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Minnesota Golden Gophers 2015 NCAA Football Odds & Predictions

2015-2016 Football Previews (Big Ten)- Golden Gophers

I simply can’t say enough about the job Jerry Kill has done with this Minnesota team over the last few seasons.

NCAA Football Gambling Lines

Big 10 Lines

Big Ten 2015-2016 College Football Preview – Minnesota Golden Gophers
Head Coach: Jerry Kill
2014 Record: 8-5
Odds to win Big Ten (from BetOnline): +2,500
Season Win Total (from 5Dimes): 6

Every year, they appear to have among the worst talent in the Big Ten, and yet they continue to find ways to win games and get to a bowl game. Kill is one of the best in the country at maximizing the talent he has to work with.

Minnesota returns only five starters on offense and seven on defense. The losses on offense are severe with star running back David Cobb and star tight end Maxx Williams both leaving. It’s highly unlikely Minnesota will change their style of play, but they’ll have to find some new guys to fit into these roles well.

Can they do it?

Team Strengths:

Minnesota’s secondary was tremendous last year, and I expect more of the same from them this year. Antonio Johnson is a physical force at the free safety spot, and he sets the tone for this group. He was dinged up late last year, but he’s healthy now. Briean Boddy-Calhoun was a First Team All Big Ten cornerback last year. Eric Murray was a second teamer. Throwing the football on Minnesota will be tough this season.

Minnesota’s offensive line is a strength. The Golden Gophers seem to do a great job developing these guys. They averaged 4.3 yards per carry two years ago and 4.7 yards per carry last year, and a large part of that success was thanks to this offensive line. Six offensive linemen who started at some point last year are back. This unit will be good.

The Minnesota special teams are among the very best in the country. Most people overlook this, but you shouldn’t.

MyBookie

Jerry Kill’s teams always do a great job winning the field position battle, and that can be so crucial.

Team Weaknesses:

The quarterback spot is definitely a question mark. Mitch Leidner only completed 51.5 percent of his passes last year, and he threw only 11 touchdowns. Take away his top target (Williams) and I see Leidner struggling through 2015.

There’s no doubt that Minnesota lost a lot at the running back position. Cobb was a brilliant runner and Donnell Kirkwood was solid as well. The offensive line in front of this position is very good, but I worry about the Golden Gophers in the backfield. Can anyone step up and prove to be a game changer here?

Where are the playmakers on the outside? Three of the top four guys here are gone. Leidner isn’t known as an accurate quarterback, and I’m having a hard time figuring out how Minnesota will ever stretch the field this year. The good defenses will load up the box in a big way against this Golden Gophers offense.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 2015-2016 Prediction: 6-7

This team is a really difficult one to predict. On paper, they are one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. Jerry Kill has found a way to work his magic the last couple years, and it won’t shock me if he does it again.

Look to play unders throughout the year with this team as the defense improves and the offense struggles.

Minnesota 2015 Football Schedule

Regular Season
Date Time vs
9/3/15 9:00 PM ET TCU
9/12/15 3:30 PM ET @CSU
9/19/15 TBD KENT
9/26/15 TBD OHIO
10/3/15 TBD @NW
10/10/15 TBD @PUR
10/17/15 TBD NEB
10/31/15 8:00 PM ET MICH
11/7/15 TBD @OSU
11/14/15 8:00 PM ET @IOWA
11/21/15 TBD ILL
11/28/15 TBD WIS

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