Inside the stats: Incredible NFL non-conference trend
Each week we take a look inside the numbers, from both a statistical and a pointspread aspect, on the college football and NFL cards. Here are this week’s findings…
As The Noose Tightens
November is, unquestionably, the best time of the season for sports fans. The NFL enters its second-half race. College Football concludes with teams scurrying for bowl bids while the NBA and College Basketball tip off new campaigns. It’s also a great time for handicappers as value aplenty abounds.
Our focus in the world of College Football begins to center around postseason bowl games during turkey month. In particular, we like to zero in on undefeated teams at this stage of the season. That’s because the deeper they get into the season, the more pressure there is on them to remain unbeaten. As a result, the noose certainly gets tighter and tighter each week, especially when these perfect teams take to the road.
This is confirmed by the fact that, since 1980, undefeated College Football teams playing on the regular season road from Game Ten on out are 99-34-1 SU and 57-67-2 ATS. Hence, these teams tend to suffer their first loss of the season nearly one-third of the time. A warning signal has been sounded for Alabama and Ohio State this week.
Pair them up against an under the radar opponent who won 8 or fewer games last season and watch them immediately play down to the level of the opposition as they dip to 6-21 ATS. Bring these same guys in off a win of 20 or more points and they have a difficult time getting their head through the door, going just 3-19 ATS.
Both the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes look to meet their financial maker this week.
Down The Stretch
Its stretch-run time in college football and with it a list of teams that have been either moneymakers or money breakers at this stage of the season.
From my powerful database, here is how various teams have fared of late from Game Ten out during the regular season heading in to this year. As usual, all results are ATS (Against The Spread) with a minimum five occurrences.
Best Dogs: Arizona 11-1, Boston College 7-1, Memphis 7-1, San Jose State 6-0, Virginia Tech 6-1 and West Virginia 9-1.
Worst Dogs: Air Force 0-8, Michigan 0-5-1, Middle Tennessee State 1-9, Oklahoma State 1-10-1 and Texas Tech 1-5.
Best Favorites: Arkansas 7-0, Arkansas State 5-0, Baylor 5-0, Kansas 6-1, Middle Tennessee State 9-1, Oregon State 5-1, Troy 7-0 and UCLA 5-1.
Worst Favorites: Arizona 1-11, Boise State 0-8, Florida State 1-6, Navy 0-5, Louisville 1-5, Oklahoma 1-5, UAB 1-5 and Utah 0-5.
Note: see our ‘Stat Of The Week’ below for the crème de la crème of this study.
Fading favorites who have lost the stats in each of their previous three games has proven to be a long-term winning investment.
These ‘leaking oil’ favorites now stand at 17-19 ATS overall this season, including 12-13 in CFB and 5-6 in the NFL.
According to our Midweek Alert football newsletter this week’s plays would be against Central Michigan, Colorado, Kent State and West Virginia on the college gridiron, along with Atlanta in the NFL.
As we alluded to here last week, our NFL Totals Tipsheet reports OVER players have been taking down the cash in non-conference games this season.
After yet another unassailable 4-0 performance last week, non-conference games (AFC vs. NFC) are now 35-11 OVER this season, including a bookie busting 11-0 the last three weeks.
This week’s potential non-conference OVERS look to be: Lions vs. Steelers, Ravens vs. Bears, Cardinals vs. Jaguars and Patriots vs. Panthers.
Stat Of The Week
The underdog in Arizona Wildcats football games is 22-2 ATS from Game Ten out during the regular season.