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Quick thoughts on Bovada’s latest college football win totals

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The season is coming soon, which means it is time to start thinking about what bets you are going to make this upcoming college football season. Bovada updated their win totals for each power conference team and a good chunk of non-power conference programs today to get you thinking.

After sharing a bunch of the odds with people on Twitter this morning after receiving the updated odds from Bovada, I decided it might be best to make sure they are all in one spot, categorized by conference and listed in alphabetical order. Below you will see the win totals as of August 3, 2016 according to Bovada. The schools are grouped by conference, starting with the power conferences and followed by the notable Group of Five programs to receive updated odds and rounding out with the win totals for the independent programs (minus UMass). I also threw in a couple of quick summary thoughts for each conference so you have my quick impression and reaction to the win totals.

The win totals listed here include any potential conference championship game and bowl game, so keep that in mind with some of these numbers as well. What I have not confirmed is whether or not this also takes into account a College Football Playoff national championship game appearance in addition to the previously mentioned postseason possibilities. Either way, this should get you going with just a few more weeks to go.

ACC

  • Boston College – 7
  • Clemson – 11
  • Duke – 6
  • Florida State – 11
  • Georgia Tech – 6.5
  • Louisville – 9.5
  • Miami – 8
  • North Carolina – 9
  • North Carolina State – 6.5
  • Pittsburgh – 8
  • Syracuse – 4
  • Virginia – 5
  • Virginia Tech – 6.5
  • Wake Forest – 6.5

The ACC still comes down to either Clemson or Florida State, and the win totals reflect that once again. The Tigers and Seminoles were the only ACC schools to hit double figures, with each getting 11. I still lean toward Florida State in the ACC, which has be going with the over. Taking the under on Syracuse feels risky, but looking at their schedule I could definitely see that being a realistic scenario.

Big 12

  • Baylor – 9.5
  • Iowa State – 3.5
  • Kansas – 1.5
  • Kansas State – 5.5
  • Oklahoma – 10
  • Oklahoma State – 8.5
  • Texas – 8
  • Texas Tech – 6.5
  • TCU – 8.5
  • West Virginia – 8

The Sooners appear to be the favorites in the Big 12, again reflected by the win total. I’d lean toward the over on Oklahoma here, but proceed with caution. Games against Houston and Ohio State will be a good challenge. Baylor has been through a rough offseason and I have no idea if Jim Grobe is capable of pulling it all together to get to 10 wins, but I think there is enough talent to get to 10 wins this season. I may feel more comfortable with a healthy Baylor getting to 10 wins here, believe it or not. Not to pile on Kansas, but getting to two wins is not likely to come easy. A home game against Rhode Island may be their best shot at a win, with the Rams coming off a 1-10 season. Ohio (home) and Memphis (away) will be challenges. The Big 12 schedule? Forget about it.

Big Ten

  • Illinois – 4.5
  • Indiana – 6
  • Iowa – 8.5
  • Maryland – 6
  • Michigan – 10.5
  • Michigan State – 8
  • Minnesota – 6.5
  • Nebraska – 9.5
  • Northwestern – 6.5
  • Ohio State – 9
  • Penn State – 8
  • Purdue – 6
  • Rutgers – 6
  • Wisconsin – 7.5

I do not trust Jim Harbaugh and Michigan to get to 11 regular season wins, but as we are including postseason possibilities, I like Michigan’s chances to hit the over this season. It could very well be an inflated 11-win season for Michigan, but the schedule sets up a possible good start before getting to the thick of the Big Ten schedule, and I think the Wolverines grab one against Michigan State. I think the best over bet here though will come from Michigan’s rival, Ohio State. The Buckeyes needing to get to 10 wins out of a minimum of 13 games? That’s easy money, folks. The under play is also pretty easy. Purdue. How the bar is set at six wins for Purdue, to me, is unfathomable.

