|SATURDAY College Bowls 3*** OVER / UNDER Winner from KING’s Totals Team:|
Plays rated 2 thru 5 stars
4:00pm ET / 1:00pm PT
FIESTA BOWL / University of Phoenix Stadium / Glendale, AZ
Washington Huskies vs Penn State Nittany Lions
3*** Play on: UNDER the TOTAL (55 points)
The OU line for the 2016 Fiesta Bowl opened at 56 points. It has come down to 55 as we type this on Friday afternoon. That’s interesting, considering that 75% to 78% of all tickets have been bet on the OVER. We have to assume that even though the line more is not major, the squares are on the OVER… while the sharp money on the UNDER has moved this one down a full point. We’ll side with the sharps…
Based on the current pointspread and OU line, the predicted final score in this one is: Penn State 28.5 - Washington 26.5. Our database models and simulations differ slightly. Not by a lot, but at least enough to warrant a normal 3*** Play on the UNDER. Our database forecasts a final score of:
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS 24
WASHINGTON HUSKIES 23
That’s about 47 points… which is 8 points LESS than the current OU line. Any College Game with an OU line that’s 6.5 to 9.5 points higher or lower than our projection triggers a 3*** Play for our service. I don’t think we have to concern ourselves with any ‘freak’ points in this one (INT return / FUM return for a TD). Both teams are amongst the best in the country in ‘protecting the rock’ when it comes to offense. WASHINGTON was ranked as the 4th best STINGIEST offense in the country, with a ‘Giveaway per game’ average of only 0.8. And PENN STATE was also ranked #4 in the country, with a ‘Giveaway per game’ average of only 0.8.
After their KILLER 2016 season, Washington’s offensive numbers ARE (naturally) down in 2017. They averaged 5 points were game LESS in 2017 (compared to last year)… and 45 yards per game LESS on offense. Last season, they were amongst the BEST n the land in Explosive Plays on offense. They had 23 plays of 40 yards or more on offense in 2016. Those numbers are DOWN to only 11 such plays in this 2017 season. The drop-off in Big Plays is largely due to the departure of speedster receiver John Ross. And pass protection for QB Jake Browning was also an issue at times this season. Remember, Penn State’s great defense allowed only 14.5 points per game this season (compared to 25.5 points per game allowed LAST year).
For the Nittany Lions, let’s remember that the guy who was calling ALL of their offensive plays over the last two seasons is now GONE. That would be offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, who spearheaded the offense in his two-year stint at Happy Valley in 2016 and 2017. He will not be in Arizona for Saturday afternoon’s game, since he accepted the head coaching job at Mississippi State. Moorhead brought drastic improvement to what used to be a pretty ‘vanilla’ Nittany Lions offense… and he WILL be missed. Penn State also went down dramatically in BIG PLAYS this season. In their great 2016 season (in which we were on the OVER numerous times), the Nittany Lions had 30 plays of 40 or more yards on offense. That’s even more explosive than the Huskies. But in 2017, those plays went DOWN to only 13. A BIG drop-off...