Several game cancellations restricted some of the Pac-12 options we were looking forward to, but there are still plenty of appealing options for savvy CFB bettors to consider.
Ian Book - Notre Dame - 229.5
Notre Dame and Clemson both do an excellent job of suppressing the passing game on defense with each team allowing 175 passing YPG, the fifth and sixth lowest marks in the nation. Offensively the Fighting Irish prefer to run the ball behind a veteran offensive line that returns five starters and 114 career starts, averaging the seventh most rushing yards in the country with 231 YPG.
Clemson’s defense has only allowed more than 230 yards once in six games, with Brennan Armstrong throwing for 270 yards in a 41-23 loss. The next highest mark was 206 yards passing by Phil Jurkovec last week where BC only accrued 275 yards of total offense. Book is only throwing the ball 25 times a game for an average of 206 passing YPG. He has thrown for 201 yards or less in four of his last five games. Book is heading into this game with a mediocre receiving corps and playing an elite pass defense. I’m backing the Under 229.5 play on Book.
Jarret Doege - West Virginia - 280.5
It’s been quite a ride for the Bowling Green transfer, as Doege has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 26 straight games dating back to his time in the MAC. He’s passing at 293 YPG clip for a flourishing WVU offense that is averaging 33 points per game. The veteran signal caller faces a Texas defense allowing 32.5 PPG and 278 passing YPG.
I always like to throw in an Over play here since I usually target Unders due to the ever present injury factor. Doege has thrown for at least 285 yards in four of his five contests, while averaging 41.4 passes per game. This game feels like another competitive Big 12 back and forth affair that is primed for Doege to continue his trend of prolific passing performances. Take the Over 280.5 passing yards to the pay window.
Kearis Jackson - Georgia - 62.5
Receivers are highly dependent on the ability of their quarterback to deliver the ball within a reasonable catch radius. Even when a quarterback is averaging 10 yards per pass, it doesn’t guarantee the wide receiver a heavy target volume. Jackson is saddled with one of the least explosive quarterbacks in the power five in Stetson Bennett. Beyond that, Georgia has been leaning on their stout defense to win games, as they are only allowing only 11 PPG against the four non-Alabama teams they have faced thus far.
Over his last three games, Jackson has received only 14 targets that he has converted into nine receptions and 139 yards. In his last two games against Kentucky and Alabama, he posted yardage totals of 23 and 25 yards respectively. He has yet to break a tackle through five games while serving as a possession receiver. I’m fading Jackson in a pivotal matchup against Florida given these recent trends. Under 62.5 is the play here.
Spencer Rattler - Oklahoma - 287.5
I realize that Oklahoma is playing the nation’s worst power-five team in Kansas. Accordingly the Points Bet spread is set at 38 points while Oklahoma’s projected point total is in the 50 point range. Clearly our friends in the desert are expecting Oklahoma to annihilate the Jayhawks defense that is allowing 46 PPG while scoring only 16.2 PPG. That is how you open the season 0-6. Well, that and the presence of a Petrino-level checked out coach in Les Miles who already has one foot out the door and into a much needed retirement.
On the flip side, Oklahoma is averaging 352 passing yards per game with the numero uno quarterback recruit from the 2019 class at the helm in his first season as Lincoln Riley’s hand picked starter. He has eclipsed the 287 yard mark in five of his six games this season, with the lone Under being against Texas where he was benched for a prolonged stretch before re-entering the game to lead the Sooners to a dramatic overtime victory. With a relatively inexperienced QB at the helm, I expect Rattler to stay in the game longer than if a seasoned veteran were under center. Rattler’s Over 287.5 is my play of the week.
Dameon Pierce - Florida - 39.5
HC Dan Mullen has molded the Florida offense around Kyle Trask’s arm, as the Gators have thrown for 343 YPG this season. The approach has worked out pretty well with the offense averaging 42 points per game and accounting for 476 total yards per game. On the ground Florida’s approach is in lock-step with their 2019 iteration, as their committee rushing attack is posting an average of 134 YPG which is only four more yards on average that last season.
While last year’s RB1 LaMichael Perine now departed, there is still plenty of talent left in their running back room. While Dameon Pierce leads Florida in rushing with 169 yards through five games, he is only averaging seven carries per contest. Malik Davis, Nay’Quan Wright and occasionally Kadarius Toney have all received a steady diet of 4-6 carries behind Pierce. The reason for the low-volume of rushes is HC Mullen uses his running backs just as much out in the receiving game as he does between the tackles, utilizing dump-offs and screens as an extension of the run game.
On the other side of the ball, Georgia’s defense has been stifling against the run, allowing a superb 80 YPG on the ground. It’s hard to envision Florida investing much time trying to slug it out with the Dawgs in the trenches when they can simply do what they do best - pass. With Pierce having failed to hit the 40 yard mark in his last two games, i’m betting the Gators will stay away from the run and lean towards the passing game against a stout Georgia front seven. I’m taking the Under on Pierce to get 39.5 in hopes that he doesn’t rip off a big run.