All win totals are courtesy of South Point.
Charlotte - O/U 4 wins
Jared Kalmus - I was so ready to jump on the over bet here until I checked the 49ers schedule and got cold feet. I’m afraid Charlotte will be vastly improved in 2017 but might not have many extra wins to prove it. Opening the season on the road against a surging Eastern Michigan program is no easy task and Georgia State’s passing game could give Charlotte hell. I’m going to have to reluctantly take the under.
Tanner Spearman - Man, it’s a rough pick here. Honestly four feels about right. I’ll hesitantly take the over. I’m not hesitating because I don’t think Charlotte will be better, but because many of their “beatable” opponents will be, too. How they fare against the Florida schools will have a huge part of this.
Cyrus Smith - Charlotte had the benefit of sneaking up on teams after a rough 2015 season. That won’t be the case this year during conference play. I’m going with the under as I think they’ll have a tough time stopping anyone during conference play but if they beat Eastern Michigan to open the season I could see that resulting in a push.
A.J. Grande - Though I really do want Charlotte to succeed, I feel like they’ll push here. That being said, don’t be surprised at all if they end up going over four wins. I just wouldn’t put my money on it with the type of schedule they drew.
Florida Atlantic - O/U 4 wins
Jared Kalmus - This one is tough. Since Florida State transfer quarterback De’Andre Johnson didn’t look particularly sharp in the spring I could see a slow start for the Owls. A road trip to Charlotte at the end of the season could prevent FAU from hitting the over but I’ll give a gratuitous push vote for the Owls to end the season with four wins.
Tanner Spearman - How fast can Lane win? That’s the question here. I can find about six games that FAU could perhaps win, but there’s a lot of toss-up going on. I’ll take over, but not by much.
Cyrus Smith - For the fourth straight year FAU’s over/under is set at four wins. Each year I have talked myself into thinking this is the year the Owls finally hit the over and I’m going to do it again. This coaching staff combined with the talent and a solid schedule should be good enough for at least five wins right?
A.J. Grande - If you have have read previous UDD roundtables, you know I LOVE Lane Kiffin to FAU. That being said, I think he finds a way to push this team over four wins in 2017. Don’t be surprised if they “steal” a game or two that seem out of reach to help the over here.
Florida International - O/U 4.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - I’m aggressively buying the over here. I think FIU will have immediate success under Butch Davis and that could include upset wins over UTSA and ODU as the Panthers drew both 2016 bowl teams for home games in 2017. Winning just one should put FIU in position to win five games.
Tanner Spearman - I think they can get to the over here. I like them to beat Tulane at home, and there’s a few more winnable games in other places of this schedule. The question with Davis is the same as Kiffin: how fast can he win? Boy, the Shula Bowl sure looks interesting now.
Cyrus Smith - I agree with Jared and will take it a step further. FIU is going to go bowling in their first year under Butch Davis. The Panthers have the most experienced team in the country and I see a breakout season for Alex McGough and Alex Gardner.
A.J. Grande - I have to agree with Tanner, there are plenty of winnable games on the schedule for FIU for them to get at least five wins. If they catch a few more breaks this year, they could win well more than five.
Marshall - O/U 5 wins
Jared Kalmus - Not sure what exactly is going on at Marshall but I’m still creeped out by the program’s drastic downfall last season. Five wins is much too big of a number for me to commit to until the Herd shows that 2016 was an aberration.
Tanner Spearman - Doc Holliday is better than 2016. That said, I don’t know if they can climb out of that hole so quickly. Maybe they can, but I’m still taking the under here.
Cyrus Smith - Marshall fell off a cliff last year. This year they’ll either continue to be dreadful or compete for a conference title. My money is on the latter. Way too much talent on this team to have a repeat performance of last year.
A.J. Grande - I’m gonna push on Marshall after last year’s dumpster fire of a season for whatever reason. I think it will be tough for Marshall to recover with the non-conference schedule they have.
Middle Tennessee - O/U 7.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - A tough out-of-conference schedule will keep MTSU’s win totally artificially low throughout most of the 2017 season. 7.5 is a spot-on over/under number to me but if forced to pick seven or eight wins I’m going to drop the Blue Raiders to the under mark.
Tanner Spearman - That out of conference schedule gives me pause, but I’ll take the over. They get about as good a West draw as you could ask for with UTEP and UAB. If they can beat just one out of Old Dominion, WKU, or Vanderbilt, that should get them to eight.
Cyrus Smith - Middle Tennessee has a tough non-conference schedule but they aren’t playing juggernauts. If MTSU is serious about getting over the hump they should take at least one game out of Vandy, Syracuse and Minnesota. I’ll take the over but if the defense is still a train wreck the Blue Raiders will enter conference play with no room for error.
A.J. Grande - Middle will set the tone for their entire season Week 1 against Vandy. *Hot Take Alert* Win and I think they go on to win the East, lose and 2017 might be the most disappointing season in the Stockstill/James era. That being said I think they beat Vandy and get at least eight wins.
Old Dominion - O/U 6.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - I’m taking a seven win Old Dominion season to hit the over mark. I love what the Monarchs are bringing back this season and I have faith in head coach Bobby Wilder. If the Monarchs can pull a road upset over MTSU to end the regular season (with a division title possibly on the line) then ODU could reach even higher in win total.
Tanner Spearman - I can see about seven or eight so I’ll take the over. The Monarchs should easily get two out of conference, and WKU and Middle Tennessee should be their only big challenges in conference play. North Texas or one of the Florida schools might surprise them, but I still think seven is doable.
Cyrus Smith - *Whispers* Hey everyone, the Monarchs are going to win C-USA East this year. Old Dominion reaches the over easily here. Quarterback is a question mark but sans Taylor Henicke, the Monarchs have been a run-first team for some time now. Ray Lawry and Jeremy Cox are still back and I think the defense will be just fine due to their defensive line.
A.J. Grande - I think it is pretty safe to say ODU will reach seven wins this season. They could definitely win the East (Nov. 25th should be fun) and will for sure make another bowl game and probably win that too.
WKU - O/U 9.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - Woah nelly, I’m pumping the breaks on WKU relative to Vegas. I need to see some savvy coaching out of their youngster coach before I buy in on Big Red’s ability to win a third straight C-USA championship. Ten wins for the Hilltoppers means that WKU will would have to knock off either Vanderbilt or Illinois if they drop any non-P5 games this year. It just feels very presumptuous, although quarterback Mike White and his wealth of talent on the offense should keep WKU in every game they play this season.
Tanner Spearman - I think 10 is possible, but I’m playing it safe and taking the under. There are four or five games that are by no means guaranteed. I can see 10 wins, but I can also see eight. Maybe if Jeff Brohm was still around I’d take the over, but I need to see Sanford’s edition of WKU first. The challenges are Illinois, Vanderbilt, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, and maybe Old Dominion. WKU certainly can win any individual game on this list, but can they win enough to make 10 wins?
Cyrus Smith - If Brohm was still running the show I’d really consider taking the over but he’s gone now. Last year, out of 28 first-year head coaches, zero finished better than 9-3. WKU faces a tough stretch in the last half of the season: at Old Dominion, at Vanderbilt, at Marshall, vs Middle Tennessee, at FIU. The Tops will lose at least three games out of that bunch. Give me the under.
A.J. Grande - Though I believe their offense is gonna keep them very competitive and they will be a tough W for any team, do I think WKU will lose more than two games? Yes. I have no clue who or how, but with the schedule they have in 2017, WKU will lose at least 3 games. I’ll take that under.