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
Notre Dame – over 8 (+110) – 3*
When the hell did we stop overrating Notre Dame every year? I get that they went 4-8 last year, but they might be better at every single position group this year. DeShone Kizer was a high draft pick, but I’m sure Brandon Wimbush is capable of throwing for 2,900 yards at a 58.7% completion rate.
The schedule is the biggest reason for consternation. Georgia, USC, Miami (FL), and Stanford are all on the schedule, with the latter two coming on the road. On top of that, they also travel to BC, Michigan State, and UNC. Actually, now that I think about it, the worst team they play (Miami (OH)) is probably still going bowling. It’s gonna be challenging, but the Irish have the talent to play with anybody and fresh coordinators to iron some things out.
BYU – over 9.5 (+115) – 1*
Best part about this one? The Cougs get 13 shots at it. And they’ve got 13 starters back and blah, blah, blah.
What I’d really like to address is the purpose of the August 26th games because I still haven’t found one. They played one last year with Cal and Hawaii last year in Australia or whatever. The game was horrible, it was a push, and both of the teams sucked.
So how do we build on all that incredible success? Well, apparently it’s games like BYU and Portland State! Hawaii and UMass! USF and San Jose State! Oregon State and Colorado State! And your main event? Stanford and Rice! In Sydney!
Anyway, BYU has a tough schedule in September with LSU, Utah, and Wisconsin, but two of them are in Provo and the other is a neutral site game. The plus is that the last five weeks feature the worst of the Mountain West and UMass.
Army – under 7.5 (-165) – 1*
I hate to bet against Army, but no chance they win 8 games again.
UMass – over 3 (-120) – 1*
Somewhat decent chance they at least push after the first three games.
Toledo – under 8.5 (+105) – 1*
They’ll light it up offensively with Logan Woodside back at QB, but they lose their all-time rushing leader and play a tough non-conference schedule.
Western Michigan – over 8.5 (+115) – 2*
Key losses are HC PJ Fleck, QB Zach Terrell, and top 3 WRs (including Corey Davis), however they will still have an excellent running game and will probably have the best D in the MAC again. They’ll likely run the table at home, just need to win three on the road (Buffalo, EMU, NIU most likely).
Northern Illinois – over 6 (+105) – 1*
They have a tough non-con, but I like the fact that they’re coming off an unusually disappointing season in which they finished better than they started.
Central Michigan – over 6.5 (+135) – 3*
They went 6-6 in the regular season last year and they return 15 starters. They have a lot of All-MAC players returning. One of them is not Cooper Rush, but…
…that’s how I felt about Cooper Rush after single-handedly destroying the over in the Miami Beach Bowl last year. His 23-16 TD-INT ratio is replaceable.
They have three road games against Power 5 teams, but those three teams are Kansas, Syracuse, and Boston College, so it’s basically just three more MAC-level road games.
Eastern Michigan – under 4.5 (+125) – 1*
Everything went right for them last year. They return quite a bit, but history says they’re due for a regression.
Ball State – under 4.5 (+120) – 1*
I don’t know. I just don’t see them going at least 3-5 in the MAC.
Ohio – over 7.5 (-130) – 3*
Another one of the “powers” of the MAC over the past decade and a half, thanks to Frank Solich. The Bobcats have a pretty decent shot to go 4-0 in the non-con (Hampton, @ Purdue, Kansas, @ UMass).
Miami (OH) – over 8 (+115) – 1*
Sure, why not? They return 17 starters, people seem to like Chuck Martin, and the only guaranteed loss is at Notre Dame.
Akron – under 5 (+105) – 1*
Terry Bowden loves to go 5-7 (done it 3 out of 5 years at Akron), so this one is especially tough. There’s reason to like the Zips this year, but they’ve got 6 road games and they won’t be favored in any of them, most likely. That forces them to be perfect at home, which includes beating Iowa State and Ohio.
Bowling Green – over 4 (-155) – 1*
Not worth the bet, but they have a lot of factors pointing up.
Kent State – under 3.5 (+105) – 2*
Paul Haynes is 12-35 through four years. They have seven road games, all coming against better teams. They also host CMU and Miami, so not a lot of room for error. On the plus side, they’re pretty much clear of the stench that is Darrell Hazell recruits.
Buffalo – over 3.5 (+115) – 1*
Decent amount of chances for wins and QB Tyree Jackson should be improved after getting a lot of experience as a true freshman last year.