The college football season is now days away. It's no longer months or weeks; we're down to days. Panic and celebrate accordingly.
The start of the football season will also mark the end of the prognosticating. More specifically, your window to make many future wagers on the 2022 season is winding down.
At this point in the calendar, everybody has a hunch or a lean. You have put hours (or minutes) of diligent research into various teams and conferences. And now, with Week 0 at our doorstep, we want to know your greatest gambling hunches.
We asked B/R readers to give us their finest CFB gambling vibes, and they did not disappoint. Let us explore the finest ones in all their glory.
All odds courtesy of DraftKings and accurate as of Sunday.
Roll (Undefeated) Tide
Response: Alabama over 11.5 wins
It has become routine for Alabama to have a beefy win total since Nick Saban arrived as head coach, and this year is no exception. Alabama's regular-season win total is actually listed at 10.5 (over -300, under +235).
Our friend @Williecuh has taken this a step further with his 11.5-win proclamation. Since you can't win a half-game, we’re essentially asking a simple question.
Will Alabama go undefeated during the regular season?
As a random fun fact, Alabama hasn't won fewer than 10 games in a campaign since 2007. In that time, the Crimson Tide delivered 11 seasons with at least 12 wins, which is remarkable.
This feels like one of Saban's better overall teams, and you could make the argument that linebacker Will Anderson Jr. is the best college player he's ever had.
Also, having quarterback Bryce Young, a talented defense and a slew of promising transfer-portal additions could make this a special year. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs, wideout Jermaine Burton and cornerback Eli Ricks are all additions who could be enormously productive.
The schedule, which has its normal landmines, also features a road game at Texas. Other notable road trips feature games at Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss.
Could Alabama lose a game? Of course. College football is very random. But when you're citing randomness, you're running pretty low on compelling reasons.
Columbus Point Party
Response: Taking the over on pretty much every Ohio State game
Ah, yes. Nothing gets us primed for a football season more than preparing to bet the over. Or, in this instance, betting every possible over in games Ohio State is featured in.
The over hit last season in eight of the Buckeyes' 13 games. That's a promising percentage, although this year could look different. (More on that in a moment.)
At least offensively, Ohio State should be dominant. The Buckeyes led the nation in scoring last year, lost two wideouts to the first round of the draft, and they should be better. Quarterback C.J. Stroud is surrounded by talent at running back and wide receiver, and this offense should destroy most anything in its path.
But back to the overs. The Buckeyes defense should be considerably better than it was last year, which complicates this prediction.
Now, if Ohio State averages 53 points per game, it might not matter. But if new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles develops this group, the scoreboard might not go completely bonkers like it did in many games last year.
Still, the premise is strong.
Take Me Over, Country Roads
Response: Bet the over 5.5 wins for WV. Lock of the year!
Full disclosure: I loved West Virginia entering the fall of 2021. I thought the Mountaineers would be a surprise team and a force to come. (They were not.)
To be clear, last year wasn't all bad. The Mountaineers made a bowl, went 6-7, nearly beat Oklahoma and ultimately beat both Texas and Iowa State. That sets up an interesting 2022 season, and the win total @WVkey mentions is spot-on. West Virginia's win total is 5.5 (over -125, under +105).
The key addition this offseason, of course, was transfer quarterback JT Daniels. We haven't seen much of him in recent years, but the talent is there. The fact that he will be paired up with offensive coordinator Graham Harrell is also great news for this group. Throw in a good offensive line, and there is a really nice foundation brewing.
The schedule certainly is not a walk in the park. WVU opens at Pittsburgh and will then travel to Virginia Tech three weeks later. West Virginia will also take on Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas.
While the slate has teeth, I am riding with @WVkey on this one. This feels like a team that could really surprise. (Then again, I've said this before.)
The Ducks Quack Back
Response: Ducks vs. Bulldogs will not be over a 7-point difference in score
Oregon and Georgia will meet in Week 1, and the spread is 17 points. The defending national champions will look plenty different for this matchup, although the oddsmakers don't seem to care that the Bulldogs lost 15 players to the NFL draft.
It appears that @Rikster73 is ready to take the points if he's going a step further. He's seeing a tight game, and he probably won't be alone on that front.
At the least, Oregon's defense is likely to be a formidable group. Although defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is now with the New York Giants, that side of the ball should create havoc. New head coach Dan Lanning, who was the Georgia defensive coordinator last season, should be able to capitalize on a wealth of talent in the front seven.
That, in my eyes, is what could (and will) keep Oregon in this game—at least for a while. The unknown is the Ducks offense, which is likely to be powered by former Auburn QB Bo Nix.
Nix is a fascinating player with some real gifts. He can also be a little turnover-friendly, which makes him one of the more entertaining players to watch in the sport. If Nix plays well, Oregon will be competitive.
I don't hate this pick whatsoever. There are plenty of reasons to like Oregon. I just want all 17 points rather than just seven. We might need 'em.
Response: Arkansas over 7.5 wins is a sure bet
Oh, I love the confidence. And there is something to it.
If Arkansas played in the ACC, it would likely be a close second behind Clemson to win the conference. This is a team with talent, a quarterback (KJ Jefferson) and a coach (Sam Pittman) who seems to get the most out of his roster.
The issue, however, is that Arkansas plays in the SEC. And the even bigger issue is the schedule as a whole, which starts with a bang and really doesn’t let up.
The Hogs play Cincinnati, at Texas A&M, Alabama, at BYU, LSU and Ole Miss this season.
Oh, and they also have trips to Mississippi State and Auburn lined up, which won't be gimmies. While it's difficult to rank schedules before the season begins, one thing is abundantly clear. It's going to be a long road.
But there is talent. In fact, there seems to be a decent amount of it. Jefferson could be in line for a massive year at quarterback as long as he stays healthy. If he does, we should see a much better offensive output week-to-week.
Back to the win total: @Bosshog1971 has it nailed. The Arkansas number is 7.5 (over +130, under -150). The under is likely getting a workout for obvious reasons.
The schedule is just too beefy.
To me, Arkansas will be better this season. The record just might not show it.
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