CFB Season Preview: National Champion, Heisman, and More

Monday, August 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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

National Championship Picks

Favorites (Top 4)

Ohio State +800

The other three being Alabama, USC, and Florida State. Since Urban Meyer came to town in 2012, they’ve lost a total of 6 games. Last year was a disappointment and they still made the playoff.  The Buckeyes return 15 starters and they have by far the easiest schedule of the four. Could be a heart attack free year for old Urb.

Second Tier (40-1 or less)

Washington +2300

A great price for a team that ended up +24 ppg last year, returns two Heisman contenders among 13 starters, and has maybe the easiest schedule among Power 5 teams.

Darkhorse (105-1 or less)

Oregon and TCU (+10500)

If you read through the season win total previews, this shouldn’t be a surprise. They’re two programs that have both been near the top tier in recent years, but are coming off disappointing seasons with a lot of starters returning. The obvious difference is that Gary Patterson is in his 17th year in Fort Worth, while Willie Taggart is just getting started. Both are playing relatively soft schedules.

Super Darkhorse (110-1 or more)

South Carolina +100000

They weren’t terrible last year and they’ve got a lot coming back. They don’t play any of the top 3 from the SEC West. Yeah, Will Muschamp is still their coach, but he did go 11-2 his second year at Florida. That’s something.

Heisman Picks

Favorites (Top 5)

Saquon Barkley +1400

It’s kind of a muddled mess, with varied values on guys depending on the book, so it’s best to shop around. I took Barkley as a Super Darkhorse guy last year and he might’ve made it to New York if Penn State wouldn’t have spent the first half of the year outside of the top 25. The biggest problem for him is probably Trace McSorley cancelling him out.

Second Tier (30-1 or less)

Bo Scarbrough +2000

Took him last year at +5000. Admittedly, I felt pretty dumb for most of the year, given that he was third on the Tide in carries and rushing yards. Then, he got the bulk of the load against Washington and proceeded to run by their entire defense like a goddamn gazelle.


Once again, an Alabama RB is never a bad bet for Heisman and Bo Scarbrough still has the best, most fitting name in college football.

Darkhorse (65-1 or less)

Brandon Wimbush +5000

I don’t know, I’ve got a lot of “Lamar Jackson 2016” feels on this one. A talented, ridiculously fast QB that has an opportunity to make a big splash early in the year. I thought about going Rolls Royce Freeman here, but I think three bets related to Oregon is enough (there might be more later).

Super Darkhorse (75-1 or more)

Jacob Eason +8500

I like Georgia and they’ve got a tall white at QB, so here we are.

Other Futures

Wisconsin makes 4 team playoff +725

I ended up going against them winning more than 10.5, butttttt if they do, they’ve got a good shot at making the playoff if they take down the Big Ten East winner. The schedule is comically bad.

Oklahoma State makes 4 team playoff +800

I’ll never be able to quit OSU as long as Mike Gundy’s Mullet is running the show. They get the majority of legitimate Big 12 teams at home.

Oregon makes 4 team playoff +1700
TCU makes 4 team playoff +1700

I’m sorry, I can’t stop.

BYU plays in New Year’s Six +700

The schedule is just difficult enough to legitimize their birth with a strong record. Also, their four most difficult games are either at home or on a neutral field.

Appalachian State plays in New Year’s Six +1600

They’ve got a great shot to go 11-1. If they keep it close against Georgia like they did Tennessee last year, they’ll be in contention.

Alabama 14-1 National Champion +650

It’s the only way to get decent value on Alabama winning it all and I’m pretty sure this is their record every year.

CFB Season Win Totals: Mountain West / C-USA

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 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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


Colorado State – over 7.5 (-160) – 2*

Only game they’re for sure losing is at Alabama. All their important skill guys are back on offense, but the line is a bit of a question mark. Defensively, they have 8 starters back.  Pretty steep price, though.

Boise State – over 8.5 (-120) – 1*

They lose a lot, but Brett Rypien is back and that’s worth a lot. The losses are concerning, but the Broncos have been a well-oiled machine for a long time now.

Wyoming – under 7.5 (-105) – 1*

Josh Allen returns, but he loses over 4,300 yards of total offense around him. I like Craig Bohl, but they jumped up 17 ppg from 2015 to 2016 and now a lot of those guys are gone. That makes me skeptical they can maintain a potent offense.

Utah State – over 4.5 (-110) – 1*

Not real confident, but they don’t play SDSU or Nevada.

Air Force – over 5 (-110) – 3*

They only have a single starter back on defense, which is far from ideal, but the Falcons have been really consistent underneath Troy Calhoun.

New Mexico – under 5.5 (-130) – 1*

A lot of losses defensively, but the biggest reason for concern is the schedule.


San Diego State – over 9.5 (+115) – 1*

Not a lot of room for error, obviously, especially playing both Arizona St. and Stanford in the first three weeks. However, they do avoid CSU and Wyoming and they’ve been very consistent under Rocky Long. Donnel Pumphrey is gone, but Rashaad Penny might be able to match his production.

Nevada – over 3.5 (-130) – 3*

They lose a lot on offense, but they’ve got some talented transfers coming in and an Air Raid offense. The D returns 9 starters from a unit that was fairly decent. They have a lot of winnable games at home.

Hawaii – under 5 (-115) – 1*

Defense is probably still gonna suck.

Fresno State – under 4 (-135) – 1*

Jeff Tedford provides some optimism, but Tim DeRuyter kinda left things in shambles.

UNLV – under 5 (-120) – 1*

Defense might give up 40+.

San Jose State – over 3.5 (-105) – 1*

Good news: they get to play 13 games. Not as good news: Their HC and coordinators have a combined 0 experience with their current jobs.

Best Bet to Win

Air Force +3000

They don’t have a lot coming back on defense, but the price doesn’t match the consistency the Falcons have shown under Calhoun and their ability to contend for a title. The Mountain division is the stronger of the two, but there’s no point in taking anyone out of the West. SDSU is the lock of all locks.


Western Kentucky – under 9.5 (+125) – 1*

Heavy losses for the Hilltoppers. It starts with Jeff Brohm, then 1,600 yard rusher Anthony Wales, then WRs Taywan Taylor and Nicholas Norris (combined 174 receptions, 3,048 receiving yards, 31 TDs), and their top three tacklers. The schedule isn’t all that difficult, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to lose for a team with so many significant losses.

Marshall – over 5 (-155) – 3*

Defense should make big strides after a significant spike in points allowed last year. They lose their receiving corps, but Chase Litton should be one of the better QBs in the league. They’ve got a chance to run the table at home, along with some winnable games on the road.

