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The College Football season is rapidly approaching but there’s still time to get some action down with my top 10 over/under bets. As you will see, I am a sucker for value or maybe it is my natural contrarian personality. Either way, for this season, my top-10 over/under bets will help add a little extra excitement this Fall.
All lines are courtesy FanDuel Sportsbook.
1. Iowa State Cyclones – Over 8 (+105)
The Cyclones found something a season ago when they finally made the switch to Brock Purdy under center. The freshman QB was impressive in his eight regular-season starts going 7-1 and winning five in a row after being named the starter. This winning streak included wins at home vs Oklahoma State and on the road in Morgantown against West Virginia who was #6 in the nation at the time.
Iowa State was also able to retain HC Matt Campbell which is huge for stability within the program. Campbell is a star HC in the making and will likely be coaching on Saturdays for a big-time program or he may make the leap and we see him on an NFL sideline. But for now, he raises the Cyclones ceiling.
Campbell will have some work to do on the offensive side of the ball as they lost David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler to the NFL. Both players were pivotal last season and made up for 55% of their rushing and receiving yards.
10 wins feel like the ceiling for this team with losses to Oklahoma and either Iowa or Texas seeming likely. However, getting the Hawkeyes and Longhorns at home make those games both potentially winnable. Assuming Iowa State doesn’t slip up against a team they should easily beat, eight wins and a push feels like their floor.
2. South Carolina Gamecocks – Under 5.5 (+125)
Even with Beemer, Benz or Bentley under center for South Carolina, it is going to be a long season in Columbia. They will struggle to eclipse five wins this season even after winning seven games a season ago.
Their 2019 schedule is brutal. They face Alabama, Clemson, and Georgia who make up the top-three teams in the coaches poll heading into the season. They also face Florida(#8) at home and go to Kyle Field to take on the Aggies(#11).
In order to pass six wins, they will have to beat Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Appalachian State at home and one of Missouri or Tennessee on the road. And that assumes they handle rival North Carolina which is never a given and win their cupcake game against Charleston Southern.
While that is not impossible, I will gladly take the plus money and fade the Gamecocks all season long.
3. Michigan Wolverines – Under 9.5 (+150)
This bet is all about value for me. Rather than moving the line, FanDuel Sportsbook moved the juice, thus we get +150 taking the under of 9.5. Now, history says Jim Harbaugh will get his boys to 10 wins, which he has done three of the past four seasons.
However, taking a look at their schedule, there is some reason to think they may stumble a bit. Getting home games against Ohio State, Michigan State, and Notre Dame definitely helps their cause, but those are three very losable games. I also worry about their trip to Happy Valley. I expect Penn State to be a very good football team this year and winning there will not be easy.
Michigan has some work to do on both sides of the ball this season. They lost a ton of talent from a season ago, especially on the defensive side of the ball including Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, and Chase Winovich. Not only are they all terrific football players but they were leaders in the locker room and on the field.
The offense and Shea Patterson will be forced to carry more of the load this season and will have to utilize their studs out wide more than previous seasons.
If we pencil in losses vs Ohio State and at Penn State, the Wolverines would have to win their remaining games to get to 10 wins. This includes games vs Army and Wisconsin, and at Maryland should all be W’s for Michigan, but a slip up in one of those games would not be a total shocker.
Give me the under at plus money. If you follow me, be ready to hang because it will likely come down to the last week vs Ohio State.
4. Penn State Nittany Lions – Over 8.5 (-115)
Speaking of Penn State, if we assume the Nittany Lions get the W in Happy Valley over the Wolverines, then going over on the Penn State win total feels like a no brainer.
Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders are gone, but this team marches forward. Their defense is loaded with youth and athleticism. It should do plenty to keep this team in games and allow their offense to find their sea legs.
James Franklin will have his squad ready to roll this year. Penn State should get to double-digit wins this season or get damn close. Either way, they will hit the over.
5. Southern California Trojans – Under 7 (-110)
Things are about to get real ugly in Southern California this season. Clay Helton is starting the season on the hot seat after going 5-7 overall and 4-5 in the Pac 12.
That seat could get even hotter if things don’t go well through the early part of the Trojans schedule. The first six games are brutal including traveling to Washington, BYU, and Notre Dame. They also welcome an improved Stanford and solid Fresno State. Starting 2-4 or 1-5 over that stretch could lead to some real turmoil in the program.
