The 2022 college football season is nearly here, and the only major college football team in the New York metro area, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, are ready to kick off their third season under head coach Greg Schiano, who authored the best stretch in program history before departing for the NFL in 2011.
Schiano’s team went from 3-6 in 2020 to 5-8 in 2021, starting 3-0 in non-conference play and then winning Big Ten games on the road at Illinois and Indiana. The Scarlet Knights also played eventual conference champion Michigan tough, falling 20-13 in Ann Arbor in Week 4.
Rutgers Over/Under Win Total Analysis
Rutgers is as much as +50000 at some of the best NY sportsbooks to win the Big Ten, so we’re going to pass right over talking about that possibility and instead focus on some winnable bets.
One of the most popular preseason college football bets is on the over/under win total for a team. Rutgers made the Gator Bowl last year despite winning only five games, as they were a replacement for Texas A&M when the Aggies couldn’t field a team due to COVID-19 issues.
Most oddsmakers aren’t expecting big improvement from the Scarlet Knights this season, as BetMGM has set their win total at 4.5.
The team returns some pieces on offense and defense, but neither units performed spectacularly in 2021.
First Game Will Prove Important for Rutgers’ Win Total
Looking at the Scarlet Knights’ schedule, the season opens with a matchup at Boston College out of the ACC. This matchup will go a long way as to whether Rutgers will go over or under the 4.5 total. In that game, the Scarlet Knights are +7.5 at most sportsbooks, but they sit at +7 at PointsBet.
Rutgers then plays non-conference games against Wagner and Temple, and the Scarlet Knights are expected to be big favorites in both games. They handled Temple 61-14 last year and beat Delaware, a FCS division team like Wagner, 45-13 in 2021.
If Rutgers is 3-0 at this point, they will need two Big Ten wins to go over, and the team is expected to be favored in only one conference game: home vs. Indiana.
Five conference matchups (vs. Iowa, Michigan, and Penn State; at Ohio State and Michigan State) will be extremely difficult.
That leaves a best-case scenario for the over with four wins and five losses. So what other games could be Big Ten wins for Rutgers?
|GAME||2021 RECORD||2021 RESULT|
|vs. Nebraska||3-9 (1-8 Big Ten)||N/A|
|at Minnesota||9-4 (6-3 Big Ten)||N/A|
|at Maryland||7-6 (3-6 Big Ten)||40-16, L|
Despite the poor record, Nebraska showed improvement toward the end of the season, losing by just one possession to Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan along with a 26-17 loss to Ohio State. Things didn’t go well against the Terrapins last year, and while Rutgers didn’t play Minnesota in 2021, the Golden Gophers topped Maryland 34-16 last season.
Rutgers going 1-2 against those three teams seems the most likely scenario, taking us back to the game at Boston College in Week 1. The Eagles are coming off a 6-6 season and have quarterback Phil Jurkovec returning for one more year, giving BC the offensive edge in this game.
With the game being played on the road, we would bet on an Eagles straight-up win, setting our win total bet on Rutgers to the under.
Prediction: Under 4.5 Wins