College football betting: Take the UNDER in this Mountain West matchup

My first written piece each week has focused on either backing a favorite ATS or a game total. Those pieces are 7-1 overall, 5-1 betting favorites and 2-0 betting totals. Well, there are two totals I like for Week 10. Typically, I like OVERs. Give me chaos and an explosion of fireworks. However, I’m not on the OVER train this week. Give me boring, good defensive football.

When playing an UNDER in a football game, I’m looking for two things: inefficiencies on offense and strength on defense. A team may be giving up yardage but are they giving up scores? A team may be getting downfield but are they prone to scoring field goals instead of touchdowns? It may not always be so black and white but it makes for a good starting point. Here are two UNDER plays for Week 10.

South Florida at Temple UNDER 51.5

Inefficient offenses: check. Both the Bulls and Owls are bottom 40 in total offense, averaging 5.6 yards per play or worse. Temple is especially inefficient on offense, averaging just 1.9 red zone trips per game. That is second worst in the FBS ahead of only UMass. The Owls are also third worst for touchdowns scored. Temple’s offense has a combined 12 touchdowns in eight games this season with quarterback E.J. Warner accounting for eight of those scores.

At least one efficient defense: check. While the Owls may lack in offense, there’s positivity brewing with the defense. In three FBS home games, Temple has allowed a total of four touchdowns while forcing four field goals. One of those touchdowns came on an explosive 84-yard run from Tulsa. No player on the Bulls has had such a play, though the RB unit does rank top 40 in yards per carry. Plus, Temple’s defense is top 30 in third-down conversions allowed. Expect a slugfest.

UNLV at San Diego State UNDER 48.5

Neither the Rebels nor the Aztecs can pass (101 and 115 in yards per pass attempt). Neither offense can efficiently run (63 and 73 in yards per rush attempt) and neither team can score. UNLV is averaging 24 points per game but only 19 on the road, while San Diego State is averaging 17 points. After losing its starting QB from injury, Rebels backup QB Cameron Friel has been less than productive in three starts, averaging under 16 attempts and 114 passing yards per game with just two touchdown passes to one interception (starting QB Doug Brumfield and RB Aidan Robbins are considered day-to-day ahead of the game against SDSU.) UNLV will likely be without WR2 in Kyle Williams, who is dealing with a foot injury from last week’s matchup against Notre Dame. Williams accounts for a third of the Rebels' receiving scores.

The Aztecs are a run-heavy offense, which lends to UNDERs. They are already 3-5 to the UNDER this season and 1-3 to the UNDER at home. Expect a slugfest part deux.