I already wrote up my Power 5 win totals yesterday and my reasoning behind why I bet certain win totals and the best way to find value. So if you missed that go read the P5 preview first and then come back here. Let’s just get right into it.
Charlotte under 5 wins (-120)
This is a Charlotte team I am really low on. They don’t return a lot, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I think 5 wins is their absolute ceiling making this a push at worst. There are only two games on their schedule I am really confident in them winning (GW and ODU) and then Rice, GA State, and FIU are games they have a chance but as you’ll see later on, I’m high on GA State and I also think FIU will be able to beat Charlotte. In my book this a 2 or 3 win team, way off this total.
1u South Florida under 2.5 wins (+110)
This is a USF team that only won 1 game last season that involved going winless in their conference. I don’t think they will be that improved as this is a roster with just not a lot of talent, while the rest of the AAC is improving for the most part. They get one “should win” game against Florida A&M but apart from that I only see three games on the schedule where they have a chance to win (Tulane, Temple, ECU) and they would have to go 2-1 in those games to go over this win total. The Temple game is maybe the only one of those where they will be favored and Temple will be off a bye so I could see the Owls easily pulling off an upset. The other two games against Tulane and ECU are on the road and I can’t see the Bulls going out and picking up a conference road win. I think this team’s ceiling is two wins over FAMU and Temple and this win total cashes.
3u Cincinatti over 10 wins (-110)
This is my favorite win total of the year. 10 wins is the BASEMENT for this Cincinatti team. If Desmond Ridder stays healthy, they will win 10 games at the absolute minimum. They are head and shoulders above the rest of the AAC and I can’t see them losing a conference game, especially because they get their toughest opponent (UCF) at home. Their only two tests will be against Indiana and Notre Dame and I honestly think they win both of those games and go undefeated, and I would be shocked if they didn’t win at least one (most likely Indiana). Let’s go Bearcats.
1u Utah State over 3.5 wins (-120)
Last year the Aggies had to replace Jordan Love and in a COVID year that was a nearly impossible task and they ended up going a disappointing 1-5. This year they bring Blake Anderson at head coach who was a fantastic hire from Arkansas State. Anderson also brought his QB Logan Bonner from Arkansas State as well as a key WR who joins Utah State’s WR corps that already returns their top 6 leading receivers from last season. The Aggies return 19 starters in total and with the QB/HC continuity and the other experience across the board I like what they could do this year. The Aggies host North Dakota early in a “gimme” game and I see three other spots I think they should be favored and win (UNLV, New Mexico State, and New Mexico). Those four wins would put them over this win total but even if they slip up and drop one of those, they have two very winnable conference games against Hawaii and Colorado State who they both get at home. I see the Aggies wining all four of their should wins an stealing one of those two games, putting them at 5 wins and well over this total.
1u Georgia State over 5 (-120)
Georgia State returns their QB Cornelious Brown who was 2nd in the Sun Belt in passing yards last season as a true freshman who didn’t even get a real preseason. Brown is also incredibly mobile and I think with a year of experience under his belt and a full offseason, he could set the conference on fire this year. The Panthers also return all of their leading rushers from last season including lead back Destin Coates who was 4th in the conference in rushing yards last season. Overall, the Panthers return all 11 offensive starters as well as 8 starters on the defense and with Shawn Elliot in year 5 as HC, I could see Georgia State having a monster year this year. They play a tough OOC schedule but I think that will only help them be more prepared to win all the games they should win in the Fun Belt and if they do that, they should end up with 6 or 7 wins. I think 5 is the floor for the Panthers and with 2 winnable games against conference opponents to end the season, if they need that 6th win to become bowl eligible they will have that extra motivation to win one and cash this win total.
That’s it! My CFB futures series is finished. Of course it would come as a surprise to no one if I ended up adding one or two more win totals or conference futures but as of now this is the portfolio I’m taking into the season. I’ll be back shortly with my first thoughts on CFB Weeks Zero and One, plus some NFL stuff! We’re almost there… football.