through the air. Despite all of their rushing yards, Clemson held the ball less than 23 minutes. The Tigers won 47-21 in 2017, gaining over 600 yards in the process.
The Tigers come into this one off a 45-14 win over Florida State, as Clemson was able to move the ball both on the ground and through the air, picking 552 yards of total offense. The Seminoles were held to 253 total yards by Clemson’s defense, which is allowing just 12.3 points per game and allowing 255 yards.
Clemson is averaging 39.2 points per game, but have been held to 24 or less twice, once by Texas A & M and again by North Carolina in a game they may haven’t deserved to win. Clemson’s schedule will work against them and they have no room for error, so wouldn’t expect to see them looking past Louisville in this one.
Louisville can come close to matching the Tigers on offense, as they’ve averaging 37.3 points per game and have scored at least 17 points in each game, scoring 17 against Notre Dame and 24 against FSU. Louisville has scored at least 38 points in their other games.
Louisville doesn’t come close to keeping up with Clemson on the defensive side of the ball, as they allow 31.5 points per game and that number would be a bit worse if not for shutting out Eastern Kentucky. Louisville has allowed at least 35 points in each of their last three games against Florida State, Boston College and Wake Forest.
While you would expect to see a decent defensive effort out of Louisville after giving up 77 points to the Tigers last season, but history shows a slightly different story, as teams who scored at least 70 points in the previous meeting between two teams have gone 36-28 (56.2%) in overs for the rematch, so will go ahead and take a shot on the over 62 in this one.
END OF WEEK 8 PICKS
Just 3-3 for the season with our College Total of the Week, as college football hasn’t been nearly as kind to us as the NFL in the early going. For this week, we’ll take a look at the game between Air Force and Fresno State, where the total opened 51.5 and is now down to 50.5 with a little more than 60% of the wagers so far coming in on the under in this one.
It’s no secret what Air Force is going to do in this one, as long as they’re able to keep it close in the early going. The Falcons were forced to throw the ball last week and they didn’t do bad, throwing 26 times for 246 yards, but if Air Force passes for more than 200 yards in a game there’s a good chance they’re going to lose, as they’re just 8-16 when passing for 200 or more yards. If things play out the way the Falcons would like, Air Force would attempt between 5 and 8 passes per game and that’s it.
Defensively, the Falcons aren’t all that bad, even though they’ve allowed 30 or more points twice this one, once to Boise State and last week to Navy, where the Midshipmen took advantage of the Falcons trying to stop the run, as Navy completed 6 of 8 passes for 162 yards. Air Force has done a lot better when they’re expecting the opposition to throw some and don’t get burned crowding the line up front.
Fresno State likes to run the ball, but they can also pass the ball pretty well. Last week was the first time all season they didn’t throw for at least 250 yards, but there was no need to, as they were moving the ball pretty well on the ground. The Bulldogs are decent defensively and were able to shut down the Sacramento State running game, but it’s a pretty big step up to the Falcons’ rushing attack.
I usually don’t pay a whole lot of attention to individual team trends, especially in college football where the players are constantly revolving, but Fresno’s total record after back-to-back wins is definitely noteworthy, as the Bulldogs are 18-31-2 in totals, but an incredible 1-17 since the start of the 2014 season. That’s not the reason for this play, as I think the tendencies of both teams give this one a good chance to go under the number, but definitely though it was interesting to see how the team plays in that role.
But will go ahead and take the under 50.5 in this one, which has the makings of a pretty decent game.
END OF WEEK 7 PICKS
For our College Total of the Week, where we’re 2-3 for the season, we’ll take a look at the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes. The total opened at 50 and is now 49.5 with pretty good two-way action on the total.
The Spartans are coming off one of their better offensive games, knocking off Indiana by a 40-31 final, but it was also the team’s worst defensive effort by far this season. Now, part of that can be excused by looking ahead to this game, but for a team that didn’t allow more than 17 points in any of its first four games, that 31 points to the Hoosiers stands out a little bit, especially after Ohio State held the Hoosiers to 10 points.
Offensively, the Spartans haven’t been as effective at rushing the ball as they have in the past, averaging just 4.0 yards per carry. The MSU passing offense has been a little better and the Spartans are gaining 7.6 yards per pass. The Ohio State defense isn’t going to be easy to run against, although Nebraska had a little bit of success, although the game was already out of reach and neither team really tried to change the scoreboard in the second half.
Offensively, the Buckeyes are rolling along and have scored at least 42 points in every game, not to mention the 76 points they put up on Miami, Ohio. The Buckeyes are getting the job done through the air or on the ground, averaging more than 250 yards per game in both.
It goes without saying the Spartans defense will be the toughest the Buckeyes have seen this season, but you can say the same thing for Michigan State. Ohio State’s defense is getting overshadowed by the numbers the offense is putting up, but the Buckeyes are allowing 9 points per game and are holding teams to fewer than 225 total yards.
