We did this post last year, and it’s back again for 2023. Here are the current over/underbetting lines for each Mountain West team via the good people at Draft Kings. Take a look at each team’s over/under for wins, with some thoughts on each. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section.
The Case For: The Falcons are a well-oiled machine on both sides of the ball and have proven capable of reloading year after year. Troy Calhoun has quietly built a tremendous program, winning 10 or more games the past three full seasons. Even if the offense struggles to find its groove, the defense will be one of the best in the nation.
The Case Against: They lost their starting quarterback and fullback, the latter of which is the program’s all-time leading rusher. Not to mention one of their offensive linemen will need to be replaced as well. While the running back/fullbacks should be okay, there are a lot of question marks surrounding who will start at quarterback.
Prediction: Over. Calhoun and company have earned the benefit of the doubt and should get at least 9 wins.
The Case For: The Broncos return nearly every offensive player from last year’s 10-win team. Many of their best players are young and will only get better with another year. Coach Avalos has shown he can reload on defense and scheme to his personnel. They should be favored in every conference game this season.
The Case Against: The offense and new OC are still very unproven, while the defense loses a lot of players from last year’s stellar group. They have a rough out-of-conference schedule and have not done well outside the Mountain West in the Avalos era.
Prediction: Push. The over is in play here as well, but considering their recent OOC history and the possibility of a conference slip-up, nine wins sounds right.
The Case For: The Air Raid offense tends to take a step forward in Year 2, which is a point in the Ram’s favor. They have one of, if not the best, wide receivers in the conference. Coach Norvell signed a great recruiting class, and he plugged holes in the roster with transfers, especially along the offensive line. The defense was pretty good last year and figures to be again this year.
The Case Against: Colorado State’s offense was built to hit the ground running last season and never even scored twenty points in any game last year, mainly because the passing game left a lot to be desired. There were very few high-profile transfers, so they may have to rely on more true freshmen. They need more weapons to step up on offense and need to replace some key defensive players.
Prediction: Over. They should get to four wins pretty easily, so finding an extra win shouldn’t be too tall of a task for the Rams. As long as the offense isn’t subpar.
The Case For: Jeff Tedford and his staff excel at developing players. Fresno State has a lot of young talent thanks to the previous coaching staff and brought in quite a few transfers. Their schedule isn’t terrible. Plus, someone else in the conference needs to emerge and win some football games.
The Case Against: The Bulldog’s lost a lot of their firepower on offense, with their quarterback, running back, and top two wide receivers all gone. Also, they lost some key defensive players. Coach Tedford has struggled to recruit in the past and doesn’t do as well on the field once his recruits get on the field.
Prediction: Over. Fresno State has a pretty manageable schedule and the idea of DeBoer’s recruits with Tedford coaching them should give them a chance to compete with most teams. Plus, eight wins is pretty attainable.
The Case For: Switching back to the run-and-shoot is a great move for the Rainbow Warriors. That offense is good for an extra win or two. Transfers have come in and they have payers to fit a specific system. There are definitely winnable games on their schedule, even if the first month is pretty brutal. The team was much more competitive towards the end of last year and can carry that momentum with them into next year.
The Case Against: The offense may be better in 2023, but Hawaii’s defense was the biggest issue last year. They will likely get beaten badly in three of their first four games, and if it happens, it could destroy their morale.
Prediction: Over. They should get to four wins pretty easily and could even get more depending on how effectively they can execute the run-and-shoot. If nothing else, they should be fun to watch.
The Case For: The Wolf Pack has brought in numerous transfers this past off-season, plus some talent in the recruiting class. The coaching staff and players have had a year in the system and now know what it takes to compete at this level. Their running game should be strong.
The Case Against: Nevada lost many players to the transfer portal following the end of the season. They don’t appear to have a clear starter at quarterback and it’s hard to see the offense being much better. Plus, their schedule doesn’t appear to have many easy games on it.
Prediction: Over. They should be able to get three wins, as long as they can get one in conference play.
The Case For: The Lobos have shifted their philosophy and loaded up on transfers. They have a new OC and offensive scheme to pair with their above-average defense. The team should be motivated to prove the doubters wrong.
The Case Against: Once again, New Mexico has lost many of their best players to the transfer portal. Legendary coach Rock Long has moved on, which is a blow to the defense. The offense has gone to great lengths to find an answer at quarterback but no one has emerged so far. Once again, they will be an underdog in most of the games they play in next year.
Prediction: Under. The unproven talent and tough schedule appears to be too much to get to more than three wins.
San Diego State
The Case For: San Diego State has been one of the more consistently good teams in the conference in recent years and things should continue. They found an answer at quarterback, return a stable of running backs, and their defense is always strong. The Aztecs haven’t gone two consecutive seasons without winning ten or more games in nearly a decade, so history is on their side. Aside from two tough non-conference games, their schedule shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.
The Case Against: Despite having a strong starting QB, it didn’t transform their offense as they thought it would. Their defense was good but not dominate without a game-changing special teams unit. They have lost a number of their best players for one reason or another during the offseason.
Prediction: Push. Seven wins seems just about right with their schedule based off of how they played last year.
San Jose State
The Case For: Coach Brennan and his staff have proven over the past few years that they can develop players and avoid any major dropoffs year to year. They return one of the best quarterback/wide receiver combos in the conference and should have a number of offensive weapons to go along with a solid OL.
The Case Against: The defense is losing it’s top two pass-rushers, who were two of the best in the Mountain West last season. The offense will be good, but not great enough to carry the team. Their schedule isn’t going to do them any favors, with too many games that could go either way or end up losses.
Prediction: Under. It will likely be a rebound year for the Spartans and while they could make a bowl game next season, they probably will end up just short.
The Case For: A new coaching staff will give the program a much needed jolt of energy. The Rebel staff seems to be pushing all the right buttons so far this offseason. The team was very good last year when healthy. UNLV has the potential to have a dynamic offense that will be tough for the opposition to stop.
The Case Against: Like many teams, they suffered some significant losses in the transfer portal, including their top running back and wide receiver. The defense wasn’t great last year and likely will struggle in 2023. This will likely be a transition year for the program, despite all the good vibes going on currently.
Prediction: Under. Again, they probably fall just short of six wins, depending on how things turn out with their conference schedule. A bowl berth is definitely possible, but not probable at this point. At least, not until seeing what the team looks like on the field.
The Case For: The Aggies figured something out the second half of last year and became a tough team to play. They return their starting quarterback and hope to return to their dynamic offense with Coach Anderson calling the plays.
The Case Against: Teams have figured out Utah State and their luck ran out last season. The defense lost key players in the transfer portal and the offense will be lacking playmakers to make their offense dynamic.
Prediction: Push. There are quite a few winnable games on their schedule and the Aggies should win enough of them to reach a bowl once again.
The Case For: Wyoming was one of the youngest teams in the country last year and now has a year of experience to help them take a step forward. The defense will be as formidable as ever and the offense boasts a lot of experience. The schedule should allow them to win a number of games.
The Case Against: The Cowboy offense is what it is and the passing game is going to hold them back. Once again, they lost some of their best players to the transfer portal. Also, they will continue to be a young team.
Prediction: Over. With their talent and schedule, it would not at all be surprising to see Wyoming win seven or eight games in 2023.
Your turn: Are you taking the over or the under for each Mountain West team this season?