Even if JT Daniels improves and the defense is less of a mess, 7-8 wins feel like the ceiling for this team. I will gladly take the under with the Trojans and bank on this team being a mess once again.
6. Clemson Tigers – Under 11.5 (+100)
This is purely a value play. As much as I love Dabo Swinney, Trevor Lawrence, Justyn Ross, and others, I think the under is the right side. If you take the under you are banking on the Tigers slipping up somewhere. It may seem like a questionable move for a team that won 15 straight games last season. Before last season, however, they lost one game each of the two previous seasons. Those losses came at Syracuse and at home vs Pittsburgh. Not exactly world-beaters.
Their schedule is Charmin soft but the Tigers face Texas A&M at home and go on the road to face Syracuse. Two opponents who will give them a fight. There is also a scenario where they just get bored in the back half of their schedule when they start to plan for the College Football Playoff and lose a game nobody expects them to lose.
Gimme that value and wait for the stumble.
7. Auburn Tigers – Under 7.5 (+100)
This season sets up to be an interesting one for the Auburn Tigers. They have a gauntlet of a schedule starting Week 1 with a neutral site contest against the Oregon Ducks. A loss to the Ducks will be massive for the under. The Tigers face Alabama and Georgia at home, travel to LSU, Texas A&M, and Florida. That’s at least four losses and probably five right off the top.
Auburn has six games that they should win which includes at home against Mississippi State and on the road against Arkansas. In order to go over, they would have to win-win two of Oregon, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida, and Texas A&M. Even if you assume they beat the Ducks, which I do not, I don’t think they win against the other five teams.
That said, if you disagree with me and think Auburn is going to go over, they should fly over and it might be worth looking at their National Title odds (80/1), SEC odds (30/1), and more.
8. Oklahoma Sooners – Over 10.5 (-130)
We did it! I found a line where I agree with the majority. This feels like a no brainer and potentially my favorite of the whole group. I’m not saying Jalen Hurts will win the Heisman Trophy like Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray before him, but having Hurts under center is a huge plus. He has been in the biggest moments, knows what he can do, and more importantly what he can’t.
The schedule sets up really nicely for OU with the majority of their tough contests coming at home outside of the Red River Shootout vs Texas and Bedlam. I feel like the Sooners win one of those games for sure and probably both if we are being honest.
Losing Rodney Anderson, Hollywood Brown, and few others to the NFL is not ideal, but Lincoln Reilly will have the next wave of studs ready to go. Trey Sermon is a stud at RB and will provide a ton of firepower.
I think the team has a great chance to finish the season undefeated and be one of the four teams in the College Football Playoff. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then jump on their 15/1 odds to win the National Title. We will be chanting “Boomer Sooner!” late into January.
9. Miami Hurricanes – Under 8.5 (+120)
This may look really dumb come season’s end taking the under with the Hurricanes. A quick glance at their schedule and you can see why Miami not only has a total of 8.5 but why everyone is hammering the over. Their schedule has a ton of wins on paper. However, games are rarely ever played on paper.
Manny Diaz is running the show this season and should have his defense ready to roll. The problem for the Hurricanes is on the offensive side of the ball. N’Kosi Perry and transfer Tate Martell are battling for the starter role with freshman Jarren Williams. Perry was a mess a season ago and Ohio State fans are still wondering if Martell can actually throw or if he is just an RB that takes the snaps. Without average QB play, it will be hard for Miami to reach nine wins. Williams getting to play early is likely the best thing for this program long term.
QB instability will sink the team this season. They may steal a win against a team most didn’t see coming but overall I think it’s a long season in South Beach with the under cashing relatively comfortably.
10. Georgia Tech – Under 4 (-150)
I hate laying so much juice with this one but the under is absolutely the right side here. Paul Johnson and Geoff Collins are gone. Nothing against Collins who I think will eventually get this program headed in the right direction, but this team was built to run the triple-option and Collins will be running a much more traditional offense. This means more throwing, which is going to challenge a roster built to run, run, and run some more.
That said, the dramatic offensive changes and scheme tweaks on defense will force a ton of bumps, bruises, and issues for 2019. Take the under for the Bees even if it means laying heavy juice.