NCAAF Week 10 Early Value Picks Feature Florida vs. Texas A&M and Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh

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The best sportsbooks have released their NCAAF odds for this week’s college football action.

Two games, in particular, immediately appear to be worth investing in.

For reasons that I will explain, you should bet on the total for both games.

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Florida Gators vs. Texas A&M Aggies

Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Kyle Field

Trend for Florida Defense

Florida's defense tends to give up a lot of points against the first opponent that it faces after playing rival Georgia. Last year, for example, the Gators conceded 40 points to South Carolina after they had faced Georgia. In that season, South Carolina had only scored more points against Eastern Illinois.

Two seasons ago, directly after facing Georgia, the Gators gave up 35 points to Arkansas. Lowly Vanderbilt proves the sole exception. Otherwise, the trend extends into previous seasons.

The reason for this trend, whereby the Gators' defense struggles especially after facing Georgia, is that the Bulldogs are notoriously physical on offense. Their offensive line, in particular, packs a punch and wears out opposing defenses.

Florida's Defensive Struggles

Florida has problems on defense that make it particularly vulnerable to being worn down by an opposing physical ground game and offensive line. Personnel-wise, the Gators lack quality depth at defensive tackle and linebacker. The defensive line in general is still rather undeveloped, featuring exclusively freshmen and sophomores, which has especially required changes in who starts at defensive tackle.

At linebacker, Ventrell Miller is reputedly a solid run defender, but he can't do it by himself. Fellow starter Amari Burney is terrible about missing tackles, and their backups are raw underclassmen.

Florida's secondary is also struggling. These struggles persist despite the Gators often yielding a vast cushion to opposing wide receivers.

Opposing pass attacks are still amassing big yards. Both of Florida's last opponents (LSU and then Georgia) exceeded 40 points and over 500 yards of offense. Nationally, Florida's run defense ranks 116th, and its pass defense rank 91st.

Devon Achane and Conner Weigman

Things will not get any easier for the Gators' already struggling run defense, which is already in a bad spot after facing Georgia. Texas A&M boasts the SEC's 3rd-leading rusher in Devon Achane.

Achane is extremely fast, he is also a track star. He's patient, ably finding holes in between the tackles, although he is perhaps more characteristically comfortable at bouncing runs outside. Given his combination of positive traits, he is amassing 5.4 YPC.

The adage is that a good running back is a quarterback's best friend. Florida's defense will need to devote significant attention to containing the threat posed by Achane.

Meanwhile, Jimbo Fisher finally discovered that celebrated former recruit Conner Weigman is his team's top quarterback. He threw for 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in his first career start last week, and is primed to add to the troubles of Florida's pass defense.

Florida's Rush Attack

Meanwhile, Florida can score a lot of points as well. The Gators' offense is built to do so against an Aggie team that has one of the nation's worst run defenses.

As measured by opposing rush yards per game, Texas A&M's run defense ranks 125th (it has been a problem all season). Florida's offense merits confidence particularly when it is in a good spot to amass many rushing yards because its quarterback while improving as a passer, has struggled with his accuracy.

Three different ball carriers, including quarterback Anthony Richardson, average at least six YPC for Florida, including Trevor Etienne, the brother of rising NFL star Travis Etienne.

Final Pick

NCAAF Pick: Over 53.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 53.5 (-110)
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Syracuse Orange vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

Saturday, November 5, 2022 - 03:30 PM EDT at Acrisure Stadium

Syracuse's Defensive Line Issues

When I predicted that Notre Dame's ground game would steamroll Syracuse, I talked about Syracuse's problems on its defensive line.

To reiterate, defensive line quality and depth were already concerns before the seasons began because the Orange lost their top defensive line during the offseason.

This season, Syracuse lost 2 more defensive linemen to season-ending injuries including an important interior piece.

I also wrote about how Notre Dame's offensive line is well-sized and poses a strong physical test, which would be highly unwelcome especially after the Orange just faced Clemson's physically superior ground game.

Pittsburgh's Ground Game

Syracuse's run defense still does not get a break. Clemson was tough. Notre Dame was tough. Pittsburgh is also tough.

The Panthers returned all their offensive line starters from last year, combining experience with their strong physicality.

Their offensive line is well-sized throughout:

  • Left tackle Branson Taylor is 320 pounds.
  • Left guard Marcus Minor is 325 pounds.
  • Center Jake Kradel is 305 pounds.
  • Right guard Blake Zubovic is 320 pounds.
  • Right tackle Matt Goncalves is 315 pounds.

Behind this monstrous group, Pitt boasts 2 effective and efficient running backs, Vincent Davis with his 5.6 YPC and Israel Abanikanda with his 5.9 YPC.

Last week, Notre Dame was able to score 41 points while passing for only 116 yards. Expect a similar reliance from Pitt on running the ball, which will ensure a high Panther scoring output.

Garrett Shrader's Outlook

Pittsburgh's defense will be extra vulnerable this week because it is facing a dual-threat quarterback this week in Syracuse's Garrett Shrader.

Pitt is prone to allowing opposing quarterbacks to achieve significant rushing outputs. Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims, for example, ran for 81 yards on Pitt's defense. Last week, Tar Heel quarterback Drake Maye ran for 61.

As evident in Maye last week, having his most prolific passing game since facing Georgia State, the Panthers have problems in the back.

After undergoing significant mechanical improvements during the offseason, Shrader has become an efficient passer who will challenge Pittsburgh's secondary.

Final Pick

For your NCAAF picks, expect Shrader to help the game go "Over" the posted total.

NCAAF Pick: Over 50.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Over 50.5 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.