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Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2013 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2013-14 NCAA Previews (AAC) – Scarlet Knights

Rutgers is another former Big East member that is just passing through the American Athletic Conference this season. Former coach Greg Schiano built Rutgers into a respectable program but they never quite made it to the top of the mountain to win anything significant – though it was a nice story.

This is their final chance to do so and though they are not bloated with talent there is enough for them to make a challenge.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Coach: Kyle Flood
2012 Record: 9-4
Odds of winning BCS Championship: +10000

Defense was the strength of last year’s team but this year they are probably going to need a more balanced approach with only a few starters returning on that side of the ball. The Scarlet Knights are never the most exciting team to watch but they can be effective as their recent records have demonstrated. They have traditionally been grinders in the past.

Junior QB Gary Nova has experience and this year he will need to use it. Last year he was a little too loose with the football throwing 16 interception in an offense that needs him to be more of a game manager than a gunslinger. 4 of his 5 offensive linemen return which means that the protection should be good. They just need to get their ground game going – they were 7th (out of 7) last year in the Big East rushing the football. That has to improve.

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RB Savon Huggins might have been the most heralded recruit in the history of Rutgers football when he was signed three years ago. He was supposed to break all of RB Ray Rice’s records but thus far he hasn’t even broken 600 yards rushing for a career now spanning two seasons.

If he can not triple last year’s total of 410 yards than this team is in big trouble. Receiver Brandon Coleman is a big play threat on the outside but it will be hard for him to break loose if the ground game isn’t working and keeping defenses honest.

Rutgers gave up just 14.2ppg last season, best in the Big East and good for 4th in the nation. With only 4 starters returning and a host of unfamiliar offenses entering the league it will be tough for them to maintain those kinds of number in 2013.

OLB Jamal Merrell is joined by his brother Jamil to form a nice combo on the edge but other than that there are not too many experienced players to turn to. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Not making matters any easier is that they are turning to first year defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, who is not expected to do that much different schematically.

The Scarlet Knights defense will be much younger this season and they may take a while to gel, especially with LB Khaseem Greene, the last player to win defensive player of the year in the Big East, not on the roster and being replaced by a freshman.

2013-14 Record Projection: 7-5

I am afraid that Rutgers is not going to leave the AAC with a championship and it will probably take awhile for them to acclimate to the Big Ten so this might be the best it gets in Piscataway for some time.

This is a bowl team, with a schedule set up qualify fairly easily but not much else. There is some talent but unless the defense can repeat last year’s performance and Savon Huggins becomes a Heisman threat there is not enough there to challenge the real conference heavyweights. I think this club will be lucky to finish in the top 4 in the league as it exits.

In terms of wagering, this club is a hard one to figure out at this point. With so many losses the defense could be disastrous while the offense has some untapped potential.

Taking some early overs might be a smart play as many will overweight the defense assuming it can reproduce the figures it put up last season.

A road test against Fresno State in the opener will give a nice indication of where this team really is at as the Bulldogs are expected to challenge in the Mountain West.

2013 Scarlet Knights Schedule

AUG 29 – @Fresno State
SEP 7 – Norfolk State
SEP 14 – Eastern Michigan
SEP 21 – Arkansas
OCT 5 – @SMU
OCT 10 – @Louisville
OCT 26 – Houston
NOV 2 – Temple
NOV 16 – Cincinnati
NOV 21 – @UCF
NOV 30 – @Connecticut
DEC 7 – South Florida

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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.