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College football is back. the season begins the last Saturday of August. but even before it starts, there are plenty of opportunities to gamble. So what’s worth betting now? Is it worth betting on the big three and what does the future hold? our analysts are here to offer advice ahead of the season.
note: lines courtesy caesars sportsbook. This page was originally published on July 20 and has been updated to reflect updated odds and forecasts.
college football futures
race for the heisman trophy
conference title races
tips from week 0/1
national title quotas
Is there a college football win total right now that you advise taking right now?
david hale: toledo (o/u: 8 wins)
there are a number of bets i like right now including top bets on penn state, arizona state and indiana and under bets on louisiana, utah and tcu but if i’m picking just one team to put some money down it’s toledo . The Rockets ranked 17th nationally in EPA/Play last year. of the 16 teams ahead of them, 15 won 10 games or more. Toledo, meanwhile, finished 7-6. Last season, 71% of Toledo’s shots came with the Rockets ahead or within three points. only one other team with a better rate finished with fewer than eight wins. Toledo had notable bad luck in close games, including going 0-4 in games decided by a field goal or less. Aside from Ohio State, there isn’t a game on the schedule the Rockets shouldn’t have a good chance of winning, and a host of their 2022 opponents (Ball State, Kent State, Niu, Central Michigan) meet. among my most likely schools for a drop this year.
Joe Fortenbaugh: UNLV (O/U: 4 wins)
Believe it or not, I’ve already placed a bet that unlv will top 4 wins this season (-110). for starters it’s priced at 4.5 wins at other stores around vegas so I’m a big fan of the price. Second, there are reasons for optimism in Sin City. The Rebels went 2-10 a year ago, but finished 97th in the country in turnover differential (-5) and a damn near-impossible 0-6 in one-touchdown games. those are two metrics that point towards a positive regression in 2022. also, unlv opens the season on august 1st. 27 in a very favorable spot against Idaho State, which means the Mavericks should be 1-0 with a bye week before heading to the Bay Area to play California. four wins are more than achievable.
Bill Connelly: Bowling Green (O/U 3.5 wins)
I like toledo, but from a win totals perspective, I like bowling even better. The Falcons are among the most experienced teams in the country. my summer sp+ projections have him averaging 5.3 wins and an 89% chance of beating his current total of 3.5. I don’t want to pretend they’re potential mac contenders or anything, but they shouldn’t be the worst in the conference by any means.
Other places, I’m usually the “always underbet at 10.5+, always overbet at 2.5” kind of thing, which gives you a lot of choice. also syracuse over 4 looks pretty good (schedule features two almost certain wins and lots of potential draws), and wake forest is a good secondary option if you see deacons at 8 or higher (they still have to play defense, no matter how funny that offense is). And if you really want to jump on that anxiety bandwagon, say hello to Auburn Over 6. With their talent, the Tigers should never be this low, even if the chaos around that show is high, even by Auburn standards. /p>
• tips for betting on the 2022 heisman race • guide to possible future fantasy stars • win projections: teams to bet on now • tips for betting on conference champions • betting tips for week 0 and week 1 • usc most popular early bet to win cfp • top tips for national title betting pickcenter: play pigskin pick’em bet at home | fantasy house
Tyler Fulghum: Pittsburgh (O/U: 8.5 wins)
Just like a bet I made last season that worked (north carolina tar heels), I’m fading a team that lost too much talent on offense. i like the pittsburgh panthers to be under 8.5 wins in 2022. losing qb kenny pickett to the nfl and wr jordan addison to usc is too much for me to find nine wins. While their schedule is far from daunting, it’s hard to imagine their offense being as potent as it was in 2021. This looks more like a 7-8 win team to me than a 9+ win team. jump over that pit ASAP.
Doug Kezirian: Colorado (O/U: 3 wins)
the market has moved from 3.5 to 3, but I still think the low is the game. ESPN’s Football Power Index currently projects the Buffaloes as underdogs in every game, and the schedule is the key to this bet. cu has the advantage of playing at home with the altitude, which was illustrated last year with the four wins in bouldering. However, their opponents in the local conference this year are top-tier teams: UCLA, California, Arizona State, Oregon and Utah. I don’t see four wins at all, especially with their season opener against tcu at home, unlike northern colorado in 2021.
Kezirian: Bowling Green (O/U: 4.5 wins)
kezirian: I realize the history of the falcons. They have been a key point for the last five years with a total of 12 wins, including a double-digit home loss to lowly Akron last season. But this is supposed to be the year Scott Loeffler has his stars aligned for bowl eligibility. It begins with senior quarterback Matt McDonald, who is expected to shine. Also, the Falcons played a lot of freshmen last year, but now they have experience. this is a program that won in minnesota last year, so they have the potential.
Alabama and Ohio win totals are 11, while the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs now also have 11 (up from 11.5). which team is a safer bet?
connelly: the easy answer is “none”. (See my “always bet below 10.5 or higher” bow above.) But of those, I probably feel better (thank goodness?) about the state of ohio. the buckeyes play three teams in my projected sp+ top 10, but all three are at home, and offense is the safest thing in college football this year. the defense simply has to be good for them to be favorites for the national title, or very close to it.
fortenbaugh: I’m not in a hurry to bet an over on any of these three teams, but the state of ohio has my curiosity. The schedule is set up beautifully for the Buckeyes, with the first five home games followed by a soft road schedule that includes Michigan State, Maryland, Northwest and Penn State. Granted, the Penn State game will be tough, but that’s the only road trip worth worrying about. Coordinator Kerry Coombs’ defense update to Jim Knowles is the biggest reason for optimism. did you see what knowles did at oklahoma state last season?
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usc has been in the news all offseason, first with the signing of oklahoma’s lincoln riley and then moving into the big ten in a few short years. the trojan win total is set to 9. do you like it more or less?
hale: riley, caleb williams, jordan addison: a lot of big names were added to usc’s roster this offseason. the only problem? someone still has to play defense. The Trojans ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in yards per play allowed last season and gave up nearly 32 points per game. that leaves a lot of work to do to go from a 4-8 season to a 9-3 year (or better). yes the trojans will see huge improvements and be immensely fun to watch but if you’re betting on a 10 win season you might also want to start polishing up the heisman for williams and a coach of the year trophy for riley while you’re at it .
connelly: exactly what hale said. even with those additions, sp+ projects only an average of 6.7 wins for the Trojans, and while I’m assuming they’ll win more than that (they’re pretty unlikely at the moment), 9 is lofty. Granted, their schedule is extremely lenient – there’s a chance the Fresno State will be the third or fourth best opponent they’ll face, giving them a shot. but that defense hasn’t earned anyone’s trust yet.