Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Butch Davis
Florida International 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +999999
- To win the C-USA: +10500
- Win Total: 5 (over -125, under -105)
All lines taken from 5Dimes on Aug. 9. Always shop for the best line.
Florida International 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 3.2
Bet To Watch
Florida International Under 5 (-105)
The returning production category can fluctuate heavily year to year. Florida International welcomed Butch Davis with an experienced roster in 2017, but the Panthers rank 126th overall in 2018. The good news is the offensive line remains intact, but the 28-3 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl loss to Temple was the last of quarterback Alex McGough and running back Alex Gardner.
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Davis brings back plenty of returning starters on the defensive line, but depth and experience will be issues for the back seven in Conference USA play against some pass-heavy attacks. That isn’t good news for a unit that ranked 124th defensively in Passing S&P+.
The schedule is chock-full of squads that can move the ball through the air in chunks. UMass, Miami and Middle Tennessee should all take advantage of the Panthers’ secondary. A November game with rival Florida Atlantic could spell all kinds of trouble for FIU, as the Owls averaged 7.2 yards per rush against a talented defensive line last year.
I’m investing in the FIU Under 5 wins (-105), as my projections have the Panthers favored in one game (against the mighty Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions).
What else you need to know about Florida International
Looking for an early spot to fade the Panthers? FIU is 2-7 against the spread in nonconference games since 2016, and UMass was 23rd in explosiveness in 2017. The Minutemen should have their best offensive attack in years, and UMass +7 or better should be considered on Sept. 15.