Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Ash
Rutgers 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +500000
- To win the Big Ten: +10000
- To win the Big Ten East: +5700
- Win Total: 4 (Over +100, Under -120)
All lines taken from 5Dimes on July 9. Always shop for the best line.
Rutgers 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 3.5
Bet To Watch
Rutgers Win Total Under 4 -120
As Chris Ash continues to build this program, the defense has become a stable identity. That has been the moniker of Ash’s teams, from Wisconsin to Ohio State. Ash even got Arkansas to make a few third-down stops in 2013 as defensive coordinator.
Rutgers does lose its leading rushers from 2017, but an experienced offensive line should still keep the strength of the Knights offense in the rushing attack. The offensive line also ranked 35th in adjusted sack rate, giving whoever is under center time to make a decision in the passing game.
Since the Scarlet Knights are expected to have stability in the rushing attack, handicapping the win total is about the defensive front sevens on their schedule. The Texas State front seven has depth and experience, and the linebacking corps is tough on rushing offenses. Believe it or not, Kansas will field its best defensive line and linebacker units in years.
The same story applies to Buffalo’s linebacking corps, led by Khalil Hodge. Maryland returns defensive end Jesse Aniebonam, who could contend for first-team Big Ten honors.
So while the one strength of the Rutgers offense is rushing, the winnable games on the schedule come against some better-than-average defensive fronts. My projection calls for 3.5 wins, and I’ll ride 2018 with a Rutgers Under 4 until we get life out of the Scarlet Knights passing game.
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What else you need to know about Rutgers
Rutgers at Kansas on Sept. 15 should be the showcase of Week 3. Move over, TCU-Ohio State, we have a donnybrook in Lawrence.
All kidding aside, this game should decide the win-total grading for both the Jayhawks and Scarlet Knights. Kansas should have more motivation in this game, as head coach David Beaty knows he is on the hot seat with a new athletic director.
Above all, Kansas ranks second in overall in returning production, and I expect the Jayhawks to overachieve in 2018. If you miss out on a Rutgers win total under or a Jayhawks win total over, consider Kansas -3 or better in Week 3 against Rutgers.