Week 11 Results: 6-2 (+3.82 units)
Season YTD: 37-44 (-10.4 units)
LSU ML (-134)
Iowa ML (-124)
Missouri -6.5 (-114)
LSU ML (-134) Risking 1.34 units to win 1 units
Arkansas sits at 6-1 ATS under new head coach Schiano and as impressive as they have been I think they are in for a surprise in this one as most people are overlooking LSU after bad losses to Miss. State week 1 and getting smashed by Auburn in their last game 3 weeks ago. Also contributing is the fact that Myles Brennan is hurt, but I think I like 6’6 backup true freshman TJ Finley even better than Finley after his first two games, despite not great numbers, he looked very promising as he has a quick release, tight spiral, and big arm. He’s big and won’t kill you with his legs but he is capable of maneuvering around the pocket better than your average sized QB. He’s got good timing with his receivers and last game, they were interchanging Max Johnson who sputtered some of their drives out but Finley seems to be the clear cut favorite now so hopefully they won’t bring in Max at all and kill their offensive momentum. They were driving up and down the field on Auburn despite few points to show for it. LSU’s defense put up much improved PFF grades despite getting beat 48-11. Their defense has really struggled with tackling the play-makers but Arkansas doesn’t have many of those and LSU players should be the better athletes on both sides of the ball. A big critique of Feleipe Franks, going back to his Florida days was his inability to handle pressure well, and LSU should be able to get plenty of pressure on him as their defense is ranked 27th in sack % and Arkansas’s offensive line is ranked one of the league worst 110th in sack % allowed. I think LSU wins big and reminds the nation who won the national title last year.
Iowa ML (-124) Risking 1.24 units to win 1 units
No reason to over-think this one. Iowa is the much better team on both sides of the ball then Penn State and should win this one easily. I think what's driving the low spread is the fact that Penn State has won 6 straight against Iowa and covered the last two years. At the line of scrimmage we have significant edges on both sides of the ball with Iowa’s offensive line outranking Penn State’s defensive line by an average of 67 ranks between Power Success Rank, Stuff Ranking, and Sack Rank. On defense, Iowa also outranks Penn State’s offensive line in every line yards category including huge mismatches in power success and sack ranking where Penn State has struggled ranking 89th in sack % and Iowa ranks 41st. The FEI stats show this will be a significant challenge for Penn State’s offense as Iowa is ranked in the Top 10 of almost all FEI categories. Sean Clifford has struggled all season long (against weaker defenses than Iowa) and is currently ranked 112th amongst QBs according to PFF (amongst QBs with significant pass attempts). Although Petras is only slightly better with a ranking of 103rd, he is a graded out to a much better runner and doesn't make mistakes like Clifford has notoriously done throughout his career. This year Clifford has a 55 rating in hands fumble PFF grades, a slight improvement from last years 51 rating but a stark contrast from rookie game manager Spencer Petras who rates out to a 76 rating runner (13th best) and 74.4 hands fumble grade - a perfect well coached fit for Iowa and Kirk Ferentz’s offense. Penn State has also struggled to find the right plays in the red zone and short fields, as they have only scored on a 57% of red zone visits (ranking 126th) - an area where Iowa has defended well this year (and most years) ranking 28th in red zone scoring % on defense only allowing points in 75% of red zone trips. Iowa wins this revenge matchup they have circled going into Penn State after falling to this team every year since Franklin took over!
Missouri -6.5 (-114) Risking 1.14 units to win 1 units
A firing of a coach can sometimes bring improvement to a team mid-season but I don’t think that’s going to happen with this South Carolina team and they may be a good team to fade for the remainder of the year. Both starting corners, who were NFL draft prospects and starting safety have decided to opt out this week since the firing. They’ve also lost other key defensive starters due to injury and I don’t see how Missouri doesn’t put up 40+ against this dilapidated defense. South Carolina’s defense has been getting crushed by short 5 yard passes and slants all year that end up going for 25+ due to poor defensive positioning and tackling. Drinkwitz offense should put up big numbers and it may be a good idea to bet the TT over as although they have modest numbers to date that is not common for a Drinkwitz offense who has ranked in the Top 25 of yards per play each of the last two seasons at two different programs, NC State and Appalachian State. Starting QB for South Carolina, Collin Hill has struggled to get the offense going and his numbers are pretty similar to his last four games he started in 2018 where he started in relief of KJ Carta Samuels at Colorado State and averaged only 18.5 points per game (against bad teams) and threw for 6 TD and 6 INTs (same as this year except he has those crap numbers in 7 games) In last years matchup we saw Missouri’s defense score twice in a 34-14 beat down of the Gamecocks and we can expect a similar final result in this one.
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