Last Updated: 2017-12-01
We went 2-1 in the last week of the regular season but this is championship week, aka; “The Last Supper” before the Bowl Games in December. This week has a couple of totals that standout and some real potential for high scoring games featuring Lane Kiffin’s Rat Poison Control Crew and the Memphis Pain Train with Riley Ferguson.
TRANSPARENCY REPORT CARD: 22-20 [ -2.2 Units ]
(All of these totals were taken from 5Dimes.eu on the evening of 11/30/17 )
NORTH TEXAS @ FLORIDA ATLANTIC (73): Coach Kiffin will have to take a break from trolling Tennessee to coach this game but considering the success that he and his Owls have had putting points up, the expectations are high for Florida Atlantic in this conference clash. The Owls run at hyper pace with Kendall Briles dialing up the old Baylor playbook at an extremely quick clip and teams just have fits trying to match up their fronts and get their defense called before FAU snaps the ball. Junior quarterback Jason Driskel has sparked this offense with his running ability and he has been efficient through the air with a 66.8% completion rate. This Owls offense runs through sophomore star Devin Singletary, who leads the nation in rushing touchdowns at 26 and ranks fourth in rushing yards with 1,630 thus far. The North Texas defense is a sieve, they would have zero pass rush were it not for junior linebacker at his 5.5 sacks and senior safety Kishawn McClain (second leading tackler) is the only player on their roster that has the ability to make a solo tackle.
The Mean Green is running on Mason Fine’s ability at this point, especially without senior runningback Jeffery Wilson ruled out for the foreseeable future with his ankle injury. While freshman runningback Nick Smith is probably the more gifted receiver, Nick Wilson was the team’s best pure runner and chain mover. Fortunately, Mason Fine and Notre Dame transfer Jalen Guyton have combined for nine touchdowns and after missing last week with a concussion, Guyton should be ready to go for the title game. Seth Littrell’s spread will definitely be able to find the holes in FAU’s defense, especially after a very similar Western Kentucky offense ripped up the Owls defense for 371 passing yards. FAU gives up an average of 233 yards per game through the air and the Mean Green offense passing game is clicking with nine passing touchdowns in their last three games with a 68% completion rate in those games.
The last time these two teams played, the game hit 100 in a 69-31 FAU blowout win that was well out of hand by halftime but the the Mean Green will have revenge on their minds this time around. Kickoff is going to be close to 80 degrees in Boca Raton so the conditions should be favorable for both team’s passing games and with the line dropping from 74½ down to the 73 it currently sits at, there’s a chance this number could be even more favorable closer to Saturday afternoon. While this rematch might not hit the century mark, there’s certain to be plenty of points in this game and the finale feels like a big FAU win 59 – 28 to put a stamp on a terrific run through Conference USA.
THE PLAY: (OVER 73) UNT @ FAU *1 UNIT*
MEMPHIS @ CENTRAL FLORIDA (81): I know, this is an awful high number but the Tigers offense has been white hot with 233 points scored in their last four games combined. Senior quarterback Riley Ferguson has been on a mission since the team’s loss against Central Florida in September and there’s no doubt that Memphis whole roster remembers that beatdown vividly but Ferguson was vocal about redeeming his poor performance in that game. Since then, Memphis went on a seven game winning streak that they’re currently riding and their offense has scored 30 or more every week. The Tigers offense is spearheaded by senior receiver Anthony Miller who is second in the nation in receiving touchdowns at 14 on the year but Memphis also has an outstanding return game with redshirt sophomore Tony Pollard who leads the nation in yards per kickoff return at 44.2 yards and his four return touchdowns are also tops in FBS play. The Central Florida defense is led by the fiery Shaquem Griffin who paces the team in sacks at 3.5 and forced fumbles with two but this team will have issues getting to Ferguson before he gets rid of the ball in this game.
The Tigers defense is a bit of a joke with their 30.8 points per game allowed average and the big reason teams are able to score at will is the lack of form tackling and poor pass rushing. Were it not for senior linebacker Genard Avery and his 18.5 TFLs/6.5 manufactured sacks, the team would have little to no bite on defense but even with him the Knights scored forty points in their first meeting this year. Central Florida has a very capable dual threat passer in McKenzie Milton who has not only thrown for 30 touchdown passes but he’s also chipped in six rushing scores on 429 yards. Milton is throwing to a future NFL receiver in Tre’Quan Smith, a receiver that has the length, tackle breaking ability and ball skills to thrive against any corner at the collegiate level. Sophomore runningback Adrian Killins is carrying a 7.1 per carry clip, he has 10 total touchdowns on the year and he’s a very effective receiver that has 24 catches thus far. The Knights can basically score any way they want and they’re extremely dangerous because they can adapt to situational football and they have outstanding team speed on both sides of the ball.