Middle Tennessee – over 7 (+110) – 2*

Brent Stockstill and Richie James are one of the best QB-WR duos in the country and should make sure the Blue Raiders are the top offense in the league. The defense has some question marks for sure, but they should still improve on a mediocre effort last year.

Old Dominion – over 6.5 (-110) – 1*

They lose QB David Washington, which makes 35.1 ppg number from last year likely unattainable, but they’ve still got quite a bit coming back from a 10 win team.

Florida Atlantic – over 4.5 (-140) – 2*

I was hopping aboard the Lane Train the day he signed. Combine that with 58 of 66 lettermen returning and it’s a clear path for success.


All hail Joey Freshwater.

Florida International – under 4.5 (+105) – 1*

Charlotte – under 4 (-175) – 1*


Louisiana Tech – under 8.5 (-135) – 1*

Significant losses on both sides of the ball and they draw South Carolina, Mississippi State, and WKU out of division, with only MSU coming at home.

UTSA – over 6.5 (-140) – 1*

14 starters back and they play one of the worst schedules in the country.

Southern Miss – over 7 (-120) – 1*

Really boils down to how well they can replace Nick Mullens.

Rice – under 3.5 (+105) – 1*

Schedule is pretty brutal.

North Texas – over 4.5 (-110) – 1*

Big strides on both sides of the ball in the first year of Seth Littrell. Look for more of the same in Year 2.

UTEP – over 2.5 (+115) – 1*

UAB – under 2.5 (+110) – 1*

Best Bet to Win

Southern Miss +1100

Weak division and they don’t have to play WKU or MTSU from the East.

CFB Season Win Totals: AAC / Sun Belt

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 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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


South Florida – over 10 (-120) – 1*

It’s hard to put too much faith in Charlie Strong. The whole “couldn’t win at Texas with a never-ending supply of talent” thing tends to shake the confidence. However, USF has a lot coming back from an 11-2 squad and they play one of the worst schedules in the country.

Temple – under 6.5 (-115) – 2*

The program made great strides under Matt Rhule, but he’s gone now and so are 12 starters. Most notably, 7 of those are from the dominant defense, QB Phillip Walker, and RB Jahad Thomas. Geoff Collins is a first year HC.

Central Florida – over 7.5 (+115) – 1*

I think their offense is gonna make a big jump in Year 2 under Scott Frost’s direction, but they don’t have much coming back on defense and there’s a lot of loseable (but also winnable!) games on the schedule. I like the Knights this year, but it’s hard to put too much stock in them with the defensive worries.

Cincinnati – under 5.5 (+125) – 1*

Only 11 starters back for first year HC Luke Fickell. The offense was atrocious last year and new OC Mike Denbrock doesn’t exactly move the needle for me.

UConn –  over 3.5 (+150) – 1*

Betting on some Randy Edsall magic here. It didn’t exist at Maryland, but he built this program. It also helps that he’ll be compared to Bob Diaco. The offense can’t possibly be any worse. The defense returns 7 starters. They might have the best front 7 in the AAC when all is said and done.

East Carolina – under 3.5 (-130) – 1*

A low bar, but the defense was bad last year and there’s reason to believe it might get even worse. Not many breaks in the schedule. Even their FCS opponent is the FCS national champion.


Houston – over 8 (-130) – 3*

Tom Herman moves on, but Major Applewhite has been running the offense here the past few years. They have 15 starters back. QB Greg Ward is gone. He was a huge part of the offense, but he played hurt most of last year and turned the ball over quite a bit. Kyle Allen takes over, who was once the #1 QB in his recruiting class and played pretty well before he transferred from Texas A&M.

Maybe the most important group of the team is the defensive line, and they’re special. They’re by far the best the AAC has to offer and Ed Oliver might be the best DT in the country as a true sophomore.

Tulsa – over 7.5 (+140) – 1*

They lose a lot of production on offense, but I’m not sure Philip Montgomery has ever put out a unit that wasn’t exceptional at scoring points.

Memphis – under 8.5 (+130) – 1*

It’s hard for me to bet against Riley Ferguson, but I don’t totally trust HC Mike Norvell yet and they’ve got some tough road games along with UCLA and Navy coming to town.

Navy – over 7 (-120) – 2*

Navy is one of the most consistent programs in the nation. The second half of the schedule is gonna be prettyyyyyy tough, but Ken Niumatalolo has only won fewer than 7 one time in his 9 years here.

SMU – under 5 (+160) – 1*

They’ll probably make a bowl, but I’m not eating -185 on SMU football. That’s just a code to live by (since they stopped paying everybody to go there).

Tulane – under 5 (-130) – 3*

Not a chance with that schedule.

Best Bet to Win

UCF +1000

I think this is a better way to bet on the Knights, as opposed to the season win total. They have question marks on D and a lot of toss-up games, but if the questions are answered in the positive defensively, they’ve got a great chance to contend for the league title.


Appalachian State – under 9 (+155) – 1*

I actually don’t think they’ll go under, but my confidence level doesn’t match the price. They’re almost a lock to lose to Georgia and they also host Wake. It’ll be close with the Demon Deacons, but if they drop it, they have to go perfect in conference play to hit the over.

Arkansas State – over 7.5 (+120) – 1*

Tough non-con schedule, but they’re capable of upsetting somebody. They only return 10 starters, but their D-Line is Power 5 level and they’ve won 7+ the last six years.

Troy – under 8.5 (+110) – 1*

The Trojans won 10 games (9 in the regular season) last year and they have a lot of coming back, but there are some significant losses on the defense and they’ve got some tough road games on the schedule.

UL-Lafayette – over 5 (-105) – 1*

They have seven road games, which is the biggest deterrent to hitting the over, but the Ragin’ Cajuns have been to a bowl (the New Orleans one every time) all but one time under Mark Hudspeth.

South Alabama – over 4 (-115) – 2*

Quite a few winnable games at home. They lose their top 4 pass catchers, but they finally have a returning starting QB.

New Mexico State – over 3.5 (-155) – 1*

Lotta guys back and nine winnable games on the schedule.

Idaho – under 4.5 (+145) – 1*

The 2016 Idaho Vandals were one of the more fortunate (lucky) teams in the history of football. They were 9-50 in the five years prior. They lose a lot on both lines, the receiver group, and the secondary. .

Georgia Southern – over 5 (+105) – 2*

Tyson Summers decided it was a good idea to abandon the option in his first year as HC. The result? First losing season since 2009. The reason for optimism here is that they’re going back to the option.

Louisiana-Monroe – under 3.5 (-130) – 1*

Georgia State – over 5 (-120) – 1*

Texas State – under 2.5 (even) – 1*

Coastal Carolina – over 4 (-125) – 1*

First year in the FBS, but they’ve won a lot at the second level and the Sun Belt is the worst conference in the FBS.

