Las Vegas Sportsbooks have recently rolled out their latest over/under season win totals for the upcoming college football season. For the complete list of posted win totals, please check the table at the bottom of the page.
Below are what I believe are the top over/under win totals bets this season. I base my predictions on a number of factors, including recruiting, coaching, and scheduling.
The retirement of Bob Stoops does play a role here, but not as much as you might think. These are still mostly Stoops players and I do not anticipate a huge change in philosophy in his first year out. What I do think is that Stoops saw the writing on the wall. Oklahoma as a program has grown stagnant. Yes, they’ve had back-to-back 11-win seasons, but they have not really been a serious contender in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, this is still one of the top teams in the Big 12 and “stagnant” at Oklahoma would be amazing at most other schools.
Recruiting for the Sooners is surprisingly up a tick this year (7th in the nation) after ranking 13th, 14th, and 19th in their most recent seasons, but it has fallen considerably from the early 2000s when they were consistently ranked in the top five recruiting classes.
Looking at the schedule there are at least five games Oklahoma could lose. We only need them to drop two of them for a push and three for a win on this wager. Those games are: at Ohio State, at Baylor, vs Texas, at Kansas State, at and Oklahoma State. Granted, Baylor is in a bit of disarray, as is Texas, but I don’t think you can fully count those games as wins for the Sooners, who have dropped early season games on the road in recent years. It’s likely Oklahoma wins exactly 10 games this year, which would be fine as a push, but I have a feeling they drop at least one game you do not expect them to this season.
I am expecting a bit of a hangover for the Clemson Tigers this year after their improbably comeback victory over Alabama in the Playoff Championship last season. The heart and soul of the team, Deshaun Watson, is out and leaves some very big shoes to fill. His tenacity made up for a lot of gaps in Clemson’s game last year and those will become evident early on.
The Tigers have a tough start to the season, play Auburn at home in their second week and then playing at Louisville their next time out. Those two games will be a great test to see where this team actually is, but I’m not sure they are up for the task so early in the season. Other tough contests this season include games at Virginia Tech, versus Georgia Tech, at NC State, and at home against Florida State. These are all games Clemson could legitimately lose.
There are schools like Alabama that can avoid a hangover from a Championship season. They consistently have top recruits coming in and simply plug in the next best guy at every position. A program like Clemson, on the other hand, didn’t crack the top 25 in recruiting this season and has been sitting around 20th in the nation in recent years. They were incredibly fortunate a player like Watson came along. Without him I do not think this team gets to 10 wins.
Like it or not, Jim Harbaugh has Michigan football heading in the right direction. They’ve seen a huge uptick in recruiting – ranked 3rd in the nation this season – since he took over, and you can sense that they will continue to improve.
The Wolverine’s schedule, however, is what really pushed me toward this recommendation. Michigan only really has three, maybe four, games I think they are at risk to lose (Florida, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State). The thing is, they’d have to lose all four for this to be a losing proposition. They could easily walk away with two wins out of those four games and, as long as they don’t stumble against a team they should beat, we will have a winning ticket at Over 8.5 wins.
Each team is listed with their projected wins. The Over and Under columns represent the line on each bet at the time of publication. This number will vary depending on which book you choose for your odds. What these lines do tell you is the general consensus of where the public is leaning. The lower the line, either the more likely the book feels that outcome is, or they have already received enough bets to adjust the line in that direction.
For example, Ohio State is projected to win 10.5 games. The Over is clearly favored here at -120, while the Under is even money at +100. This means you would need to wager $120 on Ohio State Over 10.5 wins, but just $100 to win $100 on Ohio State Under 10.5 wins. In this example, it seems Ohio State is more likely to win more than 10 games than less.
|San Diego State||9.5||-125||+105|
|San Jose State||3.5||+100||-120|
|New Mexico State||3.5||-110||-110|