NCAAF Week 5 Totals Tout Analysis: Over and Over Again
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Finding trends in any sport is useful, but often times, it's just better to look for mistakes when laying down your hard-earned cash.
That's one of the major advantages of taking hard looks at the college football schedule each week. There are so many games, even the best sportsbooks can't devote as much time on each one as they do in other sports.
It's just a matter of scrutinizing every little detail.
Sometimes oddsmakers will nail the line for high-profile games in the Power Five conferences but will lose track of the mid-major games. That opens the door for savvy bettors to hammer a line that they think is off the mark.
As well, there's more variety in styles of play in college. Teams can carry up to 70 players, and certain programs make use of this by design or necessity.
Ask USC how much of an advantage that can be.
As we do every week, we've pored over college football's weekend fare and came up with what we think are solid suggestions for punters who like to play the game totals. Just remember to take a look at the lines when you place your action and then hop into the fray.
Fri 27 Sep
Penn State at Maryland: 58½
Don’t be fooled by the Nittany Lions' 17-10 win over Pittsburgh in Week 3. They've had a bye week to clean up their offense, and dudes will put bushels of points on the scoreboard. They average 47 per.
The Terrapins? They dropped 63 on Syracuse a couple of games back. Rack 'em up.
Result: Penn State 59 Maryland 0 ... over covers
Sat 28 Sep
Rutgers at Michigan: 48
The Michigan team we saw against Wisconsin had no heart, though. So, don’t be surprised if the Scarlet Knights put up enough points to help this beat the line.
Result: Michigan 52 Rutgers 0 ... over covers
Washington State at Utah: 57½
Result: Utah 38 Washington State 13 ... under covers
Minnesota at Purdue: 52½
Not a chance. Is Minnesota going to stop Purdue from scoring? Not a chance. This should blow over the total by at least 11 points.
Result: Minnesota 38 Purdue 31 ... over covers
Iowa State at Baylor: 56
The Bears only scored 21 points against Rice in their last outing. The Cyclones, meanwhile, laid 72 on Louisiana-Monroe in their previous game, but as sacreligious as this sounds for a Big XII conference game, this one should more resemble the Iowa State's 18-17 win over Iowa.
Result: Baylor 23 Iowa State 21 ... under covers
Kansas State at Oklahoma State: 64
We don’t need stats to know what’s going to happen here. Both of these squads are going to score touchdowns on almost every possession.
Result: Oklahoma State 26 Kansas State 13 ... under covers
Mississippi State at Auburn: 48½
The Tigers could hold the Bulldogs to 10 points or less in this one. Auburn may have two big wins -- against Texas A&M and Oregon -- but were arguably outplayed in both games. This game's a toss-up, and in the SEC, that usually means a defensive battle.
What's more, Auburn prefers to take it’s time on offense, which means this should go under even though the total is less than 50. I'm going against the computer, here.
Result: Auburn 56 Mississippi State 23 ... over covers
Ohio State at Nebraska: 63
The Husker defense is awful. That's your first clue the Buckeyes should score close to 50 points. Your second clue is this is the Ohio State University, and their offense lives in the over-50 range against lousy defenses.
Nebraska could be good for three touchdowns, themselves, quickly making this one go over.
Result: Ohio State 48 Nebraska 7 ... under covers
UCLA at Arizona: 69
The Bruins beat Washington State in that incredible 67-63 comeback in Week 4. Coach Chip Kelly decided to go back to his track-meet style of football and got the bounces with five Cougar turnovers, something that's unlikely to happen two weeks in a row.
Meanwhile, the 'Cats held Texas Tech in check last weekend. They might've turned the corner defensively in that one. This one's ripe for a UCLA letdown offensively, while Arizona should continue playing decent defense.
In this scenario, we’re talking an under game.
Result: Arizona 20 UCLA 17 ... under covers
Sportbet Columnist: Josh Bailey ... Today: 4-5
Aspiring to become the Mark Twain of sportswriting, Josh has been labelled as the up-&-coming sportswriter of the year by absolutely nobody and the new heavy hitter in sports handicapping by his mother.