College Football Betting: Teams with Easiest Game Schedules in 2015

Posted by Mila Anderson on Monday,July 6, 2015 12:14, EDT in

The inaugural college football playoff in 2014 was proof that scheduling matters greatly in determining success in the college football betting odds, qualification for the playoffs and bidding for major bowls. Fortunately or unfortunately, the following teams have the easiest CFB schedules in 2015, which may end up affecting their chances of a successful season, especially due to the complicated nature of the current NCAA’s strength of schedule system. That notwithstanding, here are the FBS teams with the softest schedules. Feel free to judge your way down the list.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

  • September 7th – at Virginia Tech
  • September 12th – Hawaii
  • September 19th – Northern Illinois
  • September 26th – Western Michigan
  • October 3rd – at Indiana
  • October 10th – Maryland
  • October 17th – Penn State
  • October 24th – at Rutgers
  • November 7th – Minnesota
  • November 14th – at Illinois
  • November 21st – Michigan State
  • November 28th – at Michigan

For a team that won the national championship in 2014, going against opponents with a combined win-loss record of 86-69 (55.48 win percentage) is not that big of a deal. Furthermore, the Buckeyes won’t get to meet Wisconsin and Nebraska (two strong Big 10 title contenders) in the regular season, giving them a rather easy time. In fact outside the game against Virginia Tech, Ohio State’s non-conference schedule is really soft. Meanwhile, Michigan State and Michigan offer the toughest in-conference challenge, though with Michigan in rebuilding mode and the Spartans playing the Bucks in Ohio, there is a very good chance for coach Urban Meyer’s team to go undefeated in the regular season.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes

  • September 5 – Illinois State
  • September 12 – at Iowa State
  • September 19 – Pittsburgh
  • September 26 – North Texas
  • October 3 – at Wisconsin
  • October 10 – Illinois
  • October 17 – at Northwestern
  • October 31 – Maryland
  • November 7 – at Indiana
  • November 14 – Minnesota
  • November 21 – Purdue
  • November 28 – at Nebraska

In terms of toughest schedule in the nation based on win-loss percentage, the Hawkeyes are favorably ranked at No. 101 out of 129 teams, facing opponents with a combined record of 65-74, good for a 46.76 winning percentage. In addition, Iowa State dodges the bullet, as it doesn’t have Ohio State and the two Michigan teams in its schedule. Added to the fact that just four of Iowa’s 2015 opponents had winning records last year and only two of them were ranked at the end of the season, the Hawkeyes should be good for at least 9 wins this year (possibly with losses to Wisconsin and Nebraska).

3. North Carolina Tar Heels

  • September 3 – South Carolina (neutral site)
  • September 12 – North Carolina A&T
  • September 19 – Illinois
  • September 26 – Delaware
  • October 3 – at Georgia Tech
  • October 17 – Wake Forest
  • October 24 – Virginia
  • October 29 – at Pittsburgh
  • November 7 – Duke
  • November 14 – Miami
  • November 21 – at Virginia Tech
  • November 28 – at North Carolina State

North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels are still not yet at the level of competing for the national championship. Still, after going 6-7 last year with a tougher schedule, fighting for 9 or 10 wins in 2015 should be possible with this year’s soft schedule. With no Florida, State, no Clemson, and no Louisville to give them headaches, the only challenging games will probably come against Georgia Tech and Duke, with the Blue Devils game being a winnable one, as NC will be playing at home.

2. Wisconsin Badgers

  • September 5 – Alabama (neutral)
  • September 12 – Miami (OH)
  • September 19 – Troy
  • September 26 – Hawaii
  • October 3 – Iowa
  • October 10 – at Nebraska
  • October 17 – Purdue
  • October 24 – at Illinois
  • October 31 – Rutgers
  • November 7 – at Maryland
  • November 21 – Northwestern
  • November 28 – at Minnesota

Playing Alabama is certainly not a good way to start the season, but the rest of the games should be very manageable for the Badgers. Of course, Nebraska and Minnesota are not easy opponents, but the Badgers (even without the likes of Melvin Gordon) still have some talented pieces to be a formidably competitive force once again.

Duke Blue Devils

1. Duke Blue Devils

  • September 3 – at Tulane
  • September 12 – North Carolina Central
  • September 19 – Northwestern
  • September 26 – Georgia Tech
  • October 3 – Boston College
  • October 10 – at Army
  • October 24 – at Virginia Tech
  • October 31 – Miami
  • November 7 – North Carolina
  • November 14 – Pittsburgh
  • November 21 – at Virginia
  • November 28 – at Wake Forest

Going against opponents with a combined record of 70-81 (46.36%) is a massive favor for the Blue Devils, who were one of the best teams in the ACC last year, finishing on a 9-4 (5-3 ACC) mark. In 2015, the Blue Devils won’t be facing Florida State or Clemson (two of the biggest ACC title favorites) in the regular season, while the tests against Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and North Carolina are manageable. Getting a chance to play in the ACC title should thus be very possible for the heavily talented Blue Devils.

Sources:
Wikipedia.org (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_Meyer)
NFL.com (http://www.nfl.com/draft/2015/profiles/melvin-gordon?id=2552469)