VSiN recently did a tremendous job putting out their 330-page 2022 College Football Preview. It includes analysis from six experts that come together to make picks for every division and conference in the country, as well as the College Football Playoff. The guys also put together 19 of their best bets for win totals, as well as some really useful rankings to help you do your own research. Of course, there’s also a team preview page for each school, with a lean to that team’s win total.
Let’s react to some of the info in the guide, and maybe even apply them to some bets on DraftKings Sportsbook!
VSiN had six analysts pick winners for notable divisions and conferences, and below are the results for the unanimous selections.
Let’s start with the SEC, where nobody decided to get cute — which is the correct call. Alabama and Georgia are multiple levels above anyone else, and should roll their way through their divisions (both are at least -550 to do so on DKSB).
However, it was interesting that all six analysts went with the Tide to repeat as SEC Champs, and get revenge for their loss to the Bulldogs in the Natty. That’s a take I agree with, and bet at -120 when it opened. It’s since been bet up to -145. It was interesting to see the Power Ratings did actually have Georgia winning the SEC, though.
In the Big Ten, all the analysts had Ohio State coming out of the East and also ultimately winning the conference. It was comforting to see Ohio State join ‘Bama and UGA as teams that should dominate their division, as I wrote up a division parlay of those three teams at -125 recently.
Two teams that did surprise me as unanimous picks to both appear in and win their conference title games were Clemson and Utah. Clemson should have a bounce-back year, but with the QB issues and a lot of turnover on the coaching staff, I thought someone could take a shot on a team like NC State, Miami or Pittsburgh. It’s tough to go against the Tigers, but I don’t think they’re nearly as safe a bet as the other teams on the list above.
As for Utah, I’m delighted to see a team that I’m so high on (article here) get this type of praise from other college football cappers. They are my favorite team in the futures market and to bet on some lookahead lines. Matt Youmans and Adam Burke wrote up the Utes at +500 to make the CFP, while Dave Tuley took things a step forward and broke down why you might want to own a 60-1 ticket on Utah to win it all. I was very impressed that five of the six cappers had Utah as one of their four teams to reach the CFP. Let’s hope it becomes a reality.
That leaves us with the team above that clearly isn’t like the others — Fresno State. We’ll touch more on them below, but they are by far the cheapest division winner of the teams that were unanimously selected, sitting at just -140 on DKSB.
Convincing Best Bets
These were the plays on win totals that I felt made the most convincing arguments, either pushing me towards a play or reinforcing a play I was already on.
Right back to Fresno State here, who Youmans gave out as a play at over 8.5 wins in the betting guide. The Bulldogs were a team I was considering backing in some fashion, and when I saw the panel all take them to win the Mountain West West Division along with the analysis on over 8.5 wins, it pushed me into backing them (I’ll probably have an article up soon). Youmans explains that team brings back a good balance of starters on each side of the ball, including a senior QB to expect elite play from. He points out the Bulldogs won nine games last year, and went 10-4 in 2017 and 12-2 in 2018 under returning head coach Jeff Tedford.
I had already bet Nevada’s win total under, but am yet to write it up as a play because of some significant movement to the juice on DKSB. That said, I’ll probably still put the play out with just how low seemingly everyone is on the program. Steve Makinen went to a lot of the same analysis I had in my cap — mostly that this team has the fewest returning starters (six) in the nation and a completely new coaching staff. But I’ll save my analysis for my article. What I loved from Makinen was that this Wolfpack squad has the lowest Stability Score he’s ever assigned, which is a zero.
This one really wasn’t on my radar, not because I disagreed with the play, but just because I hadn’t researched it yet. But upon reading Makinen’s analysis, I knew I’d better hop on this one quick. After researching it, I’m a big fan of this play. WKU had the luxury of inheriting that entire Houston Baptist offense and scheme, including Bailey Zappe and his nearly 6,000 passing yards and 62 touchdowns last season. After averaging 19 points per game in 2020, Makinen points out that the Hilltoppers still went just 8-4 in the regular season even with this massive offensive boost. And now this season they are expected to get better? Tough to see nine or more wins here with that type of loss at QB
Remember, these are just three of the 19 win totals given out in the betting guide! These three just really happened to jump out to me. A lot more of this great content in the guide.
The 10 Games You Need to See This Year
VSiN put together a cool list of the top games to watch this season to get us pumped up to start circling some lookahead spots. The top game on the list is Texas A&M going to Alabama on October 8, which is a home revenge spot for the Crimson Tide. Their only loss of 2021 was at A&M, which has me circling the Tide on the first half line for this showdown on a Saturday in October.
How to Make Your Own Power Ratings
I don’t have my own power ratings, and I certainly wasn’t expecting a guide on how to make them in this betting guide. All the info, bets and team previews would’ve been enough, but this was a nice surprise. I won’t get there this season, but now that I have this breakdown, I just may get involved next season.
Statistics Pointing to Risers and Fallers
By my count, Makinen points out 16 statistical trends from the previous season that can help indicate teams that are rising/falling in the following season. Not only does he offer up each stat, but he also gives us each team that it applies to. This tool can be a big help when factoring in teams to back or fade early in the season, or which way you might want to go on a win total.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.
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