LVSC releases win totals
July 21, 2009
By Brian Edwards
Until this past weekend, bettors have only had future numbers to examine in college football. With Las Vegas Sports Consultants releasing regular-season win totals and the odds to win the SEC, ACC and Big 12 conferences, now gamblers have all sorts of options.
Just as we saw when futures came out, Florida is the favorite to win a third national title in four seasons. This was further evidenced by the Gators being issued the highest season win total (11 ‘under’, minus-140). For UF to cash ‘over’ tickets, it will have to go undefeated through the regular season like Alabama did last year and Auburn did in 2004.
Florida has only completed a regular-season schedule unscathed once. That was in 1995 when it took a 12-0 record to Tempe only to get destroyed by Nebraska, 62-24. The Gators went to Tallahassee unbeaten for the regular-season finale in 1996, but FSU stunned the No. 1 team in the nation by a 24-21 count. LVSC gave the second-highest total (10 ½) to both Boise State and Texas. However, the Broncos’ tally is shaded to the ‘over’ at a minus-160 price, while the Longhorns’ total is shaded to the ‘under’ (minus-140).
If Urban Meyer’s team is going to run the table, it will be able to do so without facing Alabama, Ole Miss and Auburn. Remember, these numbers are for regular-season games only, so the conference championship games do not count toward these wagers.
Mack Brown’s team went 12-1 in 2008 with its only loss coming on a last-second play at Texas Tech. The Longhorns return nine starters on offense and seven on defense, including senior quarterback Colt McCoy, who is already the school’s all-time leading passer by more than 1,300 yards.
Texas will get its toughest test on Oct. 17 against Oklahoma in Dallas. After the OU game, the ‘Horns play back-to-back road games at Missouri and at Oklahoma St.
Since Dan Hawkins bolted Boise for Boulder, Chris Petersen has led the Broncos to an incredible 35-4 record over three seasons. Expectations are high once again in 2009 when Boise St. will play host to Oregon on the smurf turf in Week 1. The Ducks will be looking to avenge a 37-32 home loss to the Broncos from last year.
Beyond the Oregon game, however, it appears Boise St. will be heavily favored in every contest. The toughest tests will come in road games at Fresno St., at Hawaii and at La. Tech. The Broncos might get challenged at home when they play Nevada on Nov. 27.
The only other double-digit number belongs to Southern Cal, which is listed with a win total of 10 ‘over’ (minus-130). The Trojans have their most formidable games on the road, including a Week 2 trip to The Horseshoe to face Ohio St. They could also be vulnerable at Cal on Oct. 3 and at Oregon on Oct. 31.
Oklahoma has a total of 9 ½ ‘over’ (minus-150). The Sooners, who have lost five of their last six bowl games, return nine starters on defense but just five on offense. Sam Bradford, last year’s Heisman winner, opted to return to school rather than go pro early.
OU opens up against BYU in Arlington and plays at Miami when the heat is still brutal during the first month of October. The Sooners might get tested in Big 12 road games at Kansas, at Nebraska and at Texas Tech.
Alabama has a number of 9 ½ ‘under’ (minus-140). The Tide’s toughest competition in the SEC West will come from Ole Miss (9) and LSU (8 ½). Expectations haven’t been this low at Auburn in a long time, as evidenced by its win total of 6 ½. Remember, new head coach Gene Chizik has only five career wins in two seasons as a head coach at Iowa St.
As I mentioned in last week’s SEC Predictions, Arkansas has a lot of potential in Bobby Petrino’s second year in Fayetteville. After going 5-7 last season, the Razorbacks have a total of seven. I think an ‘over’ wager is worth consideration with Arkansas, as I have it going 8-4. However, home wins over Georgia and Troy are not givens by any means.
Speaking of UGA, it has a tally of eight shaded slightly to the ‘over.’ That’s a good number, as I have the Dawgs going 8-4, but they might hook up ‘over’ backers with a win at Oklahoma St. in Week 1 or at Arkansas in Week 3.
Ohio St. and Penn St. are the co-favorites in the Big Ten as both have totals of 9 ½. Gamblers have to lay extra juice (minus-120) to back the ‘under’ for the Buckeyes. These teams meet in Happy Valley on Nov. 7.
West Virginia has the highest win total in the Big East at 8 1/2, but it is shaded heavily to the ‘under’ (minus-150). USF and Rutgers are at eight with oddsmakers shading both teams to the ‘over (minus-120 and minus-160, respectively).
Florida St. and Miami aren’t expected to return to their glory days this year. Both schools have win totals of just 7 ½. Va. Tech has the ACC’s highest tally (9).
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Kyle Veazey of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger posted the following tweet at 8:40 p.m. Eastern on Sunday night: (Mississippi St. RB) Anthony Dixon arrested Saturday, charge unconfirmed at this time, per team spokesman. (Dan) Mullen getting facts before deciding punishment. LVSC didn’t release a win total for the Bulldogs, who replaced Sylvester Croom with Mullen, the former offensive coordinator at Florida.
--Washington St. is sporting the lowest total (3 ‘under,’ minus-130) released by LVSC. Syracuse, Army and Duke are at 3 ½.
--Vandy’s number is 4 ½ ‘over’ (minus-120). I have the Commodores finishing 5-7 if they can win at Rice. With Chase Clement and Jarrett Dillard out of eligibility for the Owls, Bobby Johnson’s team should be victorious in its trip to Houston.
--During last week’s edition of the Power Hours on VI Radio, handicapper Christian Alexander was extremely bullish on the Oregon Ducks. Alexander has Oregon beating Boise St. on the smurf turf (that’s against smurf-turf rules, Christian!) and knocking off Southern Cal.
--Alexander, a UVA alum, has Virginia going 5-7. LVSC has the Wahoos with a number of five ‘under’ (minus-120).
--Tennessee’s number in Lane Kiffin’s first year is seven ‘under’ (minus-130). Following an optimistic 4-1 start, I have the Vols collapsing down the stretch and finishing 6-6.
--Mark Oct. 10 on your calendar, SEC fans. CBS will televise Alabama at Ole Miss at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, followed by Florida’s trip to Baton Rouge to take on LSU at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
--Florida is the minus-200 favorite to win the SEC. Ole Miss, Alabama and LSU have plus-450 odds (risk $100 to win $450) to emerge victorious at the Georgia Dome during the first Saturday in December. Georgia has attractive 10/1 odds.
--Va. Tech is the plus-250 favorite to win the ACC Championship Game. FSU and Clemson both have plus-400 odds (risk $100 to win $400). With 6/1 odds, I think a wager on Ga. Tech to win the ACC is worth heavy consideration.
--No clue what took so long, but legendary Florida linebacker Wilber Marshall was finally inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this past weekend. ‘Bout time! Marshall was a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC selection for the Gators. He won a pair of Super Bowl rings with the Bears (1985) and Redskins (1991).
--Click here to view the odds for the Big 12.
Brian Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.