Wanna bet? It’s the season for college football over/unders
Nothing says the end of summer — even if it’s just begun — more than college football over/unders.
We’re not halfway through July and baseball’s regular season still has 11 more weeks to run, but football is approaching. The Pittsburgh Steelers report to camp July 25, Pitt a week later.
If you’re curious what the so-called experts think about the conference championship hopes and victory totals of Penn State, Pitt and West Virginia, here’s a look:
Pitt 50/1, 6
Coach Pat Narduzzi will hit a milestone when he becomes the first Pitt coach since Dave Wannstedt to last five seasons. That’s the kind of stability former Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson was seeking when he moved on from Wannstedt after the 2010 season.
With 28 victories, Narduzzi has won more games in his first four seasons than any Pitt coach since Jackie Sherrill (1977-80).
But six victories? That would be Narduzzi’s second-worst total and one short of last year. That’s not progress. Bet the over.
It’s not the smallest victory total in the ACC. Georgia Tech (four), Duke (five), North Carolina (4½), Louisville (3½) and Wake Forest (3½) are lower.
The 50/1 odds are more a product of Clemson being a prohibitive favorite (1/4) to win the conference than what bettors think of Pitt. But if you can find $100 in the cushions of your couch and put it on the Panthers — and they win — that’s $5,000 for you.
Penn State 9/1, 8½
Coach James Franklin has surpassed that total in each of his past three seasons after consecutive 7-6 marks in his first two years in State College.
But with Miles Sanders and Trace McSorley gone, there will be a big rebuilding job to do on offense at Penn State.
The betting houses list Ohio State (11/10) and Michigan (9/4) as the top two finishers in the Big Ten, but Penn State is third.
West Virginia 12/1, 5½
The Mountaineers won at least seven games in seven of former coach Dana Holgorsen’s eight seasons. So, the total seems low.
But new coach Neal Brown must rebuild the passing attack now that quarterback Will Grier has gone to the NFL. WVU finished fourth (351.3 yards per game) and 13th (309.3) in passing offense the past two seasons.
Sportsbetting.com picks Alabama (SEC), Clemson (ACC), Ohio State (Big Ten), Oklahoma (Big 12) and Washigton/Oregon (Pac-12) to win the Power 5 conferences.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .