Stanford Win-Total Prediction
Can the Stanford Cardinal get back to being the class of the Pac-12 during the 2017 season? Here’s our take on the season.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Stanford is listed with 65/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs this season. The Cardinal are also listed with 6/1 odds to win the Pac-12. When it comes to the over/under for regular-season wins, Stanford is listed at 8.5. The over carries a line of -170, while the under has a money line of +140.
David Shaw steps into his seventh season as head coach of Stanford. He has had great success with the program, going 64-17 in his six seasons, including five double-digit win totals. Stanford is coming off a 10-3 record last season and 6-3 mark in the Pac-12. The Cardinal still came away with the Sun Bowl and a top-15 ranking.
Usually a top-level defense, Stanford was 32nd in the 2016 season. The Cardinal allowed 366 yards and 20.2 points per game. The unit loses some top-level players, including sack leader Solomon Thomas and INT leader Dallas Lloyd. Stanford does have a nice combo in linebacker Joey Alfieri, who had 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2016. Harrison Phillips is back on the D-Line after picking up 9.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Safety Justin Reid also returns after 57 tackles and seven pass deflections. These three will likely be looked to as the leaders of the defense.
On offense, Stanford averaged just 26.3 points and 367 yards per game. Stanford struggled despite having one of the nation’s top playmakers in Christian McCaffrey, who rushed for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns and also had 37 receptions for 310 yards and three scores. Bryce Love will be the one to take over his spot. He rushed for 779 yards and three touchdowns a year ago. Keller Chryst suffered a knee injury in the bowl game, but has been working hard to be back in time to be the starting QB this season. Chryst threw for 905 yards and 10 touchdowns with just two interceptions while also rushing for 159 yards and two scores.
Stanford opens the season against Rice, but then travels to USC in Week 3 after a week off. The Cardinal will also face San Diego State and Notre Dame in non-conference play. Pac-12 home games include UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington and Cal. Road trips will be made to Utah, Oregon State and Washington State along with USC. Stanford has to be concerned about Chryst and his knee. Even if he can play, can he move as he did before. The Cardinal have a solid defense that should continue to be strong. The offense could also be good despite losing McCaffrey. They seemed to be much better with Chryst playing and can build on that if he’s good to go. Ultimately, Shaw has made this program a 10-game winner one way or another. He knows how to win close games with his roster, no matter the talent level. I see Shaw finding a way to do it again this season.
2017 WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: STANFORD OVER 8.5 (-170)