Over/Under 8 Wins st () vs Stanford Cardinal ()Date : 08/31/2018
Time : First Game: San Diego State Aztecs @ Stanford Cardinals 9:00 PM
Location : Stanford Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 8 Wins st vs Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal have been one of the most consistent teams in college football as they have made a bowl game in 9 consecutive seasons with all of the success being pointed to David Shaw who has led Stanford to a 73-22 record since 2011. Stanford has yet to make a national championship or the CFB playoff but they have set a solid foundation in winning the Pac-12 championship as they have won 3 conference titles in the Shaw era. David Shaw doesn’t bring your typical college football approach to the table as the Cardinal have preferred to pound the ball on the ground rather than airing it out but given the number of weapons the Cardinal return on the offensive side of the ball it is possible we see an evenly disbursed attack. Although they return a ton of key pieces Cardinal fans are most happy that they will return Heisman trophy runner-up for in Bryce Love who will lead the offensive unit for a 4th straight season. The one problem for Shaw and company may reside on the defensive side as they will be missing out on some of their top tacklers from 2017 but as we have seen in the past Stanford should be able to overcome this small bump in the road. Stanford is one of the most prestigious schools in the nation which automatically makes it hard for the Cardinal to recruit as they are limited in recruiting smart kids only but Shaw has still done a very good job in receiving some solid players. The Cardinal were able to lure in the 7th recruiting class in the Pac-12 with five 4-star recruits committed, 2 of them being the top QBs in the nation as both the 3rd and 10th ranked pro-style QBs are on board for Shaw.
Over/Under 8 Wins st's Latest Performance :
The Stanford Cardinal were able to go 9-5 last season with an appearance in the Pac-12 championship and they showed how good they really were as they won games against Norte Dame and Washington. The Cardinal will be as strong as ever on the offensive side of the ball as they return a ton of talent but they will have question marks on the defense more specifically on the line which has prompted oddsmakers to set the over/under at 8 wins.
The Pac-12 has never been a cakewalk for any team and we see a prime example of that this year as the Stanford Cardinal will have a tough conference slate of games. The Cardinal will open the season at home but it won’t be an easy matchup as they will welcome in a tough San Diego State program who mimicks Stanford’s style of play. The non-conference slate will be capped with a road matchup with Norte Dame which will also be a tough outing for David Shaw and company. Stanford will get an early test in conference play as they will host USC in week 2 which is a rematch of the Pac-12 title game from a year ago. The Cardinal will also have a tough road schedule in confernece play as they will be forced to travel to Oregon, Washington, and UCLA which could determine the fate of the season. Stanford will get an easier load at home as they will see Utah, Washington State, and Oregon State which should contribute to the win total for David Shaw. Stanford has their hands tied this season but they are well coached and have some solid talent on their team which should have them in contention for the Pac-12 championship once again.
Stanford Cardinal's Latest Performance :
Entering the 2017 season there were questions about who will start for Stanford at the QB position as Keller Chryst and K.J. Costello both had potential to play and after Chryst had a rocky start to the season Costello took the job and ran with it. Costello wasn’t a guy who lit up the stat sheet as he only threw for 1573 yards but he was very efficient with the ball as he threw for 14 TDs compared to 4 interceptions. There will be no battle this season though as Chryst elected to transfer to Tennessee and Costello should be even better with another year of starting experience under his belt. The bread and butter for the Stanford offense has been their run game and luckily for Shaw, he returns both his starter and his service backups at the RB position. Bryce Love will return to the backfield after weighing an early departure to the NFL and the Heisman trophy runner-up will be looking to match his 2017 season where he rushed for 2118 yards and 19 TDs. The pass catchers should be the best unit for the Cardinal as they return their top 3 guys from 2017 which should give Costello a ton of support. JJ Arcega-Whiteside was one of the most underrated WRs in the Pac-12 last season as the 6’3 senior was able to compile a team-high 781 yards and 9 TDs and given the consistency at the QB position he has potential to crack the 1000-yard mark. The Stanford Cardinal defense has always been one of the best in the Pac-12 but they will need to answer questions this season especially on the defensive line after the departure of most their production from 2017. Junior Jovan Swann is the lone guy returning to the Cardinal defensive line that has experience as the Indiana native was able to compile 2.5 TFL from a reserve role last season. The back part of the defense should be strong especially at the linebacker position as they return redshirt senior Bobby Okereke who is coming off a really good season where he compiled 88 tackles and 8.5 TFL. Stanford lost DBs Justin Reid and Quenton Meeks to the NFL but they will return safety Frank Buncom who was 2nd best on the team with 3 interceptions during his junior campaign. Stanford should also receive the production out of DB Alijiah Holder who has missed over 12 games in the last 2 seasons combined.
Player To Watch
Cameron Scarlett, RB, Sr.
Bryce Love isn’t going to be bumped out of the starting running back role anytime soon but if something bad was to happen the Cardinal would be well off as they return Cameron Scarlett for another season. Scarlett was very solid in a backup role last season as he rushed for 389 yards and 8 TDs but his production was felt more so in the return game as the senior RB compiled over 1000 kick return yards. Scarlett won’t see more carries this season given the weapons that Stanford returns but Love has been injury prone the last few seasons which will have the Oregon native ready to fill in if need be.
How Over/Under 8 Wins st & Stanford Cardinal Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 8 Wins -110
Under 8 Wins -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
8/31- San Diego State- W
9/8- USC- W
9/15- UC Davis- W
9/22- @ Oregon- L
9/29- @ Norte Dame- L
10/6- Utah- W
10/18- @ Arizona State- W
10/27- Washington State- W
11/3- @ Washington- L
11/10- Oregon State- W
11/17- @ Cal- W
11/24- @ UCLA- W
Overall Record: 9-3
Against The Spread Selection: Over 8 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
Stanford doesn’t necessarily strike anyone as a national championship contender but the Cardinal have done a good job of being one of the best teams in college football as they have appeared in 5 Pac-12 championship games in the David Shaw era. The Cardinal have continually reloaded their team as both sides of the ball have been strong over the last few years which has me believing that the defense will be okay even after losing a ton of talent from 2017. Another reason I am high up on this program is the fact that they return a guy who rushed for over 2,000 yards last season and was fingertips away from coming away with a Heisman trophy award. Stanford has a tough schedule especially on the road but David Shaw likes to put his guys through war to have them ready for whoever they see in the conference championship or in their bowl game. I am riding Stanford over the 8 win total as they have one of their best offenses since the Andrew Luck era.