Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss | O/U 46.5 Rushing Yards (-115) (PointsBet)
Who could forget the fireworks put on by Ole Miss and Alabama last year, as the two offensive juggernauts went nuclear for a combined 1370 yards of offense. However, an important aspect of the game plan that has been somewhat forgotten is the reliance that Ole Miss had on the run game in order to keep the Crimson Tide defense off balance. Jerrion Ealy recorded 19 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns, while his backfield-mate Snoop Conner rolled up 128 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries against the Tide. In total, the Rebels rushed a season-high 57 times for 268 yards, 4.7 yards per carry and four touchdowns.
HC Lane Kiffin knows that you simply aren’t going to beat Bama with a pass-only game script, you HAVE to keep them guessing. Two games ago, Florida went run-heavy as well and pushed them to the brink by rushing 43 times for 245 yards, 5.7 YPC and four touchdowns on a rebuilt Alabama defensive front. Mississippi will be running the ball far more often than they are usually accustomed to, and with the elusive Ealy leading the way, he is an easy OVER play.
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma | O/U 28.5 Rushing Yards (-113 | FanDuel)
On its face, this line doesn’t look too out of line, as Rattler has eclipsed the 28.5 yard plateau twice this year. He rushed for 29 yards on four carries against FCS Western Carolina, and 35 yards on six carries versus Nebraska in a game where he was not sacked. That’s important to note, as Rattler rarely goes a full game without taking a sack, having only achieved that feat twice in fifteen career games.
In fact if we dial it back to include all of 2020 in addition to this season, Rattler has cleared the 28.5 mark just four times in fifteen contests. He’s not exactly known for his freewheeling ways on the run, and this trend seems to clearly confirm that belief. Considering OU is playing Oklahoma and not Western Carolina this week, it’s reasonable to expect the Sooners’ signal caller to once again fail to cross that key number. If he just gives up one sack, that should be enough to extinguish any thoughts of the over here. This is a strong UNDER play for me.
Mycah Pittman, Oregon | O/U 27.5 Receiving Yards (FanDuel)
Terrance Ferguson, Oregon | O/U 21.5 Receiving Yards (FanDuel)
HC Mario Cristobal has clearly established Oregon’s identity as a run-first offense, with the Ducks ranked 15th in the nation on overall rushing performance, and just 70th in passing according to CFB Winning Edge’s advanced analytics. Even when they do pass, their wide receiver snap count looks more like a set of lines rolled out in ice hockey. Against Ohio State, 11 players caught at least one pass, which is a dizzying number considering only 17 passes were completed in that contest. Last week Oregon played an Arizona team that recently posted flyers in the campus cafeteria encouraging able-bodied students to attend walk-on tryouts, an unheard of move four games into the season. In that game, eight players were on the receiving end of the team’s 10 completions. Sharing is caring in Eugene, apparently.
While that may be an effective cliche’ to use on Kindergartners, this is Power Five college football we’re talking about. Which brings us to the player in question, Mycah Pittman. In the last three games Pittman has seen a grand total of four targets, of which he secured just one – a 30-yard reception against irrelevant FCS program, Stony Brook. How that team ended up on Oregon’s schedule is beyond me, but regardless, that’s not a positive trend for Mr. Pittman. In all likelihood, maybe he catches one pass…MAYBE. Will that pass go for 28 yards? It’s possible. However he has been blanked in the Ducks’ last two games against FBS opponents. The numbers are not in Pittman’s favor here, and with mediocre wide receivers, it’s always easier to root for something to not happen, than for him to reel in one deep shot. Give me the UNDER on Pittman.
FanDuel is trotting out a bunch of these low-yardage totals this week on dice roll players who have variable usage in the passing game. Freshman tight end Terrance Ferguson has caught exactly one pass in each of Oregon’s three games against non-Stony opponents. While the residents of Oregon may view being “Stony” as a feature, not a bug, for our props purposes Ferguson’s four catch, 31-yard, one touchdown showing is a feat not likely to be repeated considering he’s already splitting time with Spencer Webb. Though Ferguson appears to have a bright future, you’re asking a lot from the Freshman who’s season-high against FBS opponents is 15 yards. I’m going UNDER on both of these Oregon pass catchers.
Treyson Potts, Minnesota | O/U 99.5 Rushing Yards (-113 | FanDuel)
There are few certainties in life – death, taxation and Minnesota bell cow running backs producing eye-popping rushing totals. With Mohammed Ibrahim out for the year with an achilles injury, Treyson Potts has assumed the Golden Gophers coveted RB1 role, and has absolutely dominated in the process, rushing for 178, 121 and 141 yards in his first three starts.
This week, the Gophers face a Purdue team that just got bludgeoned for 156 yards on 224 carries by Illinois true freshman, Joshua McCray. The week prior, Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams rushed 12 times for 91 yards while also posting 47 receiving yards. Potts won’t have the same pass catching responsibilities as the versatile Williams however, since he only has one reception for two yards over the course of his three starts. Much like HC Brett Bielema’s squad, Minnesota has done next to nothing through the air behind Tanner Morgan’s noodle-arm and will be forced to heap a heavy workload upon their lead tailback.
The only thing I can see stopping Potts from another 100-yard escapade is injury, as he has received an absurd 87 carries over the course of his three starts, blowing away this 99.5 mark in each. Potts’ OVER is as close as you can get to a sure-thing when playing an over this high.
J.D. Spielman – O/U 40.5 yards (-113 | PointsBet)
I recommended fading Spielman back in Week 2 against Cal and he did not disappoint, securing just one reception for nine yards against the Golden Bears. He rebounded last Saturday against SMU in a game where TCU trailed throughout, catching 3-of-3 passes for 54 yards. Peeling back the layers though, Spielman was only on the field for 18-of-58 offensive snaps last week, and just 10 snaps in Week 1 against Duquesne. His highest snap count was just 24 against Cal, when he only caught the one pass referenced above.
He did manage to log 7 reps on kick return duty, but that’s actually a hindrance to his ability to clear the 40.5 number. While nobody is going to confuse Texas’ pass defense with Iowa’s, they still should be able to put up more resistance than SMU did. At this point it’s a numbers game. With Spielman clearly more important to the team as a return man, and is just being rotated in as a reserve wideout who has yet to actually start a game since flopping in his first game of 2020 against Iowa State, Spielman is going to have to hit a home run if he is going to clear the 40.5 threshold. Given his sparse offensive usage, and Max Duggan’s middling accuracy, i’m backing the UNDER on Spielman once again.