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Fun with prop bets: five props we think you should take

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer
If Geno Smith can throw over 4,000 yards in his first year under Dana Holgorsen, why can't he in year two? (US Presswire)

Last week our own Jerry Hinnen went through some over/unders on team wins this college football season, and explained which bets he thought were the safest to make. On Monday Bovada also released their player props for the 2012 season, and there are a couple areas where there's money to be made as well.

So, since we like you so much, we thought we'd point you in the direction of some bets that just might be worth making.

Geno Smith Over 4,000 Passing Yards (-130)

This one seems pretty obvious to me. Last year, in his first season in Dana Holgorsen's offense, Geno Smith finished the season with 4,385 yards through the air. Now, if he could do that in his first season while learning an offense, what can he do after having an entire offseason to perfect it?

Also, let's not forget that Geno will be playing in the Big 12 now, a conference that had four quarterbacks eclipse 4,000 yards passing in 2011. West Virginia will be involved in a lot more 45-42 shootouts in the Big 12 than they ever were in the Big East. That's only going to pad his numbers.

Montee Ball Over 1,500 Rushing Yards (-110)

Last season was Montee Ball's first year as the unquestioned number one back at Wisconsin. He literally took the ball and ran with it, finishing the year with 1,923 yards on the ground, along with 33 touchdowns. Why on earth wouldn't he eclipse 1,500 yards again as long as he remains healthy?

Wisconsin is and always will be a run-first team under Bret Bielema, and this season the Badgers don't have Russell Wilson at quarterback. That's not a knock on transfer Danny O'Brien, but there's no question this is Ball's show, as the school has already kicked off a Heisman campaign.

Now, these props include conference championship and bowl games, so Ball may have 14 games to get there, which means he'd have to average just over 107 yards per game to get there.

The only time Ball finished to eclipse that mark last season when he played the entire game -- in other words, when Wisconsin wasn't blowing out a non-conference opponent -- was a loss against Ohio State .

Mike Glennon Will Have The Most Passing Yards In The ACC (+120)

We're not convinced this is going to happen, but this is a nice value bet. Glennon is one of three ACC quarterbacks you can place a bet on, along with Clemson's Tajh Boyd (-120) and North Carolina's Bryn Renner (+150). Boyd led the ACC in passing yards last season with 3,828, nearly 800 more yards than Glennon's 3,054.

That being said, if you bet on Boyd you're only getting back 83 cents for every dollar you risk. With Glennon, you'd be getting back $1.20 for every dollar you risked. Aside from the value, it's not as if you'd just be putting the money down and crossing your fingers.

Glennon had a very strong finish to his season, throwing for 823 yards and 11 touchdowns in N.C. State 's final three games. He's also received nothing but rave reviews from his coaches and NFL scouts who have seen him during the offseason.

While the Wolfpack may not be a favorite in the ACC, Mike Glennon could be poised to put up some big time numbers in 2012.

Tyler Wilson Will Have The Most Passing Yards In The SEC (-135)

This isn't a value pick. This is a guaranteed to get something in return pick.

Sure, you're only getting 74 cents for every dollar you risk, but who is going to finish with more passing yards in the SEC than Tyler Wilson?

No team passes more often than Arkansas in the SEC, and Wilson will only be challenged by Aaron Murray in this department in 2012. Yes, Murray is a worthy challenger, but he still finished 500 yards and 40 completions behind Wilson last season.

Georgia may have the better season, but Wilson will have the better numbers.

Oregon Will Score Over 43 1/2 Points Per Game (-115)

Oregon scored 46.1 points per game last season, and that was with LSU on the schedule. In that opening loss the Ducks scored only 27 points and never failed to score at least 34 points in a game from that point on.

This season the Ducks only face one defense that should pose a threat, USC. Still, the Ducks did put 35 points on the board against USC last season, so I don't see this as much of a problem.

What might be a problem is the absence of Darron Thomas and LaMichael James. However, it should be pointed out that Oregon scored 45 points in the one game Thomas missed last year, and averaged 43 points per game when James was absent.

With Bryan Bennett, Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Chip Kelly still hanging out in Eugene, this offense will be just fine.

 
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