Week six is here already? It seems like just yesterday the football world was going berserk over the Hawaiian Rainbow Warriors pummeling the Colorado State Rams. But here we are nearly halfway through the season. The market is growing more efficient every week so we need every edge we can get. BangTheBook gives to you the almighty returning production metric.
So How are We Going to Use These Measurements Throughout the Season?
In the beginning of the year, weeks one through four, returning production statistics can be used to find edges backing experienced teams or fading inexperienced teams. As the season goes on young teams can be monitored for improvement as the players start to gain more experience. By week eight we should have a strong idea of what each team truly is capable of accomplishing.
So How Did the Picks go Last Week?
It is rewarding to see the data has produced winning Saturdays in back-to-back weeks. The record during this time has been 5-1 so hopefully we can keep it going.
Last week the USC Trojans secured a big win on the road against the floundering Arizona Wildcats. These plays are made at this point in the season to back an inexperienced team with room to grow. The Trojans were just that, and took care of business in this game despite losing the turnover battle 2-1 on the road.
The Fighting Irish were also identified as a team that had room to grow on the offensive side of the ball. Only 54% of last year’s production was returning. As the season has gone on, and a quarterback switch was made, the offense has looked much better.
Both of these teams should continue to be backed throughout the season. There is still a lot of skepticism surrounding USC so the market should continue to undervalue them. Notre Dame looked rough a couple weeks ago with Wimbush, so there may still be time to buy low.
So Where is This Data Pointing Us This Week?
Last week we isolated some teams who were not returning a lot of production, but they had the talent to grow stronger with experience. The teams isolated were:
Oklahoma State Cowboys
TCU Horned Frogs
Washington State Cougars
At this point Memphis and Louisville are teams that are really tough to back. Memphis lost by 16 to Tulane despite being a 15.5 point favorite. Louisville also lost as a favorite, although at home to the Florida State Seminoles, who are struggling mightily themselves.
There is still hope for the Tigers, since Memphis plays some weaker opponents. Look for spots to play on them throughout the season. Louisville, on the other hand, faces stiffer competition in the ACC. The team is having a lot of issues adjusting after the departure of Heisman winning quarterback Lamar Jackson. Consider fading them until there are strong signs of a turn around.
LSUTigers (-3) at Florida Gators
Last week the LSU Tigers went on to thump the Ole Miss Rebels 45-16. The Tigers gained 573 yards and only gave up 328 in the game. This week the spot is really tough for the Tigers on the road at Florida.
However, the Tigers returned the ninth fewest production from last year. Both sides of the ball feature young athletes improving with experience. This team is still a team to back for the foreseeable future. Take the Tigers -3 or less on the road at Florida.
Washington State Cougars (Bovada -17) at the Oregon State Beavers
The Washington State Cougars continue to prove doubters wrong. They welcomed the Utah Utes to Pullman, Washington and took care of business winning 28-24. The Cougars finished with 445 total yards of offense. The Utah Utes were held to 322 including just 118 yards passing.
This week head coach Mike Leach leads the Cougars into Oregon State. The young team should continue to roll and take care of business on the road against a struggling Beavers defense. The Cougars lowest returning production was the offensive side of the ball, with just 49% returning.
However, every game transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew plays in the Leach system is another game for the offensive to improve. The team should be able to continue their impressive season this Saturday. Take the Cougars laying the large points on the road.