College Football Betting: Teams That Have Most to Rebuild

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, May 14, 2015 4:58 PM GMT

Spring practices programs around the country have wrapped up so it's a good time to look toward the coming season. Here are 3 teams, I believe have a rebuilding season ahead with their futures odds.

Mississippi State Bulldogs
How can I put Mississippi State on the rebuilding list when it brings back one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Dak Prescott? He's the third favorite on 5Dimes odds to win the 2015 Heisman Trophy after finishing eighth in the '14 voting. That's obviously a big thing to have, especially in the SEC where a handful of top teams have quarterback questions. I have Mississippi State on this list because it is set to bring back just nine starters overall. That's the fewest in the conference and tied for the fourth-fewest in the country. The biggest offensive loss was running back Josh Robinson, who declared for the NFL Draft the morning before the Orange Bowl, which Mississippi State lost handily to Georgia Tech. Robinson was named second-team All-SEC and accounted for nearly 1,500 total yards (1,498) and 12 touchdowns. Up front, the Bulldogs lost their three most experienced linemen in center Dillon Day, tackle Blaine Clausell and guard Ben Beckwith. The trio started 107 games. On defense, the big loss was linebacker of Benardrick McKinney. He was a first-team All-American last season and led the team with 71 tackles and had eight tackles for loss, three sacks, four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. As usual, the schedule is a monster playing in the SEC West. MSU does get LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss at home but must visit Auburn, Texas A&M and Arkansas. I see no way this team wins 10 games again. The Bulldogs are +1400 to win the SEC title at sportsbooks.

 

Louisville Cardinals
The Cards finished 9-4 in their first season as a member of the ACC (5-3 in the conference) and lost to Georgia 37-14 in the Belk Bowl. They return only  nine starters, tied with Boston College for the fewest in the ACC.  Five of those departed guys earned All-ACC honors. Will Gardner is back as the starting quarterback but he's coming off a major knee injury and surgery and didn't participate this spring. He was hurt in a 38-19 win over Boston College in November. The receiving corps was especially gutted, led by DeVante Parker, who played in only six games last season but ranked among the best in the ACC after catching 43 passes for 855 yards and five scores. Parker was a first-round pick of the Dolphins. Left tackle Jamon Brown, a second-team All-ACC pick, is one of three starting offensive linemen who have moved on. All four starters in the secondary also are gone. That group was tremendous last year as Louisville allowed opposing quarterbacks just 14 passing scores and a 53.9 completion percentage. The Cards are likely staring at a 0-1 start as they open the season Sept. 5 in Atlanta against Auburn, which is a 12.5-point favorite. The Cards do host Clemson, the ACC favorite, but have to visit Florida State. Louisville is +850 to win the ACC title.

Which team do we think has the better odds to win the 2015 National Championship?

Washington Huskies
UW went 8-6 in Coach Chris Petersen's first season, losing to Oklahoma State 30-22 in the Cactus Bowl. Frankly, the Huskies didn't beat any opponents who were any good, also losing to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA and Arizona -- all the ranked teams on the schedule. Petersen brings back only 10 starters, the fewest in the Pac-12. One of them apparently won't be quarterback Cyler Myles.  He has taken a voluntary leave of absence from the team for personal reasons and not expected to play this season. A three-man competition to replace him will go into summer camp. UW's defense was pretty good last season, finishing third in the Pac-12 by holding opponents to 24.8 points per game last season. But the three best players from that side, linemen Danny Shelton and Hau'oli Kikaha and stud linebacker  Shaq Thompson are all in the NFL. Thompson also played some running back, carrying 61 times for 456 yards and two scores. Washington opens the season at Boise State, Petersen's former team. The Huskies do host Oregon but have to visit USC, Stanford and Arizona State and those are all likely losses. Washington is +3000 to win the Pac-12 on college football odds. That's not happening, keep that in mind before placing any college football picks there.