College football betting: LSU a popular bet ahead of first season with Brian Kelly

·5-min read

There have been some awkward, weird, funny and "meme" moments in the first few months of Brian Kelly's tenure at LSU. However, it seems like bettors believe in his coaching ability.

No team has received more over bets on their season win total than LSU as of Tuesday morning, according to BetMGM. LSU's win total for the 2022 season is set at 6.5 wins. Despite all of the action on the over, the Tigers' win total has actually come down after opening at 7.5 wins. Currently, 76% of bets are backing LSU to go over 6.5 wins. However, in terms of money wagered, the action is much more split. Just 54% of the money is backing the over.

Kelly arrives as one of the big offseason coaching hires. He's got a .728 winning percentage in his career, though he notably couldn't get Notre Dame over the hump. LSU is just 11-12 in the two seasons since its incredible 2019 season, so Kelly has his work cut out for him. The first order of business will be determining a starting quarterback. It looks like a three-way battle between Myles Brennan, Jayden Daniels and Garrett Nussmeier.

LSU went 6-6 last season, including just a 3-5 record in conference play. The Tigers ended up getting blown out in the Texas Bowl by Kansas State. Bettors need just one more win from the Tigers this season to cash their over bets. It's certainly not out of the question, but it's far from a lock as well.

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 18: LSU Tigers Head Coach Brian Kelly addresses the media during the SEC Football Kickoff Media Days on July 18, 2022, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA.(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bettors are big on LSU ahead of Brian Kelly's first season. (Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kansas State headlines popular bets

Every year, there seems to be a few teams that get a lot of hype over the summer. This year, one of those teams is Kansas State. Even Yahoo Sportsbook's Pamela Maldonado expects big things out of the Wildcats.

As of Tuesday morning, Kansas State has received the most money wagered of any team. Bettors are backing the Wildcats to go over 6.5 wins. Currently, 89% of bets and 95% of the money is backing Kansas State to surpass its win total.

Last season, Kansas State went 8-5 including a dominant win over LSU in the Texas Bowl. Chris Klieman enters his fourth season as head coach of the Wildcats, and he already has two eight-win seasons in Manhattan. Standout running back Deuce Vaughn is back for the Wildcats and he projects to be one of the more explosive players in the country.

The biggest change for Kansas State comes at the quarterback position. Skylar Thompson is gone, and Adrian Martinez is in. Martinez has been at Nebraska for the last four years and has been linked to Scott Frost's so-far disappointing tenure in Lincoln. While the wins haven't really been there, Martinez has been productive. It'll be weird to see Martinez in blue instead of red, but it's also an intriguing partnership.

Bettors love unders on projected bad teams

The two biggest liabilities for BetMGM in the season win-total market are two unders on teams that are already projected to be pretty bad.

Indiana went 2-10 in 2021, losing all eight of its conference games. This was just a season after it went 6-1 in Big Ten play and shocked the football world. However, it all unravelled for the Hoosiers last season.

They lost some close games to the likes of Cincinnati, Michigan State and Maryland. However, the offense was bad and the defense wasn't much better. Injuries didn't help, especially to quarterback Michael Penix. Penix is off to Washington now, and a quarterback competition between former Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak and Jack Tuttle seems to be on deck. Leading receiving options Ty Fryfogle and Peyton Hendershot are gone as well.

The Big Ten was historically bad in 2020, so that season seems like an aberration for the Hoosiers. They also might not be quite as bad as their record last year suggests. Therefore, a win total of 4.5 is where oddsmakers landed on Indiana. Bettors think this season will look more like 2021 than 2020, as 87% of bets and 94% of the money is backing Indiana to go under 4.5 wins.

Colorado is another team projected to be bad that bettors are picking on. The Buffaloes win total is set at just 3.5 wins, and 75% of bets and 94% of the money is on the under. Colorado won four games last season.

What about the big schools?

Maybe you're not that interested in what people think about the likes of Kansas State and Indiana. Here's some notable data for some of the bigger programs across the country:

  • Alabama: 56% of bets, 69% of money on OVER 11.5 wins

  • Texas A&M: 89% of bets, 93% of money on OVER 8.5 wins

  • USC: 86% of bets, 93% of money on UNDER 9.5 wins

  • Oklahoma: Just 46% of bets, but 78% of money on OVER 9 wins

  • Texas: 72% of bets, 85% of money on UNDER 8.5 wins

  • Clemson: 74% of bets, 56% of money on UNDER 10.5 wins

  • Michigan: 67% of bets, 58% of money on OVER 9.5 wins

  • Michigan State: 88% of bets, 84% of money on OVER 7.5 wins

  • Ohio State: 86% of bets, 92% of money on OVER 10.5 wins

  • Notre Dame: 80% of bets, 73% of money on OVER 8.5 wins

  • Utah: 93% of bets, 92% of money on OVER 9 wins

  • Tennessee: 75% of bets, 86% of money on OVER 7.5 wins