What Are Minnesota’s Big Ten Odds? Season Win Total Preview & Pick

The Minnesota Golden Gophers appear to be the media darlings coming out of the Big Ten West, and why not? (More on that below.) They have P.J. Fleck rowing the boat to 20 wins in their past two full seasons, with two of their four nine-plus win seasons in over 100 years! He’s been knocking on the door of a West Division title, and many believe this is the year they break through.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 2022 Big Ten Preview

2021 Record: 9-4 (6-3); Big Ten Finish: T-2nd in B1G West

AP Poll: NR (32) | Coaches Poll: NR (43) | PFF: No. 19 | SP+: No. 31

Head Coach: P.J. Fleck: 35-23 (21-22) | 6th Season | Overall: 65-45

Offensive Coordinator:  Kirk Ciarrocca (1st Season)

Defensive Coordinator: Joe Rossi (5th Season)

Futures Odds @ FanDuel

National Championship Odds: +25000

B1G Championship Odds: +3000

Win 10 Games: +650

Regular Season Wins: OVER 7.5 -130 | UNDER 7.5 +110

2022 Sneak Peak

Origin of Optimism: P.J. Fleck’s offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca (2013-19), is back.

Cause for Concern: The 197 combined starts by their five departed offensive linemen.

Breakout Player: NB Michael Dixon, Junior

It’s a disappointing 2022 if their record falls in line with their past four recruiting classes. 

It’s a successful 2022 if the Gophers win nine-plus games for the third time in four years.

X-Factor: Can four transfers (projected to start) make up for critical starters lost?

Schedule

It’s a typical cupcake out of conference slate for the Gophers (New Mexico State, Western Illinois, Colorado), so a 3-0 start is a lock. However, once B1G play starts other than Rutgers and Northwestern (both at home), there are no gimmees. They avoid OSU and Michigan but must travel to PSU and MSU, along with road games at Illinois, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. They get Iowa at home, but Fleck has never beaten the Hawkeyes in five tries.

Over/Under 7.5 Wins

The main narrative you’ll hear on the Gophers is the return of OC Kirk Ciarrocca and how he will have Tanner Morgan back to the quarterback he was in 2019 when he threw 30 touchdown passes and averaged 10.2 yards per pass. Over the past two seasons, the sixth-year passer has averaged 7.5 and 8.2 YPA. Ciarrocca is an upgrade, but I’d be less skeptical if he brought NFL wideouts Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman with him.

I’m more focused on the four starters lost along the offensive line, which has been the strength of this team for the past three seasons, including left tackle Daniel Faalele (fourth-round pick), which doesn’t even account for Ko Kieft, who was the best blocking tight end in CFB per PFF and was also drafted. That’s a lot to lose on the line of scrimmage and not have a drop-off in the run game and pass protection. Morgan excels when he’s in rhythm, which might not happen as often as in the past.

There’s similar attrition on the defensive line where the Gophers must replace six of eight players from last season’s two deep, including both d-ends who were drafted, with Boye Mafe going early in the second round. With all those losses in the trenches, how does Minnesota not take a step back from eight regular-season wins in 2021?

The Pick

UNDER 7.5 (+110)