College football season doesn’t officially kick off for another two months but tell that to sports bettors after online book 5Dimes.eu released their 2013 season win totals for all 125 FBS programs.
With those odds still hot off the presses, and Las Vegas books posting theirs in the weeks to come, we turned it over to the experts – the Covers Experts – to see which over/under win totals plays have caught their sharp eyes.
Here are Covers Experts’ favorite teams to go 'over' their win total in 2013:
Iowa Hawkeyes – Over 5.5 (EVEN)
“The Hawkeyes suffered a rare losing season last year with half of their eight losses coming by a field goal or less,” says Covers Expert Marc Lawrence. “Love the fact that Kirk Ferentz has had only four squads that failed to produce a winning season at Iowa. All four of those teams improved their record the following season, winning an average 6.25 games on the year. With the top three tacklers back on defense, look for Iowa to be bowling by season's end.”
Arkansas Razorbacks – Over 5.5 wins (-140)
“The switch from head coach Bobby Petrino to John L Smith was a disaster for the Razorbacks last year, resulting in a seven-win dropoff from their 11-win 2011 season,” says pro handicapper Teddy Covers. “Brett Bielema should be an immediate upgrade and Petrino/Smith most assuredly did not leave the cupboard bare of talent upon their departures. Arkansas has a good chance to start 4-0 in non-conference play, meaning a 2-6 SEC record will cash our over bet.”
BYU Cougars - Over 8.5 (+130)
"The Cougars had one of the best defenses in the country last season as they held opponents to just 14 points per game," says Covers Expert Steve Merril. "BYU should have a dominant defense once again and its offensive play should be much better as the unit will be healthy. Quarterback Taysom Hill will make a name for himself this season and, despite their tough schedule, we expect BYU to go over its posted season wins total."
Washington State Cougars – Over 4.5 (EVEN)
“Mike Leach saw a streak of 10 consecutive winning seasons go down the drain in his first year with the Cougars at the Palouse. In doing so, his team still managed to lead the Pac-12 in passing despite being forced to play 17 freshmen,” notes Lawrence. “Led by 16 returning starters, including QB Connor Halliday (battling freshman Austin Apodaca for starting honors) and his four leading wide receivers, Leach is the epitome of a coach on a mission this year - especially one that has never had back-to-back losing seasons.”
Washington Huskies – Over 7.5 (-120)
“Washington finished 7-6 SU (5-4 in conference) and 8-5 ATS,” says Covers Expert Art Aronson. “The Huskies have a team on paper to challenge the Cardinal and Ducks with over 20 returning starters from a year ago. Quarterback Keith Price has a big opportunity to take the team to the next level.”
Wisconsin Badgers – Over 8.5 (-210)
“While everyone is conceding the Big Ten Leaders Division to Ohio State, don't count out Wisky and first-year head coach Gary Andersen,” says Covers Expert Bryan Power. “They benefit tremendously from avoiding Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska out of the Legends Division. They get Penn State at home. Do not be fooled by the Badgers' five losses last year as all of them came by seven points or less. There are 14 returning starters this year in Madison.”
Alabama Crimson Tide – Over 11.5 (+170)
“With A.J. McCarron back at quarterback, and eight starters returning to a defense that ranked first overall in opponent scoring last year, expect them to be just as tough this year,” says Covers Expert Will Rogers.
Utah Utes – Over 5.5 (+145)
“Head coach Kyle Whittingham suffered his first-ever losing season last year and promptly went out and hired Dennis Erickson to work with Brian Johnson as co-offensive coordinators,” says Lawrence. “With five home games to open the first half of the season (Whittingham 37-11 in Salt Lake City) and paybacks aplenty dotting the schedule, it's mission accomplished for the Utes in 2013.”
Louisville Cardinals – Over 10.5 (-155)
“I believe the Cardinals have an excellent shot at running the table and playing for a National Championship, provided no other team from a conference other than the SEC also finishes unbeaten,” says Power. “At most, Louisville will lose one game. It's schedule is ridiculously easy for a Preseason Top 10 team, ranked only the 98th toughest in the country. The new American Athletic Conference is basically nothing more than a semi-strong version of the C-USA.”
Vanderbilt Commodores – Over (7.5 (EVEN)
“Vanderbilt ranked fifth in the SEC in total defense in 2012, and the Commodores will bring back six starters to their defense this season,” says Rogers. “Its strength is at the defensive end with a trio of talented playmakers in Walker May, Kyle Woestmann and Caleb Azubuike. James Franklyn has this program headed in the right direction.”
Stanford Cardinal - Over 9.5 (-145)
"This program hasn’t skipped a beat since Jim Harbaugh left for the NFL. Head coach David Shaw is in his third season and Stanford is 23-4 under his direction," says Merril. "The Cardinal will have one of the best defenses in the country and quarterback Kevin Hogan returns after starting five games last season with a punishing running game behind him. Stanford has the goods on both sides of the ball to challenge for a national title."
Northwestern Wildcats – Over 8.5 (EVEN)
“The Wildcats won 10 games a year ago and finally picked up that elusive bowl win,” says Power. “They can easily match that record this year with 15 starters back in Evanston. All three losses came in games where they led in the fourth quarter last season.”