The dog days of summer are here and football fans are craving some action on the gridiron. Day by day we are inching closer to the kickoff of the college football season and with it comes betting opportunities.
Of course, rosters are still taking shape with spring practice in full swing but that is not going to stop us from predicting the future. And to aid with that prognostication, online book Sportsbook has released season win totals for a few of the most popular teams in the country.
Alabama Crimson Tide: O/U 10.5
Death, taxes and Alabama finishing with double-digit wins. The Tide have won at least 10 games each of the past nine seasons and have won 11 or more in eight of those campaigns. The offense will have a full offseason with Jalen Hurts as the unquestioned starter and the depth at running back is absurd. The defense lost plenty of pieces to the NFL but Nick Saban will fill those gaps like he always does.
Alabama will be in tough with its first game of the season coming against Florida State but the rest of the non-conference schedule is a cakewalk. Plus, the team went undefeated in SEC play last season, so you shouldn’t expect a big change from that.
FSU Seminoles: O/U 9.5
Florida State will be young but damn they will be exciting if things come together. Deondre Francois looked like a future superstar during his freshman campaign and five-star recruit Cam Akers looks like he will be able to fill the hole left by Dalvin Cook. FSU looked better defensively as the season went on in 2016 and the bulk of that unit returns, including Derwin James, potentially the best safety in the country.
9.5 wins is a task for FSU, even if the program has hit double-digit victories in each of the past five years. Aside from a season-opening date with Alabama, FSU has dates against Louisville, Clemson and Florida. The core of this team has the potential to dominate but if things don’t mesh, it could be a rough year in Tallahassee.
Ohio State Buckeyes: O/U 10.5
Ohio State has won at least 11 games every season Urban Meyer has been on the sidelines. The Buckeyes finished first in the Big Ten in each of those seasons as well. The offense will rely heavily on JT Barrett. The QB will be without his biggest offensive weapon of 2016 (Curtis Samuel) and Barrett will need to make some new superstars around him. The defense will be great, same thing different year.
Aside from competing in the competitive East Division of the Big Ten, which means dates with Penn State and Michigan, Ohio State has a non-conference game against Oklahoma. You’d be dumb to think that the Buckeyes don’t find a way to be one of the best in the nation, though.
Michigan Wolverines: O/U 9.0
Jim Harbaugh has willed Michigan back to prominence with the Wolverines winning 10 games in each of his two seasons on the sideline. The offense will be OK and will return the bulk of the lineup but we all know Michigan is going to be about defense. Harbaugh and Don Brown need to figure out how to replenish a secondary that has been completely picked apart during the offseason.
Michigan has a tough schedule this season with games at Penn State, at Wisconsin and their traditional year-end battle with Ohio State. Winning another 10 games in the ultra-competitive Big Ten is not going to be an easy task.
USC Trojans: O/U 9.5
The hype around USC and Sam Darnold reached a fever pitch during the shootout of a Rose Bowl last season against Penn State. Darnold is now the face of USC and anything less than at least another major bowl game will likely be viewed as a disappointment. Darnold will need to find a new top receiving threat and replace several starters on the offensive line. And since they play in the Pac-12, USC’s defense doesn’t need to be much more than serviceable.
Once Darnold took the reins, USC looked unstoppable last season with wins in their final nine games, including the Rose Bowl. You need to imagine that an easier non-conference schedule with Darnold starting should equal more wins for USC.