The total seems a bit on the low side, considering the number of points the Buckeyes are scoring and the fact that both teams put up at least 40 points last game. In fact, you seldom see a total lower than 50 when both teams are coming off 40-point efforts, but when you do, those games have shown a tendency to land under the number, as they’re 20-39-2, so will hope to see that trend to continue and will take the under 49.5 in this one.
END OF WEEK 6 PICKS
We fell to 1-3 with our College Football Total Pick of the Week and now will look at the game between New Mexico and Liberty. Liberty is favored by 7, which is about right where you would expect, while the total opened 68.5 and has been bet up to 73.5, which I don’t really see. While the teams played a 52-43 game last year, that was last year and so far this season, we’re not seeing the same type of scoring we did from Liberty and that’s with their 62 points last week against Hampton.
In the Monarchs’ first three games of the season, which came against Syracuse, Lafayette and Buffalo, Liberty scored 49 points, or an average of 16.3 points. While the Lobos will never be mistaken for a defensive powerhouse, their defense is closer to Lafayette and Buffalo than it is Hampton.
People may be reading too much into New Mexico’s last game, which was a 55-52 shootout with rival New Mexico State, but the Lobos probably aren’t as good as they looked last week, as this is the same team who scored 39 points in the opener against Sam Houston State and were held to 14 points by Notre Dame, with one of their two touchdowns coming in garbage time.
New Mexico’s offensive coordinator was Liberty’s defensive coordinator last season, so he may know a little about the players, but they also know how he schemed against the Lobos, so probably not much of an advantage for either team.
The Lobos are going to run the first and they’re not afraid to pass, which is something that appeared to catch New Mexico State off-guard, as the Lobos completed just 16 passes but gained 355 yards through the air.
The under also has a few trends working in its favor, as teams who won their previous game while allowing at least 50 points have gone 26-39-3 (40%) in totals.
While totals of 70 or higher were a novelty not too long ago, things have changed it’s nothing that unusual any longer, although these games have gone just 11-16 this season, so the games expected to be shootouts don’t always play out that way.
The defenses could very well take another day off here, but think there will be enough stops to keep this one under the total.
END OF WEEK 5 PICKS
Our Total of the Week looked good until halftime and a touchdown in the final 38 seconds sent the game over the total and handed us a loss, so looking to bounce back this week and we’ll look at the game between Central Michigan and the Miami Hurricanes. The total opened at 49.5 and went up to 51.5, but has since dropped back down to 48.
The main reason the total is dropping is the weather forecast, as it’s expected to be windy and thunderstorms, so really nothing too much out of the ordinary for south Florida this time of year. But have to think people have over-reacted a bit and this one, as the Hurricanes are capable of putting up seven touchdowns themselves.
The Hurricanes rushed 37 times for 257 yards last week against Bethune-Cookman and is now going up against a Central Michigan team that allowed 61 points to Wisconsin and more than 20 points to Albany and Akron. Albany has one of the worst rushing attacks in college football and Akron isn’t much better, so even though Miami would prefer to move the ball through the air, the ‘Canes should have a fair amount of success on the ground.
But Miami isn’t going to let a little wind force them to keep the ball on the ground all the time. The Hurricanes will still throw the ball some, perhaps not quite as much as they usually do.
Central Michigan is capable of putting up some points in this one. They did score 45 against Akron and while Miami is much better than the Zips, they’re also not quite in the same ballpark as Wisconsin, so would be surprised if CMU doesn’t put up a few scores in this one.
As we’ve seen, the Hurricanes have no problem running up the score when playing an inferior team. The last two times they’ve been favored by more than four touchdowns, the Hurricanes have outscored those two opponents 49-0 in the four quarter, including the 21 points the ‘Canes put up on Bethune-Cookman in the fourth quarter last week and the last one, which came with less than three minutes to go pushed the game over the total of 56.
Central Michigan is obviously better than BCU defensively, but also better than Bethune-Cookman offensively and should hit the scoreboard a couple of times, so will go ahead and go against the gran in this one and take the over 48, as game with a total of 50 or less are 106-61-1 (63.5%) when the favored team is favored by more than 28 points.
END OF WEEK 4 PICKS
A few too many short field goals last week and we fell a few points short with our totals play, dropping us to 1-1 on the season. Nothing worse for the over than a five-minute drive that ends with a 27-yard field goal, but it’s all part of the game.
This week, we’ll take a look at another game that isn’t getting a whole lot of attention, and for good reason, as Texas State visits SMU. The Mustangs are favored by 17 and the total has shot up from 58 to 62 after more than 70% of the wagers have come in on the over.
Texas State is 0-2 on the season and lost to Texas A & M 41-7 opening week, allowing 478 yards and making four turnovers. Texas State couldn’t rush the ball at all, finishing with just 8 yards, although they were a little better last week against Wyoming, rushing for 50 yards and throwing for 394. But once again turnovers were a killer, as the Bobcats made three, one of which was a returned interception for a touchdown, and Texas State held the Cowboys to less than 300 yards of total offense in the game.
