|Jul 22nd, 2010
The winds of change are blowing for NCAA football betting fans assessing futures for the Big East. With some big names leaving in the offseason – especially from one particular school – it looks like as many as five teams have a shot to win.
Let’s have a look at the NCAA football odds to win the Big East among the top contenders.
CINCINNATI (6 to 1)
The Bearcats were a special team in 2010 but it looks like all the pieces that made them special are gone. Quarterback Tony Pike is a Carolina Panther; Mardy Gilyard will now catch passes from Sam Bradford with the St. Louis Rams. And Brian Kelly famously put a knife in Cincy’s heart late last year when he bolted for Notre Dame. Just too many important parts are gone for the Bearcats to remain at full strength.
CONNECTICUT (3 to 1)
Keep an eye on Jordan Todman at halfback. He could have a monster season running behind an outstanding line in Connecticut. The Huskies haven’t officially settled on a starting quarterback as of press time, so it’s hard to fully endorse their sleeper potential until we get a better idea of how their passing game will work. They also aren’t good at stopping the pass.
PITTSBURGH (5 to 2)
Some sports betting fans will argue that Pittsburgh has the conference’s best player in Dion Lewis. The kid ran for 1,799 and scored 17 times as a freshman. Dave Wannstedt is confident that Pat Bostik can handle the pro-style offense this season. But we’ll see. If he struggles, opponents won’t respect the aerial attack and could stack the box against Lewis.
RUTGERS (6 to 1)
Even if 2010 doesn’t become the breakthrough season for Rutgers, that moment isn’t far away. They have some exciting youngsters – particularly the Swiss Army knife known as Mohamed Sanu. He’s a vertical threat but he was also used in the Wildcat formation last year. Rutgers’ “D” is high on speed and fairly deep but it’s weak at linebacker. That’s scary when you play in the same conference as Dion Lewis and Noel Devine.
SOUTH FLORIDA (6 to 1)
Is South Florida the most complete team in the Big East? Hardly. But it has a unique, dynamic player in B.J. Daniels. He can do everything with the football from the quarterback position and will run behind a line that returns four of five starters. So you never know what South Florida may do.
WEST VIRGINIA (5 to 2)
My betting advice: lean West Virginia’s way this year. We know they’ll run the ball like crazy with Noel Devine set for a banner senior season and four of five starters back on the O-line. Geno Smith may be ho-hum, if Devine comes through, he can just play game manager like Greg McElroy at Alabama. His arm accuracy is a nice fit for the offense. West Virginia may also have the Big East’s top defense – especially since 10 starters return.
Today’s free pick
Several different teams could threaten to win the Big East but I think West Virginia has the edge over Pittsburgh because it should be sturdier at quarterback.