• Paul Compton

The Best College Football 1st Half Plays, Week #11

These plays were sent out to clients on Wednesday. I haven't checked current lines, so I'd imagine several of them are at worse numbers now. The main thing with halves is to try and be on the right side of the key scoring numbers. I've done quite well with first half plays this year.

1 Unit:

207 USF@MEM Over 37 - Both teams have averaged 38 points per first half. Against teams of similar offensive and defensive strengths it's been well above that.

.7 Unit:

123 CIN +7 - This would be a full unit play if I wasn't worried about CIN's mental state toward the end of a disappointing season. Still, you almost always have to count on team's showing up, especially in conference games. The reality is that UCF has been playing worse recently than Cincinnati when compared to their season stats. UCF only blew out Tulane last week because of defensive scores.

165 Kentucky +7 (-105) - Tennessee has been outscored by an average of 7.6 points in first halves this year. The Vols being a second half team is a narrative this year that I'm sure many of you are familiar with. Kentucky and South Carolina being tough outs in the SEC East is another narrative you're probably familiar with.

148 Charlotte -6 (-115) - Rice has been outscored by 6 or more points in all but one FBS game this season. They have zero FBS wins this year. Twice I've backed them as small home favorites and lost. More often than that we've bet against them as road dogs and done very well. This is that spot, even against Charlotte. Charlotte's defense has been improving some as the season has gone along. Not playing Louisville every week helps. Charlotte's passing game hasn't actually improved as much as I thought it would after making the QB switch to Klugh. He had a big first game but has since put up the same poor numbers as his predecessor. Still, Rice has the worst pass defense in the FBS. This play also works as a bit of a hedge against the game Under bet. If the first half is high scoring, it's more than likely that Charlotte will cover this play.

204 MICH @ IOWA Over 27.5 (-115) - Michigan has been averaging over 29 points in first halves themselves this year, Iowa 17. If Iowa can get a TD in the first half I really like our chances. Iowa's offense is much better than their defense at this point.

.5 Unit:

116 ASU +3 - ASU doesn't appear to be in total surrender mode like their rival in Tucson. Their passing game has been a full YPP better at home, and their run defense has been a rescored 2.3 YPC stouter at home. Utah continues to be over-rated, though they played Washington tougher than I expected them to. Still, that was at home. (***Winner*** -- though ASU was horrendous in the 2nd half and ended up getting rolled, lol)

156 MSST @ ALA Under 30.5 - MSST has a good enough run defense to not let Alabama run away with the whole game in the first half alone. I expect them to do so combining both halves. Alabama's defense will also be playing in this game, in case you hadn't noticed. Both teams average 5 or 6 points less points per half scored than this number in their games.

197 WVU +0.5 - Not much to say about this one, except that WVU has been more consistent than Texas this year, except for their last road game at OKST where turnovers gave OKST two TD drives of less than 10 yards, while failing to score touchdowns inside the 10 on at least a couple of trips, themselves.

178 RUTG @ MSU Under 28.5 1st half - Rutgers' offense has gotten a bit of spark since making the QB change a few games ago, while their defense has been steadily regressing, so there are some reasons to not like this play. MSU's average of 21.6 first half points in games they've played is a reason to like the Under, however. Expect the Spartans to run the ball and the clock a little more than they usually do, as they've trailed in most games, which they don't rate to do here.