Even if you don’t bet on college football season win totals, taking a look at the numbers can be a really good way to get prepared for the upcoming year. You can see which teams have high projections, which teams have low projections, and make some inferences about the schedule as a result.
The season win total market for college football can be really profitable. Teams are going to mostly play 12 games, with some adding a 13th to the schedule. While the season has the fewest number of games of any of the major sports to bet, you can also get a lot of variance from year to year based on roster turnover, coaching turnover, and what is happening with the other teams in the conference.
There are also 130 teams. There are bound to be some teams that the oddsmakers or other bettors are undervaluing or overvaluing. If you do your research before the season to find those mispriced teams, you can wind up with some really good wagers.
Just to keep it easy for the readers, I’ve separated my favorite season win total picks into two different articles. This will be a look at my favorite OVER season win total bets.
For my top UNDER season win total bets, you can check those out by clicking the link.
The odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Using my College Football Power Ratings and the schedule, along with the excellent Excel help of my buddy Josh Spaunhorst, I put together a spreadsheet to come up with my projected season win total numbers.
By creating spreads for each game, we can put together a projected season win total using Expected Wins. The Spread to Expected Wins numbers that I have may be different from what others have, in that mine may be a little bit dated, but it doesn’t really alter the projection a ton and doesn’t alter the picks that much, as I’m looking for a good-sized overlay for making my picks.
You can check out my Google Sheet with all of my season win total numbers here.
The following picks are based both on the projections and also my qualitative assessments of the teams. These are ranked by win total.
Best Bets for College Football Season Win Total Overs
Utah Utes Over 8.5
My projection for Utah is 9.54 wins, which is just about a full win higher than the DraftKings number, when you consider the -115 vig on the over.
Utah did experience some losses from last season’s team, including running back Zack Moss and quarterback Jake Bentley, but Kyle Whittingham always has a great offensive line, so the replacement RBs, including Oklahoma transfer TJ Pledger, should do just fine.
Charlie Brewer from Baylor came to Utah via the transfer portal and is a proven, four-year starter with 39 starts to his name and a solid TD/INT ratio. Defense is pretty much optional in the Pac-12, much like it was in the Big 12, so that should be no change for Brewer. Utah also has the same offensive coordinator for the third straight year, even if the personnel is a little different.
My projections have Utah favored in 11 of their 12 games, as a short favorite at home against Oregon and Arizona State. The only underdog role is at USC and I only have that down as Utah +1.5. The Utes draw Oregon, but get them at home and avoid Washington in crossover play.
I’m expecting another fine year in Salt Lake City.
Boston College Eagles Over 7
Jeff Hafley did an excellent job in his first season with the Eagles and Boston College has a berry patch schedule this season, good enough to give them a projection of 7.98 wins for me.
Boston College does run into Clemson, but the rest of the ACC Atlantic Division looks to be very weak this season. In crossover play against the Coastal Division, BC misses Miami (FL) and also North Carolina. In the non-conference, the boys from Chestnut Hill draw Colgate, UMass, and Temple, all lopsided spreads, and will get Missouri at home in a favorite role.
The only game I have BC an underdog in is that Clemson game. They are effectively a pick ‘em at Louisville, but I have them favored in all other games. A lot of their toss-up games are at home.
Phil Jurkovec is a solid quarterback and I think Hafley is a star in the making, so I wanted to be high on Boston College and it appears that I have succeeded.
Central Michigan Chippewas Over 6
My projections put the Fightin’ Jim McElwains down for 6.99 wins this season. The Chips are in the stronger of the two MAC divisions, but they do face Toledo at home and I only have them in modest underdog roles at Western Michigan and at Ball State.
Central Michigan brought in Jacob Sirmon from Washington to be the quarterback and also has Daniel Richardson, who got some reps last season. Kalil Pimpleton is one of the top wide receivers in the conference.
This will be McElwain’s fourth year in Mount Pleasant, technically, but last season was a lost year for a lot of MAC teams. Coaches usually take a nice leap in their third seasons. McElwain did it in his second with a seven-win jump, but he’s easily one of the best coaches in the conference and I would suspect that he does really well again this year.
SMU Mustangs Over 6
This is one where my projection of the Mustangs is significantly higher than the market. I will take some positions by design based on what I think about a team and SMU is one of them. My projections based on their game-by-game spreads puts SMU at 7.34 wins, one of my biggest overlays.
SMU has a weak schedule. The only two throwaway games are at TCU and at Cincinnati, where I have the Mustangs +13.5 and +16.5, respectively. Other than that, they are favored or a very short underdog across the board for me. Their biggest underdog role is 4.5 at home against UCF, a team I thought I’d be a little higher on than I was.
Sometimes I’ll purposely take positions on a team because of a coaching change. In this case, Jim Leavitt is the new defensive coordinator in Dallas. Admittedly, the offense is a worry with Shane Buchele gone, but Sonny Dykes does well developing quarterbacks and he has Oklahoma transfer Tanner Mordecai and a top-15 true freshman QB in Preston Stone.
The AAC looks weaker in the middle this season, so I think SMU can take advantage of that as well.