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2016 College Football: How many wins will Virginia pick up this year?

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Can Mendenhall maintain his trend of reaching a bowl game every year?

Virginia v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Will Virginia go to a bowl game in Bronco Mendenhall’s first season as head coach?

That’s a question on the minds of many Cavalier fans headed into the 2016 season. And if the latest sportsbook odds are any indicator, UVA should end up right on the bowl bubble. According to odds-maker Bovada (and please spare me your anti-Bovada vitriol), the over/under on Virginia’s 2016 win total has been set at 5 games.

Virginia’s over/under is the lowest in the ACC Coastal and the second-lowest in the ACC generally. Syracuse came in with an over/under of 4 wins for its first season under Dino Babers. Within the Coastal, UNC (9), Miami (8), and Pitt (8) led the way. Virginia Tech (6.5), Georgia Tech (6.5), and Duke (6), placed just higher than UVA. Among Virginia’s out of conference opponents, Oregon (8.5) has the highest over/under, followed by Central Michigan (8) and UConn (6.5).

While early season betting numbers should always be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism, these odds do lay out the tough road Mendenhall’s squad has ahead of it. Outside of home contests against Richmond and Central Michigan, it’s difficult to point to a game in which Virginia would be favored. That could obviously change, however, as the season progresses.

Later this month, we’ll take a look at Virginia’s easiest path to a bowl game. Bronco Mendenhall has gone bowling every year as a head coach. But UVA hasn’t been to a bowl since 2011. Only one of those statements will still be true at season’s end.