AAC: SMU 6 Wins (Over -125, Under -105)
Shane Buechele, the Texas transfer, slates to be under center for the Mustangs. James Proche, starting WR, and Buechele can lead a consistent attack in the air raid offense. Proche grabbed 12 touchdowns in a disappoint offense that is looking to rebound in Sonny Dykes second season. Consistency should not be an issue for SMU on defense this year. They return 7 of 12 starters.
The schedule does present some obstacles, but the Mustangs should be able to manage them. They have two difficult road games where losses are expected against TCU and Memphis. Other than that, SMU can win the remaining. Sorry SMU fans, a 10-win season is improbable but eight wins is foreseeable. They will be a touchdown or more favorites in five games. Chalk those up as wins, and one win is needed to push the over. With five games left at 5-2, two wins are achievable against Temple, North Texas and Arkansas State. Also, they can push Houston and USF to the wire.
The Pick: Over 6 wins (-125). Shane Buechele can drive this air raid offense to a bowl game. Look for a rebound year for the Mustangs.
C-USA: Middle Tennessee 5.5 Wins (Over +100, Under -130)
Middle Tennessee will feel the effects of attrition after reaching the conference championship game last season. They rank 104th out of 130 FBS teams overall. On top of that, they might have the toughest non-conference schedule out of the Group of 5 teams. They will travel to Michigan and Iowa while hosting Duke. Three losses and a win against Tennessee State is expected in the non-conference.
Diving into conference play, the Blue Raiders are a field goal underdog in five of the eight games. With four of those starting conference play, a 1-7 start is not out of the picture. Three wins can be gained against Charlotte, Rice and ODU, but that still leaves MTSU two short. Upsets are unlikely against Florida International or Western Kentucky which puts them at four for the season.
The Pick: Under 5.5 wins (-130). With five wins being the ceiling, lock in on the under for the Blue Raiders.
Sunbelt: Troy 7.5 Wins (Over +100, Under -130)
The schedule is quite manageable for Troy. They are favorites in every road game except Missouri. Excluding that game, they will be a touchdown favorite away from home in the rest. This puts them at five wins with their six home games remaining. The Trojans will be a touchdown favorite in half of those which sets up well for eight wins. One-score games that Troy can win will be against Southern Mississippi and Arkansas State. Lastly, a home upset-win in the finale against Appalachian State is feasible.
The Pick: Over 7.5 wins (+100). As long as Troy can win half of their home games, they will finish the season at worst, 8-4.
Mountain West: New Mexico 4.5 Wins (Over +110, Under -130)
The New Mexico Lobos rank 116 of 130 FBS teams coming into the season. This does not bode well for their schedule. They will be favorites in only two games — Sam Houston and New Mexico State. Additionally, New Mexico will be a touchdown or more underdogs in nine games. So, they will need to sweep the remaining three games which is unlikely given their core. It is more likely that the Lobos will lose two out of the three against Liberty, San Jose State and Colorado State.
The Pick: Under 4.5 wins (-130). This should be the final straw in Bob Davie’s career at New Mexico.
MAC: Miami (OH) 6 Wins (Over +150, Under -170)
Time for some MACtion! The Miami Redhawks non-conference schedule sets them up for one win and three losses. All of these will be on the road and against Iowa, Cincinnati and Ohio State. Therefore, I am bullish on backing Miami to win six conference games. With no experience at quarterback, winning close games will be a struggle for the Redhawks.
The Pick: Under 6 wins (-170). Lay the juice and look to fade Miami (OH) as favorites this year.
Conference Win Total Guides:
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