2022 College Football Win Totals: Collin Wilson’s Favorite Big Ten East Futures Bets
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Cade McNamara.
College football season win totals continue to open, as WynnBET has posted the East Division in the Big Ten Conference.
For the first time in the playoff era, Michigan contended for the National Championship in 2021. The Wolverines beat Ohio State and took the Big Ten title for the first time under Jim Harbaugh. There has been plenty of shuffling in the offseason, specifically with the loss of both coordinators for Michigan.
Ohio State is once again the powerhouse of this division and a perennial national title contender.
The biggest discussion will come out of the bottom of the East Division, where opinions will vary on Rutgers and Indiana to open up the 2022 season.
Let’s take a look at the opening win totals from WynnBET and where our Action Network projections place each one of these teams.
Ohio State Buckeyes · Win Total: 10.5
Ohio State opens with a 10.5 juiced to the over.
Oddsmakers have the easy decision to protect futures by offering -250 to the over with a hold of more than six months on any wager. The number is justified, especially considering the Buckeyes return 75% on both sides of the ball, per TARP.
The biggest addition to the Buckeyes will be defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, the former defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State who led the Pokes to the Big 12 Championship game.
Our Action Network projection places Ohio State at a perfect 12-0 record on the season. Only four teams on the schedule are projected to be within two touchdowns as an underdog against the Buckeyes.
Taking the +200 on the under requires a minimum of two upsets from Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan.
Ohio State was the first play of the season from a national title futures perspective at +800 on the open.
That number still has slim value at +500, but the better investment may come when conference and division odds are released. Any numbers at -250 for the East or -180 for the conference deserve full attention.
Action Network Total: 12
WynnBET Total: 10.5 (-250 / +200)
Michigan Wolverines · Win Total: 9.5
WynnBET oddsmakers left no room for error, posting Michigan at 9.5 with juice to the under. Our Action Network projection places Michigan at 9 wins in what should be a transition season.
Both offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald have left Ann Arbor, only to be replaced with unknown quantities.
Harbaugh promoted from within on the offensive side of the ball, as quarterback coach Matt Weiss joins Sherrone Moore as co-coordinator.
On the defensive side of the ball, Harbaugh lost Macdonald to the Baltimore Ravens but replaced the position with a former Ravens assistant. Jesse Minter has served on the Ravens’ defensive staff since 2017 and will assume duties as defensive coordinator, with an expectation that scheme will not be changed.
Michigan will be favored in at least nine games, but three games will be spreads of less than a touchdown, along with a double-digit underdog role against Ohio State. There’s no value, as the WynnBET opener is spot-on for Michigan.
Action Network Total: 9.02
WynnBET Total: 9.5 (+120 / -140)
Michigan State Spartans · Win Total: 8
Mel Tucker was the coach of the year through the first two months of the 2021 season. Michigan State reeled off eight consecutive wins to start the season, placing in the top 10 of the first College Football Playoff ranking.
The Spartans would go on to lose two of their final four regular-season games, but a Peach Bowl victory and a new contract for Tucker has created stability in East Lansing.
Oddsmakers feared being surprised by the Spartans again, setting Michigan State’s win total at 8.
The Spartans return 63% of their offense but lost their most explosive playmakers to the NFL Draft. Quarterback Payton Thorne will return with wide receiver Jayden Reed, representing one of the most explosive duos in the conference.
On the defensive side of the ball, Michigan State returns 76% of a unit that finished top-20 in points per opportunity against opposing offenses. Teams that excel in Defensive Finishing Drives cover more than 60% against the spread, making Tucker’s defense an unlikely fade from an investment standpoint.
The Spartans do have five coin-flip games on the schedule, each projecting a higher probability that Michigan State lands on seven wins more often than nine.
There’s no play on the Spartans at 8, but any number that rises to 8.5 this summer deserves consideration for an under wager.
Action Network Total: 7.2
WynnBET Total: 8 (-110 / -110)
Penn State Nittany Lions · Win Total: 7.5
If there’s value in the Big Ten East from the perspective of an over wager, the Nittany Lions fit the bill.
Projected at 8.6 wins by Action Network, Penn State will improve on its 2021 numbers.
Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich stays in place and returns 66% of the offense, but the defensive side of the ball deserves attention.
As Brent Pry departs to take the head coaching job at Virginia Tech, the Nittany Lions were in search of a new defensive coordinator. James Franklin found a way to snag former Miami head coach Manny Diaz to return to his roots as one of the best defensive coordinators in the country.