Best Bet to Win

Georgia Southern +1200

App State is a -250 favorite for a reason, but the Eagles could get back to title contention with the switch back to the option.

CFB Season Win Totals: ACC

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 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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
Game Result
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
Record 0-9
Average Margin -17.1

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.

CFB Season Win Totals: Big 12

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 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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

Oklahoma – under 9.5 (+115) – 1*

Obviously the big thing here is that the Sooners have a new head coach for the first time in two decades. Fortunately for Lincoln Riley, he has a ton of talent returning from a team that won the Sugar Bowl last year.


With that said, it’s hard for me to put my faith in such a young, inexperienced guy in a place where 10-win seasons are considered a disappointment. He’s also forced to play road games at Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State. Add in Texas (Dallas) and TCU and only one of their five toughest games are at home.

Oklahoma State – over 9 (-115) – 1*

I was a Cowboy backer from August to December last year and was mostly rewarded for it. They lose a decent amount of starters from that team, but maybe most importantly they return the offensive trio of Rudolph, Washington, and Hill.

The biggest cause for concern would probably be the losses at cornerback, especially given the fact they play in the extremely pass-happy Big 12. However, last year’s unit was pretty average and it’s hard to see them falling off much after adding a grad transfer from Clemson.

Tulsa won’t be a walk in the park to start the season, nor will playing at Pitt in Week 3. The good part of the conference slate is that the Pokes get TCU, Kansas State, and Oklahoma in Stillwater this year.

TCU – over 7.5 (-125) – 5*

The Frogs only starter lost on offense is at right tackle, but 9 of the top 10 offensive linemen return. You’d expect with all they have coming back, TCU would get back to 40+ a game.

The defense “only” returns 7 starters. The back 7 is one of the best in the country. The D-Line is a bit of a concern as 3 starters depart from a unit that was obviously very influential in the D recording 43 sacks last year.


The schedule isn’t too bad. They have to play both Oklahoma teams on the road and Arkansas in the non-con. However, I’d say the most likely scenario is that they go 6-0 at home, with Texas being the toughest battle.

I gotta be honest, I still don’t fully believe that 7.5 is the number. They were a 6 win team a year ago that returns 17 starters, including 6 All-Conference players. They were 1-3 in close games last year, an indicator that the record will improve this year. Gary Patterson has won 73% of his games as a head coach. The last two times he returned at least 15 starters, he went a combined 25-1.

Texas – over 8 (-130) – 1*

The Horns have a lot of talent and it’s hard not to get too excited about their chances with a new staff coming in. However, they’ve clearly got more than a couple of issues to get sorted out and they’ll have quite a few challenging games away from home.

Kansas State – under 8 (+130) – 1*

It kills me to go against Bill Snyder, but the record last year looks better than the performances really were. They were in the red in Big 12 yardage, and not by a little bit. I thought they played Baylor and TCU at the perfect times. I don’t really feel strongly either way, but someone has to lose some games in this league.

Baylor – over 7.5 (+110) – 1*

Because the admin and former coaching staff were largely piles of garbage, things have felt bleaker than they really are in Waco. They still return a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. The schedule is pretty manageable and Matt Rhule brings both coordinators with him from Temple, which should minimize some of the typical new staff struggles.

West Virginia – under 7 (-115) – 1*

They lose a lot, but they’ve still got a semi-decent shot at entering October undefeated. Will Grier stepping in at QB should at least maintain the quality of play from that position. The last six games of the year could get dark if they aren’t playing their best.

Texas Tech – under 5 (-125) – 3*

They’re gonna score 40+ and probably give up 40+….again. They have a legitimate chance at losing any game this year, including Eastern Washington in the opening game of the season.

Iowa State – under 5.5 (-160) – 1*

It’s -160 for a reason. The Cyclones went 3-9 last year, only return 11 starters, are only in the second year of a rebuild, and they also don’t have any gimmes on the schedule. You’d hope they’d be a sure thing over Northern Iowa, but they’ve gone 3-3 against the Panthers since ’07. Wild move to keep scheduling the in-state FCS team that beats you half the time.

Kansas – over 3 (+105) – 1*

After eclipsing the 1.5 win total in dramatic fashion, I can’t turn my back on them now.

Best Bet to Win

TCU +1200

Admittedly, it’s going to be pretty tough having to play the expected 1-2 finishers on the road, but obviously I think they’re good enough to at least split those two games and run the table otherwise.



CFB Season Win Totals: Pac-12

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 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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


USC – over 10.5 (+125) – 1*

To keep it short: they have a ton of talent at every position group. Most importantly, they might have the best QB in the country, even if his name is Sam and he has red hair. They were dominant after the calendar turned to October last year and Darnold got settled in. Best part of the schedule this year: Alabama and Washington (even if SC rolled over the Huskies last year) aren’t on it. It’s still a tough schedule, but most of the better opponents on it will be playing in the Coliseum.

UCLA – over 7.5 (-110) – 1*

The offense fell off big-time last year, largely due to Josh Rosen getting hurt and the fact that they couldn’t run for a 6-yard gain to save their lives. However, all but one major component is back and healthy on that side.

Defensively, it wasn’t all that bad for the Bruins last year, despite going 4-8. Aside from getting wrecked by Joe Williams for 1,000 rushing yards last year against Utah, they held up rather nicely. They did lose a few guys to the NFL, but there’s a lot of pro talent left.

The schedule is the biggest concern. They have road games against USC, Washington, Stanford, Utah, Memphis, and Arizona. The home slate is pretty manageable, but they do have Texas A&M in OOC play and I’m high on Oregon.

Utah – over 6.5 (+115) – 2*

There’s only 9 returning starters, but the biggest reason to be optimistic is they’re still heavily stocked on their front 7, a staple of any good Utah team. Joe Williams is gone, but Troy Williams is back for a second season at QB1 and I’d expect him to start living up to his recruiting ranking when he was coming out of high school. If not, Cooper Bateman is always waiting in the wings. Apparently Ute fans want Tyler Huntley because he threw 7 tidy passes in mop-up duty last year?

They’ve got a semi-decent chance to get out of September 4-0, although I wouldn’t consider it likely. However, they’ve got a lot of winnable games at home and I never really count them out against any of the big boys of the league, regardless of location.

Colorado – under 7 (-155) – 3*

There’s not great value here, but the Buffs have regression written all over them. The biggest reason is the defense. They only gave up 21.7 per game a year ago after allowing 39 a couple years prior. Gone this year is their entire starting D-Line (the strength of last year’s unit) and DC Jim Leavitt.

I don’t think losing Sefo Liufau at QB is a huge deal, given that the greatest thing about him was his name. I’m also not convinced that Mike MacIntyre doesn’t suck. Mikey Mac doubled up his total wins in Boulder in Year 4 against a softish schedule and the point about the schedule was validated when they lost by a combined 79-18 to UW and Okie St. to end the season.

