Looking at betting trends in College Football
Sports bettors tend to have short memories, but some degree of loyalty, which in this case isn’t necessarily a good thing. Teams that cover for a bettor one week are often looked upon favorable in the upcoming week, while teams that the bettor recently lost with are scorned for the next week or two.
Bettors also notice which teams are covering the spread and which ones aren’t and are often too eager to jump on the bandwagon. As a result, teams that are on a nice point spread run will eventually become a bit over-valued, while teams that are in the midst of a point spread a point spread slump will become under-valued. The oddsmakers know that bettors love winners and despise losers, so they will make adjustments in the lines and if they don’t make a large enough adjustment, the betting public will take care of it for them.
Looking at Saturday’s college football games, there are 10 teams that are undefeated against the point spread and the public is betting them, which has caused some large line movements in certain games. The Kentucky Wildcats, who are 3-0 ATS, opened as 13.5-point favorites over Vanderbilt and money on Kentucky has pushed the line to 17.5. Likewise, California (3-0 ATS) opened -11 against Colorado and the line has climbed to 14.5, as roughly 72% of the bets are coming in on the Golden Bears.
Even a team like Texas-El Paso, which is 3-0 ATS, went from +30 to +28 in its game against Kansas State.
There is one game Saturday featuring a pair of undefeated teams against the spread, Memphis and Mississippi. Ole Miss opened -21 and the line has held steady all week, with the betting pretty equal on both teams.
Teams that aren’t covering the spread will see the opposite, such as the case with Connecticut (0-4 ATS) in its game against Temple. The Owls opened as 3-point favorites and the line has now climbed to 7, as more than 80% of the bets have come in on Temple. North Carolina (0-3 ATS) has moved from +12.5 to 15.5 in its game against Clemson, as the Tar Heels are attracting just 30% of the wagers.
In the world of sports betting, a winning team can be a loser, such as Florida State. The Seminoles are still undefeated and ranked No. 1 in college football, but to sports bettors FSU is 0-3 against the spread, making it little surprise that Florida State has moved from -23 to -18 in its game against North Carolina State today.
Occasionally you’ll see a game where both winning and losing factors come into play, such as the game between Virginia (4-0 ATS) and Kent State (0-3 ATS). Nearly 80% of the bets in the game are coming in on the Cavaliers and the line has moved all the way from Virginia -21.5 to Virginia -28.
This isn’t to say that you should automatically bet against teams that are undefeated against the spread or wager on teams that are looking for their first cover of the season, but having a good idea which direction the line is going to move is a valuable tool for a sports bettor. If you happen to like one of the undefeated ATS teams, it’s best to bet on them early in the week. Would you rather have Kentucky -13.5 or Kentucky -17.5 today?
By the same token if you plan to go against a team that has been struggling, you want to wager early in the week before the lines move. Those who have North Carolina State +23 probably feel a little bit better about their wagers than those who take NC State +18 today and also have the option of shooting for a five-point middle if they so desire.
In sports betting, it’s not only you against the sportsbook, it’s also you against the betting public, as they are capable of moving lines quite a few points. When the betting public gives you an advantage, you should definitely look to capitalize on it.
Start watching the lines early and you can earn some extra profits.
Author: Rob Holiday
My background is in business, consulting, finance and entrepreneurship