Win Total Winners
August 30, 2013
By Kyle Hunter
Editor's Note: Kyle Hunter makes his football debut on VegasInsider.com in 2013. Don't miss out on his weekly winners and expert analysis this season. Click to win!
We’ve waited almost eight months for college football action, and it’s finally here. The hard hitting action that all of us love is back! Bettors should always look for ways to beat the books in any way possible, and I believe season win totals provide a great opportunity. Let’s take a closer look at three season Win Total bets that I believe provide a ton of value.
Virginia Tech Hokies - Over 8.5
Frank Beamer’s team won at least 10 games in every season between 2004 and 2011, but last year’s team won only seven games. Some may think this is the beginning of a trend, but I’m not buying that. Beamer’s success at Virginia Tech for so many years was no accident, and he knows how to win football games.
Virginia Tech is known for taking care of the football, but last year they had a minus-five turnover margin. That isn’t going to happen again. The Hokies play in the ACC, and while there are a couple very good teams in this conference, it isn’t going to be confused with the SEC anytime soon.
Defensively, the Hokies were a little subpar last year, but they return nine starters in 2013. I expect this defense to finish the season ranked in the top ten nationally in total defense. The defensive line is one of the best in the country, and Antoine Exum is one of the nation’s premier cover corners. Logan Thomas should be more consistent in his senior season at the quarterback spot.
Looking at the Virginia Tech schedule, I see only three games that they have legitimate shot of losing. Those games are against Alabama in the opener, at Georgia Tech, and at Miami. Even if they lose all three of those games, they’ll be at nine wins which is a winning ‘over’ ticket.
Rice Owls - Over 7.5
Rice is a program that is on the rise. The Owls won their last five games in 2012, which gives them a ton of momentum heading into the 2013 season. David Bailiff has recruited very well over the past few years, and Rice’s improved depth on both sides of the ball is really starting to show up. The Owls return 54 lettermen from a year ago, and they will be the most experienced team in Conference USA this season.
Rice allowed 30 points per game on defense last year, which certainly isn’t good, but it was much better than they were in 2011. Look for the Owls defense to be one of the most improved units in the nation this year. Rice returns 10 starters on this side of the ball, and they have a couple big stars in Phillip Gaines and Cameron Nwosu. Offensively, Taylor McHargue and Charles Ross are great play makers at the quarterback and running back positions.
Rice isn’t going to beat Texas A&M in the season opener, but there isn’t another team on the schedule that they won’t have a solid chance against. The game at Tulsa will a tough one, and I’ll assume they lose that game.
Still, I look for Rice to be favored in at least nine games this year. I believe a 9-3 or 10-2 ledger is very possible and definitely puts us in the win category.
Pittsburgh Panthers - Under 6
Pittsburgh got to only six wins a year ago, and that was playing in the Big East Conference. While the ACC certainly isn’t a great conference, it is a huge step up from the Big East they played in during 2012. To make matters worse for Pittsburgh, it is clear this team doesn’t have as much talent as last year’s team.
Paul Chryst likes to run the football, but the Panthers have no star power or depth at the running back spot. Both Ray Graham and Rushel Shell are gone, and the Panthers are really going to miss those guys. Tino Sunseri wasn’t that great of a quarterback, but he had a very good season last year, and I expect a drop in production from the quarterback position this year as well. The defense is mediocre, and they’ll give up a lot of points when they play a top offense.
There’s a very good chance Pittsburgh won’t be favored in more than three games this year. The Panthers should be exposed in their Labor Day clash at home against Florida State and non-conference matchups against Old Dominion, Navy and Notre Dame won’t help the program pad their record either.
Look for the Panthers to take a major step back this season and finish worse than 6-6.
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