Best College ATS Team a Mystery

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


If you've been following college football VERY closely this year, you probably know who the best team ATS (against the spread has been). But, even that's not a sure thing. Most casual fans have no idea.

There's a college team that's:

  • Ranked in the major polls right now.
  • A stellar 7-1 against the spread this season, and it would be 8-1 if you count the outlaw line in their season opener.
  • Undefeated in conference play and the clear favorite to win their conference.
  • Basking in the glow of a big recent TV victory that sent a clear message to the nation, and the rest of their conference.

Casually reading that, you're probably thinking about one of the undefeated BCS powers. Teams like Oregon, Boise State, Auburn, and TCU are ranked, undefeated in league play, and basking in the glow of recent TV victories. It seems like they're covering a lot of spreads.  Hey...why not 7-1 ATS in board games too?

  • Oregon has two non-covers, vs. Arizona State and Washington a push against Washington. They've been money...but they're not posting the same percentage as the mystery team.
  • Boise State has two non-covers against Oregon State and Louisiana Tech. They've also been a big profit team this year, as the Broncos have to run up the score to get any respect. To this point though, they're not at the same ATS percentage as the mystery team.
  • Auburn has failed on the main board three times. You may have watched some of their fortunate straight up wins over Clemson and Kentucky. They also didn't cover their outlaw line against Chattanooga this past weekend. The Tigers are certainly a huge story in 2010. They're NOT the best cover team though.
  • TCU has three non-covers...the opener vs. Oregon State, the ugly weeknight win over SMU, and a 31-3 rout of BYU that didn't quite get to the number. If a team is a highly publicized power, the hurdles get tall pretty quick. It takes an unknown budding power to post something like a 7-1 record against Vegas expectations.

The top cover team so far isn't at the top of the polls...or the top of a major conference. They're at the top of Conference USA. It's the Central Florida Knights.

  • Central Florida is ranked, but down in the 20-25 range in polls rather than up at the top.
  • Central Florida is 7-2 straight up this year, 7-1 against the spread on the main board, with an additional outlaw line cover over South Dakota.
  • Central Florida is undefeated in conference play, and clearly the favorite to win Conference USA this season.
  • Central Florida beat Houston last Friday Night in a national TV game, winning outright as an underdog. That shows you the line still hadn't caught up to how well this team has been playing.

And, if YOU weren't aware of all that, then YOU need to be paying closer attention to college football!

It doesn't happen this way every year. But, it's fairly common for the biggest success and failure stories in college football pointspread performance to come outside the main six BCS conferences. Oddsmakers see a lot of the Big Ten, the SEC, and the Pac 10 on TV. Conference USA? Not so much. The Sun Belt? Hardly at all. Geography helps us with the Mountain West and WAC because UNLV and Nevada play in those leagues. But, betting interest isn't as high, so surprises can still sneak through.

Maybe the line is about to catch up. Central Florida is -10 this week against Southern Miss. They'll certainly be big road favorites at Tulane and Memphis to end the season. Time will tell if the market has caught up or not. For now, at the three-fourths mark of the season, the line clearly has done a poor job of reflecting Central Florida's team quality and consistency.

Handicappers should try to do whatever it takes to find stories like this in whatever sport they study. Do you know who the best cover teams are in the NFL right now? Embarrassingly few of you would pipe in with Detroit (7-1) and St. Louis (6-2).  Were you aware the San Francisco Giants had been red hot for months heading into the baseball postseason? The market doesn't have EVERYTHING covered. Find some openings and take advantage.

If you'd like some help doing that, you can sign up for my personal service online. My BEST BETS can be purchased on game days a few hours before kickoff or first tip. Great rates are available on seasonal packages. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-877-822-2276.

The best cover teams will be scattered all over the landscape trying to hide from you. The best INFORMATION about being a winning handicapper will always come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!



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