We are still four months away from the start of the 2016 college football season, but doing your research and knowing who the improved teams are would increase your early profits!
The college football season for 2016 does not kick off for another four months, but it is never too early to start doing your research, especially now that the recruiting process is over and national signing day has passed, and knowing which schools will field improved teams this year should help increase your early-season profits with your college football picks.
That is because betting lines are at their softest in the first couple of weeks of the season, which could be the only time all year when the sportsbooks and the bettors may be on equal ground in regards to the college football odds as it is basically a given that the lines will only get sharper as the season goes on. Thus, those that have studied up and have an inkling of which teams will out-perform their 2015 records could have a leg up on oddsmakers early in the year.
So what we have done is try to take away some of the guesswork, as we our presenting our list of who we feel will be some of the more improved teams in the country this season that are worth betting early on before the oddsmakers catch up to them, as they almost always do.
2016 College Football Teams on the Rise
Washington Huskies +5000 at Bet365
The Huskies are a team heading in the right direction since former Boise State Coach Chris Peterson took over as the head man two years ago, as they improved to seven wins in Peterson’s second season last year to go along with four losses of less than 10 points. That list includes narrow losses to Boise State, Oregon and California, so they may now be primed to challenge for the Pac-12 title. Washington may own the best young backfield tandem in the conference in quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin, and the Huskies also return eight starters on defense, where they could boast one of the top secondaries in the nation.
Tennessee Volunteers +1800 at Ladbrokes
The SEC is commonly regarded the best conference in football and Alabama only helped validate the status of the conference by winning the national championship last year, but could the Crimson Tide have a new and somewhat unexpected challenger for conference supremacy in these Volunteers? Sure, Tennessee has teased us in the past only to mostly underachieve on the field, but this year has a different feel with the Vols returning 18 starters with nine returnees on each side of the ball. Coach Butch Jones went 5-7 in his first year at Knoxville in 2013, but he increased that win total by two each of the last two seasons to get to nine wins last season, and he should now have his best team yet led by quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Jalen Hurd on offense and with new coordinator Bob Shoop being brought in to run the defense.
South Florida Bulls +75000 at William Hill
The Bulls may no longer be a secret after finishing as the top ATS team in the country last year at 10-3 against the number in a season in which they overcame a slow start on the field to finish at 8-4 during the regular season before losing to Western Kentucky in the Miami Beach Bowl. Now they may be primed for a faster start to this season that could lead to a double-digit win total and quite possibly an AAC title that could lead to a New Year’s Six bowl appearance. South Florida returns quarterback Quinton Flowers and running back Marlon Mack, and the Bulls also bring in a solid recruiting class. Moreover, the long-term prospects are helped by defending AAC Champion Houston not being on the schedule.
Nebraska Cornhuskers +15000 at Ladbrokes
Nebraska finished at a disappointing 5-7 during the regular season last year, but the Cornhuskers were also perhaps the unluckiest team in the nation with six of those seven losses being by eight points or less including several last-second heartbreakers, and it did not help that they finished with a -12 turnover differential. Turnovers are not a predictive stat though due to their mostly lucky nature, so a better margin would have resulted in a few more wins, although the Huskers did get to 6-7 with a win over UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl. Returning senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong may now be ready for his best season in his second year under Coach Mike Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf.
Miami Hurricanes +10000 at William Hill
The Hurricanes were a team that underperformed in relation to their talent last season, and that cost former coach Al Golden his job midway through the year. Now Miami has lured away Mark Richt from Georgia to become the new head coach, and he in turn has hired a nice defensive coordinator in Manny Diaz, while Richt himself figures prominently in running the offense. The offense may be ready to explode under Richt’s tutelage, as junior quarterback Brad Kaaya has all of the physical tools and he is surrounded by playmakers at the offensive skill positions, so if the defense can show just a bit of improvement under Diaz, look out!
Louisville Cardinals +8000 at William Hill
The Cardinals got off to a slow 2-4 start last season while playing musical chairs at the all-important quarterback position, but they then won six of their last seven games once they settled on the dynamic Lamar Jackson, who now begins this year as the undisputed starter. Jackson is a dual threat due to his great running ability and Louisville also returns every significant contributor from the running back and wide receiver positions from last year. The defense did lose three starters, but the Cardinals always recruit well in that side of the ball and they do return perhaps the best linebacker duo in the ACC in Keith Kelsey and Devonte Fields, while the secondary still looks solid.
Florida State Seminoles +1600 at PaddyPower
Now we get that Florida State won 10 games last season and is a perennial powerhouse, so most of you may be wondering what they could do to be considered “improved.” Well, would you believe an undefeated season heading into the bowls? Well, we honestly think that is a real possibility in 2016, especially getting Clemson at home this time. The Seminoles return a Heisman Trophy candidate at running back in Dalvin Cook as well as a great offensive line spearheaded by standout left tackle Roderick Johnson. Those pieces should make life easier for whoever wins the quarterback job, and the defense should again be one of the best in the ACC.
Western Michigan Broncos +5000 at Ladbrokes
We move away from the bigger conferences for the last two teams on this list, and the Broncos could easily surpass their eight wins last season in a year that was culminated by the first bowl win in the history of the WMU program. Western Michigan returns the lethal tandem of quarterback Zach Terrell and wide receiver Corey Davis, and the 2016 recruiting class was the best in the MAC for the third straight season under Coach P.J. Fleck, a class that includes 13 three-star recruits and should be among the best non-Power 5 recruiting classes in the land.
Southern Miss Golden Eagles +5000 at Ladbrokes
From 2012 to 2014, Southern Miss finished with records of 0-12, 1-11 and 3-9 respectively before being one of the most improved teams in the country last year at 9-5, and now surpassing double-digit wins while winning Conference USA looks like a realistic possibility this year with quarterback Nick Mullens back to run the offense. If the Golden Eagles to get to 10 wins as we expect, it would mark the second time that have done so since 1988, when they were led by some sophomore quarterback by the name of Brett Favre.