I’m picking every over/under season win total for the Power 5 schools in college football, as well as quite a few others from around the country. I didn’t write all this shit in a day, so the odds are probably not the current ones. Also, there’s a good chance I missed an injury or suspension or twelve. It’s a lot of teams to keep track of and I’m currently putting in 60 hour weeks. Don’t @ me.
Huge shoutout to Phil Steele and a variety of websites on the line making their #content available for all of us to consume. If you don’t use Phil to help you with gambling on college football, you’re lost, pal.
Also, at the bottom of each of these, I’ll give my best bet for the conference champion. It’s not based on who I actually think will win, just my best perceived value. So again, don’t @ me.
Clemson – over 10.5 (-135) – 1*
Absolutely loaded on offense and will probably be back over 40 ppg again. The defense only has 4 starters back, but they have a ton of talent and a lot of the guys stepping have plenty of experience. They’ve got 11 guys coming back that made All-ACC. The season will come down to four games: at Auburn, Louisville, at Boston College, and at Florida State.
Florida State – over 10 (-115) – 1*
Basically everyone back on offense. Everett Golson is gone, but Sean Maguire is back after starting about half the season and Deondre Francois is a RFr. who actually beat out Maguire in camp. They’ll score a ton of points. Every defensive unit is Top 25 in the country. They only gave up 17.5 ppg last season. They’ve also got the best recruiting class in the country coming in. The schedule is fairly difficult, but they’ve got the talent to win it all.
Louisville – under 9 (-105) – 1*
A lot of people are high on Louisville. They’ve got 17 starters coming back. Their offense got much better as the year went on last season and should see improvement with QB Lamar Jackson in his second year after playing most of his true freshman year. I just see them as another year away from contending for the conference. They’re playing at Marshall and Houston out of conference, they play at Clemson, and they have to play the Seminoles early in the year. I don’t love many teams that have question marks with both lines. I’m not betting on them to contend this season, but it wouldn’t surprise me either.
NC State – under 6 (-110) – 1*
They’ve got a great shot at being 3-0 heading into conference, but the conference slate isn’t very forgiving. They might only be favored in one or two games and they’ve got Notre Dame at home thrown in there. They lose QB Jacoby Brissett and 100 career starts on the O-line. The defense will be solid, but they might need to be exceptional to beat any of the powerhouses of the conference.
Boston College – over 6.5 (-110) – 2*
Their offense can’t possibly be worse. Chances are they won’t have to start four QBs this year. Patrick Towles transferred from Kentucky. I think he stinks, but he’s better than anyone who played here last year. They’ve got 8 offensive starters back after two straight years with only two. The defense should be very good again after only giving up 17.2 ppg last season. I wouldn’t expect that number with DC Don Brown at Michigan now, but 7 starters from that side are back. The schedule is pretty easy. They’ve got a really good chance to win all four non-con games. They have to travel to FSU and VT, but they get Louisville and Clemson at home and they play the Tigers on a Friday night.
Wake Forest – under 5.5 (-110) – 1*
I’ve got them at 4-8 or 5-7. Their schedule leaves them open to make it to .500, but they’re 2-14 in the ACC under Dave Clawson and the Deacs haven’t averaged 20 ppg since 2011 so…
Syracuse – under 4 (-110) – 2*
I like new HC Dino Babers, but I think it’ll take him at least a year or two to get the guys he needs. At best they’re 2-2 in non-con. Phil Steele thinks they’re going to put up over 30 ppg, but I don’t really see that. The schedule is the 10th most difficult in the country.
Miami (FL) – over 8 (-150) – 1*
Their offense should be among the best in the conference. Brad Kaaya is one of the best QBs in the country. There’s no real weak spot on that side of the ball. They were supposed to have 6 starters back on D, but two guys just got kicked off the team – DE Al-Quadin Muhammad and LB Jermaine Grace – and those two were 2 of their top 3 tacklers last year. The defense may not be up to the offense’s form, but they’ve essentially got three games (although at App St. could get interesting) and a bye week to tune things up.
North Carolina – over 8.5 – 1*
The offense put up over 40 ppg last year and the natural reaction to losing the starting QB who put up big numbers last year is to expect a drop-off, but I don’t think that’s the case here. Mitch Trubisky takes over with some experience under his belt and has shown he’s very capable. The rest of the unit is among the best in the country. The concern to me is the Front 7 on D, but they’ve got talent and Gene Chizik is here as DC for Year 2. They improved by 14 ppg in his first season. There’s a lot of toss-up games on the schedule, but none that they aren’t capable of winning.
Virginia Tech – under 7 (+105) – 1*
I don’t have a great feel for the Hokies, but I do expect a drop-off in a new system offensively. The defense should stay pretty steady with DC Bud Foster staying on staff. The benefit of the schedule is that they don’t play Clemson, Florida State, or Louisville. However, I only feel comfortable giving them one guaranteed win in conference and that’s Virginia at home. They play Tennessee in Bristol and at Notre Dame out of conference. Looks like a third straight 6-6 season to me.
Pittsburgh – over 7.5 (-105) – 3*
Love the Panthers this year. Peterman is back at QB after a very solid 11 starts to finish the season last year. Ollison is back at RB after an 1,100 yard season and I’m not sure exactly how much you can expect from James Conner after his battle with Lymphoma, but he’s a big-time talent if he can give them anything. The defense is in their second year of Pat Narduzzi influence and they made a jump of 18 sacks in the first year and 8 starters are back this season. They’ve got some tough road games this year, but I think they’re good enough to win 10 games.
Georgia Tech – under 6.5 (even) – 1*
Their line is a bit of a question mark and they need to be really good for their running game. The defense is pretty average. Paul Johnson might start feeling the heat if they get a new AD in there soon. 6-6.
Duke – under 5.5 (-110) – 1*
They’ve got six true road games and I don’t see them winning any of those. That means they have to be perfect at home and that includes games with VT and UNC.
Virginia – under 4.5 (-110) – 2*
Six true road games and they’ll most likely be dogs in four home games. No thanks with a brand new staff.
Best Bet for Conference Champion
No surprise here. The conference schedule isn’t setup the way I’d prefer, but I think it’s a pretty open division in the Coastal and I’m a big believer in Narduzzi. They lost all four of their regular season losses by 7 or less. 16 starters back, experienced QB, good lines on both sides of the ball, won 5 games on the road last season.