Wilson: 3 Under-the-Radar FBS Win Totals I’m Betting Now
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Cole Kelley
The South Point in Las Vegas strikes again. Over the holiday weekend, it became the first sportsbook to offer 2018 win totals for almost every team in college football. (We will have to wait on Liberty.)
As with Week 1 and Game of the Year numbers, the offshores should consequently replicate the work of South Point bookmaker Chris Andrews. I’ve included all of the win totals below, along with three bets I’m making off the bat.
Three Bets I’m Making Now
Arkansas Under 6
The juice is shaded -120 to the under for a reason. The Razorbacks were 91st in plays per game in 2017, which should drastically change under Chad Morris. But I have my concerns with the Razorback defense, which ranked 112th in S&P+ last season. The Hogs will go through another scheme change with John Chavis’ arrival as defensive coordinator. I have my alma mater Woo Pig Sooie favored comfortably in five games (Eastern Illinois, Colorado State, North Texas, Tulsa, Vanderbilt) with two coin flips (Ole Miss, LSU). The Hogs’ only chance to go over the total is to win all of the aforementioned games. North Texas, Tulsa and Ole Miss can all hang and upset in a shootout.
Rice Over 3
What is not to love about new coach Mike Bloomgren? Serving as the offensive coordinator for a number of years at Stanford, Bloomgren will implement a run-heavy attack featuring multiple tight ends. That bodes well for an offense that ranks 17th in returning production. The Owls will be more than a touchdown favorite hosting Prairie View A&M and UTEP. Coin-flip games include visits to Hawaii and Florida International and home games against UTSA and Old Dominion. Furthermore, there are plenty of teams on Rice’s schedule that rank outside the top 100 in returning production (FIU, Southern Miss, UTSA, LSU and Houston).
South Alabama Over 3.5
Another over with a first-year coach? This generally isn’t the formula for betting win totals in May, but coach Steve Campbell comes off a four-year stint with Central Arkansas (yes, the purple field). His resume includes a victory over Arkansas State in 2016, back-to-back FCS playoff appearances, an NJCAA co-national championship (2007) and an NCAA Division II national title (2000). The Jags have a questionable defense, but should hit on all cylinders offensively from the first snap. Expect victories over Texas State, Alabama State and Coastal Carolina, with coin-flip games against Louisiana Tech, Georgia Southern, Troy, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette. Watch out for some of that magic that helped the Jaguars upset Mississippi State and San Diego State in previous seasons.