Week 5 has some very intriguing matchups and will provide a great opportunity to see where a lot of the top teams in the country stand.
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Here, I’ll go over the best value on the board going into the weekend. This column posted a good return last week (5-1), as NC State forcing overtime and killing our team total under was the only thing holding us back from a 6-0 week. Make sure to check out PFF Greenline before putting in your college football bets, but I’ll go over my model’s biggest remaining edges here.
Related content for you: Best Weekday College Football Bets for Week 5: Spreads, totals & player props via Jason DeLoach
Oklahoma State Cowboys -3.5 vs. Baylor Bears
Projection: Oklahoma State -6.9
Baylor beat up on some terrible opponents to open the year and then squeaked out a win against Iowa State last week, where it managed 31 points on just 285 total yards. Both sides of the ball look great in terms of raw numbers, but both Baylor units rank outside the top 40 in my opponent-adjusted ratings — even after filtering out preseason projections. Before the Iowa State game, Baylor hadn’t played a single top-100 team, and it was bested significantly from an expected points added perspective. If not for three Iowa State turnovers inside the Baylor 40-yard line, this result would have looked much different than the final score.
Oklahoma State also comes into this game 4-0, as the defense has continued to be the team's strength after last season:
|Oklahoma State||Defense Grade||EPA/Play||Success Rate||Pressure Rate||EPA/Rush|
The defense has been dominant in two straight weeks against Boise State and Kansas State, as it averaged 40+% pressure rates of 40% or more in each game. The run defense has been the most dominant unit on this defense, as it’s held its three FBS opponents to EPA per rush averages of -0.3, -0.5, and -0.63, and its highest yards per carry allowed of the whole year was just 3.2. The ground game has probably been the Baylor offense's strength early on, but this Oklahoma State front hasn’t allowed anything in that area all year long.
Although the defense has been elite against the run, the offense is a different story in that regard. The Cowboys rank 84th in rushing grade but have had an underrated efficiency through the air. Oklahoma State doesn’t throw the ball at a very high rate, but when it does, it has top-30 rankings in passing grade, EPA per pass and adjusted completion percentage. Baylor’s secondary ranks 62nd in PFF grade despite an incredibly easy schedule, so Spencer Sanders and this passing game could keep it rolling after a great Week 4.