Central Florida is the better team here but they just got up last week for a bigtime challenge from South Florida that forced the Knights to answer the bell and execute the comeback for a big conference win to keep their undefeated record alive. The other factor here is revenge for a Memphis team that got embarrassed on the road in a 27 point loss that is embedded in their minds, so expect the Tigers to pull out all the stops here. The forecast is ideal; partly cloudy, low winds with temps close to the total at 81 degrees so that bodes well for Memphis ariel assault. Both of these teams trend towards the OVER but the total has dropped significantly from the opener of 85½ down to the current number of 81, so there’s clear money coming in on the UNDER and that means this number has a chance to continue sinking before noon Saturday. I’ll call for another win for Scott Frost and his super soldiers but it won’t come easy against a bitter Tigers team out for blood. 48-41 UCF wins the AAC!
THE PLAY: (OVER 81) MEM @ UCF *1 UNIT*
Thanks so much for reading! Please feel free to hit me up with any questions, comments or feedback that you might have on twitter (@JoeWEverett).
-END OF 2017 WEEK 14 UPDATE-
Totals are often times the safest way to make a play and getting in on the right side of a number is always best when you’re trying to invest. In this college football extra points series, we’ll try to nail down the games that will have a number and a key matchup that will help you cash it up on Saturdays. (All of these totals were taken from 5Dimes.eu on the afternoon of 12/02/16)
LOUISIANA TECH @ WESTERN KENTUCKY (80): Yes, we’re playing the OVER on a ludicrously high 80-point total but both of these two offenses are moving the ball with ease, especially the Hilltoppers who have scored 44 or more points in each of their last eight consecutive games. Head coach Jeff Brohm’s offense features a number of senior playmakers, namely receivers Taywan Taylor (team captain) and Nicholas Norris who both have 1,000+ yards receiving and have combined for 28 total touchdowns to go along with all-purpose back and fellow team captain runningback Anthony Wales (21 total touchdowns). The man that makes it go is South Florida transfer Mike White who has a 31-to-5 touchdown to interception ratio and tossed three quick scores in the first 16 minutes of the game against Marshall last week. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are averaging 40.6 points per game, they have an explosive spread offense and they’re almost a mirror image of the Hilltoppers on offense with wide open sets and a lot of downfield shots combined with safe intermediate completions in space designed for their athletes to win with short area quickness. Senior Ryan Higgins is spraying the field with a 66.4% completion rate and has a 34-to-7 touchdown to interception ratio but he also offers a scrambling element to his game with 317 rushing yards and three rushing scores. Senior receiver Trent Taylor is impossible to cover over the middle with his quickness and route running ability and junior Carlos Henderson has developed into a dangerous deep threat with his straight line speed, as he holds a career 19.9 yard per catch average. Skip Holtz’s crew may have just dropped a game against Southern Miss last week but they have gone 9-3 to the OVER this season, including a 7-1 OVER record in their last eight games. The Western Kentucky offense is a machine, the last two games between these teams both went OVER the total and when these teams played earlier in the year, they battled it out in a 55-52 Bulldogs win in October.
THE PLAY: (OVER 80) LATECH @ WKU *1 UNIT*
TEMPLE @ NAVY (61): This is what football is all about; two coaches that are all about fundamentals/details, two defenses that win with physicality and two offenses that impose their will with their power running games. The advantage should be with Temple’s two headed rushing attack against a Navy defense that is allowing 27.6 points per game and has not been able stop the run after allowing 1,038 rushing yards in their last five games combined. Unfortunately for Temple, their power back Ryquell Armstead (13 touchdowns) is listed as doubtful for this game, so they’ll need to rely on senior Jahad Thomas, who is an explosive back with 18 total touchdowns (6 receiving) and they also have a senior in PJ Walker who knows this playbook like the back of his hand. The star of this Temple offense might be fullback Nick Sharga, a former walk on linebacker that is blowing people up in the running game and it actually shows up on the stat sheet with the last five games that Sharga has been back from injury, the Owls have run for 1,265 yards combined for an average of five-plus yards per carry. The forecast calls for wind gusts in the 12-17 mph range but these offenses don’t rely on passing and with the difficulty Temple had with the triple option in their opening loss to Army, Navy’s 3rd ranked rushing offense will have a lot of success on the ground here. Army gained 329 rushing yards and scored four rushing touchdowns on Temple in week one and Navy quarterback Will Worth is averaging four touchdowns a game in his last six games played. The Mids have a short set huddle, they go with quick counts to throw defenses off and they run a tight formation version of the triple option that features a lot of pre-snap motion which will require the Owls to maintain edge discipline, set their lanes and honor assignments against a confusing offense that runs a ton of misdirection and counters. The eleven Midshipmen games have gone 8-3 OVER the number and in a conference championship game, Navy is likely going to get the job done in a close one with their precision triple option attack ruling the day.
