Big Ten topping totals, making believers out of over bettors

Oct 8, 2012 |
Ohio State and Nebraska looked like a Big 12 battle in Week 6.
Ohio State and Nebraska looked like a Big 12 battle in Week 6.
Stereotypes are a dangerous thing, especially in sports betting.

Thinking one thing - based on past seasons or early outcomes – when it’s clearly another is a quick way to drain your bankroll.

Sure, some stereotypes are spot on.

If you’re of the school of thought that the Big 12’s high-octane offenses lead to more overs, than you went a profitable 4-0 over/under on the conference in Week 6. And, if you believe the SEC – with its defensive stalwarts –should pay out in favor of the under, you padded your pockets with a perfect 0-6 over/under mark last Saturday.

However, if you assumed the Big Ten was all about low-scoring, grind-it-out games, then you may want to double check the conference’s recent over/under count. Big Ten battles went 5-0 over/under in Week 6 and have a combined 9-2 over/under mark the past two weeks.

“It kind of defies logic,” Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage, told Covers. “Once they’ve hooked up, the scoring has gone up. You’d figure all those non-conference games against MAC foes would produce some larger scores, but it really defies logic.”

The Big Ten’s 12 members combine to average 29.9 points per game while allowing just 21.8 points an outing, boasting an even 24-24-1 over/under record on the season. But, when matched up with fellow conference members, Big Ten games are posting 56.5 combined points – well above the average total of 50.9 points posted for the five contests in Week 6.

“Perhaps the only explanation was that against those non-conference opponents, the (Big Ten) teams didn’t really show too much of their (offensive) playbook,” says Stoneback. “And now that we’re in conference play, they’re opening it up.”

Saturday’s biggest Big Ten scoring explosion came in the final game of the day when Ohio State hung 63 points on Nebraska, taking a 63-38 win that eclipsed the 57.5-point total. The lowest total on Week 6’s Big Ten slate was the 44.5-point number for Illinois-Wisconsin, which finished 31-14 in favor of Wisconsin, just topping the total.

There are five games on the Big Ten calendar in Week 7 (Iowa-MSU, Northwestern-Minnesota, Wisconsin-Purdue, Illinois-Michigan, Ohio State-Indiana).

Most sportsbooks have yet to post their college football totals but The Sports Club - a Nevada-based odds service - has released suggested totals for those game, with the average number sitting at 52.4 points including a suggested 60-point total for Indiana at Ohio State.
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