I’d expect the CSU game to be a lot tighter this year to start out the season, followed by a couple cupcakes. Once Pac-12 play starts, most of their beatable opponents are on the road and they’ll have to take advantage of getting UW and USC at home, two teams with a lot more talent.

Arizona State – under 5 (-140) – 1*


Talent doesn’t really seem to be the issue in Tempe, but things are trending down and the schedule is pretty ruthless. After opening with NMSU, the “easiest” game they have for months is a toss-up between SDSU at home or Texas Tech on the road.

Arizona – over 5.5 (+120) – 1*

Things kind of unraveled at the end of last season for the Cats, but they can’t possibly be worse. Rich Rod isn’t my favorite coach in the country, but he’s a proven winner and it’s hard to imagine they’d repeat last year’s 3-9 mess.

The schedule isn’t terrible. NAU is a win, Houston will be tough, but it’s at home, and then they go play UTEP in the Sun Bowl. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to play these C-USA teams on the road (almost lost to UTSA a few years ago), but at least it’s a bad one. The biggest plus of the schedule might be that they don’t have to play UW or Stanford.


Washington – over 10 (-150) – 1*

They’re loaded still and the schedule is pretty easy (again).

Stanford – over 8.5 (-135) – 2*

The Cardinal basically lost every proven player on offense (besides McCaffrey) heading into last year and still went 10-3. They’ve got more returning this year and might have a top 5 defense nationally.

The biggest challenge is the opponents. It’s a top 10 schedule, but when in doubt, always take the bet on a David Shaw team.

Oregon – over 8 (+115) – 4*

Is it the best idea to sell out for a team that went 4-8, gave up 41.4 points per game, and has a new coaching staff? No…no, it’s probably not.

On the other hand, 17 starters are back, including QB Justin Herbert, Rolls Royce Freeman, the top two receivers, and essentially all five offensive linemen.

And yeah, those defensive numbers were pretty poor, but what do you expect with Brady Hoke coaching a football team? They trade Hoke at DC for Jim Leavitt. The same Jim Leavitt that was responsible for the massive two-year improvement of that Colorado defense I referenced earlier.


And then there’s Willie Taggart, a proven winner heading into this job, unlike his predecessor. Admittedly, both Year 1’s at WKU and USF didn’t produce immediate results, but the cupboard is a lot fuller in Eugene.

The schedule isn’t too bad. The Ducks avoid USC and while Nebraska at home and Wyoming aren’t gimmes, they’re still likely favorites and should head into Pac-12 play 3-0. The season’s outcome will probably boil down to how they favor in road games at Stanford, UCLA, and UW. Even if they drop all three, they’ve got a good chance at pushing.

Washington State – over 7.5 (-125) – 1*

A lot of overs in a row here, but what the hell? Quite a few of these Pac-12 teams aren’t going to be greatly tested in the non-con.

The Cougars return 16 starters, including 9 on the defense, a unit that’s been quite a bit improved since Alex Grinch took over as DC a couple of years ago.

Also included in those returning in those starters is Luke Falk, he of 4,468 passing yards, 38 TD’s, and a 70% completion rate. If Wazzu maximizes their potential as a team this year, Falk will be in the Heisman conversation.

Wazzu is one of those Pac-12 teams that doesn’t exactly play a brutal non-con schedule, with all three games coming at home and the most difficult (by a long shot) being Boise State. The issue? They haven’t won a season opener since Leach took over and the past couple years that includes losses to the likes of Portland St. and Eastern Washington. Montana St. isn’t even good for an FCS team, but you never know.

Oregon State – over 5.5 (+145) – 1*

The Beavers were a touchdown per game better on both sides of the ball in Year 2 of Gary Andersen and they return 15 starters. They’re not great at any particular spot, but that type of continuity is a good sign for an improving team.

Cal – under 3.5 (-130) – 1*

First-year head coach taking over a team that gave up more than six touchdowns a game last year and they have to play one of the most difficult schedules in the country. Best of luck to Justin Wilcox.

Best Bet to Win

Oregon +1600

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’m recklessly high on the Ducks this year.

CFB Season Win Totals: SEC

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 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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

SEC West

Alabama – over 11 (+135) – 2*

The Tide essentially win 11 games every year and if they don’t, it’s because they won all 12. Historically, being preseason AP #1 (like last year) means they aren’t going to win the national title. Does that really mean anything for this year’s team? Probably not, but I guess you could make an argument about teams having a hard time dealing with the pressure. Of course last year’s team didn’t win the national title. They massively underachieved by winning the first 14 and just barely lost the lead to win it all with :02 left.

Of course they lost a lot of talent to the NFL, but that doesn’t stop them from having every position group ranked in the Top 25 of Steele’s ratings. They have an embarrassment of riches, at running back and linebacker, specifically.

For “being in the SEC West” standards, their schedule isn’t all that bad. I really only see three games they “might” lose. They open with Florida State in Atlanta, they have to go at Texas A&M, and at Auburn for the Iron Bowl. Sure they could lose to LSU at home, but that’s the story line every year and the Tide has won six straight in the series.

Auburn – over 8.5 (-120) – 2*

The Tigers are bringing back 15 starters and probably  most importantly, 7 of them are on the defensive side. They gave up just a shade over 17 ppg last year, although their 21.2 yards per point (YPP) number indicates that they might be due for a little regression. Still, it’s hard to worry too much about that side.

The offense is intriguing. Last year they ended up averaging a respectable 31.2 ppg, but it was a roller coaster. They had four games of 50+, but they also had five games of less than 20. That’s what happens when you’re one-dimensional. AU only threw for more than 200 yards once over the second half of the season last year. This year, they bring in Jarrett Stidham at QB and Air Raid expert Chip Lindsey at OC. As long as Lindsey doesn’t abandon the run game, the Tigers could go for 40+ a game.

I’ve only got Auburn locked in for five W’s, but no losses. They’ve got five true road games, four in-conference and the fifth at Clemson. It’s gonna come down to November. They get a bye week heading into the month and then go at A&M, followed by home games with Georgia, ULM, and Bama.

LSU – under 9 (+150) – 1*

I get that LSU is always loaded with talent and their defense will surely be very good again, although they do lose their top 5 tacklers.

On the flip side, Danny Effing Etling is still the quarterback. I’ve been waiting for him to be good for half a decade now and it hasn’t happened yet. It’s not gonna help his cause that 5 of his top 6 receivers from last year are gone. Sure, Matt Canada is the OC now and I bet all my money on Pittsburgh last year almost solely due to his influence, but the ACC Coastal just doesn’t quite match up.

