2016 College Football’s Most-Overrated Teams By The Oddsmakers

Posted by Aaron . on June 1, 2016 in

The 2016 college football season and the bevy of NCAAF betting action that usually comes with it will be here before you know it, as opening night is now barely three months away! So, we hope you will pardon our foresight by beginning our early college football odds previews, looking at the teams that are most overrated by Oddsmakers hence warranting cautious optimism in your early 2016 college football expert picks.

2016 College Football’s Most-Overrated Teams By The Oddsmakers

 

 

Clemson Tigers

Hold your horses, no one is saying that Deshaun Watson is going to lose his stellar QB skills all over a sudden or that Clemson will be taking a huge step back on the year like the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets who went from reaching ACC Championship Game two years ago to a 3-9 season last year. What we are saying is that Clemson will be good, but probably not as good as they were last season. Primarily, the Tigers are likely to take a step back in their defense after losing cornerback Mackensie Alexander and defensive end Shaq Lawson, who were arguably two of the best defensive players in the country last season in their respective positions. Then, of course, the Tigers will be traveling to Tallahassee to face Florida State, a game the Seminoles are likely to win and take the ACC reigns in the process. So, even with their talent and last year’s magnificent run to the National Championship game being considered, I don’t see Clemson repeating an undefeated regular season in 2016. And without a flawless record, Clemson will be hard-done in its quest to win the ACC amidst competition from the likes of FSU and Louisville in the Atlantic division or Miami and North Carolina in the Coastal division.

Michigan State Spartans

Coach Mark Dantonio has been a miracle worker in Michigan State and deserves all the respect he gets for his splendid job with the Spartans. Unfortunately for him, a tough year looks to be on the horizon for the defending Big Ten champions. Early NCAA Football predictions have MSU projected to hang close to Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten East Division, but from the look of things, the Spartans could actually perform worse than that. The Spartans, as we all saw in their demolishing loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal, still have a lot of questions to answer before they are able to hang with the best of the best in the nation, outside the Big Ten. Those questions aside, Sparty lost a ton of talent in the offseason, including QB Connor Cook, top WR Aaron Burbridge, top pass rusher Shilique Calhoun, No. 1 LB Darien Harris and several other key players in both the O and D lines. For the upcoming season, the Spartans will only return nine total starters, meaning Dantonio will need a lot of players to step up, which doesn’t look easy with the likes of Michigan returning several starters that are looking to breakout in 2016. Schedule-wise, Sparty has a bagful of challenges, including a non-conference game on Sept. 17 at Notre Dame, a likely loss for MSU. Then there are Big Ten games against Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State, all at home, which are guaranteed to stretch the Spartans to the very extreme. Without question, Dantonio is capable of upsetting the odds, as he’s often done. Still, it’s hard to see another double-digit winning season for MSU, or even a close challenge for the Big Ten title this year.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Speaking of UNC, the Tar Heels are favored in the early NCAAF odds to repeat as champs in the Coastal division. The problem, however, is that UNC lost quarterback Marquise Williams, leaving a lot of doubts about whoever will be leading this team at QB. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s defense, which looked greatly improved in the Coastal Division last year, was repeatedly exposed when UNC played non-divisional opponents. With such inconsistency in the defense and questions to be answered offensively, the Tar Heels may be well over their head in the quest to make it as repeat division champs, amidst compelling competition from the likes of Miami, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.

UCLA Bruins

As bad as it is that the Bruins lost eight players to the NFL Draft, it is their schedule that makes me feel that they are bit too overrated for the upcoming season. UCLA is already in a tough Pac-12 division, but that is made worse by the fact that the Bruins will be playing vs. Stanford and at Washington State in their non-divisional schedule, plus at Texas A&M and at BYU in the non-conference schedule. Even for a top team like Clemson or Alabama, that schedule would be really testing, so you can imagine how difficult it will be for the UCLA team that has recruited a step below such top teams. Like most of you, I like Josh Rosen A LOT and I see him becoming one of the best products from college football, especially if the likes of DT Eddie Vanderdoes can continue to deliver big performances alongside him. Still, I don’t see Rosen and Co. doing well enough to finish anywhere among the top-teams in the Pac-12, leave alone a top-25 finish in the nation in 2016.

USC Trojans

Like their Pac-12 and Los Angeles rivals in UCLA, the Trojans—though a good team—are likely to be hard-done by their tough schedule. USC, in the upcoming season, will be facing a gruesome schedule that includes Stanford, Utah, Oregon and UCLA in Pac-12 play to go along with a killer non-conference schedule that entails facing Alabama and Notre Dame. You wanna bet on UCLA winning its division or even attempting an 8-win (or better) season? Do so, but at your own risk.