The college football season win totals market has been out for a while now. Handicapping baseball is a full-time job for me from February until I decide to give it up, which was last week in terms of the 2019 season. Being a little bit slow to the season win totals list can be disappointing, but there are still some good opportunities out there.
Losing some equity and some CLV makes it harder to be in the black, but there are so many things that can go wrong over the summer when it comes to college football that I’m fine with waiting a little bit longer to make sure everybody makes it through summer practices and camps without getting suspended or injured.
In another article right here at BangTheBook, I put together the list of my top three season win total over bets. Now we’ll take a look at the top three season win total under bets. These are teams that I have a pessimistic outlook on for the 2019 season for a variety of different reasons. You never want to use injuries as the main justification for a win total bet, wherein a star quarterback going down will screw everything up, but sometimes that can be a factor. Just another piece of evidence in making your case.
For me, a lot of it is predicated on my summer research and the teams that I am really low on based on their market lines. Obviously power ratings, and therefore the game spreads, will change, but if I’m already low on a team, I would be confident that said team would get worse as the year goes along or fall well short of market expectations. The schedule is a big factor as well.
Here are my top three UNDER season win total bets:
Navy Under 5.5 (-125, BetOnline) – I actually feel bad for Navy. Joining the AAC may have made sense financially, but it has really hurt the Midshipmen to be part of a conference again. Teams are more accustomed to seeing the option. The fact that Navy’s defense has always been undersized and pedestrian has been exploited by better offenses in the AAC.
I’m not sure what the stopping point is for Ken Niumatalolo’s team in terms of regression, but this season ain’t it. The juice on this one is -130 at 5Dimes and -135 at Bookmaker, so it is playable everywhere with my projected win total at 4.24.
Navy had to contend with the schedule from hell last season. The Middies had trips to Hawaii, Dallas, Colorado Springs, San Diego, Cincinnati, Orlando, and New Orleans before the annual Army/Navy game at a neutral site. This season, the schedule isn’t as bad, but this just isn’t a very good team.
Malcolm Perry will have to do just about everything on offense, as one ball carrier with more than 35 carries remains. The defense lost its top five tacklers and five of the top six. We’ll see if a new defensive coordinator can stem the tide, but Navy joined the AAC in 2015 and has allowed over six yards per play each season since 2016 once teams figured them out.
It looks like another long year in Annapolis for what is now the third-best service academy in college football.
Purdue Under 7 (-126, Bookmaker) – This one bums me out. I want Jeff Brohm to do great things at Purdue. On the other hand, Purdue kept my Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff last season, so they can pound salt. This one is chalkier at other places in the market, but at -126, this is a very fair line against my projected number of 5.99 wins. That’s right. Purdue right on the cusp of bowl eligibility again.
The amazing thing about the low projection for Purdue is that the Boilermakers do not play Ohio State, Michigan, or Michigan State. If they did, who knows how low my expectations would be for this team. Even as a team rated rather fairly in my power ratings, they have road games at Penn State, Iowa, Northwestern, and Wisconsin that are all going to be a real challenge. Minnesota and Nebraska should be improved this season.
The problem for Purdue is that they don’t have any gimme games. Their biggest favorite role is -14 at home against Illinois. After that, they are not a double-digit favorite anywhere else. On the other hand, they are only a double-digit dog twice per my numbers. That means that this season could go either way, but my preseason work suggests it goes south for Purdue and I have to respect that, especially without two capable quarterbacks now that David Blough is in the NFL.
USF Under 6.5 (+100, BetOnline) – I’m not quite sure what is happening over at BetOnline, considering this number at 5Dimes has the under at -160 and Bookmaker has -123. Operation Fade Charlie Strong is commencing again this season. From what I can ascertain, the guy just walked into a great situation at Louisville and it artificially inflated his perception as a head coach. I have no doubt that Strong is a solid defensive coordinator, but he’s not a good head coach in my estimation.
I personally have USF as a dog of 10+ points in three of their 12 games, including two of the last three conference games. I actually have them a 9.5-point underdog to Memphis as well. Barring an upset in those four games (Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Memphis, UCF), the margin for error is already pretty slim. USF has clear-cut wins against South Carolina State and UConn. Other than that, my biggest favorite role for USF is -5, as their best cracks at conference wins aside from UConn are at Navy and at East Carolina.
The rest of the conference is getting better while USF has stagnated. Blake Barnett threw almost as many touchdowns as interceptions and USF gave up a full yard per play higher in 2018 than they did in 2017. This is a fade team for me in all facets, especially the season win total market.
This would NOT be an under play at 5Dimes. It is okay, though not as good at Bookmaker. I have USF down for 5.73 wins. Every 10 cents of juice off of -110 is roughly worth .1 wins, so the 5Dimes line is actually more like 6 and the Bookmaker line is more like 6.3. As a result, I’ve listed it third on my list.