Handicapping Bovada's College Football Stats Props with Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 8/22/2014
I don't know about you, but I am going crazy trying to be patient as I wait for the college football season to arrive. The offseason always seems long, but this one has seemed particularly endless. To try to make time pass more quickly, it's a good time to look at bets that can distract us - and perhaps make us some money at the same time. Bovada has a wide range of individual player stat props and totals for the season . Some of them are more interesting than others, of course, but looking at all of them is a great way to sharpen up for the start of the season, too.
Here are four of the props that most stand out to my eyes with some picks and predictions:
UCLA QB Brett Hundley, "over/under" 3,019.5 passing yards: We start out with what I view as a straightforward one. Hundley is viewed by many as a running quarterback, but the fact is that he has passed for at least 3,071 yards in both of his seasons as a starter, and he led the Pac-12 in completion percentage last year. He is an accurate and dangerous passer. He'll need to improve from his 3,071 yards of last year to go over here because this prop only includes his regular-season stats (he had 2,845 yards in the regular season), but he can absolutely do that. For starters, he is heading into his third season as starter and has worked hard in the offseason - with a view towards being a high draft pick - so he will be ready to take another step forward. The offensive line he plays behind has given up far too many sacks over the year, but they are more experienced and should be better on that front as well. Give a hungry, talented player improved protection and good things will happen. The over is at -105 compared to -135 for the under. I am happy to be optimistic here.
Baylor QB Bryce Petty, over/under 3,700.5 passing yards: The over is favored here at -130, and that is no surprise. Last year in the regular season he had 3,844 passing yards, and that was in his first season of meaningful action. All he needs to do this year, then, is basically replicate what he did last year. While he had a special year last year, he is fully capable of doing as well or better this year. He's another year older and more experienced, and he still plays in a system designed for offensive success. The Bears will be strong again, and they have a schedule that will allow Petty plenty of opportunity to shine - starting with three soft nonconference games. If he stays healthy, it's fairly safe to assume that he will eclipse this mark, so the over feels like the play here.
Florida State QB Jameis Winston, over/under 3,474.5 passing yards: Winston had 3,490 passing yards in his Heisman-winning regular season last year, so you are essentially betting here on whether Winston can duplicate his debut season - or better. The under is favored at -130, and there are good reasons to be pessimistic. Winston might not handle the immense pressure of this season in the public eye as well as some - as his off-field issues have shown. Still, the over at -110 is the more attractive bet here. The first place to look is a recent parallel. After Johnny Manziel won his Heisman as a freshman, the perception among many was that he was not as strong as a sophomore. Still, he saw improvements in completion percentage, TD passes, passer rating and passing yards. Winston will be playing for a better team than Manziel did last year, and so he could benefit even more from the added year of experience and preparation. Winston should also start stronger this year. Last year he average just 181 yards per game in two of his first three starts. This year he will be more comfortable early, and he plays better opponents - Oklahoma State and Clemson - in those early games that will require more effort. He should start with a strong statistical foundation to build on en route to the over.
Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs over/under 950.5 passing yards: Diggs is a very exciting talent who saw his sophomore season last year derailed by a broken leg against Wake Forest. He is looking strong in training camp, so we now can bet on whether he is sitting on a big year. Both sides of the bet are at -120, so it is wide open. The negatives are that Maryland isn't a great team and could struggle to adjust to life in a new conference. Diggs has immense talent that should be able to overcome that, though - especially with a senior QB throwing to him. More significantly, though, the math works in his favor. Last year he averaged 84 yards per game. That including an incomplete game against Wake Forest when he was hurt and a game against West Virginia in which he was barely used because the Terps ran away with the game and it was all but over by the end of the first quarter. At 84 yards per game Diggs would eclipse 1,000 yards on the season, and it is reasonable to expect him to take another step forward - he improved from 77 yards per game as a freshman. The over is the play here.
Are you ready for some football winners? Doc's Sports has you covered! We are offering new clients $60 in free picks - these are actually members' picks from expert handicappers who live, breathe and eat college football and have years of successful betting/handicapping experience. Click here for the no-hassle sign up page (no credit card required). Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Most Recent College Football Handicapping
- Bowl Game Schedule - College Football Bowl Schedules for 2019-2020
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Big Bowl Game Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Bowl Game Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Championship Week Opening Line Report and Picks
- College and NFL Football Biggest Line Moves for Dec. 12-13
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 15 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 14 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 13 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 12 Opening Line Report and Picks
- College and NFL Football Biggest Line Moves for Nov. 14-15