Isolating College Football's Most Balanced And Efficient Offenses

FairwayJay provides a statistical profile of the college football teams with the most balanced and efficient offenses in 2021

Winning College Football Betting Angles: Balanced Offensive Teams

Throughout the years I've provided statistical profiles in football to assist bettors in finding edges in match-ups. From rushing to passing, point-of-attack play and defensive profiles, we try to use stat profiles and uncover misleading scores that don't always tell the story from the stats and box scores. 

This season is a later update on looking at the more balanced and efficient college offenses, but the stats do provide a larger sample of games and can be used for the closing month of the season. As top teams make a push for the conference championship games, major bowl bids and CFB Playoff, you'll be able to use some of these stats on those teams and others to help you identify more potential mismatches and winners.

NCAA football top offensive teamsThat was the case with undefeated Wake Forest, who has a very deficient defense along with an explosive offense that just misses on the rushing criteria. But the Demon Deacons allowed 58 points in defeat last week against North Carolina - a team that makes the '200 club' balanced and efficient list below. 

So which teams balance the run and pass to create greater efficiency and scoring? While many are top teams in the rankings, there will be games ahead and situations where you can bet on these teams as underdog. You can also use these stats when making in-play wagers knowing you may have a match-up advantage based on what's happening in the game, or for totals and over/under bets. These stats had to help for the 58-55 North Carolina - Wake Forest game last week despite the very high posted total. As props are offered, these stats can also assist you with yardage projections. 

In 2019, I made a bigger bet in the college football National Championship game on Clemson (+6) when they dominated Alabama as an underdog and crushed the Crimson Tide 44-16 to win the national title. As I noted in Forbes, "it is a rare situation when you can get an underdog of at least a touchdown that is both a defensive dominator along with a high-powered balanced offense that both runs and passes for more than 250 yards per game. Clemson will be up to the challenge to beat Alabama and reward Tigers betting backers. You can bet on it."

Match-ups are always key, as is isolating value in the betting line when shopping at the leading online sportsbooks, who take more bets and action on the weekly Top 25 games, of which we provide picks, opinions and analysis each week. But know there are many more games that provide greater mismatches and statistical edges that can be combined with situations and scheduling to create value and opportunities to cash in. See last week's upset special of Purdue over undefeated Michigan State as a most recent example. 

NCAA football betting tipsThe college football Top 25 polls and CFP rankings are not too important, but what is significant is stats that matter and against what caliber of opponents. While total yards gained, yard per play and rushing and passing numbers are worthy statistics to consider, the way in which teams accumulate those yards is significant. In college football, it’s important to control or dominate the line of scrimmage. And teams that can balance their offense and attack are usually more efficient and make it more difficult for opposing defenses and coordinators to defend and prepare. Evaluating opponents and strength of schedule is another factor you must analyze once you review the numbers and statistical profiles. 

The teams on this list below are often most productive thanks to a strong offensive line. Same with the high-profile and productive passing teams. So watch for key injuries each week not only to the skill position players, but those offensive line players and also defenders that could impact how a team performs.

Here are the teams that average at least 200 yards per game both rushing and passing. Balance on offense to create better efficiency at at least 6.0 yards per play as members of the '200 Club' on offense. Dropping the rushing parameter to at least 190 yards per game and you'll see 3-4 top teams added to the list.  

YPR = Yards Per Rush; YPP = Yards Per Pass; YPPL = Yards Per Play; PPG = Points Per Game 

Appalachian State 202 254 456 6.3 35.2
Arizona State 204 229 433 6.7 29.1
Arkansas 238 214 452 6.2 31.1
Baylor 208 218 426 6.6 32.6
Coastal Carolina 225 258 483 7.6 41.4
Florida 225 242 467 6.6 29.4
Kent State 202 247 449 5.7 28.1
Louisiana 215 215 430 6.1 31.2
Michigan 234 217 451 6.3 36.2
Mississippi 226 285 511 6.5 35.8
North Carolina 216 274 490 6.6 38.9
Oregon 223 219 442 6.3 33.4
Oregon State 231 214 445 6.5 32.9
Tennessee 218 244 462 6.3 36.1
Texas 202 219 421 6.2 35.8
TCU 200 254 454 6.6 29.6
Texas San Antonio 206 252 458 6.01 38.1
UCLA 205 216 421 5.8 32.2
Utah 223 210 433 6.3 34.9

Note that Kent State has the weakest profile of the 200 Club with the lowest yards per play (5.7) and scoring (28 PPG) with UCLA just behind.

This list shrinks as the season moves along, and I'll note some other teams that just miss part of the criteria as one's to also watch. 

- Ohio State (189 / 353) 45 points per game
- Wake Forest (190 / 330) 45 PPG
- North Texas (213 / 195)
- Northern Illinois (212 / 197)
- Georgia (190 / 240)
- Duke (198 / 249) just 22 points per game

Clearly there are top offensive teams who don't make this list, but may pass the ball with elite efficiency.

Ohio State, Alabama and Oklahoma all score 39 to 45 points per game and pass for 352, 327 and 289 yards per game. But they don't run the ball for enough yards to meet the criteria (190, 152, 170). 

Also, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia and Virginia are top 5 in the country in yards per play offense, averaging at least 6.8 yards per play with heavier pass offenses. 

So isolate those teams against weaker pass defenses or teams that struggle to get pressure on the quarterback, and recognize those high profile and productive teams are often heavy favorites. 

Review box cores, stats and update your numbers as able throughout the season. Dig into the match-ups, and you'll find more edges and often advantages for teams that have more balance on offense.

You can bet on it. 

FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay  

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