Pac-12

  • Arizona – 7.5
  • Arizona State – 6
  • California – 6
  • Colorado – 6
  • Oregon – 8.5
  • Oregon State – 3.5
  • Stanford – 8
  • UCLA – 9
  • USC – 9.5
  • Utah – 6.5
  • Washington – 10
  • Washington State – 7

Wow. Washington getting 10 wins? The Huskies have been one of the most popular trending upward teams heading into 2016, and Chris Petersen is a key reason why, but the Huskies getting 11 wins out of this season seems like a dangerous bet to make. I would take the under here considering Washington has to play Stanford, at Oregon, at Utah, USC and at Arizona. Those are no guaranteed wins. On the other hand, I would actually take the over on the team the media tabbed the Pac-12’s preseason favorite, Stanford. The Cardinal getting to nine wins to win an over bet feels pretty safe even with a challenging road schedule (Washington, UCLA, Notre Dame, Oregon). Remember, we include cotitlence titla games and bowl games in these win totals, and I may have Stanford thinking about a spot in the College Football Playoff. They’re not sniffing that with just nine wins.

SEC

  • Alabama – 9.5
  • Arkansas – 7
  • Auburn – 7.5
  • Florida – 8
  • Georgia – 9.5
  • Kentucky – 6
  • LSU – 10.5
  • Mississippi – 9.5
  • Mississippi State – 9.5
  • Missouri – 6
  • South Carolina – 6.5
  • Tennessee – 10
  • Texas A&M – 8
  • Vanderbilt – 6

Every team in the SEC will be bowl eligible if they reach their Bovada win total. That’s pretty neat. LSU is the leader of the pack in the win total game, which makes sense. LSU gets an opener against Wisconsin and home games against Ole Miss and Alabama. Just earning a split between those two SEC West foes puts LSU in likely position to reach 11 wins this season, even without a spot in the SEC Championship Game. That’s the kind of season I am expecting from the Tigers, even though Alabama is my pick in the SEC and to reach the College Football Playoff for a third straight season. So yes, I’m taking Alabama and their over as well. As for my under play, I think Mississippi State getting to 10 wins is going to be pretty difficult, and I almost feel this is an easy bet to make.

American Athletic Conference

  • Cincinnati – 6.5
  • Connecticut – 6.5
  • Houston – 9.5
  • Memphis – 6.5
  • Navy – 7
  • South Florida – 9
  • SMU – 6
  • Temple – 8.5
  • Tulsa – 7

It goes without much debate in suggesting Houston is not only the team to beat in the American Athletic Conference, but may be the lead dog in the hunt for the Group of Five automatic bid in the College Football Playoff bowl rotation for a second straight season. However, Houston has dates with Oklahoma and Louisville in addition to road conference games against Cincinnati and Navy. This is why Houston’s win total comes in a little lower than you may have expected. I’d still feel comfortable taking the over, because if they don’t hit 10 wins in the regular season, they could do so in either the conference championship game or bowl game (if not in the New Years Six — yes, I know they won last year’s NY6 bowl, but the matchup is likely more favorable in a non-NY6 bowl game). Temple’s 8.5 should scare you at least a little bit. Running through the schedule, I see six games that I believe Temple should win right off the bat. Picking up three more might be a reach for the Owls, even if including a bowl game. I’d think about taking the under here.

Conference USA

  • Louisiana Tech – 7.5
  • Marshall – 8.5
  • Middle Tennessee – 8
  • Old Dominion – 6
  • Rice – 6
  • Southern Mississippi – 8
  • UTEP – 6
  • Western Kentucky – 9.5

Western Kentucky is coming off a 12-win season and looks to be the favorite in Conference USA this fall. Getting to 10 wins seems pretty straightforward for the Hilltoppers, even considering they take an automatic loss at Alabama in all likelihood. A road trip to Miami-Ohio should result in a win, as might a home game against Vanderbilt. Throw in a conference championship game and bowl game, and 10 wins feels pretty safe for this over win. The over for Louisiana Tech intrigues me as well. The under I’d consider is Old Dominion. The Monarchs are still adjusting to life as an FBS program and picked up five wins last season. That feels like their number to me again this season, but it is not an under bet I am totally in love with.