THE PLAY: (OVER 61) TEM @ NAVY *1 UNIT*
SAN DIEGO STATE @ WYOMING (61½): If you have a distinct feeling of deja vu setting in here, it is because we were on this total just two weeks ago when these teams met up in a 34-33 thriller for the Wyoming win and a cashed (OVER 57½) ticket at the end of the night. The difficulty for Wyoming will be the Aztecs’ stout defense which ranks 11th in total yardage at 318 per game and despite allowing 97 total points in their last two games combined, they still have the 20th ranked scoring defense at just 20.8 points allowed per game on the season. The Aztecs can be beat on the ground with 490 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns allowed in the last two weeks and the Wyoming offense has a stud back in junior Brian Hill (21 touchdowns) to go along with a very mobile quarterback in junior Josh Allen who has seven rushing touchdowns to go along with his 23 passing scores. Allen has prototype size, a very live arm and he can extend plays with his mobility. The Pokes will rack up at least twenty but the Aztecs’ team total is another optional bet in this game at 34-35 with the Wyoming defense giving up 475 total yards per game and ranking 109th in scoring defense with their 35.5 points allowed throughout the season. Craig Bohl has done a tremendous job turning this team around but their defense is starting to fall apart with 28 or more points allowed in their last six games for an average of 41.3 points given up in those contests. Wyoming’s twelve game totals have gone 9-3 to the OVER this year, the Aztecs have scored 31 or more points in nine of their games this season and San Diego State’s last five game totals have gone 5-0 OVER the number. This is another later game out in Laramie that could feature some cold weather with an average game temp of 18-20 degrees and 10+ mph gusts that could take the wind chill down to 10, so wait to make this play right up until game time with the expectations that this number could drop to 60-59½ by kickoff.
THE PLAY: (OVER 61½) SDGST @ WYO *1 UNIT*
FLORIDA vs ALABAMA (40½): This isn’t exactly a sharp play with the line sitting very low but these are not just two of the best defenses in the SEC, they’re two of the best in the nation with both ranking in the Top-3 in scoring defense at well below 15 points allowed per game. Roughly half of this Crimson Tide defense will be selected in the Top-100 of the NFL Draft in Philly this spring; namely manimal Jonathan Allen, linebacker Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson who are all senior leaders on the toughest defense in the country. On the other side of the ball, Florida has an inconsistent quarterback in Austin Appleby and they have scored 20 or fewer points in their last four consecutive games. The Gators’ twelve game totals have gone 8-3 to the UNDER and they are riding a five game UNDER streak with the 114th ranked scoring offense at just 22.1 points per game. The two threats for the Gators are receiver Antonio Callaway, who can break any play for the distance and they have a young star in the making in freshman runningback Lamical Perine, the cousin of Samaje Perine (All-American/Oklahoma). The Crimson Tide are certain to key in on the run and let Appleby try his best to beat them through the air but the real worry for the UNDER play here is the potential of a defensive score or two by Alabama in this game and if Florida gets anything over ten points, the Tide might score 31 or 35 by themselves. If the Gators had a healthy Marcus Maye at safety and Alex Anzalone at linebacker, this number would be a little lower but Florida does get back senior linebacker Jarrad Davis for this game and they have a tremendous player in junior cornerback Jalen Tabor. Nick Saban is known for running the ball to kill the clock, he loves to shorten games to put the outcome in the hands of his defense and Alabama will have a mind to get out of this game healthy with their eyes set on the college football playoffs. The outcome should boil down to a 28-6 Tide win but the worst case scenario here is a 28-10/31-10, so a very safe play might be to tease Florida up to +30½ and juice the UNDER up to 47 for a single unit same game teaser if your book will allow you.
THE PLAY: (UNDER 40½) FLA vs AL *1 UNIT*
TRANSPARENCY REPORT CARD: 25-23 [ +0.6 Units ]
Thanks so much for reading! Please feel free to hit me up with any questions, comments or feedback that you might have on twitter (@JoeWEverett).
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