Clemson had a “down year” by their standards last year. However, a down year for Clemson is still a 10-win season. This year, the Tigers do not have a marquee non-conference matchup, like they did last year with Georgia.
With the development of top-tier Heisman candidate DJ Uiagalelei and weak ACC opponents, I’m looking for Clemson to eclipse their 10.5 win total. I’d put Clemson’s chances to win more than 10 games on par with Bama and Georgia — those teams currently sit at -200 to accomplish that.
I’m getting in on the Tigers early before they start the season hot and the line moves against your favor.
Pittsburgh is coming off one of their best seasons in program history. With 10 regular-season wins and an ACC championship, Pitt over performed by just about all standards.
As we turn to the 2022 season, the Panthers have a new QB at the helm. After five years in the program, breakout QB Kenny Pickett finished his eligibility and headed to the NFL. The Panthers wasted no time re-tooling, picking up USC QB Kedon Slovis.
Slovis started 28 games at USC, but struggled last season as the Trojans finished 4-8. The transfer QB will need to learn the system quickly, as the Panthers open with West Virginia and Tennessee in Weeks 1 and 2.
To me, the Panthers win total is overvalued based on their overachieving 2021 season. So, I’ll be getting in on this under early, while the value is inflated.
It was a whirlwind of an offseason for the Big 12. Four-time playoff entrant Oklahoma lead that charge, with the departure of their coach and standout QB.
The Sooners currently sit at o/u 8.5 wins for the season, the highest in the conference. Next on the list is Texas at o/u 8. The Longhorns are looking for a bounce-back season under second-year coach Steve Sarkisian.
The Big 12 is certainly in a transition period, as Oklahoma and Texas’ move to the SEC looms large. The battle for the top is always contentious and I expect this season to be no different.
Baylor had a breakout year in 2021, winning 10 regular-season games. They went on to shock the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the ACC championship game and then win the Sugar Bowl against Ole Miss.
In his freshman season, QB Blake Shapen didn’t see the field much. Then, an injury to QB Gerry Bohanon forced Shapen to see late-season action. Shapen made the most of the opportunity, looking dominant in the Bears final games.
He continued that momentum into the spring game, and was named the starter in 2022. It finally feels like the Baylor football program has some stability. I’m looking for them to continue their rise in 2022.
The Cyclones entered last season with high hopes. Coming into the season ranked seventh in the nation, they quickly dropped two games in the first four weeks.
They then muddled their way through the Big 12, ultimately finishing 7-5. For the first time since 2017, Iowa State will have a new full-time starting QB, with the graduation of QB Brock Purdy.
Now, the Cyclones turn to third-year QB Hunter Dekkers. Dekkers came into Ames with plenty of accolades. As a 4-star recruit and top 300 senior, the first-time starter will have a lot of pressure to perform early on.
He’ll have a tough task early in the season, when Iowa State will meet in-state rival Iowa in Kinnick Stadium. With the transition, I’m looking for Iowa State to drop a few games early, and struggle to stay afloat in the gauntlet of the Big 12.
I’m taking advantage of this early value, while the Cyclones are more hype than results.
It’s no surprise that Ohio State leads the Big Ten in win totals at 10.5. The Buckeyes are looking to return to the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoffs after being left out in both last year.
Michigan — the defending B1G champs — are lurking right behind at 9.5 wins. The Big Ten breeds intense rivalries and challenging schedules.
This year will be no different with teams like Penn State, Michigan State and Wisconsin in striking distance.
Coach Jim Harbaugh finally got over the hump and beat long-time rival Ohio State, for the first time in his seven-year coaching tenure.
Michigan went on to win the Big Ten and earn their first ever College Football Playoff berth. Their magic season came to an end when they ran into eventual nation champ, Georgia.
The biggest news out of the Michigan spring game is the Wolverines have yet to name a starting QB. A competition is brewing in Ann Arbor between last year’s starter Cade McNamara and redshirt freshman J.J. McCarthy.
Both QBs saw action in 2022 and Jim Harbaugh clearly isn’t sold on McNamara enough to name him the starter. The Wolverines have a very easy ranked non-conference schedule. They don’t have a road game until October and host Michigan State and Penn State this season.
I’m looking for Michigan to continue their upswing and eclipse their 9.5 win total.
Purdue had a strong showing in 2021, winning six Big Ten games and losing a thriller to Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. The Boilermakers enter the season with veteran QB Aiden O’Connell at the helm.
Entering his sixth year in the program, the former walk-on is looking to make an even bigger name for himself. The issue is, the Purdue schedule is a juggernaut.
They open right out of the gate hosting Penn State. They then have to go to Minnesota and Wisconsin in October, two historically difficult places to play. Purdue will have a cooling off year, and I love the early value on their under total.
It’s been a whirlwind of an offseason for the Pac-12, especially at the top. The conference had a new champion last year in Utah, winning their first ever title in the conference.
Conference title favorite USC sits at o/u 9.5 wins. The Trojans will start the season with a new coach and QB combo, as Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams bolted from Oklahoma. Oregon and UCLA sit just behind USC with totals of 8.5 and 8 wins, respectively.
UCLA finally had a winning season under head coach Chip Kelly. Is UCLA on the right trajectory now? With returning standouts QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and RB Zach Charbonnet, it certainly feels that way.
To make matters better for the Bruins, their non-conference schedule features three home non-P5 opponents. UCLA hosts USC and Washington this year, avoiding having to play in the Colosseum.
USC will get a lot of the love to win the conference. But, I love the Bruins to win over 8 games, and I’m loving the preseason value on that.
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The Huskies look to bounce back after an abysmal 4-8 season last year. It’s been an offseason of change as coach Jimmy Lake was let go after nine games last season.
New coach Kalen DeBoer is tasked with righting the ship, and getting back to Pac-12 championship contention. The Huskies will also have a new QB at the helm, with incoming Indiana transfer Michael Penix Jr.
I’m expecting some bumps in the road, especially early in the season, for Washington. So, I’m liking the value we’re getting preseason at -110 for under 7.5 wins.
There are no surprises at the top of the SEC leaderboard. Georgia and Alabama lead the way, each at -200 to win over 10 games. Can another team break through and upset the defending champs or runner-up?
Texas A&M and Kentucky lead the second tier with an o/u of 8.5 each. It seems Bama and Georgia are destined to meet in the SEC championship game again. But, there are plenty of teams waiting in striking distance, hoping to pull off the unthinkable.
The Gators enter 2022 with an entirely new coaching staff. The fresh perspective and new voices are much needed for a program that’s been trotting along since the departure of Urban Meyer.
After an up-and-down freshman season, second-year QB Anthony Richardson will be looked at to take a big step up. Florida hosts Utah to start the season, which will be no small task. After that, the Gators get some favorable in-conference matchups at home, like Kentucky and LSU.
With new voices and a chip on their shoulder, I’m looking for the Gators to make some noise in the inconsistent SEC East.
It’s hard to remember a team that fell off after winning a national championship as much as LSU. After Joe Burrow left, the Tigers have not been able to rekindle their talent into a championship run.
Beloved coach Ed Orgeron was let go and the Brian Kelly experience is set to begin in 2022. Coach Kelly has already had an interesting offseason, but most importantly, failed to secure a top-10 recruiting class.
I’m not convinced Kelly is the right choice for a program like LSU. Plus, it will be a few years before he can begin to bring in the right players for his system. I’m counting on a down year during this transition and looking to capitalize on this preseason value.