Big Ten (West) College Football Season Win Totals — 2019
The 2019 college football season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start scouting college football season win totals on online sports betting sites.
Nebraska Over/Under 8.5 Wins
A year after going 4-8, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are projected to make one of the biggest jumps in the 2019 college football season. Oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet set their win totals at 8.5, while DraftKings Sportsbook put the number at 8, but with increased juice on the Over.
Nebraska’s head coach Scott Frost has led teams to major leaps before. Prior to taking over the Nebraska football program, Frost coached at UCF. There, the Knights went 6-7 after an abysmal 0-12 season. The following year, UCF had it’s historic undefeated season, which included a bowl win against Auburn.
Frost hopes to bring that magic to Lincoln, the same place he used to throw touchdowns for Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne. With sophomore Adrian Martinez behind center, some people think Frost can do just that. In fact, there have been talks of the Cornhuskers being a dark horse to make the College Football Playoff. Nebraska is +8000 to win the national championship and +1500 to be Big Ten champions at FanDuel.
Hobbled with an early in injury, Martinez still started 10 games while throwing for over 2,600 yards, 17 touchdowns and completing 64.7 percent of passes in his freshman campaign. The versatile quarterback added 630 yards on the ground while leading Nebraska to four wins in their final six games. DraftKings makes Martinez +2000 to win the Heisman Trophy.
The Cornhuskers struggled on defense last season, ranking 102nd in stopping the run and 112th in sack rate. They’ll have to improve mightily to win games on the road in Colorado, Minnesota and Purdue. They host Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa, all of which could be close games. Overall, the markets are overreacting to Frost’s past success and the Cornhuskers will be in trouble if Martinez gets hurt. I like Under 8.5.
Wisconsin Over Under 8.5 Wins
In 2018, the Wisconsin Badgers had their worst season under Paul Chryst. The Badgers began as a national title contender, but that quickly changed after a non-conference loss to BYU. By the end of the season, Wisconsin dropped four more games to Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State and Minnesota — losing each one by double digits. With a win total of 8.5 and +10000 to win the national championship (DraftKings), oddsmakers are skeptical the Badgers will get back to their winning ways.
Wisconsin has one of the best running backs in the country in Jonathan Taylor. Taylor saw the end zone 16 times and rushed for over 2,000 yards as a sophomore, making him +1800 to win this season’s Heisman trophy. Unfortunately, Taylor can’t do it alone. They’ll need to see improvements in the passing game and on the defensive side of the ball if they want to make it back to the Big Ten championship as they did in 2016 and 2017.
8.5 is right on the money, but expect this Wisconsin team to be too predictable to get nine wins as teams sell out to stop the running game.
Iowa Over/Under 8 Wins
The Iowa Hawkeyes have a vetted senior quarterback in Nate Stanley, but the offense lost two tight ends to the NFL. They still have experience at receiver and running back, so Stanley will continue to add to his already great career numbers (5,500+ passing yards).
The Hawkeyes will shine on defense, particularly with their defensive ends A.J Epenesa and Chauncey Golston. They’ll need that defense for a particularly tough schedule down the stretch.
Oddly, Iowa doesn’t play a team in the division until Oct. 19. Their last six games are against Big Ten West foes. Additionally, the Hawkeyes have a tough test in non-conference play against Iowa State. Their state rivals are trending upwards and are actually favored by three in the matchup. If they lose that, they’ll head to Ann Arbor in Week 5 with a 4-1 record. DraftKings currently favors Michigan by 13 points while Fanduel spots Iowa only 11 points.
Iowa is projected to be 2.5-point underdogs when they host Penn State. Because I like Iowa State to beat Iowa, this one is too close to call.
Purdue Over/Under 7.5
Purdue went .500 in the regular season, but they had three wins against ranked opponents. The Boilermakers were able to keep Jeff Brohm despite interest from other schools.
The biggest storyline for the 2019 Boilermakers is their schedule. Their non-conference matchups make for one of the toughest first few weeks in college football. They begin by traveling to Nevada as 9-point favorites and follow up with games against two more Power Five schools — Vanderbilt and TCU. We’ll likely have a good idea of how well Purdue will fare in the Big Ten before their first conference game against Minnesota.
I expect Purdue to drop at least one of the first three games. If they drop two of them, then the road to eight wins is difficult. Luckily they don’t play Michigan or Ohio State this year, which should leave Purdue fans optimistic, but I don’t think we see an eight-win season from them just yet.
Minnesota Over/Under 7.5 Wins
Minnesota allowed an average of 423 yards in their first eight games before head coach P.J. Fleck made a change to his staff. The change led to vast improvement in the last month of the season, which included wins against Purdue and Wisconsin.
Like last year, the Golden Gophers will sweep their non-conference schedule. Where I expect them to improve is against teams like Maryland and Illinois. Between their non-conference schedule, games at home against Maryland and Illinois, and a road trip to Rutgers, Minnesota can easily get to six wins. If that’s the case, they’ll just need to win two more games to hit the Over. I think eight wins is well within reach and nine wins is a possibility. I’ll take Over 7.5.
Illinois Over/Under 3.5 Wins
Look, Illinois is not good. Some of that has to do with Lovie Smith who continues to try to implement his Tampa 2 defensive scheme in college football. Even with Smith taking over the defensive playcalling, I don’t expect much improvement on the defensive side of the ball. Still, it doesn’t take a good team to win four games, especially with a schedule like theirs.
With non-conference games against Akron, Uconn and Eastern Michigan, the Illini need to come out on top in just one conference game to get four wins. I don’t have much faith in them, but they’ll be favored against Rutgers which is enough for me to bet Over 3.5 wins.
Once again, if you’re looking for general NCAA betting tips, please refer to our College Football Betting Guide.
Also be sure to take a look at a look at 2019 College Football Win Totals for the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners, Baylor Bears and Texas Tech Red Raiders, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.