Stanford Season Win Total Prediction
After winning 12 games a year ago, is the Stanford Cardinal a good bet to win over their projected win total again in 2016?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Stanford’s over/under for wins in 2016 has been set 8.5. The Cardinal finished 12-2 last season while ranking as high as No. 3 in the nation. The team added four wins from its previous campaign in which it went 8-5 in 2014 and failed to live up to expectations after ranking 11th in the AP preseason poll.
Stanford’s biggest strength is in Heisman candidate Christian McCaffrey, who did it all for the Cardinal offense a season ago. He rushed 337 times for 2,019 yards (6.0 AVG) and eight touchdowns while also catching 45 passes for 645 yards and an additional five scores. If that wasn’t enough, he also had 15 punt returns for 130 yards and a score, while adding 37 kickoff returns for 1,070 yards and a score. The son of former Denver Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey finished his 2015 campaign with 3,864 all-purpose yards.
The biggest question mark facing the Cardinal this upcoming season is its defensive line, which isn’t very deep again, and who will replace the underrated Kevin Hogan at quarterback. Sophomore Keller Chryst was last year’s backup and junior Ryan Burns was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. Incoming freshman K.J. Costello will be in the mix as well, but who will emerge?
OUR PICK: Here’s the biggest hurdle to Stanford winning over 8.5 games in 2016: A Week 2 date with USC, a Week 3 matchup at UCLA, and a Week 3 meeting at Washington on a Friday night. Along with the Cardinal, those are the three best teams in the Pac-12 and Stanford has to line up and play those opponents in back-to-back-to-back weeks. The Cardinal also has four road games against projected top-20 teams, so the schedule is no joke.
That said, the Cardinal’s question marks overly concerning and the team will boast one of the best playmakers in all of college football in McCaffrey. If you want to bet against him and David Shaw, be my guest. But I won’t.
2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: STANFORD CARDINAL OVER 8.5