Oddsmakers Stunned by Texas

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


Vegas oddsmakers know that the general public often overreacts to things they see on TV. It looks like the men behind the numbers themselves fell into that same trap with the Texas Longhorns.

Back on Sunday, February 5th, Texas was visiting USC in  prime time TV game out here that would have been late night for those of you living on the East Coast or in the Central time zone. Remember, we're three hours earlier than the East out here. So, "Sunday Night" football starts at 5:20 in the afternoon out here, and ends by 8:30. Sportsbooks had the Baltimore Ravens/Pittsburgh Steelers game on the big screens. When that game ended, we switched over to Texas/USC, the only game of import being played at the time.


The Horns were 5-point favorites, but lost 73-56. That's a 22-point miss. And, given how everyone remembers how Texas fell apart last year after looking good for awhile, it was pretty much all oddsmakers needed to see to think the Horns were a pretender.

That impression colored how oddsmakers ranked Texas in their Power Ratings, and kept the number from reacting quickly when Texas put together an impressive string of results.

Here's what Texas has done in its board games since that loss to USC:

Texas (+3.5) beat North Carolina 78-76
Texas (+6.5) beat Michigan State 67-55
Texas (-10) beat Arkansas 79-46
Texas (-8) lost to Connecticut 82-81 in overtime

I'll stop there, because Connecticut was another TV loss. Texas had definitely impressed with road wins over North Carolina and Michigan State. But, Carolina is having another disappointing season, and Michigan State has fallen off the map lately. Arkansas is having a down year. Texas clearly got respect in the line with that 8-spot, then blew the game outright. Once again, Texas was back to being a pretender.

Texas (-7) beat Texas Tech 83-52
Texas (-19) beat Oklahoma 66-46
Texas (-7) beat Texas A&M 81-60
Texas (+7) beat Kansas 74-63

The win over Texas really got everyone's attention. Sure, beating Texas A&M was impressive. But, that's a rivalry game...and oddsmakers try not to react to the emotions of rivalry games. Ending the long Kansas home winning streak in such one-side fashion really impressed the other oddsmakers I talked to. In my personal rankings, I had to move Texas up near the top of the standings based on that result. They had just covered seven of eight games, while taking out a national championship contender at a site where road teams weren't supposed to win.

Texas (-4) beat Oklahoma State 61-46
Texas (-8) beat Missouri 71-58
Texas (-1) beat Texas A&M 69-49

That brings us up to this past Monday Night, where Texas travelled to College Station...took the court in front of thousands of Aggies screaming for revenge...and jumped to a 32-12 lead on the way to another blowout.

Even AFTER the big win at Kansas, which was an 18-point cover, Texas beat the spread by 11, 5, and 19 points. Frankly, the Horns are playing so well right now that the market can't price them correctly. It's not like a sportsbook would make Texas -10 at Kansas, or -18 at Texas A&M (which are numbers that would have been covered!)

I do think the line will catch up eventually. Oddsmakers now HAVE to stack the lines against Texas because they're winning TV games. And, it's hard to believe the Horns can keep playing at this high level. The two elements will meet in the middle, and betting value will be gone.

For now, congrats to those of you who have been riding this gravy train.

Just don't make the mistake of overreacting to what you see on TV now in the other direction! I've actually got my eye on at least three potential "breakout" teams who have been covering spreads away from the TV spotlight. The value exists with this group. I'll be attacking the Wednesday and Thursday schedules in a big way with these big money sides.

You can always purchase my BEST BETS here at the website with your credit card. Game day releases go up a few hours before the first tip off. The biggest value comes with discounted full season packages. If you have any questions, call my handicapping office at 1-877-822-2276.

Sometimes even oddsmakers get caught by surprise when things start to click for a basketball team. We're always ahead of the bettors though. We do for a living what they do for fun. That's why the best information comes to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!


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