Smell that? It’s not just the NFL that’s around the corner.
The college football season kicks off on August 24, as we’re blessed Miami at Florida for an in-state matchup. But for those who follow my college basketball betting strategy, I’m all about the futures market. It’s difficult to peg a dark horse with the four-team playoff versus a 68-team tournament, so let’s shift our attention to win totals.
Here are a few teams to wager on despite the juice nearing the brim for a couple of them.
*Pricing via FanDuel Sportsbook
Oklahoma State Win Total: Over 7 (-145)
In-state rival Oklahoma is garnering much of the hype with Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts and ex-Ohio State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch in the fold, but sharp bettors clearly haven’t forgotten about the Cowboys given the action.
After manufacturing the 17th-most offensive points per drive (2.82) in Division I last season (via BCf Toys), OSU coach Mike Gundy retains 68 percent of his attack for 2019. Losing quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who compiled the 23rd-highest yards per attempt in his senior campaign, guided most sportsbooks to this win total. But new offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson should add a load of creativity for potential starters Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders.
The past two times Gundy’s bunch racked up seven or eight wins (2012, 2014, 2018), the Cowboys notched a 10-win season the following campaign. This season will be no different.
Missouri Win Total: Over 7.5 (-180)
Situational spots are more effective in college sports than any other, and the Tigers have plenty of motivation via their possible bowl ban.
Mizzou signal caller Kelly Bryant has revenge on his mind after Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence took over under center last season, too. With Barry Odom’s squad preserving 67 percent of its offense, expect the Tigers to build off their 20th-rated offensive points per drive (2.76) with Bryant leading the way. Their defense, which yielded the 48th-fewest offensive points per drive (1.98) in 2018, returns a pair of breakout secondary mates in cornerback DeMarkus Acy and safety Ronnell Perkins.
Missouri has the potential to blitz through its first seven games (Wyoming, West Virginia, Southeast Missouri State, South Carolina, Troy, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt) before a road test at Kentucky on October 26.
Washington Win Total: Under 9.5 (-115)
Shop around to gauge if 10-win totals are still around, but I’m comfortable with this number and price regardless.
Despite allowing the 17th-fewest offensive points (1.55) per drive last season, Huskies lead dog Chris Petersen retains just 50 percent of his unit — the 13th-fewest in college football. Not only should you expect regression in that department, but it’s just as difficult to believe in Peterson as a coach. Each of the Huskies’ six losses over the past two seasons have been by seven points or less, and losing experienced quarterback Jake Browning doesn’t help.