6 Teams I like to win 10+ Games
Cincinnati (-135) and Houston (+115)
If for no other reasons, these schedules are extremely soft. And they don’t play each other!
Cincinnati opens at Arkansas, which will be extremely challenging. IF they win, 12-0 is not impossible. Their toughest road games (in conference) are at SMU and at UCF (the following week).
Houston plays Texas Tech and UTSA in non-conference, and then avoids Cincinnati AND UCF in conference play. Go unbeaten in OOC, and 10 wins should be a lock.
Ole Miss (+350)
Part of what attracts me to Ole Miss is the way the schedule shapes up.
They realistically can start 6-0 (Troy, Central Arkansas, @ Georgia Tech, Tulsa, Kentucky, @ Vanderbilt). Kentucky is the toughest game in that group, but they play them at home.
The next 4 is what makes or breaks this bet – Auburn, @ LSU, @ Texas A&M, Alabama. I’m not betting the Rebels to beat Alabama, that would be dumb. But they do get them at home. LSU is always tough on the road, but we don’t know how good LSU is? I don’t trust Texas A&M to live up to the hype and I think Auburn could struggle. Let’s conservatively say Ole Miss escapes this stretch 2-2, putting them at 8-2 overall.
Can they win @ Arkansas and home vs Mississippi State to end the season?
This is why it’s called gambling. It’s a risk, but I (gulp) trust Lane Kiffin to have this group playing at a high level by the time the core SEC schedule rolls around.
It’s the same deal every year for Michigan. How do they handle the “big three” for the Big Ten East. They face Penn State and Michigan State in back-to-back games, but with a bye in between (before Sparty) and both are at home. If you assume at Ohio State is a loss, I’m not sure I see another potential loss on this schedule, outside of maybe @ Iowa Week 5.
Utah is one of the favorites to repeat in the PAC-12, yet the odds benefit the bettors. IF Utah wins their opener at Florida (not easy), this bet should hit. Their toughest opponent is a home game (USC) and the toughest road game on paper is Oregon.
Air Force (+220)
Air Force is on this list because they are one of 6 FBS teams to be favored in all 12 games heading into the season. Does that mean they win all 12? Does that mean they win 10? Of course not. But it means someone has enough faith in them to say no more than 2 losses might be realistic.
At Utah State and at San Diego State will provide the toughest challenges.
7 Favorite Over/Unders
Ole Miss over 7.5
I already explained my rationale for Ole Miss to win 10 games, this assumes
and I think they will start 6-0. That means they need to win any 2 of Mississippi State or Auburn (at home) or at LSU, at Arkansas, at Texas A&M. Hotty Toddy!
Georgia Tech under 3.5
Geoff Collins is 9-25 as GT head coach over the last 3 seasons, winning exactly 3 games each season, so I predict that trend continues. Especially since the OOC schedule offers no favors. Outside of Western Carolina, the Jackets play Ole Miss and @ UCF and, as always, close the year with Georgia (on the road). Their easiest ACC game is probably Duke at home. So if we assume WCU and Duke, they need 2 more wins to lose this bet. Clemson and Miami at home, they go to Pitt, UNC, Virginia Tech, Florida State. MAYBE they can upset Virginia at home? But they still need to win one of the above. Not happening.
Arizona over 2.5
Arizona is 1-16 in their last two seasons, and yet I want to bet the over? Someone did them NO favors with the non-conference schedule, which includes opening up San Diego State’s new on-campus stadium, hosting Mississippi State, and then North Dakota State, an FCS school with 6 straight wins over an FBS team (last loss was 2009).
In the PAC-12 portion of the schedule, Arizona opens with Cal and Colorado and gets Washington State and Arizona State at home.
I am a fan of QB Jayden de Laura (Washingto St transfer), and I like the weapons around him, such as WR Jacob Cowing (transfer from UTEP), who had 1,354 yards in 2021.
Utah over 8.5
At Florida, home vs USC, at Oregon. IF they lose all 3 of those games (I don’t see it), you still win the bet.
Cincinnati over 9 and Houston over 9.5
Again, lumping these two together because I already explained the logic above. For someone to lose this bet, Cincinnati would have to lose 4 games! (since 3 losses is a push). Arkansas, SMU, UCF. Who is the 4th team that could possibly beat them??
If Houston sweeps the OOC schedule, this bet should be a lock.
Kansas State over 6.5
Chris Kleiman is entering year 4 at K-State, and is coming off an 8-5 season (7 regular season wins). They boast one of the best offensive players in the entire country – RB Deuce Vaughn, who ran for 1,404 yards and 18 TDs in 2021.
Non-conference schedule is manageable, with Missouri and Tulane at home. They do have to play at Oklahoma and at Baylor, but get Texas and Oklahoma State at home.
Hypothetically, even if they lose all 4 of those games, they still have a 1 game margin of error with Texas Tech and Kansas at home and Iowa State, West Virginia, and TCU on the road. I’ll take my chances that K-State goes over.