Written by: David Parks – Staff Writing Intern (@_Parskie)
To be fair, I warned you guys. Last week went as expected – TERRIBLE. But I’ll never pretend that I’m uber-confident in plays every week. As always, I’ll present data to the audience. It’s then up to you guys to decide what to do with said data.
This week features a much better slate of games, although the lines are still razor sharp. Still not confident in a lot of sides as there are questions I have about almost every team out there with the exception of Alabama.
However, I was able to find several totals that I feel good about – MUCH better than anything last week. Grab your supplies, because the couch level will be at record levels this weekend….
Best Bet: Nebraska/Oregon over 73
Actually a little surprised this total isn’t higher. This is one of the more under-the-radar games of the day, but such a cool matchup as it’s the first time these schools have met since 1986.
Both teams come in featuring offenses that are averaging over 47 pts/game through two contests. With Oregon, you know the story. Up-tempo, explosive offense and a below average defense. In their two wins, Oregon allowed 28 points to UC Davis and 24 points to Virginia, neither of which possess the talent nor skill Nebraska has on offense.
Since Mark Helfrich took over the reigns in 2014, Oregon has failed to score 30 points just four times. Another reason to like points is that unlike many of Oregon’s away games, Nebraska features an artificial playing surface, something the Ducks will have plenty of familiarity with. The spread (Nebraska currently -3), suggests a close game. Seeing as Oregon can’t stop air, that would seem to suggest this will be a close, high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Nebraska 45 Oregon 38
Next best bet: Louisiana Tech/Texas Tech over 80
I knew Texas Tech’s defense left a lot to be desired, but good lord. 68 points to an Arizona State team that lost their best playmakers from a season ago? Terrible. Like at what point do we actually hold Kliff Kingsbury responsible for not fielding any semblance of a defense in his coaching tenure?
Louisiana Tech comes in with the tenth ranked passing offense through two weeks which is troubling for Texas Tech considering the Red Raiders, through two weeks, own the 120th ranked pass defense in the country.
Of course Texas Tech’s futility on defense is offset by their potent pass offense which, funny enough, ranks first nationally at an absurd 586.5 yards/game.
Judging by the first two weeks, if Texas Tech’s totals hover anywhere close to the 80 number, the over seems like a good play. Buckle up peeps.
Prediction: Texas Tech 68 Louisiana Tech 35
Last but not least: Georgia Tech/Vanderbilt under 43
Much like Texas Tech and overs, Georgia Tech is synonymous with unders largely because their offense grinds clock. The Jackets have had a week off since their game in Dublin against Boston College, a game that went under the 42.5 number.
Vanderbilt shares a lot of similarities to Boston College – an above average defense and a pedestrian (at best) offense. Entering Saturday, the Commodores have the following offensive and defensive ranks in terms of yards per game:
Total offense: 119th (293 ypg)
Pass offense: 125th (93 ypg)
Rush offense: 55th (200 ypg)
Total defense: 89th (401.5 ypg)
Pass defense: 108th (293 ypg)
Rush defense: 39th (108.5 ypg)
As one can see, Vanderbilt has pretty much no threat of a passing game meaning if they want to move the ball they’re going to have to do so on the ground. What does that mean? Eating clock. On the flipside, Vanderbilt’s defense can be taken advantage of provided the opponent has a stout passing attack. Georgia Tech? In two games, the Yellow Jackets have ATTEMPTED 25 passes.
I expect a low-scoring game with Georgia Tech coming out on top.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 24 Vanderbilt 14