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Easy money? Sports book says Gophers won't win more than 5 1/2 games

After going 8-4 in the regular season each of the past two years, the Gophers could have a difficult time maintaining that success this fall, at least according to Bovada.

The online sports book on Thursday set the over/under for Minnesota's regular season win total at 5.5.

Last year, Bovada set Minnesota's over/under at 6.5, but the Gophers won eight again, including upset victories at Michigan and at Nebraska. (They capped the season with another bowl loss, this time against Missouri.)

This year's Gophers schedule will be even more difficult, with games against TCU and Ohio State again, and a difficult Week 2 test at Colorado State. Oddshark currently lists the Gophers as 16-point underdogs, at home, for their Sept. 3 season opener against TCU.

Here's a look at Bovada's over/under for the rest of the Big Ten, with 2015 Gophers opponents in bold:

Illinois: 3.5

Indiana: 6

Iowa: 7.5

Maryland: 4.5

Michigan: 7.5

Michigan State: 9.5

Nebraska: 8

Northwestern: 6.5

Ohio State: 11

Penn State: 7.5

Purdue: 4

Rutgers: 5

Wisconsin: 10

And for the Gophers' four non-conference opponents:

TCU: 10

Colorado State: 7.5

Kent State: 4.5

Ohio: 5

Gophers add Fresno State to 2018, 2019 football schedule

The Gophers announced Monday that they will play a home-and-home series against Fresno State in 2018 and 2019. These will be the first meetings between the two schools, with the Sept. 8, 2018 game at TCF Bank Stadium and the Sept. 7, 2019 game at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, Calif.

The Big Ten will switch to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016. With that in mind, here's a look at the non-conference games Minnesota has slated for the next five seasons:

2015

TCU (Home), Colorado State (Away), Kent State (H), Ohio (H)

2016

Oregon State (H), Indiana State (H), Colorado State (H)

2017

Buffalo (H), Oregon State (A), Middle Tennessee State (H)

2018

New Mexico State (H), Fresno State (H), Miami (Ohio) (H)

2019

South Dakota State (H), Fresno State (A), TBA

Notes: The Gophers play a non-conference game against a Power Five conference opponent the next three years: TCU followed by a home-and-home with Oregon State. But the Gophers currently do not have a Power Five opponent slated for 2018 and 2019. ... Also of note, all three of the Gophers' non-conference games in 2016 and 2018 will be home games, as those are years the Gophers will play five Big Ten road games and four Big Ten home games. Major conference schools across the country have stressed the importance of having seven home games each season for budget purposes.

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