The Cowboys rushed the ball for 190 yards and only had 103 passing, while Texas A&M rushed for 246 and threw for 232, so the Bobcats aren’t really playing that bad defensively and would be doing a little better if the offense could hang on to the ball a little bit better. Texas State can’t keep leaving the defense on the field for more than 34 minutes per game, which is what happened in each of their first two games.
SMU has rolled up some points against Arkansas State and North Texas, but Texas State is a bit more experienced on defense than either of those two teams. Defensively, the Mustangs aren’t particularly strong against the run, so this may be the game Texas State is able to run the ball a little bit and take some time off the clock.
Going to go against the grain a little bit and take the under 62, as the Bobcats have been a little better on defense than their numbers may look and think they may be able to slow down the Mustangs a little bit.
END OF WEEK 3 PICKS
We managed to start off on the right foot with our College Football Total Pick of the Week and now will do what we do best, which is look at one of the uglier games on the college football schedule this week, Tulsa at San Jose State. The Hurricanes are favored by 6.5 and the total is at 52.5.
The Hurricanes are coming off a respectable showing in Lansing against Michigan State, in which they fell 28-7 as 23.5-point underdogs and now face the other Spartans, who defeated Northern Colorado by a 35-18 final in a game they led 21-6 at halftime and eased up a little bit.
Tulsa played a solid game, but were no match for the Spartans physically and could be feeling the after-effects a little bit after a physical game. The Hurricanes do have their home opener next week against in-state foe Oklahoma State, so you can’t blame Tulsa a little bit if they’re not entirely motivated for this game.
The Spartans only won a game last season, but they did play hard, which as a bettor is all you can really ask for. San Jose State was 7-4-1 against the number and gave teams like Hawaii and San Diego State a good run for the money.
Last week quarterback Josh Love was 21 for 31 for 224 and a pair of touchdowns, while the Spartans added 160 yards on the ground. Love has progressively gotten better and now as a senior has a chance to show what he can do.
Nobody will mistake the San Jose State defense for Michigan State, but the Hurricanes were held to (-73) yards rushing and gained 80 yards in the game. Tula’s leading rusher in the game had six carries for 0 yards. Everybody else was worse.
The Spartans played last Friday, so have had an extra day to get ready for this one, while the Hurricanes were on the road and are taking to the road once again, so probably not the greatest of situations for Tulsa, especially with Big Brother looming on the schedule next week.
Even though they played a respectable game, the Spartans aren’t a good defensive team by any means, while Tulsa isn’t nearly as bad as they looked against MSU, who can make anybody look bad on offense. The Hurricanes are the first Week 2 away favorite off a 7-point or less effort since 2007 and are due for some points, while I think Love and SJ State may score a bit more than people think this season, but will allow their fair share as well, so will take the over 52.5 in this one.
END OF WEEK 2 PICKS
It’s that time of the year, and we’ll kick-off our College Total of the Week with a look at the game between Middle Tennessee State and the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines opened as 29.5-point favorites and the line has shot up to 34.5, while the total opened at 54 and has stayed there despite an extremely lopsided number of wagers on the over, although in reality, the number of people betting the total is probably pretty minimal, so not a shock to see the number hold steady.
It’s definitely a rebuilding year for Middle Tennessee State, who is here for the paycheck and little else, as it’s almost certainly a loss, but does nothing to hurt the Blue Raiders’ conference chances. But when a team offers you $1.6 million to play a football game, it’s kind of hard to turn that down, especially for a mid-conference team like MTS.
Stockstill is gone for Middle Tennessee and he leaves as the school’s all-time passing leader, so no matter how good his replacement fares, he has some big shoes to fill, and MTS is likely to play several different quarterbacks in this game, as it appears neither Asher O’Hara – last year’s backup – or Randall Johnson has set themselves apart.
The two offensive coordinators are getting some attention here, Tony Franklin for MTS and Josh Gattis for Michigan. Both like to run uptempo offenses, which should result in a few more plays than we would typically see.
The Wolverines are solid on defense and realistically, you can’t expect MTS to score much in this one, while the Blue Raiders run an attacking defense, so while they’ll make some plays, they’re also likely to give up some big plays, especially to a team as talented offensively as Michigan.
With the spread being as high as it is, the total is still relatively low and the odds suggest something in the neighborhood of a 44-10 type of game. But Week 1 games where the favored team is favored by 30 or more points with a total of 54.5 or less have gone 45-25 (64.3%) in totals over the years and 19-6 over the last five years. The favorite has scored an average of 45.8 points and 47.4 points over the past five seasons.
Will go ahead and start things off with the over 54 in this game, as I expect the Wolverines to come pretty close to that number themselves, but think MTS can probably score a time or two in this one.
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