We take a look at the top over-under teams in the 2015-2016 college football season and analyze the totals market to find out who provided the most profits for our college football picks.
It's always educational and enriching for our college football picks to take a look back at what teams hoodwinked oddsmakers in the betting market. Some programs exceeded or fell flat of expectations, others struggled to overcome key injuries, while others are so good or bad in a particular area that it is difficult to set a realistic market figure. We wanted to examine the totals market for the 2015-1016 college football season, and uncover which programs cashed the most tickets. We briefly look at what went wrong or right in the market, and speculate as to why oddsmakers may have failed to adjust the college football odds boards promptly. The five top teams hitting the OVER and the UNDER, including their records, average margins, and average closing totals are listed below.
Top Five OVER Teams:
1. New Mexico State (10-2 OVER, 10.0 margin, avg total 63.6)
If you bet the OVER in New Mexico State games blindly during the last few seasons, you're probably rich. Since 2013, it has hit 26 times in 35 games. The Aggies' D has been atrocious during this span. This season it yielded 522.2 total yards and 45.0 points per game against FBS foes. What makes the team capable of surpassing the total so often (besides the lousy defense) is the offense's ability to run the ball. It averaged 4.9 yards per carry, just effective enough to tire opposing units and score 28.6 points per game. New Mexico State is historically one of the weakest teams in college football and have not played in a bowl game since 1960.
2. Syracuse (10-2 OVER, 9.5 margin, avg. total 48.7)
The Orange scored 25.5 points on just 310.5 total yards per game against FBS opponents. They were one of those teams that made the most of their opportunities inside the red zone, hiccuping oddsmakers projections in the process. Syracuse scored on 92 percent of plays inside the 20-yard line, eighth best in college football. As a result, coach Dino Babers men scored more than their predicted team total in all but two contests.
3. Arizona (10-2-1 OVER, 9.0 margin, avg. total 64.2)
The Wildcats defense really caused a headache for over-under bettors. It allowed 35.8 points and 467 yards per game. Pac-12 opponents abused the unit the most, scoring 40.3 points overall. Take away Arizona's 44-7 mauling over a rebuilding Oregon State squad, and the D yielded 514 total yards per game to conference foes.
4. Arkansas State (10-3 OVER, 7.8 margin, avg. total 62.5)
The Red Wolves kicked off the year with three UNDERS through four games, but hit OVER the total in their final nine. The offense only put up 33 points total against USC, Missouri, and Toledo in its early out-of-conference schedule, but exploded once it entered Sun Belt play. Going 8-0 in conference, Arkansas State averaged 48.6 points, won by a margin of 21.1 points, and scored more than its projected team total in each. Oddsmakers couldn't catch up to the pack in the middle of the season.
5. Western Kentucky (10-4 OVER, 2.5 margin, avg. total 67.7)
The high-flying Hilltoppers were expected to put up a ton of points, and they delivered. The offense returned 10 starters from 2014, a unit that scored 44.4 points per game, including QB Brandon Doughty. It scored 44.3 points per game this year. Over the last two seasons, Western Kentucky is 19-7-1 to the OVER.
Top Five UNDER teams:
1. Connecticut (11-2 UNDER, -9.8 margin, avg. total 46.4)
The Huskies ranked in the top 15 for scoring defense with 19.8 points allowed (12th) and in the bottom 10 in points per game with 16.9 points (10th); the perfect ingredients for a serial UNDER team. The offense rolled out a severely undersized O-line and scored above their market projection in just one game all season.
2. Vanderbilt (10-1-1 UNDER, -10.3 margin, avg. total 46.5)
Like UConn, the Commodores were the perfect blend of silly-good scoring defense and anemic offense, ranking 26th (22.3 PPG) and 125th (12.3 PPG) in points respectively. Vandy and Connecticut, in fact, held opponents to 7.4 points per game below what the betting market projected in the regular season—only the Washington Huskies topped them (8.0 points).
3. Missouri (10-1 UNDER, -14.5 margin, avg. total 43.1)
Mizzou held opponents below their team total in all but one game this season, but it was the underwhelming offense that kept the total UNDER in most. In 2014, the Tigers put up 27.8 points as opposed to 13.6 this year. After scoring 34 and 27 against FCS opponent S.E. Missouri State and Arkansas State in its first two contests, the offense went on to average a paltry 10.2 points in their final 10 games. Showing some semblance of life, the unit threw books and the betting public an early curve ball and the market adjusted belatedly.
4. Georgia (10-2 UNDER, -11.6 margin, avg. total 53.0)
When Heisman candidate RB Nick Chubb went down in Week 6 against Tennessee with torn knee ligaments, so did the Georgia offense. The unit averaged 37.2 points per game pre-injury and just 17 afterwards. The Bulldogs' defense is pretty stout year after year, as it pulls one of the top recruiting classes every season, and it did its part to hold scoring down. But oddsmakers couldn't predict how badly Chubbs' absence hurt. In the final six games of the regular season, only Mizzou (-8.7 PPG) scored less points than the betting market predicted than Georgia (-8.6 PPG).
5. Boston College (9-1-1 UNDER, -11.9 margin, total 40.3)
If you're a fan of watching teams march up and down the field, then the Eagles did not deliver. They averaged just 288 total yards on offense and yielded only 243 to opponents. BC's 40.3 over-under average was the lowest in all of college football as a result.