College Mistakes from Vegas Oddsmakers
Wayne Root: College Mistakes from Vegas Oddsmakers
Today I begin a two-part series on mistakes I believe oddsmakers have been making in football this season. I'll cover the colleges in this report, then look at the NFL in an article that will go up at the website either late Saturday or early Sunday morning.
Here are the biggest mistakes that oddsmakers have been making this year in college football in my opinion:
OUT OF SYNCH WITH THE BCS
We've seen a pattern in recent years where many of the top contenders absolutely blows the doors off of opponents in the first several weeks of the season...but then play flat once the pressure is really on. Oddsmakers underpriced many of the powers for weeks...costing sportsbooks a fortune (temporarily anyway, because the public always loses back money that it wins!). Once the worm turned, sharp handicappers were able to step in with great underdog picks and big upset calls that won money for their clients.
OUT OF SYNCH WITH CERTAIN TEAMS
I can't say that there has been a large number of teams that oddsmakers have missed the boat on. But, there's about one team in each conference if you go through the numbers. I won this past Thursday Night against Virginia Tech, who was overpriced once again in a TV game against North Carolina. Tech is now just 3-8 against the spread this year...and they don't have the kind offense that can cover big numbers easily. It's been fairly easy money to bet against Virginia Tech this season.
Other extremes of note: Oklahoma State and Kansas State were both 8-2 ATS entering this weekend in the Big 12, while Texas A&M was 2-8 ATS. Penn State is 2-7-1 as they get ready for Ohio State on Saturday. The Nittany Lions are another team with a poor offense that struggles as favorites. Houston is 8-2 ATS, despite the fact that EVERYONE knows they love to run up the score. Central Michigan is 1-10 ATS, following a dismal trend they established early.
I won't list all the big mistakes. They're out there...and too few bettors have been taking advantage of them.
SLOW TO REACT TO COACHING CHANGES
Brady Hoke left San Diego State to lead Michigan. San Diego State enters the weekend 3-6 against the spread, while Michigan is a sparkling 7-2 ATS as they get ready for Nebraska on Saturday. Coaching changes often lead to immediate changes of fortune for college teams. Oddsmakers didn't react quickly enough in these two cases...and missed out on a few others too. That should be a hint for you to pay very close attention to coaching changes this offseason.
ACCOUNTING FOR INJURIES
I'm not going to be specific in this category because my GAME OF THE YEAR for 2011 college football that goes on Saturday is likely to be influenced by this particular category. I'll just say this. There are several cases this year where the line didn't properly respond to the loss of a quarterback or a star running back (particularly on teams who ask their quarterback to run the ball). Some defenses have also been hit hard by injuries, and the lines didn't respond for at least two weeks. Be sure you're paying attention to the injury wires. And, do your best to evaluate how each injury is truly going to impact the team involved. Teams with depth can handle injuries. Shorthanded teams can't.
ADJUSTING FOR WEATHER
This has been more noticeable on Over/Unders than team sides in terms of cold or windy weather. But, passing teams are greatly affected by high wind...and oddsmakers just weren't doing anything about that. Plus, they weren't thinking about what happens when a lesser team falls behind and has to play catch up in the wind. Run-based favorites are particularly strong in bad weather because it's so hard for passing underdogs to rally from behind. I love picking upsets...but I won't do that if conditions don't favor the dog in a game. Weather is only an equalizer when the favorite loves to throw the ball.
Those are five areas for you to consider as you handicap Saturday's college slate. Sunday I'll talk about the pro's. Before then, we'll hopefully have cashed my COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME OF THE YEAR! You can purchase this play from THE KING OF LAS VEGAS right here at the website with your credit card along with all of my other plays today. If you prefer to talk to a person rather than doing business online, you can call my handicapping office at 1-877-766-8946.
Oddsmakers obviously do a good enough job to keep their employers in business. The general public loses A LOT of money to sportsbooks because they bet with their hearts instead of their heads. Well, I'm the only handicapper with a star on the Vegas "Walk of Fame" because I bet with my head...my proven strategies...and my experience. I find oddsmaker mistakes and show my clients how to take advantage. You don't see any oddsmakers with a star on the "Walk of Fame!"
My GAME OF THE YEAR for 2011 college football will be starting shortly. That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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