The posted 2016 College Football Betting Win Totals are now hot off the presses for some teams including all the top ones, so here are some early thoughts.
Even though summer has not yet officially begun, eager bettors will be making their college football picks before you know it with the season actually opening in only three months. But if you do not want to wait that long and have an interest in future wagers, the Team Win Totals for all of the top schools as well as quite a few others have been released in recent days, so we are taking an early look at them for the very first time right now.
Note that the win totals for every single FBS team have not been released yet, but as you would expect, the books did a good job of releasing the teams that will draw the most interest early. The one head-scratcher is UNLV, as your guess is as good as ours as to why the Runnin’ Rebels were among these first teams released.
Let us now take a look at what we feel are some of the more interesting win totals. Note that we may not have opinions on all the college football odds on the win totals listed, but if we do, we will clearly state so. Also note that these win totals are for regular season games only, so besides bowl games not counting, neither do conference championship games.
2016 College Football Regular Season Win Totals
Alabama ‘over’ 9½ (-135): Is seems strange to see a single-digit win total posted for the defending national champions, especially with Alabama not even having the highest win total in the SEC (more on that later). Will the Crimson Tide be unable to overcome having to break in a new quarterback and losing a Heisman Trophy winning running back in Derrick Henry? Everyone knows what a great recruiter Nick Saban is, but this will be a young club at the skill positions with tough road games at Tennessee, LSU and Mississippi. We would actually recommend the ‘under’ 9½ at plus money, but it currently stands at -105.
Baylor ‘under’ 9 (-150): We want no part of this team one way or another after the abrupt firing of Coach Art Briles a few days ago amidst allegations that he helps cover up several sexual assaults by his players. This news is still too fresh, so it remains to be seen if players request to transfer out or not, especially if the NCAA grants potential departures special permission to be able to start right away for their new schools.
Clemson ‘over’ 10 (-140): Clemson came within five points of finishing as undefeated national champions last season and they should be fine on offense again led by a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback in Deshaun Watson. However, Clemson lost a lot defensively as defensive end Shaq Lawson and cornerback Mackensie Alexander were both among the best players in the country at their respective positions, and when you add on having to face Florida State on the road this year as well as a risky opener at Auburn, we could easily see two losses this season.
Florida State ‘over’ 10 (-130): Florida State is tied with Clemson for the highest posted total in the ACC at 10, but getting the Tigers at home this year should make all the difference for the Seminoles. Aside from that contest, the remaining toughest games on the Florida State schedule are opening week on a neutral field vs. Mississippi while staying inside the state in Orlando and on the road at Louisville. We would not see surprised to see the Noles win those games and finish the regular season at 12-0, and given that even 11-1 would cash this ticket, we very much like this ‘over’ 10.
Georgia ‘over’ 8½ (-155): The Bulldogs have a talented roster, but they are also a team in transition with Kirby Smart replacing longtime coach Mark Richt. Still, 8½ seems like a short number with a manageable schedule that does not include Alabama, with the toughest road game appearing to be at Mississippi. On the other hand, we do not like the ‘over’ enough to want to lay -155 on it.
Louisville ‘over’ 9 (-120): We would like Louisville a lot more if they did not play in the same Atlantic Division of the ACC along with Clemson and Florida State, but this team found its groove last season after settling on Lamar Jackson at quarterback winning six of its last seven games, and Jackson is the undisputed starter entering this year. Still, it is not impossible for the Cardinals to go undefeated in their other 10 games besides the meetings with the Tigers and Seminoles, with the toughest remaining test possibly being a non-conference road game at Houston.
LSU ‘over’ 9½ (-150): LSU has the exact same win total as Alabama, although facing the Crimson Tide at home at Baton Rouge certainly gives the Tigers a boost. This still figures to be a one-dimensional offense though relying heavily on the running of another Heisman Trophy candidate in Leonard Fournette. And LSU could very well begin the season will a loss, breaking in a new quarterback vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Michigan ‘over’ 9½ (-130): The Wolverines exceeded expectations their first year under Jim Harbaugh, and if not for the uncertainty at quarterback, Michigan might be a national title contender this year. That being said, 10 wins certainly seems attainable with a pretty easy non-conference schedule and with Michigan State and Ohio State both expected to have down years relative to what we are used to. Add in getting Wisconsin at home this year and we do indeed like this ‘over’ 9½ play.
Notre Dame ‘under’ 9 (-135): It is interesting that the Fighting Irish have a single-digit win total with the ‘under’ heavily juiced. The Fighting Irish were two plays away from an undefeated regular season last year, losing narrowly to Clemson and Stanford, and they have two talented quarterbacks returning to compete for the starting job in Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer. They drew Stanford and Michigan State at home this year and their toughest road game might be at USC. With all three of those programs expected to be down a bit this year, mark us down for the Irish ‘over’ 9 at -105.
Ohio State ‘over’ 9 (-145): This one is a bit surprising, as it seems the Buckeyes are expected to take a back seat to Michigan this year while actually losing three games. That would be one more regular season loss than Urban Meyer has had in four seasons as the Ohio State coach. Still, we understand the pessimism as the Buckeyes have a probable loss at Oklahoma and they could easily lose at home to Michigan. The swing game to this total could be a road game vs. Michigan State at East Lansing.
Oklahoma ‘under’ 10 (-140): Frankly, we are not so sure why the ‘under’ is so juiced for the Sooners here. We feel that Oklahoma should be a prohibitive favorite to win the Big 12 with so much talent returning while TCU has been decimated and Baylor is in a state of flux after losing quite a bit anyway. Sure the Sooners have a couple of tough non-conference games vs. Houston on the road and Ohio State at home, but both of those are very winnable and then their toughest Big 12 game just might be a visit to West Virginia. We will bite with Oklahoma ‘over’ 10 at +100.
Oklahoma State ‘under’ 8½ (-135): With so many down teams in the Big 12 this year, the Cowboys have a chance to exceed expectations, thanks to returning quarterback Mason Rudolph, top wide receiver James Washington and the entire starting offensive line, and running back Barry Sanders has transferred in from Stanford to help the ground game. That is good enough for us to go ‘over’ 8½ at odds of -105.
Oregon ‘under’ 8½ (-125): This is the lowest posted total we have seen for Oregon in years, but that is understandable with not much help brought in for what was a terrible defense last year and with a new quarterback under center in transfer Dakota Prukop. Still, can the Ducks actually lose four games this year? We are on the fence with this one so we are passing as of now.
Stanford ‘under’ 8 (-140): Stanford has a great Heisman Trophy candidate at running back in Christian McCaffrey, but the Cardinal also have quite a few holes to address such as breaking in a new quarterback, filling in defections on the offensive line and replacing defensive ends Aziz Shittu and Brennan Scarlett. That seems like a lot to lose even with McCaffrey’s all-purpose heroics.
Tennessee ‘under’ 10 (-145): What does it say when the posted win total for Tennessee is higher than that of Alabama? Well, we thought that we were on to something when we suggested the Volunteers could be the main threat to Alabama in the SEC this year thanks to having 18 returning starters with nine on each side of the ball, but here the oddsmakers are one-upping us by effectively making Tennessee the favorite to win the conference with this win total. We do not disagree, so our play here would be the ‘over’ 10 at current odds of +105.
USC ‘over’ 7½ (-135): USC is not a bad team this year but it is not great either and it has a killer of a schedule, facing Alabama and Notre Dame out of conference and drawing Stanford, Utah, Oregon and UCLA in Pac-12 play. So do we dare play the Trojans to go ‘under’ 7½ wins? Well, not at the current -105 odds, but keep your eyes open to see if we can get better odds before the season.