Here are some of my betting predictions on regular season win totals for the teams rated in the top 25 of the AP preseason Poll. I excluded Texas A&M from the projections due to the uncertainty surrounding the eligibility of 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Alabama Crimson Tide (Preseason-AP #1)
Over 11.0 (-120)
The Crimson Tide have captured the last 2 and 3 of the last 4 BCS national championships. Once again the Crimson Tide are loaded with top of the line talent. They will be led by senior quarterback A.J. McCarron who has been a starter in the last 2 national championship runs. In addition McCarron was the MVP of last season’s BCS Title Game. It’s very difficult for me to pull the trigger on a team to go over 11 regular season wins in a 12-game schedule. There’s absolutely no room for error in order to cash the wager. However, you can be rest assured I won’t bet against the Crimson Tide running the table. Especially with a schedule which is quite favorable.
Georgia Bulldogs (Preseason-AP #5)
Over 9.5 (-125)
Under 9.5 (-105)
With 10 returning starters on the offensive side of the ball, including star senior quarterback Aaron Murray, the Bulldogs will be dynamic offensively. Murray threw for 3893 yards and a whopping 36 touchdowns versus only 10 interceptions a year ago. This will be Murray’s 4th full year as a starter and he’s thrown for 10,081 yards and 95 touchdowns in his first 3 years. That’s extremely impressive considering the level of competition he’s had to face in the SEC. The running game will be led by sophomore Todd Gurley who rushed for 1385 years and averaged 6.2 yards per carry in his freshmen season. Head coach Mark Richt will begin his 13th season in Athens and has compiled a 118-40 record. The Bulldogs have appeared in a bowl game in all 12 seasons under Richt going 8-4 in those contests. Georgia has a very tough September schedule with 3 of the 4 opponents being Clemson (AP #8), South Carolina (AP #6), and LSU (AP #12). They do catch a break by not having Alabama on their schedule. In addition they get both South Carolina and LSU at home. The biggest question mark will come on defense where they only have 4 returning starters. Last year’s defensive unit was far from dominating allowing 358 yards per game including an average of 182 on the ground per contest. The offense has enough firepower and experience to carry this club and cover up for most of their defensive deficiencies. My lean is on going over the 9.5 wins.
South Carolina Gamecocks (Preseason-AP #6)
Over 9.5 (-115)
Under 9.5 (-115)
The old "ball coach" comes off his best season as head coach at South Carolina going 11-2 a season ago. The Gamecocks return 6 starters on offense and 5 on defense. A lot of their success on offense will depend on the play of senior quarterback Connor Shaw. Shaw isn’t the most gifted of the quarterbacks in the SEC but he will likely outperform many that are. In 11 starts last season, Shaw completed an excellent 68% of his passes good for 1956 yards and 17 touchdowns with only 7 picks. Shaw also gave the offense an added dimension rushing for 608 yards as well. The defense will be led by everyone’s preseason All-American 6’6 and 272 pound defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The Gamecocks will get stern tests in their first 3 games of the season at home versus North Carolina, at Georgia, and home against Vanderbilt. Like Georgia the Gamecocks miss Alabama on the 2013 regular season schedule. They also get Mississippi, Florida (AP #10), and Clemson (AP #8) at home. I like the Gamecocks to get to at least the 10 wins we need to cash this over sports pick.
Florida Gators (Preseason AP #10)
Over 9.0 (+105)
Under 9.0 (-135)
Will Muschamps returns for his 3rd season as head coach of the Gators. After going 7-6 in his debut season in Gainesville his team bounced back with an outstanding 11-2 campaign a year ago. Florida will have to depend on a lot of talented newcomers in the upcoming season returning 6 players on offense and only 3 on defense. Florida will have 3 very tough road contests they will have to overcome versus Miami Fla., LSU, and South Carolina. College football odds show their home schedule as being very favorable with the exception of the season final versus in-state rival Florida State. They also won’t face Alabama in the regular season. I firmly believe this team isn’t nearly as good as their preseason #10 rating indicates. I have a strong lean to under the 9.0 wins on this one for my college football picks.
LSU Tigers (Preseason AP #12)
Over 9.0 (+120)
Under 9.0 (-120)
The first thing that jumps out at me is the Tigers brutal schedule. They open up against a very good TCU club in a game that will be played at Cowboys Stadium. Then road games versus Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama in which they will be very fortunate to come away winning 1 of those 3. If Johnny Manziel is eligible it’s not like their home game versus Texas A&M will be a stroll in the park in the next to last game of the season. This is another team I believe to be overrated in the AP Poll preseason rankings and merits the rating on past reputation alone. My lean is on under the 9.0 wins with the LSU Tigers.
Excited for the upcoming season? Share your picks on our forum!