College Football Playoff Update
This weekend shapes up to be a big one in football, with the four NFL divisional playoff games and the College Football Championship Game taking place on Monday.
The college football game is an interesting one, as the Oregon Ducks are looking for their first-ever win against the Buckeyes, as Ohio State is 8-0 all-time against the Quack Attack. Both teams should be thankful that the playoff system went into effect this season, otherwise the probable title game would have featured Florida State and Alabama, the two teams who were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the AP poll before the first round of the playoffs. From that standpoint, the playoff system has to be considered a success, even though the need to expand to eight teams has reared its head, as there are many sets of power ratings, including the frequently quoted USA Today ratings of Jeff Sagarin that have TCU ranked as the No. 1 team in college football. Unfortunately, many coaches, including Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, have spoken out against expanding the field. If the Buckeyes had finished No. 5 in the poll behind TCU, I wonder if he would be making the same arguments.
NFL Divisional Playoffs
Moving over to the NFL, there aren’t any real long-term trends that have held any water over an extended period of time, as favorites are 57-55-4 dating all the way back to 1985. Home teams and overs have shown the slightest of profits, with home teams going 61-53-4 (53.5%) and overs going 60-54 (52.6%). Short-term trends have been a little bit different, as home teams are just 14-21-1 since the 2005 season and favorites are 15-20-1. Again, totals have shown the slightest of profits, going 19-17.
The betting has pretty much been split in each of this weekend’s four games. The two largest favorites, Denver and Seattle, have the highest betting percentages, although both are just under 60%. The Ravens and Packers each have 54% of the wagers as of Friday afternoon and that can obviously change over the next 24 hours when most of the betting public will begin to get their wagers in.
The totals have remained fairly consistent since they were opened, as many bettors are likely waiting to get the latest weather reports before placing a wager. While there is expected to be cooler weather at all four locations, even Seattle where they are calling for temperatures of 44 degrees, which is freezing by Northwest standards. Temperatures in New England and Green Bay will be in the upper teens or low 20s, while temperatures should reach 40 degrees on Sunday in Denver.
While there are no long-term league-wide trends there are a few team specific trends for those who are interested in such things, beginning with Carolina’s impressive 4-0 record this year and 11-2 mark over the past three seasons when revenging a loss versus an opponent.
The Patriots and Packers have both had plenty of success against teams with winning records this season, as New England was 7-2 ATS this season and the Packers were 5-1. Seattle was 5-3,Denver was 5-4, while both Baltimore and the Colts were .500. Dallas was 3-4 and the Panthers were 2-3.
FREE PLAYOFF PICK
1/10/2015 4:35 PM Reduced Football 111
Baltimore Ravens* +7 -110 vs New England Patriots
Author: Rob Holiday
My background is in business, consulting, finance and entrepreneurship