As much as I love Coach O as a personality, I’m still on the fence on whether he’s actually a good head coach. Plus the Tigers drew the short straw in the West by having to play at Florida and Tennessee from the East. Don’t sleep on Week 1 against BYU in Houston, either.

Texas A&M – over 7 (-105) – 2*

I’ll probably always pick the over on the Aggies. I sold the farm on them last year. Even though people were mocking them by, like, the middle of October the “over 6” backers were already winners. Say what you will about Kevin Sumlin (I say he’s the most consistent coach they’ve had there in decades, statistically), but he’s found his sweet spot and it’s 8-4.

Their offense lost some talent, but that’s Sumlin’s specialty and the cupboard is far from bare. They averaged 5.7 ypc last year and their top 3 RB’s are all back with three of their starting O-linemen.

Pass rush might be the biggest problem defensively with the losses of superhuman freak Myles Garrett and regular freak Daeshon Hall. However, the two starting DT’s are back and that might be more important in the SEC.

The schedule is tough of course, but they only have four true road games and there’s three cupcakes on the schedule.

Arkansas – under 6.5 (+110) – 1*

Austin Allen might end up being the best QB in the SEC this year, but the loss of Rawleigh Williams hurts and the loss of 6 of Allen’s top 7 pass catchers surely doesn’t help matters. However, four starters are back on the O-Line and that’s always been the biggest key to a Bielema offense. With that said, that position has gradually gotten worse in the Bielema era.

arkansas oline

They lose a lot up front defensively and and last year’s unit on the back end was fairly mediocre. It’s unclear whether the reshuffling on the front 7 will really matter, considering they gave up 5.9 ypc last year.

The toughest part of the schedule this year for the Hogs is only getting three SEC home games this year.  This one will be close either way probably, so I don’t see a lot of value on either side.

Ole Miss – over 5.5 (-105) – 1*

The Rebels are a total wildcard this year. The biggest reason is obviously that they have a bowl ban. This has caused a few books to take their season win total prop off the board. I guess you don’t know what motivation will be like, but I hardly see the team collectively punting on a season. If anybody can motivate 100 dudes to win some football games, it’s probably the guy that staged his own funeral for motivational purposes about 12 months ago. (UPDATE: This was all written before Hugh got fired for that whole prostitution thing).

They’re still a really talented team on both sides of the ball, although admittedly much less swaggy on offense…

…and with three cupcakes on the schedule, you’re already halfway home.

Mississippi St. – under 5.5 (+135) – 2*

I don’t typically advise betting against Dan Mullen, but the schedule is an absolute bear. They’ve got five true road games because someone thought it would be a good idea to play a really good C-USA program (Louisiana Tech) on the road Week 2. They’re also playing BYU out of conference. And they also get to play at Georgia for one of their two cross-division SEC games. Oh, and then they have to play every team in the West.

With that said, Nick Fitzgerald is pretty damn good. He’s that dual-threat option that always gives a certain team in Tuscaloosa trouble…



…oh. All kidding aside, Fitzgerald will be a legitimate weapon for the Dogs this year. The problem is, his running backs are just okay, he lost the best WR in school history, and the O-Line only returns 30 career starts. The defense doesn’t exactly scream “dominance” either.

SEC East

Florida – over 8.5 (-105) – 2*

The obvious question around Florida is: what level of suck is their QB play gonna be? They’re a playoff level team at every other position group, at least talent-wise.

Will Grier was a shooting star for about a month a couple years ago, but other than that times have been bleak for Gator signal-callers since the Leak/Tebow days. Austin Appleby and Luke Del Rio weren’t that bad last year, but they certainly had their bouts with being terrible. Del Rio is back, but probably not a real contender to start. It’s likely a battle between Feleipe Franks (very successful sounding name) and Malik Zaire of Notre Dame fame. Either way, that’s an upgrade for a team that went 9-4 a year ago.

The good news for the Gator schedule is that they only play three true road games and the toughest one might be a toss-up between Kentucky and South Carolina. The bad news is they have to play both Michigan and Florida State out of conference.

Georgia – over 8.5 (-125) – 3*

Unlike Florida, there’s really zero holes with the Bulldogs. I’m not sure Jacob Eason is worthy of all the hype he’s gotten, but at the very least he had a really solid freshman year and figures to improve with another year under his belt. The Chubb/Michel duo at RB is absurd. All but one receiver is back. The O-Line lost quite a bit, but that’s never seemed to matter in Athens.

The defense returns 10 starters and 14 of their top 15 tacklers from a season ago. They gave up 24 ppg in 2016, but the 13.6 yards per point figure indicates that PPG number is due to drop this year. On top of that, it’s the second year of Kirby Smart, which is another reason to expect improvement.

The schedule is pretty soft in some spots, but also features road games at Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Auburn.

Tennessee – under 7.5 (+100) – 1*

They lose their four best playmakers on offense and their two best pass-rushers on defense. A tight ends coach is now running the offense. The man who ruins everything he touches, Brady Hoke, is now on staff. And finally, Butch Jones loves to come up a little short whenever he can. Champions of life, though.

(I only went 1* because the schedule isn’t actually that bad.)

Kentucky – under 7 (-120) – 1*

Offensively, the Wildcats are gonna rely a lot on Benny Snell. The quarterbacks weren’t a total liability last year simply because they didn’t turn it over too much, but it’s certainly not a plus position. They failed to break 90 yards passing on three occasions last year.

The back 7 is very good on defense, but the defensive line continues to be an issue in Lexington.

The biggest running problem for UK is that they literally never beat Florida, Georgia, or Tennessee. They get a favorable draw with the Mississippi teams out of the West, but as always, they have to play Louisville. Opening at Southern Miss has the potential to set a poor tone to the year.

Also, the last time Kentucky won more than 7 games in the regular season, it was 1984.

South Carolina – over 5.5 (-105) – 3*

The Cocks have 10 starters coming back on offense. Jake Bentley is now officially QB1. After he took over last year, they nearly doubled their ppg. Their top 2 RB’s are back, as are their top 5 pass catchers. They also have four starters returning on the O-Line.

The defense doesn’t have quite as much coming back, but it’s the second year of Muschamp’s system and they’ve got plenty of talent to replenish.

Talent-wise, I think USC has enough to battle for the East. The problem is they have to go at Georgia and Tennessee. In terms of total wins, the OOC slate isn’t doing them any favors. They play NC State in Charlotte, Louisiana Tech at home, and of course they have Clemson, but at least it’s home. Although the schedule is top 10 caliber, I’d be borderline stunned if the Cocks aren’t bowling this year.

