I’m picking every over/under regular season win total for all 130 schools in college football. I’ll try to keep the odds/injuries/suspensions as current as possible, but I’m doing this in pieces, so it is what it is.
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.
Monday, August 14: Independents/MAC
Tuesday, August 15: AAC/Sunbelt
Wednesday, August 16: Mountain West/C-USA
Thursday, August 17: Heisman/National Title/Misc.
Friday, August 18: Recap
Florida State – over 10 (+140) – 2*
The Noles are loaded up and down the roster, but the defense is without a doubt the shining star. They have 9 starters coming back and that doesn’t include Derwin James, who missed last year after having a ridiculously productive true freshman year.
The offense has some skill guys to replace, with Dalvin Cook’s production being highly unlikely to reproduce with just one guy. With that said, they have a herd of other 5-star guys to put in his place. Deondre Francois was slightly underwhelming in his rookie year, but he’s likely to be a contender for the Heisman this year.
The schedule essentially boils down to five games: Alabama (in Atlanta), Miami and Louisville at home, and at Clemson and Florida. That’s five top 20 teams. A tough schedule for sure, but FSU is as talented as anybody.
Clemson – under 9.5 (even) – 1*
It’s hard to bet against the run the Tigers have been on for the past six years, but they lost the majority of their big-time producers on offense, with the most impactful obviously being Deshaun Watson. Kelly Bryant has the unenviable task of taking his place. He was highly regarded coming out of high school, but it’s been years since he’s taken a meaningful snap in a football game.
Important games on the schedule: Auburn, @ Louisville, @ Va Tech, Florida State. Road games at NC State and South Carolina are likely to be tossups too.
Louisville – over 9.5 (-115) – 1*
I don’t have a great feel for the Cardinals. They started out last year incredibly dominate, but ended things by losing three straight games, two to unranked opponents. It’s been a while since a Bobby Petrino team didn’t perform almost exactly to expectations. They only have 11 starters back, including just four on offense (top 3 WRs and top RB gone).
However, one of those 11 starters back is Lamar Jackson and he’s pretty damn good at eviscerating people. Their schedule is also pretty weak.
NC State – over 7.5 (-105) – 1*
17 starters back for the Pack after finishing 7-6, which probably didn’t reflect how well they actually played last year. They’re solid top to bottom and Dave Doeren has proven to be at the very least a solid coach (following graph not withstanding).
|Record against ranked opponents under Dave Doeren|
|2013 Clemson||L by 12|
|2013 FSU||L by 32|
|2014 FSU||L by 15|
|2015 Clemson||L by 15|
|2015 FSU||L by 17|
|2015 UNC||L by 11|
|2016 Clemson||L by 7|
|2016 Louisville||L by 41|
|2016 FSU||L by 4|
The part that makes me weary is the schedule. They play South Carolina in Charlotte and at Notre Dame in the non-con. Even Marshall at home could be challenging. They play a few of the better teams in the conference at home and play the weaker, but solid teams in their division on the road. This all makes for a lot of tossup, unpredictable games.
Boston College – over 4 (-125) – 3*
Sure, their offense perpetually sucks. However, they have almost their entire offensive line back this year, their top 2 RBs, and their top 6 pass catchers from last year. The only notable loss is QB Patrick Towles, who sucked, so who cares?
The front 7 on D is a top 20-ish group and that can go a long way. They lost maybe their best player in S John Johnson, but the rest of the two-deeps from the secondary are back and they had pretty solid numbers last year.
The schedule is tough, but it includes two MAC teams, UConn, and Wake Forest at home. There’s also road games with Virginia and Syracuse that are very winnable. They won’t have a shot against the top 3 in the division because their offense can’t keep up, but every other game is probably winnable.
Wake Forest – under 5.5 (-160) – 1*
I like the under a lot, but it’s probably too steep of a price to pay too much. The defense – who carried the team last year – only returns five starters. OOC schedule includes road games at Notre Dame and App State.
Syracuse – under 4.5 (+105) – 1*
They return 19 starters, overperformed a year ago, and I do believe that Dino Babers is the man for the job. However, they’re still in a rebuilding phase and have to obviously play the powers in their own division, but also 2 of the top 3 from the Coastal. If that wasn’t enough, they’re playing at LSU and home games against MTSU and CMU
Miami (FL) – over 9 (-125) – 2*
Ahhhhhhhhh, Miami. They’ve got 15 starters coming back, with 7 of them coming on offense. The big losses are in the passing game with Brad Kaaya going pro early and two of his top receivers moving on, incluiding stud TE David Njoku. Malik Rosier will take over at QB. He’s only started one game in his career, but it was a good one a couple of years ago at Duke. There might be a dropoff there, but not all that severe in my opinion.
The front 7 is right there with the best in the country and they return every starter and nearly everyone from the two-deeps. The secondary loses three to the NFL, but they’ll still be pretty solid.
The schedule isn’t all that intimidating. They avoid Clemson and Louisville from the Atlantic. They might be favored in 11 games this year.
Virginia Tech – under 8.5 (+110) – 1*
Justin Fuente is known for being an offensive guru, but he’s gotta replace a lot of weapons from last year, including do-everything QB Jerod Evans. The defense will be pretty good and likely keep them in every game, but there’s a lot of opportunities for losses on the schedule.
Pittsburgh – over 7 (+130) – 1*
Tough call on this one. They only return 10 starters. They lose their QB and stud RB and OC Matt Canada, who worked miracles. However, the losses on defense don’t hurt that bad because the defense was terrible last year and you’d expect Pat Narduzzi to get things back in order. There’s not a game in ACC play I’d count them out of, as they avoid the Big 3 from the Atlantic, but they do have Penn St. and Oklahoma St. in September.
North Carolina – under 7 (-150) – 1*
They lose almost everyone who made a single play on offense last year. Gene Chizik is no longer the DC. Not a certainty they’re gonna go bowling.
Georgia Tech – under 6.5 (-110) – 1*
Totally forgot GT went 9-4 last year. And they have 16 starters back from that team. On the other hand, they had to be one of the most lackluster 9-4 ACC teams in history. They were -85.5 ypg in ACC play, according to Phil Steele. They’re really just not that talented, but they’ve got a system that’s worked. However, the real reason for the under is the schedule. Their OOC schedule features Georgia, Tennessee, and @ UCF. They also draw a road game at Clemson from the Atlantic.
Duke – over 5.5 (+120) – 1*
I’m just betting on David Cutcliffe.
Virginia – under 5 (-115) – 2*
They’re still gonna suck. They’re 90% likely to go 0-5 in road games, which means they have to 6-1 at home.
Best Bet to Win
Miami (FL) +800
As always, I like to take someone from the weaker division and seemingly all of these Power 5 conferences have a clear imbalance. Miami – in my eyes – is a heavy favorite to win the Coastal. Vegas doesn’t have Va Tech far off, but I think Miami is clearly the better team and they get to host the Hokies. I considered taking NC State at +3000, but the path just seems too daunting in their division.