Rutgers Won't be Repeating 2014 Win Total this Season: Look 'Under' 5.5

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 3:09 PM GMT

Our college football consultant continues on his path of previewing Big Ten teams this week. Join us in reading his informative article pertaining to the 2015 Rutgers Scarlet Knights and it concludes with a prediction on their regular season win total.

2015 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview
Rutgers is coming off a better than expected 8-5 season in 2014, culminated with a 40-21 bowl victory over North Carolina. This season’s team returns 5 starters on each side of the ball. They went a perfect 5-0 versus non-conference opponents in 2014, and were 3-5 in their in their Big Ten debut season.

 

Rutgers Futures
Bovada currently has the Rutgers regular season future win total set at 5.5. Going over 5.5 wins comes at a price of +100 (even money), and wagering on under 5.5 has a -135 price attached to it.

 

The Schedule

September 5

Norfolk State

September 12

Washington State

September 19

at Penn State

September 26

Kansas

October 10

Michigan State

October 17

at Indiana

October 24

Ohio State

October 31

at Wisconsin

November 7

at Michigan

November 14

Nebraska

November 21

at Army

November 28

Maryland

 

I can confidently say at this early juncture, it will be highly unlikely that Rutgers will match their win total they attained in 2014. They will be going on the road to face Penn State, Wisconsin, and Nebraska who all figure to be very good this year. Those three teams combined to go 27-10 (.730) overall and 14-10 in Big Ten action a season ago.

Their conference home slate includes defending national champion Ohio State, and a very good Michigan State team that may eventually end up playing in the 2016 college football four team playoffs. Those two opponents combined to go 25-3 overall a year ago, and 15-1 in the Big Ten.

The non-conference part of their 2015 schedule is a cake walk in comparison to the previously mentioned conference games. Their opponents will be Norfolk State (FCS), Kansas, Army, and Washington State. Those four teams combined to go 14-34 (.292) in 2014. Three of those four games will take place at home, and the only exception is a late season trip to West Point versus Army. Bovada tends to agree with my perception of this non-conference slate being a weak one. The futures on the three FBS opponents are Kansas at over or under 1.5 wins, Washington State at 5.0, and Army just 3.5. In case you’re wondering, Norfolk State went 4-8 in 2014, and scored 15 points or less in ten of those twelve games.

 

Final Analysis
The Scarlet Knights will be the least experienced team in the Big Ten this season, and one of the most inexperienced in the country for that matter. They do return senior running back Paul James, but he’s missed thirteen games the last two years due to injury. James went through two separate surgeries last year for an ACL tear that sidelined him for Rutgers final nine contests. When healthy, James has shown to be a dynamic runner regardless of the completion he’s faced.

Their best chances of winning a Big Ten game this year will come in a road tilt versus Indiana, and in their regular season finale at home field against Maryland.

I’m going to have a small lean toward going under the regular season win total of 5.5 for one of my college football picks. The only thing preventing me from feeling stronger in that regard is the non-conference cream puffs that Rutgers faces.

College Football Pick: Rutgers under 5.5 (-135) regular season wins at Bovada.