College Football Conference Championship Bets and Win Totals: Mountain West Conference
College football season is nearly upon us, and there are plenty of NCAA football odds and outrights on FanDuel Sportsbook we can explore.
Last year, the Mountain West Conference was one of the most lopsided in the country: four teams -- San Diego State, Utah State, Air Force, and Fresno State -- reached 10-plus wins, but three squads -- Colorado State, New Mexico, and UNLV -- had three or fewer victories.
Here's how the conference winner odds shake out for this year.
|San Diego State||+450||7.5|
|San Jose State||+3000||6.5|
Conference Winner(s) to Bet
Boise State Broncos (+250) - The chalk in the conference is the Broncos after a 7-5 record a year ago despite solid underlying data (they were 42nd in SP+). This year, they rank 47th in projected FPI and 43rd in projected SP+.
They're returning 64.5% of their usage from last season, ranking them fourth in the conference, and their defense projects 14th by SP+ after ranking 23rd last season.
Overall, their schedule is middling, and they're favored in 11 of their games -- by a touchdown in seven of them -- according to my preseason model. That model, naturally, also projects them for the most wins in the Mountain West Conference.
Air Force Falcons (+450) - The Falcons are one of 51 teams (I'm not saying it's truly elite territory, but it's noteworthy for a conference such as this) to boast a top-70 offense and defense by projected SP+. They are getting every bit of their predicted points added (PPA) back in the passing department with Haaziq Daniels under center as well as 96.1% of their rushing PPA.
They're actually ranked as high as 16th on the Massey consensus list and ultimately have the second-best average rank (43.9) in the conference behind just Boise State (39.5). For context, San Diego State is 50.8, on average, followed by Fresno State (54.2) and Utah State (60.3).
They're the best value bet in the division, which is quite top-heavy.
Win Total(s) to Target
San Jose State Spartans | Under 6.5 (-130) - The Spartans finished last season 5-7 while ranking 85th in SP+ and 102nd in offensive SP+. They're returning 60.2% of their offensive PPA but still rank just sixth in the conference in returning PPA, given the low total to begin with.
They are expected to be favored in four games, per my preseason model, but they're also touchdown underdogs in four games, as well, with only two games rating out as field-goal (i.e. coin flip) games.
My model has them winning 5.4 games as a result.
Utah State Aggies | Over 6.5 (-155) - The underlying data is really interesting for the Aggies from last year. They were 11-3 despite ranking 80th in SP+, and regression is certainly in order. However, they aren't really being overrated in the total market with a number down at 6.5. While the emphasis is on the over at -155 odds, my model is projecting them for a nice 6.9 wins.
They have the seventh-largest standard deviation of any team in terms of rankings (via Massey's consensus list), so there's a huge amount of bust potential -- but there's also upside. They're ranked as high as 24th -- and as low as 90th. Despite that, my model has them as touchdown favorites in seven games.