In Don Brown’s first season as head coach, the UMass Minutemen finished 1-11 with their only win coming over FCS Stony Brook. The current college football odds have their win total set at two victories.
Can they find a way to beat an FBS opponent in 2023?
College Football Odds – UMass Win Projections: O/U 2 Total Wins
Draft Kings Sportsbook doesn’t believe that Brown is going to turn things around for the Minutemen this season. With the over at -130 and the under at +105, they are seriously questioning whether or not they even get to two wins.
They have FCS Merrimack on the schedule and start the season with the Fighting Jerry Kills of New Mexico State in Week 0.
If this team is going to take a step forward, it will be on the basis of Brown’s defense. It’s been his calling card his entire career, including leading the Michigan Wolverines to the College Football Playoff in 2021.
Last season, Brown’s defense ranked ninth in passing yards allowed (175 per game) and 12th in third-down percentage (30.9%). Those numbers are going to help you immensely in taking a step forward.
However, the offense struggled mightily last season, ranking third-worst in total offense. They haven’t had the offensive firepower to make a difference. But that’s not to say this team can’t turn the corner.
There are two things working for UMass this season: They are returning four starters on the offensive line and quarterback Taisun Phommachanh is an upgrade at quarterback. A former four-star prospect that started at Clemson before transferring to Georgia Tech, Phommachanh has the skills necessary to run the offense of offensive coordinator Steve Casula.
Should You Bet on the Minutemen this Season?
I would take the over due to the odds being an even number and Brown having a second year with this defense. They should beat Merrimack and would only have to win one more game to push.
Three wins aren’t out of the question with New Mexico State, Miami (OH), Eastern Michigan, New Mexico, and Arkansas State on the schedule. Two games should be the benchmark for the Minutemen, meaning that an over bet will push if they land on that two-win mark.
Bet: Over (+105)