The 2014 College Football is nearly three months away, but win totals have been released. Here is an early look at some of LT Profits’ favorite 2014 win total propositions.
We have not yet officially reached summer and we are still in the midst of both the NBA and NHL Playoffs and that could only mean one thing: yes, it is time to take our first look at 2014 college football win totals to help you with your college football picks!
That’s right, 5 Dimes released win totals for many college football teams earlier this week, and even though other sports are now in full swing, this may actually be the best time to jump on some of these numbers. That is because now is the time when the win totals are the softest as they will only tighten up as the season draws closer, so if you do not mind tying up some of your money until the end of the year, now is the best time to find value if you do your homework.
At the moment, 5 Dimes has only released totals on major conference schools as well as for a couple of independents, so that narrows the available futures somewhat. Still, even without the full compliment of teams listed yet, we have already found 10 team totals that we like quite a bit that we recommend pouncing on before the lines start to correct themselves.
So with that in mind, here is an early look at our 10 favorite team totals as of this time, with all college football odds coming from 5 Dimes. These totals are for regular season games only.
Auburn ‘under’ 9½ (+110): When we last saw Auburn, they were building up a big lead over Florida State in the final BCS National Championship Game before the Seminoles rallied to beat the Tigers 34-31. It was a magical season for the Tigers last season filled with dramatic and frankly lucky last-second wins as they outperformed their talent level, and we simply do not see them getting that lucky so often again. The team also lost two great offensive players in leading rusher Tre Mason and stalwart offensive lineman Greg Robinson to the NFL, and the defense was not very good despite the record last year and figures to struggle again in 2014, especially in the secondary.
Georgia ‘under’ 9½ (+120): Yes, Georgia should have a great running game this season with one of the best running backs in the country Todd Gurley returning and excellent depth at the position. The bad news though is that the Bulldogs could become a much more one-dimensional running team with the departure of quarterback Aaron Murray, as we are not so sure Hutson Mason is fully ready to take over under center. That could make the Dawgs easier to defend, which is not a good thing vs. SEC defenses, and there are also questions along the offensive line with only two returning starters.
Kansas State ‘under’ 8½ (-110): We have seen some experts consider Kansas State to be a good sleeper team this year following their 8-5 season last year that ended with an easy 31-14 win over the Michigan Wolverines in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. We do not share that believe as we expect the Wildcats to disappoint this season, or more accurately, play closer to their true talent level. You see, KSU has had a knack for playing over its head under its great veteran coach Bill Snyder, who always gets the most out of his players and then some. However, the Cats look weak at running back right now with second leading rusher in program history John Hubert having moved on, and that could have a direct impact on the numbers of quarterback Jake Waters, who had an excellent season last year. We have our doubts about Waters matching his 2013 numbers with defenses now able to focus on stopping the very good Wildcat receiving corps without a proven running back posing as a serious threat.
Michigan State ‘under’ 9½ (+100): First of all, we readily admit that Michigan State was one of the best teams in the country by the end of last season, especially while handing Ohio State its first loss in the Urban Meyer era in the Big 10 Championship Game and by then knocking off what was an excellent Stanford team in the Rose Bowl. However, the Spartans would not have been in those positions if they had come up on the short end of some narrow wins vs. some seemingly outclassed opponents early in the year, and they could get off to another slow start this year as what was the best defense in the country last season must replace four starters on the defensive front seven. Quarterback Connor Cook improved with every game in 2013, but he now starts behind an offensive line returning just two starters.
Mississippi ‘under’ 7½ (+105): Old Miss has been improving every year recently, but the Rebels could take a step back vs. a tough SEC schedule this season. They return just six starters on offense, but the real issue could be in the trenches on both lines. The offensive line lost three full-time starters while the defensive line ranking just 91st in the country in sacks last season, and there is really no reason to expect vast improvement in that area. Also quarterback Bo Wallace needs to play with more consistency and the loss of his favorite receiver Donte Moncrief hurts.
North Carolina ‘under’ 7½ (+115): North Carolina won six of its last seven games last season including a Belk Bowl win over Cincinnati following a 1-5 start, but the Tar Heels must now replace two offensive linemen and there is uncertainty at quarterback and all along the defense. The Heels also hired a new offensive coordinator after Blake Anderson left to take the head coaching job at Arkansas State. Marquise Williams was the signal caller during North Carolina’s second half surge, but the Heels are not convinced he is the answer as he finds himself in a three-way battle with sophomore Kanler Coker and redshirt freshman Mitch Trubisky right now. And the unique 4-2-5 defense looked lost at times this season and it remains to be seen if it can improve with experience.
Oregon ‘over’ 10½ (+100): What is there not to like here? The Ducks return nine starters from one of the most prolific offenses in the country including Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota at quarterback, they do not face USC during the regular season this year (but might in the Pac-12 Championship Game) and they get a Stanford team that does not figure to be as good as the teams that beat the Ducks the last two years at home in Eugene this time around. We would not be at all surprised by a perfect 12-0 record during the regular season from Oregon this season, and allowing one loss to cash this ticket is a bonus!
Rutgers ‘under’ 4½ (+105): We expect the Scarlet Knights to struggle big time in this, their first season in the Big Ten. In truth, the Knights struggled in their only season in the AAC last year vs. much weaker competition than they will face this year, needing a 4-1 record in one-possession games just to become bowl eligible at 6-6. And to make matters worse, Rutgers has landed in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State, which is basically four losses right there. Furthermore, the Knights have the misfortune to draw Wisconsin and Nebraska in their crossover division games. Just about the only automatic win on the Rutgers schedule is a home date with Howard.
Texas A&M ‘over’ 7½ (+165): Not only are the Aggies beginning life without Johnny Manziel, but the new quarterback will also no longer have elite receiver Mike Evans to throw to either. Now obviously A&M will fall back a bit this year, but this win total seems like a bit of an overreaction to us and getting +165 for the Aggies to win eight games seems like too nice to pass up. They still have one of the best coaches in the country in Kevin Sumlin, and although they will almost certainly open up with a loss at South Carolina, the schedule is actually very kind to the Aggies after that and could actually yield them six straight wins with the toughest of those games being at home vs. Mississippi. The other five are easily winnable home games vs. Lamar and Rice, road games vs. SMU and Mississippi State and a game vs. Arkansas in Arlington. A 6-1 start would obviously go a long way toward cashing this nice ticket.
TCU ‘over’ 6½ (-120): The Horned Frogs come off of the worst season in the 13-year tenure of Coach Gary Patterson at 4-8 overall, but there is reason to expect improvement this season as with eight returning starters on defense, the unit which has always been the cornerstone of Patterson’s success, TCU should have not only one of the best defenses in the Big 12 but also one of the better ones in the country. Granted the offense is undergoing a complete overhaul after being simply awful last season, but we see that as a good thing under the direction of new co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham, formerly of Houston, and Sonny Cumbie, formerly of Texas Tech. Both of those men directed potent offenses last season, and the Horns only need to be decent on that side of the ball to improve by at least three wins, given the quality of the defense.