The beginning of college football season is just 100 days away before Nebraska and Northwestern get the party started in Ireland. That means it is time for some betting content.
Slowly, but surely, multiple sportsbooks have begun to release betting numbers for the season. To this point, we’ve seen season win totals, Heisman odds, and betting spreads for premium games in the 2022 season. On Tuesday, SportsBetting.ag decided to get ahead of the pack and released odds for all FBS games during Week Zero and Week 1.
Not surprisingly, Kentucky is a heavy favorite over Miami (Ohio).
The Wildcats open up as a 20-point favorite over the RedHawks. Just last season, Kentucky opened the year as a 31-point favorite over ULM in what turned into a 45-10 victory for the Wildcats. In 2022, the Group of Five competition will be tougher.
Former Notre Dame assistant Chuck Martin is entering year nine in Oxford with a losing record (39-52), but over the last four seasons this has been one of the most consistent programs in the MAC. Miami (Ohio) brought home a conference title in 2019 and is 19-8 in conference play since 2018. Martin has yet to record a signature non-conference win, but the RedHawks took Minnesota to the wire last season and that Golden Gophers squad finished the year 9-4.
Last season, Miami (Ohio) put together one of their best offenses in a decade as the unit averaged 28.9 points per game and 6.3 yards per play. Brett Gabbert had a big season at quarterback tossing for 26 touchdowns and 8.9 yards per attempt with a low completion percentage (59.5%). Under offensive coordinator Eric Koehler, the RedHawks like to go big-play hunting. Leading receiver Jack Sorensen (76 receptions, 1,406 yards, 10 touchdowns) is gone, but there are eight starters back as this group has a chance to be one of the better offenses in the Group of Five.
Yet, the transfer portal gutted a good defense. The RedHawks lost linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (Cincinnati), edge Kameron Butler (Virginia), and edge Lonnie Phelps (Kansas) to other programs. That trio produced 21.5 sacks, 17.5 non-sack tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles last year. Their presence will be desperately missed.
Yet, this is a winning program with coaching stability and a fourth-year quarterback who has started games since he was a true freshman. The RedHawks will be a trendy preseason pick to win the MAC and could give Kentucky a challenge in Week 1. The Wildcats must be ready to play.
Meanwhile, Kentucky’s other Group of Five opponent — Northern Illinois — won the MAC title last season. Kentucky has a chance to do special things in 2022, but the non-conference schedule got harder. The Wildcats are a significant betting favorite to open the season, but Miami (Ohio) is good enough to give Kentucky a scare if the SEC program comes out rusty to start the year.