Missouri – under 6.5 (-135) – 1*

Mizzou did a 180 last year by suddenly scoring a bunch of points while giving up just a shade more. They figure to keep up the scoring on offense with 10 starters back, only replacing their tight end. The defense had a bunch of injuries last year, but they’re only returning five starters and none of them are Charles Harris.

The schedule is fairly manageable with their toughest game out of conference coming at UConn. The bad part is, with the way the schedule breaks, I’m not sure they’ll be favored in any of their SEC games. Maybe South Carolina, I guess.

Vanderbilt – under 6 (-120) – 4*

Even if Kyle Shurmur improves at QB, he’s still gonna stink. Ralph Webb is legitimately good at RB, but he’s basically the offense. The defensive PPG number (24.0) looks nice from last year, but it has more to do with how slow (boring) they play than it does how good they are. Zach Cunningham made about half of the big plays for the Dore D last year and he’s now gone.

Alabama A&M is the only sure win I have for Vandy this year. It’s not because they’re so bad, but they scheduled K-State and WKU and MTSU again. Their two games against the West are against Alabama at home and at Ole Miss. I’ve got them for a max of seven wins.

Best Bet to Win

Florida +1100

Things in Florida’s favor: they don’t have to play Alabama (until the SEC Championship) or Auburn, they only have three true road games in the SEC, and none of them are against the top tier teams.


CFB Season Win Totals: Big Ten

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 7: Big Ten
Tuesday, August 8: SEC
Wednesday, August 9: Pac-12
Thursday, August 10: Big 12
Friday, August 11: ACC

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


Ohio State – over 11 (-110) – 2*

I apprehensively doubted Urban last year and he threw it right back in my fat face. Instead of going through all the reasons they’ll at least win 11, let’s keep it short and say Urban is 57-3 in the regular season at Ohio State and his worst record is 11-1.

Penn State – over 9.5 (-120) – 1*

There aren’t many holes with the Nittany Lions, especially so on offense. Trace McSorley was downright titillating down the stretch last year. Him and Saquon Barkley might be the best QB-RB combo in the nation. If they play like they did in the second half of last season, they’ll be a National Title contender.

psu offense

Defensively, they lose a little more from the starting lineup, but there’s no debilitating losses and they improved a ton in the second half of last year.

The non-con shouldn’t strike much fear in a team that’s a national title contender, but I guess Pitt did beat them last year. Of course they have to play Michigan and at Ohio State, which is made more difficult that those games are back-to-back. And finally, the other tough aspect of the schedule is having to play the projected top 3 teams from the West.

Michigan – under 9 (even) – 1*

For the first time since the days of Shoelace, there’s some carryover at QB1, but not much else. There’s only five (5) returning starters and only one (1) of those is on the defensive side. The D has been dominant since Harbaugh took over a couple of years ago, but it’s hard to think they’ll maintain the same level with so little returning.

With all that said, they obviously have a ton of talent and a proven coaching staff. The real problem is that they play four playoff contenders this year and the only one that’s at home is Ohio State.

Indiana – over 6 (-110) – 1*

I have no idea what to expect from the Hoosiers. They have a lot returning, especially from a much-improved defense, but there was a lot of weird shit going on in the offseason and I’m not sure Mike DeBord is the answer to jumpstart a mediocre offense from a year ago.

IU ppg.png

However, their toughest non-con game is at Virginia and they always seem to play the top tier Big Ten teams tough. A lot of winnable games on the road and a tough defense usually is a good sign for a successful season.

Michigan State – under 6 (-130) – 2*

Talk about some weird stuff going on in the offseason. The Spartans had a ton of legal trouble, which caused some key losses on the roster. They only have 8 starters coming back, split evenly between the two sides. The defense was uncharacteristically average last year and things don’t look very promising in terms of improvement.

Schedule-wise, they have five road games in Big Ten play and home games with Penn State, Notre Dame, and Western Michigan.

Maryland – over 3.5 (-120) – 3*

The most notable loss on offense for the Terps would have to be Perry Hills at QB, who had a decent season, but is hardly crippling to the unit with new talent coming in.

Defensively they have 7 starters back, including their best playmakers. It’s not going to be a defense that wows you, but they’re gonna be decent and you’d expect them to make strides in the second year of a new system.

The real reason the total is set at 3.5 is because of the schedule. Not only do they have to play the best of the West, but they also have Northwestern and Wisconsin from the East. But it only takes a 4-8 record to get there. Even though UCF is getting better and they took UMD to 2OT in Orlando last year, I’ll give them the win over the Knights and Towson. They’ll likely be favored to beat Rutgers in the Bronx. After that, you figure they’ll get one out of the @ Minny, NW, IU group and a puncher’s chance with home games against Michigan and Penn State (these are admittedly not very likely).

Rutgers – under 3 (+110) – 1*

I don’t know. They’re probably going to stink, but the schedule isn’t that bad. It’s hard for me to get past the fact they went 0-6 against the rest of the West last year and lost by an average score of 48-7. That’s…pretty tough.


Wisconsin – under 10.5 (-125) – 1*

I was all ready to fire away on the Badgers over…until I saw 10.5.

They return a lot. The defense will (probably) be elite, although they have first-timer Jim Leonhard taking over as DC. However, the offense is far from a sure thing to light the world on fire and might not be more than a shade over mediocre.

I like the team a lot, but not “bet they lose one game all year” type of like. The schedule isn’t overly difficult, but there’s still a lot of spots they’re capable of losing. Seven by my count, actually.

Northwestern – over 8 (-105) – 1*

Clayton Thorson is probably the next great Northwestern QB that most people will have no idea about until he randomly pops up in an NFL game. Justin Jackson is #OnPace to be one of the top 10 rushing leaders in the history of college football, edging a little guy by the name of LaDainian Tomlinson off the list.


They take some big hits on their front 7, but the defensive backs are still among the best in the country and possibly the best in the Big Ten.

There’s a rather decent chance the Wildcats enter conference play 3-0, with their biggest test coming at Duke. They’ve beat the Blue Devils the last two years, including once in Durham. The conference slate starts out rough at Wisconsin, followed by Penn State in Evanston, but everything else is manageable with NW likely being favored in 6 of the last 7.

Nebraska – under 7 (-105) – 2*

The Huskers lose a lot from a team that had a better record than it did talent. In other words, THEY AIN’T BEAT NOBODY, PAWWWWL. There’s not a position group on the roster that really jumps out and now they have to play both Penn State and Ohio State. The schedule as a whole is a wildcard. They’ve got OSU, Wisconsin, and Northwestern at home and teams like Illinois, Purdue, and Minnesota on the road. Tough to predict for a team that has to replace a majority of their starting personnel.

Minnesota – over 7 (+115) – 1*

Let’s get this out of the way: I hate PJ Fleck’s guts.

