Noted college football writer and prognosticator Phil Steele knows a thing or two about projecting a college football season. So when the ESPN analyst and preview magazine titan starts offering gambling advice, those who are prone to wager some coin had better pay attention.
On Tuesday, Steele released his best early college football over/under bets for the upcoming season.
Among his seven choices, two SEC teams were mentioned as having numbers to exploit.
Vanderbilt: Under 5.5 wins
Steele says he likes the Commodores and says the team has improved under fourth-year coach Derek Mason. It’s the schedule he doesn’t like for Vanderbilt.
Steele notes that the Vanderbilt strength of schedule moves from No. 38 to No. 15 in terms of difficulty this year. In particular, he points to games against Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky — the Commodores beat both in 2016 — as well as a game against Kansas State to highlight the difficulty of the schedule. Steele says the schedule lessens the team’s chances at six wins this season.
Florida: Over 8 wins
For devoted Phil Steele readers, this one should come as no surprise. Steele loves the Gators this season.
“Florida is my No. 1 surprise team this year in my magazine as a non-top-10 team that I think will contend for a College Football Playoff spot,” Steele wrote in the ESPN piece. “The Gators have their usual solid defense and my No. 3-rated special teams, and they will also have their best offense in over five seasons.”
Steele went on to predict that with only three true road games on the schedule, the Gators could be in for a 10- or 11-win regular season.
Steele also identified Miami, Marshall, Rice, Appalachian State and Central Florida as teams with over/under win totals worth exploiting this year.