This article is part of our College Football Picks series.
College Football Win Totals
Texas o8.5 -110 (BetMGM)
Getting Texas at over 8.5 is a good bet, and you can sign up with BetMGM bonus code ROTOBONUS for a risk-free bet. Texas has been claiming to be back for nearly a decade now, and this season it may be closer to true than usual. In 2021 Texas put up 425 yards and 35 points per game; unfortunately, the defense took pride in replicating those numbers, allowing 426 yards and 31 points per game. The defensive front was the biggest issue in 2021, giving up over 200 yards per game on the ground and recording just 20 sacks. The defensive line has way too much talent and depth to continue to perform at this level and bringing in Gary Patterson as a special assistant may help this group in 2022. On the back end of the defensive front seven, the Longhorns saw the rise of junior middle linebacker Jaylan Ford late in the season as he finished third on the team in tackles while making just two starts. With Ford's emergence coupled with an extremely athletic DeMarvion Overshown on the weakside and the addition of Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey from James Madison, the Longhorns hope to have shored up their defensive front.
In an age where offense reigns supreme in football, Texas went to the transfer portal and significantly bolstered their already talented offense that includes Xavier Worthy and the nation's best running back, Bijan Robinson. The Longhorns brought in former number one prospect and the only high school recruit to have a perfect grade since Vince Young, Quinn Ewers. He is the heavy favorite to lead the Longhorns' offense in 2022. Texas added to the talent around Ewers by bringing in tight end Jahleel Billingsley and wide receiver Agiye Hall from Alabama along with wide receiver Isaiah Neyor from Wyoming. Even if Ewers doesn't live up to the expectations of a demi-god with a mullet just yet, the already formidable offense from 2021 has further improved and should be able to take care of the above-average defenses that gave them problems a year ago.
The Longhorns finished 2021 with a record of 5-7, which is definitely a cause for concern but, one that can be slightly overlooked with the additions made in the offseason. In Week 2, the Longhorns will face off with Alabama and while Texas has made some strides and gotten more talented, they are still not on the level to compete with the college football superpower. There will also be a tough four-week stretch coming at the start of October when the Longhorns will face off with West Virginia, followed by Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl, Iowa State, finishing with Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will both still be a battle but West Virginia and Iowa State may be in rebuild mode despite both beating the Longhorns last season. West Virginia did add JT Daniels through the transfer portal but lost some key pieces around the offense in the same manner. Iowa State will also have the difficulty of replacing their quarterback along with the best player on their team a year ago in running back Breece Hall. At the end of the day, I think the Longhorns have a chance to go 10-2 and with some of the overturn in Norman this past year could maybe even run the table in the Big 12. Though it may seem like a big leap from 2021, the new landscape of college football with the transfer portal may just boost the Longhorns over the hump.
Clemson o10.5 wins at +110 (PointsBet)
After dominating their way to six straight appearances in the College Football Playoff the Tigers had a shocking down year by current standards as they took three losses. Starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had a very poor year as he managed to complete just 55.6 percent of his passes while throwing just nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Dabo Swinney has remained adamant that Uiagalelei is his guy but waiting in the wings is true freshman, number one quarterback prospect and 2021 MaxPrep Player of the Year, Cade Klubnik. The defense held things together for the Tigers last year as they finished second in the nation in points allowed at 15.0 per game. The Tigers will likely have another top-five defense in 2022 as they are held down by a veteran defensive line that will give opposing offenses fits all year. To get this number, sign up and place your wager with PointsBet promo code.
The Clemson schedule is also a little easier this season, there are only two teams the Tigers could feasibly lose to in North Carolina State and Notre Dame. You could make a case for Tyler Van Dyke and Miami as a third but if the Miami offensive line doesn't drastically improve from a season ago Van Dyke may spend most of the game on his back. It took two overtimes and some less than stellar play from Uiagalelei last year for the Wolfpack to pull out a win and though star quarterback Devin Leary is still under center it will be a tougher task as the Tigers will be at home. Uiagelelei's play was about as bad as it could get last year for the Tigers and with even a small increase in production from the quarterback position in 2022 Clemson likely goes undefeated and waltzes into another College Football Playoff.
