Rutgers is certainly coming off a peculiar football season.
Three consecutive losses made for a 5-8 overall finish, 2-7 in the Big Ten Conference.
Rutgers lost three in a row to end the season, culminating in a 38-10 loss to No. 20 Wake Forest in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Dec. 31 in Jacksonville, Fla.
It was the school’s 11th bowl appearance and seventh under head coach Greg Schiano. Schiano, who is in his third season of his second term in Piscataway, is 5-2 in those bowl games.
The Scarlet Knights backdoored into the bowl game by having the best Academic Progress Rate (APR) among teams with five wins last season, after Texas A&M had to withdraw from the game due to COVID-19 issues.
The post-season bid meant extra time, extra practices and added experience to an already young football team under Schiano (76-81, .484), who is just two wins shy of tying Frank Burns (78) for most wins in school history. The added time should help as six of the team’s seven regular season losses last year were against teams that went to bowl games.
Schedule Affords Rutgers a Chance for Quick Start
You can’t wager on in-state schools in New Jersey sports betting, but Scarlet Knights fans know that getting to five victories last season was a huge step forward. After all, Rutgers had won just a total of 13 games over the past seven years since an 8-5 record in 2014.
Quarterback Noah Vedral returns to lead the offense, but he must prove himself each week as there is a young and athletic redshirt quarterback waiting in the wings in Gavin Wimsatt.
Key players among those returning for the Scarlet Knights will be defensive back Avery Young, who will spearhead the defense, and arguably the best punter in the nation, Adam Korsak.
Rutgers opens the season Sept. 3 at Boston College in a major test for both schools. The Scarlet Knights won’t have odds at New Jersey casinos or sportsbooks, but on FanDuel Sportsbook New York, they are a 7.5-point underdog and +240 on the moneyline, with BC a -290 moneyline favorite.
“Still in the midst of a major rebuild, there’s some young talent on the roster and positions that were fortified by the transfer portal, but the overwhelming belief remains that this team is still at least a year away from being a consistent winner,” said Patrick Lanni, who covers Rutgers football for NJ Advance Media (NJ.com).
“The schedule may be one of the toughest ever for Rutgers, which doesn't help, but the Scarlet Knights get the chance to make a statement win right out of the gate against Boston College. A win at Chestnut Hill, followed by what should be wins over Wagner (Sept. 10 at home) and at Temple (Sept. 17), would give Rutgers much-needed momentum going into the start of Big Ten play, where winnable games at home against Nebraska (Oct. 7) and Indiana (Oct. 22) need to go the right way to keep the Scarlet Knights trending in the right direction."
Future Odds, Chances to Crack Top 25 Rankings
Although bettors can’t wager on any in-state collegiate teams online or in New Jersey casinos, the rest of the country can bet on Rutgers.
And you can bet on out of state college football games in New Jersey.
Here is a look at updated future odds on Rutgers from FanDuel Sportsbook:
Over/Under season win total: 4 (-110 either way)
To win the Big 10 East Division: +25000
To win the Big 10 Championship: +50000
To win the National Championship: +100000.
You can bet on the national title at FanDuel Sportsbook New Jersey, which currently has Alabama (+180) as the favorite, followed by Ohio State (+300) of the Big Ten, Georgia (+360) and Clemson (+350).
The Scarlet Knights were nowhere in the vicinity of the preseason Top 25 in either the USA Sports AFCA Coaches or the Associated Press polls, but what are the chances as the season progresses that they get a sniff of some national recognition?
There is no reason in the world the Scarlet Knights can’t go 3-0 or 2-1 entering their Sept. 24 showdown at home against Iowa, which sits at No. 26, first team in Others Receiving Votes (ORV) in the preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Next up on Oct. 1 is a game at No. 2 Ohio State, so the first four games of the season will determine a lot for Rutgers.
ORV will have a better chance than the Top 25, but opportunities are there for Rutgers to surprise some people.
TopNJCasinos.com future odds to crack Top 25: +10000.