TARP has just 38% of the defense coming back for the 2022 season, as Diaz is expected to increase on Havoc and Finishing Drives numbers that ranked outside the top 50.
There’s a minimum of six wins on the schedule for games that project Penn State as more than a touchdown favorite. Purdue, Auburn, Michigan and Michigan State represent coin-flip games with projected short spreads.
Franklin has done a remarkable job not just in building the Penn State program back, but getting two of the best coordinators in the business. The win total has value through 8, making over 7.5 a play with more than four months until kickoff.
Action Network Total: 8.6
WynnBET Total: 7.5 (-110 / -110)
Maryland Terrapins · Win Total: 6
The first bet out of the gates in 2021 at Action Network was Maryland over 4.5 wins last season. The Terrapins eclipsed the win total in October but waited until their final game of the season to become bowl eligible.
Head coach Mike Locksley enjoyed the New Era Pinstripe Bowl with a 44-point victory over Virginia Tech. Now in his fourth season, Locksley returns 76% of an offense that includes quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa with targets Dontay Demus and Rakim Jarrett.
This should be one of the more explosive offenses in 2022 as Tagovailoa continues to work on limiting turnover-worthy plays.
There’s a change on the defensive side of the ball, as coordinator Brian Williams was promoted from within to take over a defense that ended the season top-25 in Finishing Drives. The Terrapins have not had a Success Rate ranking within the top 75 for numerous years, but Williams has been in College Park since 2019 and called the final two games of last season.
There should be minimal scheme change for the defense in 2022.
The Action Network projection sits at 5.8, squarely in line with the WynnBET opener of 6.
Maryland will be heavy favorites in three games but heavy underdogs against Ohio State and Michigan. The Terrapins will have five coin-flip games that will determine this win total, giving no value to hitting the opening total at 6.
Action Network Total: 5.8
WynnBET Total: 6 (-110 / -110)
Indiana Hoosiers · Win Total: 4.5
The biggest disagreement from the oddsmakers’ room came on the Indiana Hoosiers. There was a heavy sentiment that this team would not finish below Rutgers in the Big Ten East standings but another sentiment that this program is headed in the wrong direction.
Indiana had a magical season in 2020 — but regression caught up to the Hoosiers last season. Indiana took a seven-point dip in the offseason thanks to losses in TARP. That adjusted power rating projects Indiana to achieve just three wins.
Former UMass head coach Walt Bell takes over the reins as offensive coordinator. Bell did not have much success as an offensive coordinator at Florida State, achieving similar results in his time leading the Minutemen.
Transfer quarterback Connor Bazelak fills the role under center after losing his position at Missouri late last season. Indiana will be short favorites over Illinois and Western Kentucky to start the season, with a clear four-score spread expected against Idaho in Week 2.
After the month of September, the schedule crashes on the Hoosiers from Big Ten East play, and they draw Nebraska and Purdue from the West.
The Action Network projection for Indiana is bearish, sitting at 2.7 with the knowledge of SP+ calculating fewer than four wins.
This is an opening hit at under 4.5 considering the juice at -150. Any number at 4 (-110) or better deserves a much higher volume play on the under.
Action Network Total: 2.63
WynnBET Total: 4.5 (+130 / -150)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights · Win Total: 3.5
There were different sentiments on the Scarlet Knights when oddsmakers discussed an opening win total. Rutgers surprised last season with five wins and an eventual slot in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl thanks to COVID-19.
Head coach Greg Schiano has locked down the state of New Jersey from a recruiting standpoint, looking to add depth to a roster than returns higher-than-average numbers in experience.
The offense returns 71%, per TARP, but the unit failed to get within the top 100 from a Success Rate standpoint last season. The defense returns 62% with similar struggles last season, ending 2021 with a Finishing Drives with a mark outside the top 100.
Rutgers projects to be double-digit favorites against Wagner and Temple. In conference play, the Scarlet Knights are expected to be favorites in a home game against Indiana, but the season win total will be decided by numerous underdog and coin-flip spots on the schedule.
Taking an over on this win total will require a victory over Boston College in the first week of the season. Rutgers is expected to be anywhere from a 3-to-5 point underdog against the Eagles.
In lieu of a -150 to play the over on the Scarlet Knights, the better investment is an underdog moneyline ticket in Week 1 against Boston College.
Action Network Total: 4.6
WynnBET Total: 3.5 (-150 /+130)