Baylor o7.5 at -145 (PointsBet)
While all things on paper point to regression in 2022 for the Bears, things might not be nearly as bad as they seem. Baylor lost their leading passer Gerry Bohanon to the transfer portal but, he was pushed out the door by rising starter Blake Shapen. Baylor did lose their top two producers at running back but with four of their five starters returning on the offensive line, there should be little to worry about. Also returning are all three starting defensive linemen, and having the trenches locked down is a great recipe for success. However, the Baylor defense produced 28 turnovers in 2021 -- good for seventh in the nation -- and turnover production will continue to be a key for Dave Aranda's defense but, the sheer volume of takeaways may not be entirely sustainable. Even with a probable reduction in takeaways Baylor will still be in a good position in 2022 and will compete for their second straight Big 12 title. Check out RotoWire's Big 12 odds page for the latest prices on the Big 12 Championship. I think the likely scenario is Baylor takes three losses on the year to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas in another very solid year.
Utah Pac-12 Conference Winner at +300 (FanDuel)
All the talk from the Pac-12 this offseason is around USC and for good reason. They are the most renowned program in the conference with a storied history that just brought in one of the best coaches in the nation. Not only did the Trojans land Lincoln Riley, but Riley was also able to bring along many key contributors from his prolific offense at Oklahoma including starting quarterback Caleb Williams. The betting markets are showing it, too, as USC leads the PAC-12 odds as the favorite to win the conference at +250. With all the talk about all the big things going on in Southern California, Utah is flying under the radar again. You can get Utah at +300 by signing up and playing with the FanDuel promo code.
Frankly, the defending Pac-12 champs can do something that the Trojans and many other conference foes can't: win on both sides of the ball. The Utes finished the 2021 season second in the conference offensively in points per game, and third in yards per game while also leading the league defensively in both points per game and yards per game. Oh, and may I add the Trojans managed to finish second-to-last in the conference, allowing opponents to score a whopping 31.8 points per game. To put that in perspective, that is over 11 more points than the Utes allowed on a per-game basis (20.6). The Utes are losing a few key guys including star linebacker Devin Lloyd, who is as irreplaceable as it gets. However, the offense brings back almost all the offensive line, starting quarterback Cameron Rising and a thousand-yard rusher from a season ago in Tavion Thomas. The defense as stated has a huge hole to fill in the middle and has brought in transfer Mohamoud Diabate from Florida in an attempt to do so. In three seasons with the Gators, Diabate racked up 170 tackles with 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. The Utes also bring back star corner Clark Phillips who racked up 13 pass breakups, two sacks and 62 tackles last season. The Utes have a couple of tough non-conference games early in the year, including the season opener in Gainesville against Florida and two weeks later against a San Diego State team that managed to get the best of them last year. In conference play, the Utes will have tests on the road against UCLA, Washington State and Oregon. If Utah can take care of USC at home, they can afford to stumble in one of the road tests and still make it back to the conference championship. At 3:1 odds, being the most well-rounded and one of the top teams in the conference it almost seems like a no-brainer.
Virginia o7.5 wins at +135 (via FanDuel)
The Cavaliers finished 2021 at 6-6 with a tough four-game losing streak to end the season. In that four-game losing streak though, the Cavaliers played three straight top-25 teams as they went on the road against BYU followed by Notre Dame then, on the road again to face Kenny Pickett and the Pitt Panthers. That is by no means an easy stretch for any team, and this year's schedule is easier as the out-of-conference schedule is comprised of Richmond, Illinois, Old Dominion and Coastal Carolina. In the first seven games of the season, Virginia will face off with only one team that had a winning record in 2021 -- Richmond. Despite their 6-6 record in 2021, the Cavaliers were no pushovers. The Cavaliers' offense, almost all of which is returning in 2022, led the ACC in yards per game racking up over 515 yards per contest and scoring 34.6 points per game. The road will get tough for the Cavaliers again in late October as they finish the season with Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Coastal Carolina and Virginia Tech. The good news for the Cavaliers is all those games are at home except for Virginia Tech. It will also be much easier for the Cavaliers to win against either Pittsburgh or North Carolina as both teams have lost major talent at quarterback to the NFL draft. The Cavaliers could very well come into the home stretch of the season with a 7-0 record, beating Miami and Coastal will be a tough ask but I don't see this team losing to Virginia Tech again in 2022 and North Carolina and Pitt are much more winnable games this year. The Cavaliers have a serious chance at going 9-3 on the season and beating a 7.5 win total that sits at plus money.
Check out more ACC win totals to see the latest prices across the conference.