How to Bet Over/Under Week 0 Including Nebraska vs Northwest and Wyoming vs Illinois

A new season of college football is upon us, as Week 0 kicks off on Saturday.

With head coach and coordinator changes, the transfer portal, and new quarterbacks in the new systems, we can’t really trust every team’s pace numbers from last season. Instead, we have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Thus, until week 4, the number of games per minute and games per match will not be provided.

If you’re new to this piece, we’ll take an in-depth look at the totals market using yards per play, completion rate, finishing orders, plays per minute and more.

Using these metrics, along with an overview of the weather and major injuries, the aim is to hopefully help punters beat the market ahead of Friday and Saturday morning.

Let’s start things off with some overs for Week 0.


Nebraska vs. Northwest

The Power Five season kicks off with a Big Ten West clash from Dublin, Ireland.

A lot of changes have taken place in Nebraska this season. Former Texas quarterback Casey Thompson is now under center for the Huskers, while longtime starter Adrian Martinez, subject to turnover, is transferred to Kansas State.

Mark Whipple now serves as offensive coordinator after turning Kenny Pickett into a first-round pick at Pitt last season.

In terms of pace, Nebraska hit 2.40 games per minute last season, which ranked in the top 40 in terms of pace. At Pitt, Whipple played even faster at 2.48 games per minute. Add to that the fact that Thompson is coming off Steve Sarkisian’s Texas offense, which was also in the top 50 in games per minute, and it’s clear Nebraska’s offense is going to be quick.

Last season turned out to be an absolute rollercoaster for Thompson:

Picture via PFF

However, what the table above shows is how good he was against below average defenses. That’s exactly what he’ll be up against in Week 0, as Northwestern’s defense was abysmal last season, ranking outside the top 100 in passing and rushing success rates.

The Wildcats allowed 6.3 yards per game a season ago to rank 111th in college football. What’s even worse is that the Wildcats only have five starters back on defense. Their TARP rating sits at 0. Top tackle Chris Bergin, who had 141 tackles and 52 more than anyone else on defense, is gone.

Northwestern’s offense is expected to improve from last season, as it’s the first time in four years they haven’t brought in a new starting quarterback.

However, Ryan Hilinski is a limited passer. He ranked 59th in the Power Five last season in explosive passing, but the Wildcats pick up four starters on the offensive line and bring in Colorado State transfer Vincent Picozzi, which means there are 110 career starts on that offensive line.

Northwestern didn’t use a slow, methodical offense last season. He actually had the same pace as Nebraska at 2.40 games per minute, which ranked in the top 40 in the nation.

So, I expect the pace of this game to be faster than most expect.

Nebraska also ranked outside the top 70 for defensive hit rate and allowed hit rate. The Blackshirts also only return five starts from last season.

That game took place at Lincoln last season, and Nebraska was a -11 favorite with a 51.5 total. Nebraska won that game, 56-7, while rushing for 657 yards.

I have 61.5 points projected for this game, so I think there is a lot of value in over 49.5 points – especially with the rest of the market at 50.5. Also, the winds are only supposed to be around seven mph, so they shouldn’t be a factor.

Take: Over 49.5 (Play to 55.5)


Wyoming vs. Illinois

The first thing you think of when you see this game is “less”. But in the legendary words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.” I think that total is a bit low.

Those two teams didn’t play at the pace of either the Service Academies or Wisconsin last season. Wyoming ranked 99th in games per minute and Illinois ranked 79th. It’s still not fast, but it’s not the snail’s pace that this total reflects.

Illinois has a new quarterback at Syracuse, transfer Tommy DeVito, who will likely benefit from a more traditional offense that relies heavily on rushing offense.

The Illini finished in the top half of college football in rushing pass rate and placed in the top 25 in Offensive Line Yards, which is important against a Cowboys team that finished outside the top 100 in Defensive. Line Yards.

Illinois also fires its top three running backs this season, led by Chase Brown, who averaged 5.9 yards per carry in 2021.

For Canadian football fans who really love touchdowns, may we introduce Chase Brown.

The Illinois RB of London, Ont. had 26 carries for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns, including that 80 yard, against Charlotte today. #CanCon
pic.twitter.com/QEOWG2VWxB

— 3DownNation (@3DownNation) October 2, 2021

Meanwhile, Wyoming’s defense will take a hit from last season.

Four starters in the secondary and both starting linebackers — including second-team All-American Chad Muma — are all gone.

The defensive line fires three starters and adds some nice transfers, including Keelan Cox from Alabama. But the reality is the fullback is very weak, which Illinois will take advantage of on Saturday with a capable quarterback in DeVito.

Wyoming is a heavy hitter, having run the ball 63.1 percent of the time last year. He really did, gaining 5.2 yards per carry, which was FBS’s 16th-best mark.

Starting running back Xazavian Valladay has moved on, meaning Titus Swen will take over.

It’s actually a net positive for Wyoming as it recorded 5.9 yards per carry on 132 carries, which beat Valladay’s mark of 5.1. His PFF the 86.3 rating was also third best in the Mountain West region.

I have that projected total at 53.8 with a projection of both rushing attacks gaining over 220 yards on the ground. I like the value over 43.5 points, especially with the rest of the market sitting at 44 and 44.5.

Take: Over 43.5 (Play to 48.5)