After an epic Week 7 slate, this week still features four top-25 matchups as the college football landscape continues to shift.
Here are the pace numbers as we stand through Week 7.
If you’re new to this piece, we’ll take an in-depth look at the totals market using yards per play, Success Rate, Finishing Drives, plays per minute, seconds per play and more.
Using those metrics, along with a look at the weather and key injuries, the goal is to hopefully help bettors beat the market before Friday and Saturday morning.
Now, let’s dive into the Week 8 slate.
Rice vs. Louisiana Tech
For how bad this Louisiana Tech defense is, this total is too low.
For the season, the Bulldogs rank 115th in EPA/Play Allowed and 101st in explosiveness allowed while allowing a whopping 7.0 yards per play.
The Bulldogs are also having all sorts of trouble stopping the run. They’re allowing 6.9 yards per attempt while ranking 130th in EPA/Rush Allowed and 126th in Defensive Line Yards.
That’s a big problem against Rice, which actually has a decent rushing attack that ranks 64th in EPA/Rush and 40th in explosive rushing. North Texas ran for over 10 yards per carry against the Bulldogs last weekend, so there’s no reason Rice shouldn’t be able to run the ball effectively.
However, the most telling stat of how bad the Louisiana Tech defense has been might be the fact that its PFF tackling grade sits at 33.6, which is the second-worst mark in college football.
Louisiana Tech is throwing the ball all over the yard right now with Parker McNeil. He’s averaging 9.1 yards per attempt and owns a 75.4 PFF passing grade with 12 big-time throws.
The Bulldogs rank ninth nationally in explosive passing, which is big against a Rice secondary that sits 77th in explosive passing allowed.
Louisiana Tech plays at an average pace of 25.32 seconds per play, while Rice plays at one of the slowest paces in the country.
But with advantages for both offenses, I have the total for this game projected at 71.9, so I like the value on over 57 points.
Pick: Over 57
Ole Miss vs. LSU
This is a huge game in the SEC, as Ole Miss looks to stay undefeated and in first place in the SEC West.
Jaxson Dart is a really interesting quarterback because if you take away the games against Central Arkansas and Georgia Tech, he’s actually been really average.
Image via PFF.
That’s a problem when the strength of the LSU defense comes in the secondary, as the Tigers rank 19th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 23rd in EPA/Pass Allowed.
Lane Kiffin, though, has been relying on his run game more than ever before. The Rebels run the ball on 65.5% of their offensive plays, and for good reason. They’re gaining 5.7 yards per carry, rank ninth in Rushing Success Rate and eighth in rushing explosiveness.
However, LSU boasts a really talented front seven that has the 15th-best run defense grade in the country, per PFF.
With Jayden Daniels leading the way, LSU has been a mixed bag on the offensive side this season. Daniels is averaging just 7.1 yards per attempt and owns a 71.5 PFF passing grade with only four big-time throws.
That has LSU ranked 75th in EPA/Pass, but the focus of the LSU offense hasn’t been on the passing game.
The Tigers have a dynamic rushing attack with four different running backs averaging over 4.5 yards per carry. However, Daniels has rushed the ball 90 times, which is 40 more attempts than anyone else on the team. With a PFF rushing grade of 83, he’s gaining 4.5 yards per carry while averaging 4.3 yards after contact per attempt.
Ole Miss does have a pretty good front seven that’s top-30 in EPA/Rush Allowed and rushing explosiveness allowed. So, it’s not going to be easy for LSU to run the ball.
With two rush-heavy attacks, the clock will keep moving. I think the total of 66.5 is a little too high, as I have 57.6 points projected for this game.
Pick: Under 66.5
North Texas vs. UTSA
Highest total on the board? Let’s have some fun.
North Texas’ offense is absolutely electric right now with the Mean Green averaging 6.6 yards per play. And boy, do they love the big play.
North Texas ranks 13th in the nation in explosiveness with most of that coming from the arm of Austin Aune.
Aune’s ability to throw the ball downfield is going to be the key for North Texas in this game. The Mean Green rank 14th in passing explosiveness, and Aune has a 91.9 PFF passing grade with 15 big-time throws on passes over 20 yards.
Three of those big-time throws came this past weekend against Louisiana Tech, as Aune ended up with 9.9 yards per attempt and had an average depth of target of 14.3 yards.
UTSA’s secondary is seemingly giving up big passing plays for fun, sitting 96th in explosive passing allowed and 95th in terms of a coverage grade, per PFF.
North Texas also has an incredibly effective rushing attack with a one-two punch of Ayo Adeyi and Oscar Adaway III. The two have combined to average 6.5 yards per carry with 34 runs of 10 yards or more, which has North Texas ranked 34th in explosive rushing.
That’s massive against UTSA, which allows 4.5 yards per carry (87th in FBS) and ranks 128th in explosive rushing allowed. Oh, and it literally has the worst tackling grade in the country at 30.8, per PFF.
On the other side, UTSA quarterback Frank Harris is once again having an unreal season for the Roadrunners. The dual-threat quarterback is averaging 8.7 yards per attempt through the air and 6.4 yards per carry on the ground while also adding for 20 touchdowns.
UTSA should be able to run the ball with a ton of ease in this game. The Roadrunners come in at 18th in Offensive Line Yards and 33rd in EPA/Rush. North Texas has one of the worst run defenses in the country, allowing 4.6 yards per carry (96th in FBS) with ranks 126th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 120th in EPA/Rush Allowed.
These two teams are playing incredibly fast, with North Texas running a play every 23.49 seconds (26th in FBS) and UTSA doing so every 22.33 seconds (15th in FBS).
I have 83.1 points projected for this game, so I love the value on over 71 points.
Pick: Over 71