Well, 10 days turned into two weeks and two weeks turned into three weeks. But finally, 26 days after I posted my college football over/under projections, the Las Vegas Hilton decided to release the real things.
Now that we’ve had a chance to look them over, let’s compare the actual odds to my projected odds and see where the biggest discrepancies are. Overall, 33 of the 35 totals released by the Hilton were off by a half-game or less.
The two biggest whiffs? West Virginia [Hilton: 9.5; BTB: 8] and Arizona State [Hilton: 8; BTB: 7]. I am baffled by the Mountaineers being that high, as I think very few people will be taking that over. As for the Sun Devils, perhaps we can meet in the middle and settle on 7.5.
In any case, here is a conference by conference breakdown:
UPDATE (6:39 p.m.): TheGreek.com has released college football win totals for 42 teams, including 11 new teams. The totals have been added to the tables below, but the “analysis” does not discuss the new lines.
|ACC||LAS VEGAS HILTON||BEYOND THE BETS||THE GREEK|
Analysis: We agree on three of the four totals for ACC teams, the lone exception being Virginia Tech. The Hilton listed the Hokies’ over/under at 10 while I set them at 10.5. According to Covers.com’s David Payne, several bettors placed maximum bets on Virginia Tech, an indication that the Hilton was off by a half-game. And, after looking at it closer, it sure seems that they were.
Virginia Tech avoids Florida State in ACC play, and it’s likely they’ll be favored in all 12 of their games. Even if the Hokies drop two — and, for the record, I think they’ve got a great chance at 11-1 — where is the third loss going to come from? The only reasonably difficult games on the schedule are road trips at East Carolina and at Georgia Tech.
|BIG EAST||LAS VEGAS HILTON||BEYOND THE BETS||THE GREEK|
Analysis: This was the biggest disagreement between Hilton over/unders and mine. The Hilton has West Virginia listed at 9.5, while I have the Mountaineers at 8. In retrospect, I think 8.5 or 9 is a better number than 8, as I think very few people would bet West Virginia to finish under 8. But please, tell me, who will be betting the Mountaineers to finish with 10 or more wins?
West Virginia will play at Maryland (coin flip game) and at home against LSU on consecutive weeks in September. There is a very strong chance they lose one of two, and a good chance they lose both. If that were to happen, the Mountaineers would have to go undefeated over their final eight games, a stretch that includes road games at Cincinnati and USF on a Thursday night.
|BIG TEN||LAS VEGAS HILTON||BEYOND THE BETS||THE GREEK|
Analysis: I follow the Big Ten closer than I follow any other conference, so I figured my win totals would be fairly close to oddsmakers. As it turns out, we agreed on four of five Big Ten teams, with the lone disagreement coming on Michigan State. The Hilton booked the Spartans at 7.5 and I had them at 8.
The early feedback I’ve been hearing is that Michigan State is a half game too low. Many people I’ve spoken with feel like the better number is at 8. I don’t anticipate books getting much action on the under at 7.5.
|BIG 12||LAS VEGAS HILTON||BEYOND THE BETS||THE GREEK|
Analysis: My first reaction is that Texas A&M and Oklahoma are too low and Texas is too high. But as much as I’d like to discuss the Texas schools, I’ll save that for another post and instead focus on the Sooners, a team that should have no trouble going over the total.
If Oklahoma gets past Florida State on Sept. 17 — and I suspect they will — then the Sooners are going to easily go ‘over’ the total. But whether the Sooners win that game or not, can you realistically see them becoming a three-loss team? The over seems like a win at best and a push at worst.
|SEC||LAS VEGAS HILTON||BEYOND THE BETS||THE GREEK|
Analysis: There aren’t any major surprises in the SEC, but I will say that I didn’t expect Alabama to have an over/under of 10. I thought they’d be 10.5 with adjusted juice. It’s temping to take the over 6.5 on Tennessee, but there’s a good chance you’ll have to wait until the final week to collect your prize. The Vols’ season will hinge on their game at Kentucky on Nov. 26.
|PAC-12||LAS VEGAS HILTON||BEYOND THE BETS||THE GREEK|
Analysis: The Hilton has Arizona State a full game higher than I did, and I’ve actually heard a few people say they would take the over on the Sun Devils even at 8. There are a lot of coin flips on the schedule, so I’m probably inclined to stay away. However, I’d lean under, as I think there’s a far greater chance the Sun Devils win 7 than 9.
|MWC, WAC & INDEPENDENT||LAS VEGAS HILTON||BEYOND THE BETS||THE GREEK|
Analysis: I don’t have a problem with the Boise State over/under being at 10.5, but I thought if oddsmakers set it there, they needed to shade the line heavily to the over. Here’s what I find most interesting, though: Those that got Georgia at +6/+6.5 at Golden Nugget have effectively set themselves up for a three-way middle/hedge opportunity. If Boise beats Georgia but fails to cover, Bulldogs bettors will pick up the win on the game and have a 90% chance of cashing their Boise State win total ticket by season’s end. The current line is Boise -2.5, so there’s another opportunity.