Dapper Dan Picks:
Week 10 Results: 2-8 (-6.69 units)
Season YTD: 31-42 (-14.22 units)
Iowa vs Minnesota Under 58 (-109)
TCU +3 (-109)
Wake Forest +13.5 (-110)
Ole Miss -7 (-112)
Iowa vs Minnesota Under 58 (-109) Risking 1.09 units to win 1 units
It literally hurts me to take an under in 2020 as the effects of an empty stadium have had a drastic impact on the game and totals specifically. Last year, unders hit at a 48% rate (according to TeamRankings) and a Total +/- differential (for all teams combined) of +5.2. This year although overs have only been hitting at a slightly higher 52% clip, the total +/- differential for all teams is 177! A number that is significantly higher than any other season in the history of record-keeping - expect oddsmakers to adjust totals accordingly (and they have been). Despite all that this is a rare gem of an under due to several factors. Expect both teams to pound the rock and drain the clock. Minnesota currently ranks #10 in rush play % and will continue to stick with that game plan while Iowa should follow suit as in the first two games this season, they had an abnormally high amount of passes throwing 90 times in two games (and subsequently lost) but last week went back to their run heavy offense and were able to control the game like they usually do and use their defense to win. They are a very conserative team especially with the lead so you won’t see the absurd 4th down attempts that plague the league this year once getting to the 50 yard line (coaches be like fuck it - worlds ending). Iowa’s proven to be one of the best run-stopping teams in the country only allowing 2.6 yards per rush on the season and although Minnesota has put up big numbers on offense so far this season averaging 36 points per game, they were against 3 piss poor defenses in Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan (quite a surprise this season). Iowa’s defense is in the Top 20 (even Top 10) in almost all FEI categories as that's the standard in Iowa and the coaches know how to coach defense. Although Minnesota’s defensive numbers are pretty horrible on the season - expect them to improve this week getting to face an Iowa offense that has struggled to adjust to it’s new parts and is ranked in the bottom 10% of all FEI categories. Both coaches are very familiar with each other having played each other's teams the last 3 years, two of which went under the total and I expect that to be the case again in this game.
TCU +3 (-109) Risking 1.09 units to win 1 units
The numbers for these two teams are pretty equally matched with both defenses being the strength of these teams except one largely impactful number with a huge imbalance. Sagarin’s strength of schedule has TCU’s SOS ranked 18th to date so far opposed to West Virginia who has a 74th SOS. This is a huge disparity especially this season since the conferences are not inner-mingling. West Virginia has feasted on the bottom of their conference while TCU has had a much tougher road to date. TCU is also the much more experienced team ranking 5th in experience charts while WVU ranks 71st. WVU loves to throw the ball (ranked 15th in pass play %) and Gary Patterson’s TCU’s defense are designed to stop the pass and have some of the better corners in the BIG 12 (although this year they have struggled - but against this was against much better passing offenses than WVU). As bad as TCU’s offense is when you factor in SOS, like FEI does, they outrank WVU offense in most categories. West Virginia’s defense sports a great 3.4 yards per rush attempt allowed, but those numbers are heavily padded against their weaker opponents and against Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma State that allowed almost 5 yards per carry. West Virginia has won and covered the spread the last two years in this matchup including a big upset last year as a 14 point dog. Rarely do you see these conference rival games have one team cover and win 3 years straight and I like TCU to pull off the upset this week.
Wake Forest +13.5 (-110) Risking 1.1 units to win 1 units
I don’t see how this is not a one possession game as UNC is inconsistent as they come on offense and their defense has struggled heavily in every game where they faced a halfway decent offense. This Wake Forest offense is ranked 34th in O-FEI and it all stems from veteran QB Sam Hartman who despite not having explosive numbers doesn’t make the crucial mistakes being one of the QBs who has yet to throw an INT on the season. UNC is dealing with quite a few injuries, including starting center Brian Anderson who is listed as questionable after being knocked out of the game last week and their backup center Ty Murray got a season ending injury in his relief so they will be very thin on the offensive line. Last year when these two teams faced off Wake Forest outgained UNC by over 100 yards and were favored by 3 and won by 7. This is a huge in-state rivalry game and has a lot of meaning for the ACC as Wake Forest looks to continue their 4 game win-streak after losing their first two so I don’t see how this game doesn’t come down to the last score and worst case we get an easy back door against soft-coverage with this many points. I bought to 14 with my bookie.
Ole Miss -7 (-112) Risking 1.12 units to win 1 units
Locked this number early before the big move. If you can get under 10 I think it’s still good. Ole Miss is one of those offenses that puts up huge numbers against poor defenses but struggles against the better defense. They should score at wil against South Carolina’s defense that has been horrendous this season and yes Ole Miss’s defense has been bad too but South Carolina’s offense is bad enough to shoot themselves in the foot and not keep pace with the high-powered Ole Miss offense. Last week they finally benched starting QB Collin Hill after going 8 for 21 for 66 yards against the aggies but Hillinski is not much better and expect both of them to get some snaps this week.South Carolina has 8 players newly listed on their injury report (most from their defense) and have 14 players who were on their roster at the beginning of the season but are now listed as out so they are definitely shorthanded. Despite losing the few times I’ve backed this team so far this year I think they pull off the big win.