College Football Betting Preview: The Mountain West Season Win Totals, Play Over or Under?

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With all the movement in college football, it is hard to keep up even sometimes when you know you still can slip up. Boise State will spend their last year in this league looking to hunt down a championship and will face some familiar old foes like Nevada, Hawaii and Fresno State, who like them moved over from the WAC. The Broncos are still the favorite, but second and third place are up for grabs. As Lindy’s football annual correctly noted, the league is now know as the Mountain West, dropping the “Conference” from its title. Yet, on same page of the article announcing this, they have –Mountain West Conference Picks and on the next page is their All-MWC team. Old habits die hard. Here is a look at each team’s current odds to win the Mountain West title and their projections for season wins.

Boise State -300 (odds to win the conference) Projected win total Ov9.5

There is no other way to describe it, with just seven returning starters (two on defense); this is a rebuilding year at Boise State. The Broncos have lost more than one game just once under coach Chris Peterson, which was back in 2007. While most presume Boise can just reload, having to replace a school-record five NFL draft choices is not simple talk and they will have rugged trips to Michigan State, Southern Miss and Nevada. For the first time in years, the Broncos do not appear infallible and might not reach 10 wins for the first time in seven seasons. 3DW Position – Play Under

Nevada +550 – Ov7.5

The Nevada offense will continue to shine, led by sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo. Expect more passing and a reduction in running from the Wolf Pack, as they brought in OC Nick Rolovich from Hawaii. If Nevada is to contend in the Mountain West, it must have all the new faces in the defensive front seven rise up and be stout. DC Mike Bradeson believes the talent is in place, it’s more the players understanding and carrying out their assignments. Nevada should be halfway home to beating the oddsmakers number, playing Northwestern St., Texas St., UNLV and New Mexico and would have to play .500 against the rest of the schedule to reach eight W’s. 3DW Position – Play Under

Fresno State +650 – Un7.5

If there is a team that could provide Boise State a run, it might be the Bulldogs. Fresno State has 14 starters returning from 2012, including expected All-MW signal caller Derek Carr. In spring practice, Bulldogs players were out of sorts with the new demands placed on them by first-year coach Tim DeRuyter. By the end spring ball, everyone understood the carelessness of the past were not part of the future. The Bulldogs defense has not held the opposition under 27 points a game since 2005 and with DeRuyter an attacking defensive specialist, this could change almost immediately. If the team pays attention to the new coaching staff, eight victories is doable. 3DW Position – Play Over

Wyoming +1200 – Ov5.5

The Cowboys have three arduous roadies at Texas, Nevada and Fresno State plus a home tilt with Boise State, which probably adds up to four setbacks. However, they have as many talented players back from an 8-5 bowl team and arguably the most physical defense in the league, though speed is still an issue. QB Brett Smith is the key to the offense being an accurate thrower and an intelligent runner. The parts are in place for Wyoming to have back to back winning seasons for the first time since 1998-99, they just have to want it. 3DW Position – Play Over

Air Force +2000 – Ov5.5

With just six starters in the fold from a year ago, this would presume to be a down year for the Air Force. While it will not be easy, seldom do the Falcons have a corral of student/athletes back. It is a given the Flyboys will play hard and the schemes of coach Troy Calhoun are always original. Of course Air Force will run well with their option offense, nevertheless, the threat of the pass makes the Falcons more dangerous and QB Connor Deitz has not shown a great touch. Last season, the defense was torched for 28.4 PPG, their worst figure is six seasons and with just a trio of players on that side of the ball back, it is extremely optimistic to see improvement. However, it’s still the Air Force. 3DW Position – Play Over

San Diego State +2000 – Uv5.5

The Aztecs lost all-MWC RB Ronnie Hillman, four-year starting quarterback Ryan Lindley and will have to start over offensively. San Diego State presumably will begin with Oregon State transfer Ryan Katz under center, but there are several holes, except for tight end Gavin Escobar. Coach Rocky Long’s rare 3-3-5 defense lost all three down linemen and one cannot help but wonder if a .500 or better season will depend on finding stop troops up front that can do the job. 3DW Position – Play Under

Colorado State +2500 – Un6.5

After a trio of 3-9 campaigns, change was in order in Fort Collins. Colorado State found what could be an excellent choice to run the show in former Alabama assistant Jim McElwain. The Tide’s offensive coordinator squad is not devoid of talent with 15 starters back and oddsmakers are calling for an improved season over the past three years to begin with. The Rams have good defensive personnel and running game has real possibilities. Whether CSU climbs above .500 may well have to do if the upper classmen buy into changing the losing culture. 3DW Position – Play Under

Hawai’i +3000 – Uv.4.5

Norm Chow will wear the lead lei around his neck as the new coach of the Warriors. (Norm, bring back the Rainbow Warriors nickname!) In spite of having Lamar and South Alabama on the schedule, it is difficult seeing Hawai’i being an Over play, going from  run-and-shoot offense to A two-back pro set and having immediate success. The (Rainbow) Warriors best defenses were all built around generating a pass rush or making negative plays within the run game. With just four green helmets returning as starters, that will not happen. 3DW Position – Play Under   

UNLV +2500 – Uv.4.5

Local Vegas residents always want more out of town visitors to build back the city’s economy and wouldn’t mind if a few would stay four years and improve the football. At this point, the odds seem better at winning a million on the slots than betting UNLV will ever have a winning pigskin program. (One winning season in last 17 years) Coach Bobby Hauck has done his best and actually assembled the best offense line possibly in school history, with all five guys in the fold. Unfortunately, the rest of the roster has more iffy choices than a double zero roulette wheel. Four wins tops for the Rebels. 3DW Position – Play Under

New Mexico +2500 – Uv.5.5

I guess timing is everything, but Bob Davie passed on the Kansas job a couple of years ago to take over New Mexico, whose posted one win each of the last three years. One aspect Davie has certainly been working on is convincing the 22 seniors (half are in their fifth year in Albuquerque) on his squad to deliver leadership, if not natural ability. Because the Lobos have virtually no depth, even just a few injuries will slow down New Mexico and prevent them from winning more than five times. 3DW Position – Play Under

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