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How To Bet On Stanford Cardinals – No Luck Means A Regression For The Cardinal

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/3/2012 4:51:49 PM

A team’s online betting odds will depend heavily on their quarterback, and Stanford had risen to the top of the Pac-12 on the arm of their brilliant pivot. But he is now gone, and it’s going to be an uphill climb for the Cardinal this season.

Head Coach: David Shaw (2nd year)
Offensive Coordinator: Pep Hamilton
Defensive Coordinator: Derek Mason
Stadium: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA
Capacity: 50,000
National Championships: 2

Offense

The Cardinal are heading into their first season in the post-Andrew Luck era after he left for the NFL, where he was the No.1 pick in the 2012 draft. Stanford also lost two of their top receivers and leading tight end, so it’s going to be an interesting year for the coaching staff. The quarterback battle between Brett Nottingham and Josh Nunes hasn’t been decided yet, and they also have to replace two starters up front, although the line could actually be one of the strengths of the team. Stanford also has a stud running back in Stepfan Taylor, who could be a college football betting darkhorse for the Heisman. He is going to get his touches as the quarterbacks find their way, so don’t sleep on Taylor, especially if the line plays as well as they’re expected to play. But after three years of Luck running the show, the offense could take a step back under center.

Grade: C+

Defense

Stanford’s defense was lit up a few times in 2011, and after coordinator Vic Fangio left with head coach Jim Harbaugh for the NFL, that should have been expected. The Cardinal also suffered a couple of injuries, particularly the knee injury to linebacker Shayne Skov, and they depended on their offense to carry them throughout most of the season. But this unit will have to do the same for the offense in 2012 and they could have one of the best front-seven units in the country, powered by the return of Skov, who played a little more than two games before sitting out. The front seven will have to be on point as the secondary will be without their starting safeties and in the pass-happy Pac-12, they could get targeted. There are a few freshmen that will be counted on to step up and fill the void left by Michael Thomas and Delano Howell, but they’re going to have to get it together quickly or else it could get ugly by the time USC visits Stanford Stadium.

Grade: C+

Special Teams

Receivers Ty Montgomery (kickoffs) and Drew Harrell (punts) helped the Cardinal rank well in those categories and they’ll have to continue that as Stanford needs to win the field-position battle in order to help out their offense until the quarterbacks are sorted out, all while playing a bigger role in the pass offense. The kickers are Jordan Williamson and Eric Whitaker, who both played in 2011 and have enough experience, while punter Daniel Zychlinsky is a senior and should help the Cardinal improve on a 67th-place ranking in net punting. This area is going to be huge for the Cardinal as they’re not going to roll over teams offensively anymore, and their defense is a question mark.

Grade: B

Prediction

Stanford is rated at +1000 to win the Pac-12 North, along with +2000 to take the conference, and +10000 to win the national title, which shouldn’t even be on the radar for them. Winning the Pac-12 is going to be tough enough especially now that USC is eligible for postseason play again, and the Cardinal have to face the Trojans in their third game of the season. The Cardinal have a lot of questions on both sides of the ball, but the loss of Luck is massive and there is going to be a lot of pressure on the quarterback, whoever it is, to try and avoid mistakes. That means a lot of work for Taylor, but is he ready to be a 30-carry player?

The Cardinal have been spoiled in recent years, but this season they may fall back to earth in a tougher conference than people expect. You may want to stay away from Stanford’s sports betting odds in 2012.

2012 Schedule

September 1st – vs. San Jose State (TBD)
September 8th – vs. Duke (TBD)
September 15th – vs. USC (TBD)
September 27th – at Washington (9:00 PM ET)
October 6th – vs. Arizona (TBD)
October 13th – at Notre Dame (TBD)
October 20th – at California (TBD)
October 27th – vs. Washington State (TBD)
November 3rd – at Colorado (TBD)
November 10th – vs. Oregon State (TBD)
November 17th – at Oregon
November 2th – at UCLA

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