One month remains before the college football kicks off. That means it is time to start thinking about how good the chances are that Virginia will have a winning season.
The Cavaliers are coming off a 5-5 season that was headed for a strong ending before a loss to rival Virginia Tech in the finale ended the season on a sour note.
Fittingly, Virginia’s chances of cashing tickets for over bettors this season might come down to the Commonwealth Cup.
Oddsmakers at several sportsbooks have pinned Virginia as an average team yet again this year.
At FanDuel, Virginia’s total for season wins is set at 6, and the juice is -110 on the over and on the under.
Caesars Sportsbook also has a total of 6, but there is juice on the over (-125). The buyback on the under is +105.
At DraftKings, the total is 6.5, but the under is juiced to -125. The over is +105.
There are other betting options at these sites, too.
The price for Virginia to win the ACC Coastal Division is +1100 at DraftKings and +1600 at FanDuel. If you want to bet on Virginia to win the conference title, you can get prices of +5500 at DraftKings and +10,000 at FanDuel.
Like so many teams in college football, the defense will be the biggest factor in success or failure for Virginia.
The offense is in good hands with dual-threat quarterback Brennan Armstrong and five returning starters on the line. Armstrong did throw 11 interceptions in nine games last season, so if he can lower that number the offense’s upside will be among the highest in the conference.
The other side of the ball needs to improve drastically. The Cavaliers ranked last in the ACC in passing defense (304.4 yards per game). They were in the middle of the pack with a scoring average defense of 29.6 points per game.
The biggest advantage UVA will have on that side of the ball is experience. It will also have the benefit of adding senior safety Joey Blount after he missed most of last season with an ankle injury. He is an all-ACC performer who needs to lead the way in making plays – something the Cavaliers badly missed last year.
Turnovers are always an important statistic, but it appears to carry more importance for Virginia.
The Cavaliers won the turnover battle five times last season and won all five games. They lost it five times and lost all five games.
In fact, Virginia has lost the last nine games in which it committed more turnovers than its opponents. It has won the last 18 games in which opponents had more turnovers.
There is no reason to think UVA is going to be worse than last season. Even during an inconsistent year, the Cavaliers finished with a .500 record.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall has shown he can lead Virginia to an elite season so he deserves the benefit of the doubt. The team got better every year under Mendenhall until last season.
A six-win season seems like the baseline. If UVA can avoid a surprising loss it should be in a position to have a winning record during the regular season. If you’re going to bet on Virginia’s season win total, take the over.