On the other hand, a decent amount of the Gopher offense is back. They have to replace QB1, but Mitch Leidner sucked so no big deal. The defense has more to replace, but they’ve got some pass rushers coming back and the front 7 as a whole should be pretty solid.

The real reason for the over is the schedule. There’s like a 5% chance Minny matches the number in their first 7 tries. It gets more difficult down the stretch, but at Michigan is the only spot I think you can really count them out.

Iowa – over 7 (+130) – 1*

I’m pretty sure they go 8-5/7-6 every year.

iowa 8-5.png


Purdue – over 2.5 (-125) – 2*

If you expected impartiality and a level-headed take, you came to the wrong blog. Purdue is going to the Rose Bowl.

In a moment of real thought, Purdue actually appears to have a real football coach for the first time in 9 years. There’s a lot of offensive concerns, but that’s where you’d expect Jeff Brohm to excel. Defensively, they can’t be worse and they return almost all of the halfway decent players and added in some key transfers.

I’ve given them eight chances to win games this year with five of them coming at home against mediocre-to-bad opponents.

Illinois – under 3.5 (-135) – 3*

They stink up and down the roster and I still don’t get why Illinois fans seem to be convinced that Lovie Smith is actually going to be good at this job. I’ve only given them seven chances for possible victory.

Best Bet to Win

Purdue +30000

Northwestern +2100

The toughest part about this one (aside from actually beating the East representative) is they have to play at Wisconsin on September 30, which could shape the entire race to win the West


2017 NFL Draft Prop Bets

The NFL Draft is back and bigger than ever and that means a few things: it’s Kiper, McShay, and Mayock SZN, it’s time to spend three days watching hundreds of 21-23 year olds have zero choice over their place of employment in their chosen profession, and it’s also time for prop bets.

I love the NFL draft. I love any non-military related draft if I’m being honest. I spent more time watching the WNBA draft a couple weeks ago than I did watching actual women’s college basketball all of last season. What can I say? I’m a sucker for watching someone’s dream come true in real time.

I’m also a sucker for watching Roger Goodell be a creepy, ginger weirdo.

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Last year I wrote this same blog. It went okay, ending up +1.55.

In case you don’t click the link, I’ll have you know that my first bet was having Laremy Tunsil go in the top 4.

Image result for laremy tunsil gif

If I were a hack, I’d tell you that bet quickly went up in smoke.

This year the draft is outdoors because apparently this event hasn’t gotten ridiculous enough. Not to mention, it’s being held in Philly with all of those animals in attendance.

Should be fun.

Image result for deshaun watson gif

Deshaun Watson – Under 12.5 Pick (+110)

Of the teams with top 12 picks, you could conceivably see nine of them drafting a QB, some more likely than others. Two of those 12 picks are held by the Browns.

Trubisky is the somewhat heavy favorite to be the first QB drafted, but it’s far from a slam dunk and obviously there’s a good chance both of them go early.

With the high priority placed on the position, you have to feel like Watson or Trubisky could get picked at any time early in the first round as long as it’s not the Titans, Bengals, or Panthers. Wouldn’t be surprising at all to see a team move up to draft one of these guys either.

The best thing you can ask for if you’ve got this Watson ticket is Trubisky going in the first three picks. That’ll create some urgency and force teams to make a quick decision on Watson.

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Dalvin Cook – Over 26.5 Pick (+165)

I love Dalvin, so this is gonna be tough to pull for, but it seems like he’s been sliding recently. His combine numbers weren’t great and he also hasn’t been helped out by Christian McCaffrey’s rise.

The running back class is one of the deepest of the position groups, it’s pretty low priority, and there’s a thought that Dalvin could drop all the way to the second round.

It didn’t help him that the Raiders signed Beast Mode today.

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Christian McCaffrey – Under 8.5 Pick (+155)

Essentially it’s “Will the Panthers take McCaffrey with the 8th pick?” I spent 45 seconds looking at mock drafts and every single one of them had the Panthers drafting him.

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John Ross – Over 18.5 Pick (+100)

John Ross is absolutely electric, but WR isn’t a pressing need for a lot of teams and he’s probably #3 in the WR group behind Mike Williams and Corey Davis. On top of that, McCaffrey is a bit of a combo with his ability to play in the slot.

You can never count out a team to reach a bit on Ross because of his 4.22 40 speed, but it’s happened less since Al Davis died.

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Jabrill Peppers – 1st Round Pick (+150)

I know there’s a lot of questions about his position, if he’s really actually good at anything, and things of that nature, but I have a hard time seeing him fall out of the first round.

Picks 21-24 is probably the sweet spot for him as the picks stand now. If he’s not picked in that range, it might be time to start worrying.

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Solomon Thomas – #2 Overall Pick (+175)

Right now, it’s the 49ers in this spot. Who’s calling the shots now? John Lynch.

Lynch hasn’t spent any time in a front office before, so I have a hard time seeing him really being active making a big trade here. I’m not sure he’s comfortable enough yet to go for that.

From there, the 49ers need basically everything, so I’m guessing a guy who played safety is going to be more worried about the defense, especially due to the fact that this draft is stronger on that side of the ball when you’re looking at the top guys.

And where did John Lynch go to school? Stanford. Soloman Thomas? Stanford.

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Jamal Adams – #3 Overall Pick (+300)

The Bears have sucked for a while now at safety, although they suck most places on defense, so they could go anywhere on this side of the ball.

What could throw a real wrench in either of these plans is if someone trades up for Trubisky. Either team could take QB themselves, but it doesn’t seem like that’ll be the play. But once again, if someone takes Trubisky this early, it’s only good news for the Watson play.

Another wrench? Adams going second and Thomas going third, which would be a real freaking bummer, I gotta tell ya.

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Alabama Players Selected in First Round – Over 4.5 (-140) – 2u

It’s a lot of juice to give up, but I have no idea how this isn’t going to happen.

Jonathan Allen, OJ Howard, and Marlon Humphrey are absolute locks. Reuben Foster is a 99% lock, with the only hitch being the slightest chance that playing the “do you know who I am?” game with the piss-cup lady at the combine turned everybody away. Cam Robinson is probably the least first-round worthy, but still very first-round worthy and he’s the best OT in a weak OT class, which is a high priority position in the league.



2017 Masters Picks and Props

I had to come out of golf gambling blog retirement for the best tournament of the year. It was also my most profitable last year (+17.68), so it’d feel like a missed opportunity.

Let’s all try to get laid.

Picks: Individual Finishes

Rory McIlroy (Top 5: +180 / Win: +850)

If it’s possible for Rory to go under the radar, it seems like he has the last couple times here. This year, the focus seems to be on DJ and Spieth. Last year, it was Spieth and Jason day. Rory has finished in the top 7 of has last two stroke play events. He needs the Masters win for his career slam and it seems inevitable to happen. He hasn’t missed a cut here since 2010 and has three straight top 10 finishes. The conditions aren’t supposed to be perfect with the rain coming down Wednesday, which plays right into Rory’s hands.

