Dapper Dan Picks - Ncaaf Week 12 144 views

Week 11 Results: 6-2 (+3.82 units)

Season YTD: 37-44 (-10.4 units)

Week 12:

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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Week 12 Adds:

Pittsburgh +3 (-106)

Pittsburgh ML (+124) .5x

California -2.5 (-114)

Oklahoma -7 (-112)

USC/Utah over 57.5 (-111)

Pittsburgh +3 (-106) Risking 1.06 units to win 1 units

Pittsburgh ML (+124) Risking .5 to win .62 units

I love betting these teams where great defensive coordinators branch off to become head coaches and turn around programs into defensive powerhouses. That is what Narduzzi (from Michigan State) has done here. The year before Narduzzi arrived the Panthers defense was a typical crappy ACC defense ranking 88th in yards per play allowed in 2014. And although it took him a few years for his aggressive defensive mentality to take to the program, it has really shined the last two years, ranking 4th in yards per play allowed in 2019 and this year ranking 11th so far. His ability to predict offenses play calls is unlike any others as his teams are always great at stopping the run and applying pressure in the pass game at the same time. They are currently allowing 2.4 yards per carry (ranked #2) on defense and sacking QBs at a 13.21% (ranked 3rd) those are insanely good numbers in 7 games (not counting FBS week 1) against tough offenses including Notre Dame, Miami and Louisville. Hooker is a great runner but 1 dimensional as the hokies throw only 37% of the time - a bad recipe against a defensive guru. Pitt’s offense numbers are horrible but Pickett was injured a few games and his backup put up a pathetic 11 points per game in his relief and attributed to all the poor FEI metrics. I always look for the much stronger defensive team and try to take them with points and this is a great spot for that - we also take the ML as I really like this bet and want to avoid the heavy 1.5 unit curse as this is not a true 1.5 but a 1 and .5, two completely different things.

California -2.5 (-114) Risking 1.14 units to win 1 units

Not going to lie, I completely missed the fact that UCLA played Cal last Sunday and it’s probably for the best as I probably would have taken Cal in that game too as I really liked this team coming back from the offseason and starting QB Chase Gabers who struggled with injuries last year but played well when he got the chance going 8-2 as a starter last year. I'm not entirely sure what the hell happened last week against UCLA in the 2nd half as I tried to watch the highlights from Cal but the youtube video was completely blank as apparently they did NOTHING offense in the 2nd half. I think this is a good spot for a bounce back game - especially for their offense against an Oregon State defense that has been horrible in its first two games with an average ranking of 111th across all FEI categories - a rare feat! Cals defense should improve again this year under fourth year head coach, Justin Wilcox, who has been all over the PAC 12 for the last 20 years as a defensive coordinator, including leading Wisconsin in 2016 to 14th in ypp allowed and in 2018 at Cal they quietly went 8th in ypp allowed (because their offense was so bad). Last week Cal’s whole defensive line was in quarantine up until the wee hours of the game, they literally traveled on a separate bus due to “contact tracing” and were preparing for Arizona State all week before being told Friday that there going to be facing UCLA instead (who already had couple games under their belt). Cal had 21 players make their season debuts last week including 4 starters. This week they return to form as everyone will be back and with ample time to prepare.

Oklahoma -7 (-112) Risking 1.12 units to win 1 units

I was trying to find something in this game that could make me want to take the points with Oklahoma State but couldn't find a good reason and actually the opposite popped up. By the numbers, Oklahoma’s defense has really stepped up this year, surprisingly ranked, 29th in defensive FEI, and an average ranking of 37th across all FEI categories. A much better defense than Oklahoma State has typically faced this season being in the BIG 12. Oklahoma’s defensive line is their strength ranked 12th in line yards, 24th in opportunity rank, 15th in power success rank, 9th in stuff ranking, and 11th in sack rating! This will be a HUGE problem for Oklahoma State’s offensive line who is ranked 104th in line yards, 83rd in opportunity rate, 91st in power success rate, 102nd in stuff ranking and 111th in sack rating (100 ranking worse in that category!). This looks like a disaster for Oklahoma State’s offense under starting QB Spencer Sanders, who hasn’t handled pressure well, ranking 96th this year in PFF rankings under pressure, and last season ranking 89th amongst all QB under pressure (with min 20% dropbacks). As good as Oklahoma State's defense has been this year they have yet to face an offense like Oklahomas who have averaged 62 points in their last two games. I think this is a blow-out and a little surprised the line is as low as it is considering the results of this matchup over the last few years (maybe it’s those crap ranks the “panel” puts next to each teams name as Oklahoma State is 14th where Oklahoma is 18th). I bought to 6.5 with my bookie just to be safe but I doubt we’ll need it.

USC/Utah over 57.5 (-111) Risking 1.11 units to win 1 units

This will be a tough one to predict but I like our chances to cash in on another PAC 12 over. Utah has yet to play a game and lost 9 starters on defense from last year. Two weeks ago, the most experienced corner they had said he was transferring leaving another young inexperienced freshman in Utah's secondary. USC’s passing attack is the strength of this team with returning starting QB Kevon Slovis leading the offense. He has struggled a little in his first two games but expects him to find some relief against this young secondary. Andy Ludwig enters his 2nd year after returning to Utah and I expect big things out of them despite losing Huntley and Zach Moss but they do have few transfers competing for the starting QB position including Jake Bentley from South Carolina who I expect to get the nod. He will have a very strong offensive line as 4 starters return and they were solid last year ranking 31st in line yards and 5th in opportunity rank. They should be able to get 5 yards on every carry against a USC defense that is currently ranked 111th in PFF in rushing defense and have allowed 5.3 yards per carry in the first two games against two much weaker offenses in Arizona and ASU. I think this will be a classic late night PAC 12 shootout and hopefully the refs don’t interfere too much in this one like they love to do in the PAC.


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