Utah – Colorado U 53
As I explain here in the weekly “Sides and Totals to Consider” I am going to the “only one team will score” theory one more time with the Buffs. We have the two worst offenses in the PAC 12 playing in Boulder on Saturday. Unfortunately the Buffs also have the worst defense in the PAC 12, but the Utes are only avg 12.60 ppg on the road this year, so hopefully the Buffs can hold them to around 30 points. In four PAC 12 home games Colorado is averaging 8.50 ppg and allowing 44.75 ppg (against 4 teams with statistically better offenses better than Utah), which is actually slightly better than the 50.17 ppg they allow on the road.
Wake Forest +11.5
Some good comments about this game by myself and Trentmoney here in the ”Sides and Totals to Consider.” From a numbers perspective I have the game more or less right at the line (I have Vandy -13 on a neutral field), but a lot of intangibles and angles support a (hopefully) good effort by Wake and (hopefully) a flat effort by Vandy.
Florida – Florida State U 44.5
I actually got this one at 45 (-115). 45 is a key number and the push probability is 3.4% (at 45 as opposed to 44.5), which works out to -118.5, anything above that price I would just stay at 44.5. We have two monster defenses that should make points a premium in this game. Both of these teams have held every single team they’ve played under their opponents offensive season average, and in Florida’s case, they have held 9 of 10 teams below by DD. In the 19 games these two teams have played against FBS opponents, only two teams have scored more than 20 points (Clemson, the # 5 offense in the country and somehow Virginia Tech scored 22 points against the Noles a few weeks ago).
Nebraska – Iowa U 53
I have a short write-up here on this game.
Stanford – UCLA U 52.5
Win or lose UCLA is in the CCG next Friday. If Stanford wins they are in and the game will be played 6 days later in Palo Alto. If Oregon beats Oregon State earlier in the day this Saturday and Stanford happens to lose to UCLA, the Bruins would travel to Autzen for the CCG. The only scenario whereby UCLA hosts the CCG is if Oregon State beats Oregon Saturday afternoon and than UCLA beats Stanford Saturday night. I guess the point I am trying to make is how jacked is UCLA going to be for this game against the Cardinal? Especially knowing that in all likely hood they are going to be playing a rematch with Stanford in 6 days time.
There is no way Mora or UCLA approach this week of practice or this game lightly, but knowing what is at stake the following week (most likely the Rose Bowl) I would think both teams, UCLA in particular, are going to be pretty vanilla on offense, especially if Oregon State upsets Oregon and both teams are guaranteed a rematch the following week.
OK, enough of me trying to play group psychologist. UCLA could come out and play a great game and Stanford sets them up with 2 or 3 short fields. No one knows what’s going to happen, so even if we get a solid effort from both teams, what is that likely to produce based upon each teams body of work? UCLA has an explosive offense avg 37.73 ppg, but they haven’t faced a defense this good all season. The best defense they’ve played this year was Oregon State, and the Beavers held them to 20 points in the Rose Bowl. Stanford allows 16.91 ppg and other than a statistically skewed multiple OT game against Arizona, the Cardinal haven’t allowed a single opponent to reach their offensive season average all season.
On offense, new QB Kevin Hogan is a much better option than Josh Nunes ever was, but Stanford still lacks offensive playmakers. TE Ertz is a stud but the Cardinal lack a deep threat. RB Taylor is also a stud, but he is a grinder. Eliminate the OT game against a bad Arizona offense and the any game involving Colorado and the Cardinal are averaging 20.50 ppg. UCLA has a solid, underrated defense (the Bruins have allowed 25 ppg vs teams that avg 28.12 ppg and have held 8 of 11 teams below their offensive season avg).
Tough to see one of the best front sevens in college football, who just held one of the nations top scoring teams to 14 points (including an OT period), not exerting their will against an offense that just might not be 100% focused on this particular game.
ASU – Arizona O 69
I hate overs and I especially hate them in the upper 60′s, but from a statistical standpoint it is difficult to see this not being a shootout in Tucson tonight. The Arizona defense is statistically worse than even Colorado’s in terms of ypg allowed at 521.40 (vs teams that avg 424.78 ypg) and second only to the pathetic Buffs in terms of ppg allowed at 37 (vs teams that avg 31.39 ppg). Arizona State on the other hand has the 3rd best defense in the PAC 12 overall. However, if we take a closer look at the Devil D we see that they’ve really clamped down on the bad offensive teams on their schedule allowing 14.33 ppg vs teams that avg 19.06 ppg (we are talking about some really pathetic offenses: Illinois, Missouri w/o Franklin, Utah, Cal, Colorado & Washington State). But when the Devils take on an offense with a pulse they haven’t done so well. Against the only 4 teams on their schedule that avg 30 ppg or more ASU has allowed 43 to Oregon (all in the first half), 45 to UCLA, 36 to Oregon State and 38 to USC ….. in other words 40.50 ppg vs teams that avg 38.30 ppg.
Now the Devils will face the PAC 12′s second best offense on the road. Arizona is averaging over 500 ypg and nearly 36 ppg. ASU is avg 33.30 ppg, vs FBS schools that avg more than 30 ppg Arizona’s defense is allowing 38, 49, 38, 36 & 66 and those games had combined scores of 97, 49 (Oregon shutout Arizona despite the Cats entering the red zone 5 times), 73, 75 & 76.