College Football Picks: 2013-2014 Totals Report

Willie Bee

Sunday, February 2, 2014 7:02 PM GMT

Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 7:02 PM GMT

When it came to beating the college football oddsmakers on totals last season, no team did a better job at topping the number than the Troy Trojans.  And on the other end of the spectrum, no team was better at making 'under' bettors happy than the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

Troy and Louisiana Tech lead a contingency of 39 teams that beat the totals one way or another two-thirds of the time or better in 2013. If there's a common thread in the group, it's that college football bettors need to look at teams outside the 'Power 5' conferences for consistency in totals; only 14 of the 39 teams played within the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC.

In the cases of Troy and La Tech, it took something of a perfect storm to converge to make the 'over' and 'under' so profitable for each. For the Trojans (11-1 O/U), it was the combination of an offense that finished 31st in the nation in scoring and a defense that ranked 108th among the 125-team BCS field. Their 11 games with totals ran from 57 to 69.5 for closing numbers, and six of them skipped past the figure by a touchdown or less.

The opposite was true for the Bulldogs (2-10 O/U) who had a middling defense (61st in points allowed) and one of the poorest offenses in the country, ranking 112th while averaging 19.2 PPG. Louisiana Tech bettors were generally faced with totals in the low-50s, and five of the contests never made it past the 40-point barrier. If not for a defensive touchdown against the Bulldogs in their game with UTEP and a 21-point 4th-quarter explosion by Rice in a loss, we'd be looking at a perfect 12-0 'under' record.

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EMU & UAB Just Behind Troy For 'Over' Winners

Two more squads from smaller conferences trailed Troy for providing 'over' winners as the UAB Blazers and Eastern Michigan Eagles each posted 10-2 records to the high side. Bettors can thank porous defenses more than the two offensive units for the payouts.

Offense wasn't entirely absent under former head coach Garrick McGee at UAB where the Blazers averaged nearly 400 yards per game, but they turned it over far too often, especially when the defense was surrendering almost 500 yards a game. The Blazers closed the schedule with six straight defeats, five of those games going 'over,' and one of their two 'under' winners missed hitting the closing total by a single point.

As it turns out, Eastern Michigan was a true cash cow for anyone playing the college football odds. Not only did the Eagles cash 10 'over' tickets in 12 games, they were a great fade as mentioned in our ATS article, failing to cover 10 out of 12 times.

The Land of Enchantment was a great place for 'over' bettors to look in 2013 as games involving both the New Mexico State Aggies (9-2 O/U) and New Mexico Lobos (9-3 O/U) beat scoreboard hurdles with regularity.

Two more 'over' winners did it by different methods. Florida State (10-4 O/U), one of the top spread winners as well on its way to a national title, had an outstanding defense and still often went above the total. The Seminoles, in fact, sent the game 'over' the mark by themselves six times and led the nation in fewest points allowed. Meanwhile, the Texas A&M Aggies were expected to be scoreboard busters behind Johnny Manziel, but it took a horrible defense -- 111th in yards allowed, 96th in scoring -- to send nine of their 13 games past the mark.

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How Much Will Louisville Miss Strong?

Charlie Strong has always been known for his defensive schemes, going back to his days as the DC for both South Carolina and Florida. So now that he's taken over in Austin, could the Texas Longhorns be a good 'under' bet in 2014, especially early on the schedule?

Louisville was certainly a good 'under' bet last season with 10 of its 13 games never reaching the total. The Cardinals were second to FSU in fewest points allowed playing in the inaugural American Athletic Conference season, and they're now headed to the ACC for 2014 with Bobby Petrino back in charge. Seeing Petrino return to Louisville reminds me of an old Liz Taylor-Richard Burton joke, but I'll refrain.

Massachusetts was one of five teams to cash nine 'under' tickets in 12 tries, and the Minutemen owe it all to their offense. You wouldn't initially think a tem that surrendered 33 point per game was a good bet to the low side of the total. Scoring less than 12 per game made up for that, however.

One oddity to UMass' totals record was it included a game against Ohio University, also a strong 'under' squad at 4-9 O/U. Yep, you guessed it, that matchup went 'over.'

The best totals teams are listed below; stay tuned to SBRforum.com throughout the offseason to catch college football betting previews, analysis and free picks.

Top 10 'Over' %

O/U

Over %

Troy

11-1

91.7%

UAB

10-2

83.3%

Eastern Michigan

10-2

83.3%

New Mexico State

9-2

81.8%

Virginia

9-3

75.0%

Colorado State

9-3

75.0%

Indiana

9-3

75.0%

New Mexico

9-3

75.0%

Florida State

10-4

71.4%

Ohio State

10-4

71.4%

 

Top 10 'Under' %

O/U

Under %

Louisiana Tech

2-10

83.3%

Louisville

3-10

76.9%

Massachusetts

3-9

75.0%

BYU

3-9

75.0%

South Florida

3-9

75.0%

UT-San Antonio

3-9

75.0%

Wake Forest

3-8

72.7%

Central Michigan

3-8

72.7%

Bowling Green

4-9

69.2%

North Carolina

4-9

69.2%

North Texas

4-9

69.2%

Ohio

4-9

69.2%

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