Hideki Matsuyama (Top 5: +450 / Win: +2200)

For a stretch there last fall and winter, Hideki was playing like the best in the world. He’s since cooled off quite a bit lately, but he hasn’t really ripped up the tournaments before the Masters either of the last two years and he’s still notched back-to-back top 10 finishes here at Augusta. For a guy who hits it long, plays well at the course, and has shown his peak is as good as anyone, this is a very enticing price, regardless of his form heading in.

Justin Rose (Top 5: +600 / Win: +3000)

Let’s copy and paste from last year:

He’s played the Masters ten times and never missed the weekend. He’s finished in the top-25 eight times, including two top-5s. Last year he finished a career best second. He’s won a major before. His last four stroke play events on tour have resulted in the top-17. His game fits the course well.

He finished T10 last year. His form is about the same heading into this one.

Paul Casey (Top 5: +850 / Win: +4000)

How about another copy and paste job?

Casey’s made the weekend six times in nine tries at the Masters, including three top-10s. One of those was last year when he finished T-6 even after a rough Saturday (69-68-74-68). His last two stroke play events have resulted in top-10s. He’s not a great scrambler, but that’s okay because he’s top-10 on Tour in GIR.

He finished T4 last year. Form isn’t quite as sharp heading in this year, but it’s certainly not bad.

Lee Westwood (Top 10: +725 / Top 5: +1800)

I’ll save the C&P’s here and just tell you that I think you’re certifiably insane not to have money on Lee Westwood in some form or fashion when he rolls into Augusta National. I don’t care that he got cut in Houston. He did last year, too.

Bill Haas (Top 10: +800 / Top 5: +1800)

Billy has been like Westwood-lite at the Masters. He hasn’t finished in the top 10, but he’s Steady Eddy with seven straight cuts made, including four straight top 25’s. He’s also much less experienced on the course and is due to have a big weekend here one of these years. He hasn’t missed a cut on tour this year and recently finished third at the match play event.

J.B. Holmes (Top 10: +1000 / Top 5: +2500)

I’ll buy low on J.B. He’s only played here three times, making the cut twice, but he finished T4 here last year. I’ll be honest, no top 10’s for J.B. this year after having six of those bad boys last season. But I’m still gonna take him. Although he doesn’t have those banner top 10’s, it’s not like he’s playing terrible golf. He MC’d in Houston, but he’s gone top 35 in his other seven stroke play events with a couple top 12’s in there. He’s a long-ball hitter and the weaknesses in his game (approaches, putting) have seen an uptick this year, despite that not really showing up in improved finishes.

Charley Hoffman (Top 20: +400 / Top 10: +1050)

The resumes obviously get a little weaker down here, but Charley is 3-for-3 making the weekend here with a top 10 finish in 2015 to his name. Quite frankly, his stats for the year aren’t the most encouraging, but he’s a guy with four career tour wins and he’s played well lately. His last four stroke play events: T2, MC, T4 and a T29 last weekend in Houston when he did most of his damage on the weekend.

Soren Kjeldsen (Top 20: +500 / Top 10: +1400)

You might remember Soren from last year as the guy Twitter was making fun of because it looks like he has a fake blonde wig popping out of the top of his visor. He then dunked on everyone by finishing T7. It’s his first year with a tour card. Things didn’t start off hot in 2017 with four straight MC’s. However, he went T37, T32, and T27 in stroke play events since then and then made the quarters of match play, including a win over Rory.

Brendan Steele (Top 20: +650 / Top 10: +1700)

Not much course experience with his only appearance coming in 2012 when he missed the cut. However, he’s a great player from tee-to-green and is in really good form for the price. He hasn’t missed a cut all year, won a tournament, and has three top 10’s and six top 20’s. It’d be a stunner if he was in real contention Sunday, but his consistency this year makes him a good bet to at least make the weekend.

Prop Bets

Winning Margin: Playoff (+300)

I’ll play it every year until they day I die. The only reason to root against a playoff is if you bought a ticket on the clubhouse leader to win, otherwise you have a big dump in your pants. It’s happened five times in the past 14 years.

Hole in One Round 4 (+200)

Last year I played the Hole in One on Hole 16 at +175. It’s +125 this year, likely due to the fact that three guys aced it last year. So why the Sunday play this year? Because all three of those hole-outs on 16 last year happened on Sunday.

Top Senior Player: Fred Couples (+275)

There’s nine of them, but only four are probably really in the running for this one. The favorite is Steve Stricker at +150. The other two would be Bernhard Langer and Vijay Singh. I despise those two so they’re already out. If you’d like something more scientific, do your own damn research.

Freddy got cut at Augusta last year, but he rattled off five straight top 20s before that. His year on the Champions tour so far this year: 2, T6, Win, T4. Stricker has had a good year as well, but he hasn’t been quite as good as Couples at the Masters, recently or historically.

Top Australasian Player: Marc Leishman (+400)

Six guys, only three real contenders. The other two: Jason Day (even) and Adam Scott (+175). Obviously both of those guys are very good at golf. It’s difficult knowing what to expect from Day. He’s had his mother’s health issues to worry about off the course. Thankfully that appears to be in a better place now, but I don’t know that it’s instantly going to help his game out in a big way. He has just one top 10 this year.

Scott’s had a pretty solid season so far, but he just missed the cut in Houston and since winning the Masters in 2013, he’s gradually dropped each year in the standings and has only broken 70 twice.

Leishman doesn’t have a ton of success at Augusta, going 1 for 4 in making the cut, but that one was a T4 in 2013. He’s having a great year, though. He’s played nine events, made eight cuts, and finished top 25 in seven of those, including a win a couple weeks ago. He’s third in strokes gained: putting, a great scrambler, and hits it plenty long enough for the course (31st in driving distance).

Top Debutant: Tyrrell Hatton (+500)

Quite a few options here. Jon Rahm is the obvious favorite, but Hatton has been very consistent for months now. He’s finished in the top 25 in his last 11 events. Pretty good, imo.


Spieth (+110) over D. Johnson

As I’m writing this, it’s still available and the news about DJ’s back has already broken. Probably would’ve taken it either way. Spieth is great here.

Jason Day (even) over Jon Rahm

I’ve explained my doubts about Day, but he’s still one of the best players in the world. Jon Rahm is hot in the streets these days, but it’s his first time. There have been guys that have torn it up in their first outing at Augusta (Day is one of them), but I’ll bet on the experienced guy who also happens to still be the better golfer when they’re at their best.