History Repeats: CFB Win Totals (Part 1)

College Football win totals are now live. Win totals have historically been one of the best ways to draw value out of the CFB season. Since your wager takes place over 12 games instead of one, the luck factor is reduced. Last year my posted win total plays went 4-1-1. We once again look to capitalize on early season win totals. We have a lot more plays this year, so this will be my first of two win total posts.

North Carolina Over 5.5 Wins
One of the key things to look at when considering win totals is what the program averages in terms of wins per season. Last year UNC had one of its worst seasons in a long time going 3-9. In his other six seasons at UNC, head coach Fedora has won at least 6 regular season games. UNC still recruits towards the top of the ACC so they have the players and should see great improvement this year. Look for the Tar Heels to bounce back big time and get back to a bowl.

USF Under 8.5 Wins
Opposite of UNC, you have USF. This South Florida team has well exceeded expectations, going 10-1 and 10-2 over the last two regular seasons. But prior to 2016, the last time this team won 9 regular season games was in 2007. They also lose their star starting QB and only return 11 starters from last year’s team. They don’t recruit well enough among AAC teams to withstand that kind of personnel turnover. Also, many of their coin flip games come on the road. So while the Bulls have gone over 8.5 wins the past two seasons, it will be difficult for this team to win 9 games.

TCU Under 8.5 Wins
I usually don’t like to take unders on teams with top coaches since they have a way of over performing and I certainly consider Patterson an elite coach. However, I like the under on TCU for a few reasons. First off, they only return 11 starters from last year’s 10-2 team. Additionally, they don’t recruit at a high level for the Big 12. It typically takes a year for Patterson to coach up new starters as evidenced by the 2013 and 2016 TCU teams, which failed to break 7 wins but then went on to post double digit wins the following seasons. Having to face Ohio State out of conference and having to break in a new QB will make it hard for them to get to 9 or more wins this season.

Stanford Over 8 Wins
Let’s start with the fact that Shaw has won 9 or more regular season games in 6 of his 7 seasons as Stanford’s head coach and combine that with the fact that they return 9 starters on offense from a team that went 9-3 last season. Those two stats alone make you confident that the over will hit for the Cardinal this season. David Shaw can be painful to back when you need him to cover a point spread, especially as a favorite, due to his conservative play calling. However, here you just need him to win, which is something he has done well since taking over as the head coach. Bryce Love should be a contender for this year’s Heisman and with KJ Costello playing the everyday QB role instead of rotating in at QB I see them challenging Washington for the PAC-12 North Championship.

Georgia Southern Over 5.5 Wins
Last year was a disaster for Georgia Southern as they started out 0-6 before firing head coach Tyson Summers midway through the season. Then interim head coach Chad Lunsford performed well with this squad down the stretch, winning 2 of the last 3 games with an inexperienced squad. Now promoted to head coach, Lunsford returns 18 starters, the most in the Sun Belt conference, and will be running an offense that more closely resembles the one the Eagles had success with under Willie Fritz before Fritz departed for Tulane. I like this Eagles team to get back to bowling this season and hit the over.

Virginia Under 5 Wins
Bronco Mendenhall will be in his 3rd season coaching UVA after coming over from BYU and coaches in their 3rd season typically have an up year. However, I think UVA is due for a downturn this season. They only return 5 starters on offense from last year’s 6 win team and they lose their star QB to the NFL draft. Additionally, they recruit at the bottom of the ACC so replacing the talent on offense will be difficult this year. They face a brutal schedule with really only one guarantee win against Richmond and they should be underdogs in all of their ACC games. I don’t see UVA getting to 5 wins and prior to last season, the last time UVA went over 5 wins was 2011.

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