9 Reasons to Bet Early College Underdogs

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9 Reasons to Bet Early College Underdogs

By Tony Salinas

You longtime readers know that I always encourage new bettors to focus on underdogs. Generally speaking, you’re going to be GETTING THE BEST OF IT by taking the points rather than laying them. And, that’s particularly true the later in the week you bet. If you’re the type to wait until game day to place your Las Vegas wagerers...most favorite value has already been bet out of the market. You have to take the worst of it with the number and hope you get lucky.

Making your living as a sports bettor isn’t about being lucky. It’s about finding edges and exploiting them. That’s true in the sportsbooks and on the poker felt. You’ll find a lot of professionals who spend time at both of those. True pro’s don’t make money at the standard casino table games because there isn’t an edge to be exploited. And, if you DO find an edge at blackjack, they’ll escort you out of the building!

Here are 10 reasons you should be focusing on college football underdogs in this first weekend of the new season. Some results are already in as you read this. Don’t let what happened Thursday Night influence your thinking one way or the other. That’s how gambler’s fallacies are born. Here’s why you generally get the best of it early with underdogs.


1. Oddsmakers pay too much attention to preseason media, and not enough to lessons from prior seasons.

I’ve documented this for years on these pages. The preseason annuals make a zillion mistakes about who the powers are going to be…and oddsmakers err right along with them. Do you think the guys behind the counter saw USC’s collapse coming last year? No! Almost every single one of them was telling the local press how great USC was going to be.

2. The public bets favorites, which moves the lines even higher.

After the oddsmakers overrate many teams because of press coverage, the public comes in and bets on the favorites anyway! This is why oddsmakers can afford to be wrong in Week One...squares are even more wrong! I can assure you right now there are games scheduled for Saturday where the line is going to look absolutely ridiculous in a month, and downright embarrassing in November. Happens every year.

3.Professional wagerers shade their action to underdogs. You should do what the pros do.

How often have you heard this, in any walk of life? Follow the lead of successful people. You don’t have to bet exclusively underdogs. I don’t do that. You should have more underdogs than favorites if you want the percentages to be in your favor.


4. Favorites usually have a target on their backs, underdogs rarely do.

5. Underdogs are often facing one of their toughest opponents of the year, and would love to make headlines with an upset.

I don’t want to suggest that favored teams aren’t excited about the season starting. EVERYBODY is excited about the season starting. But favorites don’t have much "extra" motivation to bring a peak result this week. It’s the underdogs who are positioned to make a statement by grabbing a big scalp. Sometimes that leads to upsets. Sometimes it leads to a close game when the Vegas line was in the 10-20 range. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the big ugly dog still trying hard and getting the money in garbage time. Let me say it this way: very few favorites have something to prove this weekend. A lot of underdogs do.


6. Losers from last year who changed coaches will improve much more quickly than market realizes.

There are a lot of new coaches in college football this year. The market tends to price teams based on how they ended last season. Oddsmakers really have no idea which coaches are going to lead to immediate improvement…and how many points that improvement will be worth. Well, the number in both cases is going to be a lot higher than ZERO! If the market makes zero adjustment from last season, then anticipating improvement will put you ahead of the game.

7. Underdog coaching staffs had all summer to gameplan for a game they’ll be taking more seriously.

College football favorites tend to focus on getting their own house in order for the opening week. They won’t gameplan with intensity until their biggest non-conference game or league play begins. Underdogs…knowing that they were going to be starting the season against a superior opponent, will have spent weeks looking for weaknesses in that game one opponent.

8. Underdogs are as healthy now as they’ll be all season.

It can be dicey taking underdogs later in the season when attrition starts to have a serious impact on their rosters. You don’t want to bet on a car just as it’s running out of gas, or after it already has. Everybody has a full tank this week.

9. Offenses of top teams are trending toward being more complex, which makes them mistake-prone.

This has become more important in recent seasons, as college football has evolved away from smash mouth football towards more complicated offensive attacks. Do you know how hard it is to get the timing down for college kids in limited Fall practice time? This leads to turnovers. And, it’s very hard for favorites to cover spreads when they make two or more turnovers in a game. They may win yardage big. They may look like the dominant team. A fumble here, and an interception there…and the game is closer than it was supposed to be.

You can purchase my top underdogs and favorites this weekend right here at the website with your credit card. I also have a great price for the full season of college and pro action. Start the new season on a winning note by GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!


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