The 2017 college football season is still months away, but oddsmakers at CG Technology in Las Vegas have already released the win totals for 50 teams, as per ESPN’s David Purdum.
To nobody’s surprise, Alabama‘s total of 10.5 wins is the highest in the country with Ohio State coming in just behind at 10 wins. The oddsmakers certainly expect the Crimson Tide to surpass their total, as bettors are hit with a -150 price to take the over.
Oddsmakers expect defending national champion Clemson to take a small step back after losing stars like Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams to the NFL. The Tigers won 14 games last season but the win total for 2017 is nine.
Here are 10 win totals that catch the eye from some of the biggest teams in the country.
Alabama – 10.5 wins (-150o)
Nick Saban has only won less than 11 games once in his career at Alabama, and with another ridiculous recruiting class heading to Tuscaloosa, it’s probably a safe bet the Crimson Tide will reach that total again. A season-opening date against Florida State will present a big task, but with so much talent on the roster it seems unfathomable Alabama won’t hit the 11-win mark.
Ohio State – 10 wins (-125o)
2016 record: 11-2
Toughest games: vs. Oklahoma, vs. Penn State, at Michigan
Ohio State suffered some major losses on defense, but the recruiting skills of Urban Meyer make it fairly easy for the Buckeyes to reload. After waxing Oklahoma on the road in non-conference play last year, Ohio State welcomes the Sooners to Columbus in the return affair this year. The toughest game on the slate is the visit to rival Michigan, but Meyer has experienced success there in the past.
Penn State – 9.5 wins
2016 record: 11-3
Toughest games: vs. Michigan, at Ohio State, at Iowa
Penn State finished 2016 as one of the hottest teams in the country, and many expect them to carry that into the 2017 campaign. Heisman candidate Saquon Barkley will likely have a monster year for the Nittany Lions, but road trips to Ohio State and Iowa could prove difficult for James Franklin’s outfit.
Oklahoma – 9.5 wins
Oklahoma suffered some losses throughout the roster, but return star quarterback Baker Mayfield to the high-powered offense. The road trip to Ohio State will be extremely challenging, but Bob Stoops has registered double-digit wins in 14 of his 18 seasons with the Sooners.
USC – 9.5 wins (-135o)
Penn State finished the 2016 season as one of the hottest teams, but USC was hotter after beating the Nittany Lions in thrilling fashion at the Rose Bowl. Quarterback Sam Darnold is being pegged as a future No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, and it’s tough to imagine USC not posting 10 wins with a fairly favorable schedule.
Florida State – 9.5 wins (-130o)
2016 record: 10-3
Toughest games: vs. Alabama, at Clemson, at Florida
Florida State faces one of the toughest schedules in the country this coming season, starting with a neutral site date versus Alabama and daunting road trips to Clemson and Florida. The Seminoles lost stud running back Dalvin Cook to the NFL, but return star safety Derwin James from injury. Jimbo Fisher has won at least 10 games in six of his seven seasons with Florida State, but a tricky schedule could make that difficult in 2017.
Clemson – 9 wins
2016 record: 14-1
Toughest games: vs. Auburn, vs. Florida State, at Louisville
The 2016 champions begin life without Watson against Kent State before welcoming the powerful Auburn defense to Clemson. The Tigers get the benefit of hosting Florida State this year, but face big road tasks at Louisville, at Virginia Tech and at South Carolina. Dabo Swinney has established himself as a premier coach, but even he may struggle to get to 10 wins with a rebuilding Clemson team.
Michigan – 9 wins
2016 record: 10-3
Toughest games: vs. Florida, vs. Ohio State, at Penn State, at Wisconsin
Jim Harbaugh’s two seasons with Michigan have both resulted in 10 wins, but it’s going to be tough to make that three in a row. While the Wolverines may get past a rebuilding Florida team in the season opener, road trips to Penn State and Wisconsin will be very challenging tests. Michigan hosts the season-ending rivalry game against Ohio State, but until Harbaugh shows he can beat Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes have to be the favorite in that contest.
LSU – 9 wins (-120o)
2016 record: 8-4
Toughest games: at Florida, at Alabama, at Tennessee
Ed Orgeron’s first full season with LSU comes with a win total of nine for the SEC west power. The Tigers lost legendary rusher Leonard Fournette to the NFL draft, but with Derrius Guice taking over, the running game is in good shape. The Tigers face a fairly easy non-conference schedule, which makes this an attractive bet for the over.
Texas – 7.5 wins (-120u)
2016 record: 5-7
Toughest games: at USC, vs. Oklahoma, at West Virginia
In two years as a head coach, Tom Herman has never won less than nine games. In three years under Charlie Strong, Texas has never won more than six games. Which trend will play out in Herman’s first season with the Longhorns? Texas certainly isn’t lacking on talent, and a fairly friendly schedule could see the Big 12 school make it to the eight-win plateau in 2017.
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