The Stanford Cardinal will look to improve upon a season that did not go their way. It's time to dig into our college football odds series and make a Stanford over-under win total prediction and pick for the 2023 season.
Stanford suffered through a horrible season. Now, they look to improve. The Cardinal went 3-9, including 1-8 in the Pac-12. Head coach David Shaw resigned an hour after the last game. Significantly, it was the end of a span of 12 years which he served as the coach.
Stanford started the season with a 41-10 win over Colgate. Then, they suffered a 41-28 loss to USC at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal suffered another 40-22 defeat at Washington State and then a 45-27 loss to Oregon in Eugene. Next, they fell 28-27 in a nail-biter to Oregon State at home. The Cardinal shocked the Fighting Irish when they defeated Notre Dame 16-14 on the road. Next, they edged out Arizona State 15-14.
But things took a downward spiral the following week when UCLA destroyed them 38-13. Then, Stanford lost 52-14 at home to Washington State. Stanford lost 42-7 to Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Next, they lost 27-20 at California. Stanford ended the year with a 35-26 home loss to BYU.
Stanford lost seven players. Significantly, Michael Wilson was one of their key players. But Wilson will now play for the Arizona Cardinals, who drafted him in the third round. Ultimately, Wilson finished with 26 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns through six games. They also lost Kyu Blu Kelly, who was one of their consistent players on defense. Additionally, quarterback Tanner McKee is gone. McKee had a 62 percent completion percentage with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Here are the College Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Over/Under Win Total Odds
Over 3.5 wins: +138
Under 3.5 wins: -170
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Why Stanford Can Win 3.5 Games
Stanford has one major player they hope can overcome some obstacles. Likewise, Stanford hopes to see the potential. He is the son of legendary running back Emmitt Smith. Moreover, he showed in a small dosage that he can be just as good as his father. Smith took an 87-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the season. Ultimately, he finished with 11 rushes for 118 yards and two scores in that opener. Smith finished the season with 206 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, his season ended with an injury after the second game. Stanford hope to see him at full speed this year.
Stanford also has a left guard named Simione Pale, who is beefy and strong. Also, he will pave the lines for Smith to run through. Pale was part of a wing-7 offense in high school and will be part of the same offense this season. Also, Stanford will count on Trevor Mayberry, a center who can help an inexperienced offense. Right guard Levi Rogers will return.
Stanford will have a new defensive coordinator in Bobby April. Therefore, he will look to work with two potentially good pass rushers. David Bailey and Ernest Cooper can become a threat on the pass rush. Furthermore, Bailey had 2.5 sacks and 46 total tackles in 2022 while Cooper had 12 total tackles and a sack.
Stanford will win four games if the offense can come together. Then, they need to steal some games against some of their difficult opponents.
Why Stanford Can Not Win 3.5 Games
Stanford has new players at quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end. Also, their offensive line is in shambles. Right tackle Jack Leyrer struggled a lot and must improve. Tight end Benjamin Yurosek must fill big shoes. Also, John Humphreys will be one of the few receivers returning. But there are significant questions at quarterback. Can Ari Patu become that guy? He is a dual-threat weapon who sat behind McKee for a few years.
Stanford sits in a loaded conference. Unfortunately, they have to play USC, UCLA, Washington, and Oregon, all of which are contenders for the Pac-12 Conference title. The first test will come on September 9 at the Coliseum against USC. Also, they will host Oregon on September 30. There will be tougher matchups on October 21 against UCLA and October 28 against Washington.
Stanford will not win four games because they sit in a loaded conference. Additionally, they still have plenty of inexperience.
Final Stanford Over/Under Win Total Prediction & Pick
Smith is the only real weapon. Therefore, expect Smith to run for 100 yards per game and help the Cardinal score 25 points. But the defense will allow 35 points on most days. Unfortunately, the Cardinal will have to wait another year.
Final Stanford Over/Under Win Total Prediction & Pick: Over 3.5 wins: +138