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13 college football teams who’ll beat (or fail to meet) their 2018 Vegas season win totals

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I’m picking Tennessee and UCLA to miss bowls, Washington to win big, and more.

Oregon v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As a frequent gambling columnist for SB Nation college football, people have asked me recently for my picks for season win total over/unders. Here they are, in one place. Four were made in my May 18 gambling discussion with Bill Connelly. The other nine are new as of this week, thanks to new season odds being available.


Washington Over 8.5 (-200): I discussed this pick with Connelly, whose S&P+ system thinks Washington has a 91 percent chance of going at least 9-3.

Michigan State Over 7.5 (-175): Also from our May 18 post. The Spartans get Ohio State and Michigan in East Lansing, don’t have a non-conference heavy, and dodge Wisconsin from the West Division.

Oregon Over 8.5 (-120): I really like Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. And Oregon’s schedule is friendly.

Virginia Over 5 (-110): Bronco Mendenhall is a good coach who has the program moving in the right direction. Virginia’s cross-division games this season are NC State and Louisville, both of which lost a lot of talent off their 2017 squads.

Boston College Over 5.5 (-110): BC does play one of the toughest schedules in the nation, including both Miami and Virginia Tech from the Coastal Division. But the Eagles return a ton, and I believe can start 5-2 in their opening seven games (UMass, Holy Cross, at Wake Forest, at Purdue, Temple, at NC State, and Louisville). If that happens, then even if BC loses its next four (Miami, at Virginia Tech, Clemson, at Florida State), it still has a home game against Syracuse to get to six wins and cash this over wager.

Florida State Over 7.5 (-110): I’ve been called a Negative Nancy by FSU fans for thinking FSU will lose three or four games. And yes, FSU has the No. 1 schedule difficulty per Phil Steele and the No. 2 per ESPN. But I do think 7.5 at roughly even odds is too low for a team of this talent level.


Stanford Under 9.5 (-170): Also from our May 18 post. The Cardinal could be favored in 10 games (at Notre Dame and at Washington being exceptions), but they won’t be massive favorites against USC, at Oregon, Utah, or at Cal. Going 9-3 cashes an under bet on Stanford.

Tennessee Under 6.5 (-165): Also from our May 18 post. Let’s assume the Volunteers don’t win road games at Alabama, Auburn, or Georgia. To get to seven wins, Tennessee would need to go 4-2 or better against West Virginia (in Charlotte), Florida, at South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, and at Vanderbilt. I think under 6.5 should be more like -225 odds (a much steeper price than offered).

UCLA Under 5.5 (-115): System changes, like the one happening from Jim Mora to Chip Kelly, can be tough. The UCLA QB who best fits Kelly’s system is true freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who started just one year in high school.

Washington State Under 6.5 (-110): I’m not convinced the Cougars make a bowl, so of course I’ll be taking Under 6.5 at these odds.

Northwestern Under 6 (+100): Northwestern’s schedule is brutal this season. They draw both Michigan and Michigan State from the East and also play Notre Dame and Duke in the non-conference.

Pittsburgh Under 5.5 (-120): Pitt’s schedule is a bear. In September alone, the Panthers play Penn State, Georgia Tech, UNC, and at UCF. Notre Dame is also on the slate. Road trips to Virginia and Wake Forest are not guaranteed wins.

Virginia Tech Under 8.5 (-110): I believe that 8-4 or worse is significantly more likely than 9-3 or better. The Hokies are at Florida State and host Miami and Notre Dame. If they go 1-2 in that stretch, they’ll have to go 8-1 in their remaining games to beat me. The Virginia Tech defense quietly lost a ton of experienced talent off its 2017 squad.

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