Over/Under 5 Wins () vs Virginia Cavaliers ()Date : 09/01/2018
Time : Richmond Spiders vs. Virginia Cavaliers 6:00 PM
Location : Scott Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 5 Wins vs Virginia Cavaliers
The Virginia Cavaliers were one of the biggest surprises in the ACC last season as Bronco Mendenhall led this team from a 2 win season in 2016 to a 6 win season in 2017 which resulted in the Cavaliers first bowl appearance since 2011. Mendenhall will be dealt an even tougher hand this season as the Cavaliers will have to replace their 3000+ yard passer as well as some key pieces on the defensive side of the ball. Although the Cavaliers defense was much improved in 2017 they will have to take the necessary steps in making sure they don’t regress now that their top player at every level of the defense has run out of eligibility. Bronco Mendenhall may return some talent from his 2017 team but he will have to establish better-recruiting grounds in the coming years if he wants a shot at making consecutive bowl games. Mendenhall’s 2018 recruiting class was one of the worst in the ACC as he ranked 11th out of 14 teams and he lacked to sign a 4-star recruit which has become pivotal in turning around programs. Bronco Mendenhall was successful in his time at BYU as he ran an explosive offense but Mendenhall will have to work magic in 2018 if he wants his team to make consecutive bowl games, something that hasn’t happened since the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Over/Under 5 Wins's Latest Performance :
Virginia shocked college football when they were able to win 6 games last season as this program has failed for the past few years, but Mendenhall will have to replicate it again with some new pieces. The Cavaliers will have to replace a quarterback, and 2 130+ tacklers on the defense but oddsmakers are confident this team has turned things around as they set the over/under at 5 wins which would determine bowl eligibility as well.
Back To The Old Days
Virginia will be able to pick some wins up in their non-conference slate but their ACC schedule will do them no good as they will have problems in the conference. Virginia has the advantage of playing an FCS school (Richmond) and a first-year FBS program (Liberty) but they will have to travel to Indiana which will be a tough matchup for the Cavaliers. Virginia may find themselves in last place in the ACC Coastal as they will have home matchups against Louisville and Miami as well as road matchup against NC State, Duke, and rival Virginia Tech. Virginia in my opinion is a prime candidate to not win a single ACC matchup considering the state of their roster. Virginia will have to snag a win against Pitt or North Carolina if they want any chance of staying relevant in bowl talks.
Virginia Cavaliers's Latest Performance :
As I stated Virginia will have to replace their 2-year starter at the quarterback position as Kurt Benkert moved on to the NFL which may be a good thing for Mendenhall and staff. Benkert was a good quarterback last season as he threw for 3207 yards and 25 touchdowns but Mendenhall is more commonly known for his dual-threat QBs which Benkert was not. Mendenhall was able to hit the recruiting trail this past season and sign two dual-threat QBs, one out of JUCO and one out of high school. Bryce Perkins was the JUCO transfer out of Arizona Western and he looks like a prime candidate to come in and replace Benkert at the quarterback position. Regardless who is taking snaps at quarterback this season they will be surrounded by some big-time playmakers. Jordan Ellis was the go-to running back in 2017 as the senior rushed for over 836 yards and 6 touchdowns, expect a 1000+ yard year out of the workhorse. The pass catchers will also be in good shape considering they return their explosive slot receiver in Olamide Zaccheaus who led the team in receiving yards with 895. The one spot that could kill the Cavaliers is their offensive line as they will be inexperienced heading into 2018 which is not a good sign for whoever is starting at quarterback. Defensively the Cavaliers will have to replace some of their most important pieces as they lost their top two tacklers (279), top TFL guy (10.5), as well as a team leader in interceptions (4). Virginia will have a veteran infested secondary though as they will return both Juan Thornhill and Brenton Nelson who combined for 8 interceptions last season from the safety spot. Although Virginia did graduate their top two tacklers they will return another 100+ tackler in Jordan Mack who should have a solid year at the inside linebacker spot. The defensive front is the spot where the Cavaliers will need to worry about as they lost 3 0f their 5 starters from 2017 but they did add a nice JUCO DT in Cassius Peat.
Player To Watch
Joe Reed, WR, Jr.
Virginia was able to live by the big plays last season whether it was a long throw and catch or a kick return for a touchdown and we often saw Joe Reed on the end of them. Joe Reed was buried on the depth chart at the wider receiver as they were a lot of seniors ahead of him, hence his 244-yard season but his presence was felt elsewhere. Reed was one of the most explosive kick returners in the country as he brought two back for a touchdown last season. Given the departure of Virginia’s weapons, Reed should step into a starting role at the wideout position. I am interested in seeing how the explosive junior takes on another role as he can be an All-ACC selection if he can match his return skills with pass catching.
How Over/Under 5 Wins & Virginia Cavaliers Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 5 -110
Under 5 -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
9/1- Richmond- W
9/8- @ Indiana- L
9/15- Ohio- W
9/22- Louisville- L
9/29- @ NC State- L
10/13- Miami- L
10/20- @ Duke- L
10/27- North Carolina- L
11/2- Pitt- L
11/10- Liberty- W
11/17- @ Georgia Tech- L
11/23- @ Virginia Tech- L
Overll Record- 3-9
Against The Spread Selection: Under 5 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
I have Virginia going under the 5 win total as they don’t have the necessary weapons to compete in the ACC this season. The quarterback position is arguably the most important position in football and unfortunately for the Cavaliers they have to figure out that position as well as who is blocking for him. The Cavaliers exceeded expectations in 2017 as they were projected for a 3 win season and oddsmakers seem to forget that and have based the win/loss total on last year performance. Bronco Mendenhall is a great young mind for Virginia but he will be unable to get this team an ACC win this season considering they have a tough slate of games on the schedule. Look for Virginia to return back to the pre-Mendenhall era as they will fall under the 5 win mark.