Top Totals for Week 9 In College Football

Arkansas Razorbakcs

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:21 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 3:21 PM GMT

Here’s a trio of top totals picks for Week 9, including predictions for the Miami-UNC, Arkansas-Ole Miss, and Eastern Michigan-Northern Illinois matchups—the latter a Thursday night (7 p.m. ET) kickoff.

No. 8 Miami (FL) at North Carolina (53)

The ACC’s No. 3 scoring defense squares off against the conference’s worst offense when Miami travels to North Carolina Saturday. The Tar Heels are in a rebuilding year, ravaged by injuries, and with little experience under center behind quarterbacks Chazz Surratt and Nathan Elliott. Still, 334 total yards and 21.6 points per game is a steep dropoff few could have predicted from a Larry Fedora-coached team. UNC averaged 438 and 32.5 entering Week 9 last season.

The Tar Heels have faced four ACC defenses allowing fewer than 23 points per game entering a matchup in 2017. It has scored 17, 10, 14, and 7 points respectively. Miami owns one of the most efficient defenses in the country, allowing a paltry .238 points per play versus FBS competition (12th). It will be shocking if UNC comes close to reaching 20 points.

Miami’s offense, meanwhile, isn’t explosive enough to push the score too high. Nor is head coach Mark Richt the type to lose control of a game by going all-in offensively. Since Richt took over, in fact, Miami has scored more than 5 points above its projected team total against ACC competition once.

Also, the ‘under’ is 6-1 when UNC goes off a home underdog under Fedora. A 48.7 combined score is staying 10.7 points below a 59.4 average total in this situation. ‘Under’ 53 is the pick here.

Free College Football Pick: Under 53Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Arkansas at Ole Miss (64.5)

The last time the Razorbacks and Rebels met at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, it was a high-scoring thriller. Arkansas eked out a 53-52 overtime win as 9.5-point underdogs. The total was 53 points; the result unexpected. The two offenses entered that game averaging a combined 71.9 points per game; for this meeting, its 58.1.

The Razorbacks defense is leaking like a sieve. Since 2016, it allows 40.8 points per game to SEC foes. Ole Miss is without starting quarterback Shea Patterson, however, out for the year after sustaining a PCL tear in the first half of the team’s 40-24 loss to LSU last Saturday. Jordan Ta’amu, an athletic, deep-tossing threat who played at New Mexico Military Institute last year, will fill the void under center. His first full-game start against SEC competition will be telling. Don’t expect the Rebels to be as high-flying with Patterson missing.

Arkansas’ offense is anemic. It’s arguably the worst head coach Bret Bielema has fielded in Fayetteville. It’s averaging 4.26 yard per play in its last three games and lacks explosiveness with only 29 20-plus yard plays all season. Bieliema’s offense requires winning the time of possession battle to work, and it will look to establish the run against a Rebels defense yielding 5.9 per carry. Expect it to be more successful and establish their style and brand on the game.

Historically, these two programs tend to cancel each other out in Oxford. Since 1980, in 17 matchups, only two have seen a combined score greater than 58 points, and each of those finished in overtime. Go against the early movement and pick ‘under’ the total. Hold out for the best number, however, as the public will push this higher. Check the SBR Odds page regularly for updated lines and shop around one of these top-rated online sportsbooks for the best value.

Free College Football Pick: Under 64.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois (47)

Since the start of last season, three MAC teams have entered Bingham Field averaging fewer than 30 points per game. The ferocious Northern Illinois defense held each below their projected team total by a touchdown or more for a 10.0 average. The Huskies’ 4.3 yards per play allowed ranks 11th best nationally.

The much-improved Eastern Michigan unit has been just as impressive of late. It’s allowing 23.8 points per game against its last five MAC opponents. Three of these games have gone into overtime, inflating the scores. In regulation time, the Eagles are holding opponents to a paltry 16.2 points per game in this span. Every one entered the matchups averaging 28 or more per contest offensively. The Huskies put up 25.8 per tilt. Expect a defensive slugfest. Oddsmakers opened the game with a 42 total. It has ballooned up to 47.5 points at some shops by Wednesday morning. Go against the line movement and pick ‘under’. 

Free College Football Pick: Under 47.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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