MAC

  • Bowling Green – 7.5
  • Central Michigan – 8
  • Northern Illinois – 8.5
  • Ohio – 7.5
  • Toledo – 7.5
  • Western Michigan – 9.5

Row the boat! P.J. Fleck’s Broncos could be looking at a very impressive season, and it could potentially include a 2-0 record against the Big Ten. Road games at Northwestern and Illinois in September could result in losses, but I think it is fair to suggest a split is entirely possible and may even be expected. Picking up two wins here though puts Western Michigan on the inside track to a 10-win season. Western Michigan really came together down the stretch in 2015 and I expect that carries over to 2016, making Western Michigan my pick in the MAC. Take the over. Stay in the same state for my under as well, which is Central Michigan. I think the Chippewas stumble in a few games early on (Oklahoma State, UNLV, Virginia will not be easy), and that makes for a steep hill in conference play to get to nine wins to take the over this season. Over for Western Michigan, under for Central Michigan.

Mountain West Conference

  • Air Force – 8.5
  • Boise State – 11
  • Nevada – 7
  • New Mexico – 7
  • San Diego State – 9.5
  • San Jose State – 6
  • UNLV – 4.5

Despite a disappointing 2015 season for Boise State (some idiots picked an undefeated season for the Broncos), the Broncos continue to drive the money with an 11-win mark from Bovada. Is this Boise State love or is there a real chance the Broncos pull this kind of record? Actually, this feels pretty good. Boise State plays two Pac-12 opponents, but they are both winnable games against Washington State (home) and Oregon State (away). A split of these two still puts Boise State in a good position to get to 11 wins, because they should be the team to beat in the Mountain Division and I’m not sure anyone in the division will this year. A road trip to New Mexico could be slippery, as will a trip to Air Force. BYU comes to town too. I would suggest 11 is probably a pretty good push and I would advise against taking the over, as much as I think highly of Boise State this season. Consider me burned from my Boise State prediction a year ago, if you will. I think the over play here is UNLV getting to five wins. I think that is a pretty good lock right there. San Diego State reaching 10 wins also feels pretty safe. That would be my over play in the Mountain West Conference.

Sun Belt Conference

  • Appalachian State – 9
  • Arkansas State – 8
  • Georgia State – 6
  • UL-Lafayette – 6
  • Troy – 7.5

Troy is coming off a four-win season but the hope is having seven starters back on each side helps pick up the slack in the win column. But the Trojans have not hit seven wins in a season since 2010, so that leaves a lot of ground to make up to get there in 2016. Troy also takes an assumed loss against Clemson and has to play at an improved Southern Miss in the first few weeks, so I’d take the under here for Troy. As for the over, I’ll roll the dice with Elijah McGuire (one of my favorite Group of Five players, partly because of the last name) and Ul-Lafayette. Like Troy, the Ragin’ Cajuns bring back 14 starters, but I feel they have a slightly easier schedule to maneuver through. Instead of Clemson on the road, ULL gets Boise State at home (although above I suggested how highly I think of Boise State), but that may be the toughest game on the schedule for ULL. Sun Belt games can be toss-ups, as the second half of the 2015 season showed.

Independents

  • Army – 6
  • BYU – 7
  • Notre Dame – 9

I have been asked a few time sin recent weeks for a win total for BYU, and I have suggested eight wins feels like the ceiling, but an attainable one. So seeing the win total come in at seven leaves me thinking I’m in the ballpark with BYU. As always, a challenging schedule for the Cougars may mean getting to eight wins may have to wait for the postseason. If that is the case, I’ll take it. Take the over on BYU. The under is easy. Army has won six game sin a season just once since 1997. How the bar was set at six wins for this upcoming season confuses me. Maybe it is the fact two FCS opponents are on the schedule (Lafayette and Morgan State), but picking up four more wins with this schedule will still be a tall order for the Black Knights.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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