How will teams react to being exposed in their season opener? The answer can make us some money.
•Ranked teams are 1-7 ATS after losing their season opener the past two seasons. Clearly, it’s harder for teams with big expectations to get over a loss than teams that are just hoping for a winning record.
•Since 2004, first-year coaches who lose their season opener are 24-18 ATS in their next lined game.
It is certainly not an overwhelming trend. But it does suggest that new coaches amp things up when trying to show their bosses early results.
Eleven first-year coaches lost their openers last week: Oregon’s Chip Kelly, Washington’s Steve Sarkisian, Syracuse’s Doug Marrone, San Diego State’s Brady Hoke, New Mexico’s Mike Locksley, Utah State’s Gary Andersen, New Mexico State’s Dewayne Walker, Toledo’s Tim Beckman, Ball State’s Stan Parrish, Eastern Michigan’s Ron English and Miami of Ohio’s Mike Haywood.
•We all hate the abundance of early cupcake games. But we can learn from them.
Virginia, Duke and Temple lost their season openers to FCS (I-AA) teams. Don’t look for the Cavs, Devils and Owls to come out with something to prove. In the last five seasons, eight Division I (FBS) teams have lost their season openers against an FCS school. Those teams went 2-6 ATS in their next game. Iowa, Hawaii, Central Florida, SMU, Marshall and Kansas State struggled to knock off FCS teams.
How the early money is doing
We’ll be tracking early line moves this season to pinpoint how the sharp money is doing.
Last week: Sharps 0, Books 3.
-Purdue dropped from a 14- to a 10.5-point favorite over Toledo. The Boilermakers covered, 52-31.
-LSU moved from 14- to a 17.5-point favorite at Washington. The Huskies covered, losing 31-23.
-Boise State opened as 6.5-point favorite over Oregon, but ended up giving up only three before Thursday night’s kick off. The Broncos covered, 19-8.
This week (as of noon EST, Wednesday)
--Missouri opened as 16.5-point favorite over Bowling Green. It was up to 19.
--Kansas opened somewhere around a 10-point road favorite against UTEP. It moved to 13.
--LSU continues to be a popular bet. The Tigers opened around a 12-point favorite over Vanderbilt. The number had grown to 14.5 at some books.
Learning from a loss
Since I’ve had so many opportunities to do so, I’ve come up with three questions I ask myself when reviewing a loss.
This week, I’m going to focus on the South Carolina-North Carolina State game. I was all over the Wolf Pack.
Q: Did I miss something that turned out to be a factor in the game?
A: No, not really. Some might point to Steve Spurrier’s 18-1 record in season openers, but a lot of those wins came against marginal competition at Florida. I felt comfortable with my overall knowledge of this game.
Q: What was the difference in the game?
A: The Gamecocks’ ability to put constant pressure on NC State quarterback Russell Wilson was the difference.
Q: Did I over/under value something?
A: Yes. I looked solely at the number of returning starters (3) and senior starters (4) on the North Carolina State offensive line. After I placed the wager, a redshirt freshman moved into the starting lineup on the O-line. Plus, most position rankings did not think highly of the Wolf Pack’s line to begin with. Now, I see why.
Covers Community Q&A with DoubleUp4Life, who went 15-8 (+23.275 units) in posted plays opening week.
Q: You had such a great opening week. So, of course, I want to talk about one of your losses – Troy. Looking back on it, do you feel you missed something or under/overvalued something?
A: I would make the same bet on Troy again. Even though the Trojans burned me. I still feel they are the much better team and did lead 14-0 at one point. Maybe the look-ahead factor (at Florida this week) set in.
Q: The amount of units you bet fluctuates heavily. Is the amount of your wager strictly based on your power rankings or are there other determining factors?
A: Matchups are No. 1 in my book. I totally believe the game of football is won and lost on the O and D Lines. I have no trouble fading or staying away from my chart's plays, but, in order for a bet to be a large wager, I need to see several BIG advantages going in one team’s favor.
Q: Give us three games that immediately caught your eye when the lines came out this week.
A: UNC -4 or less: The Huskies are not as good as last year, and the Heels should be in the Top 15 this season.
Washington State plus anything: The Cougars should be starving for a W and Hawaii barely beat a poor Central Arkansas team last week, giving up four sacks and coughing up the ball four times.
USC -5: Just too good for Ohio State. The Buckeyes will fall behind and Pryor's passing will be shaky at best
Q: Credibility check: What kind of car do you drive?
A: Honda's ... My wife and I share a Civic and CRV.
Payneful Picks from a guy who drives a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero
Last week: 0-2
Kent State at Boston College (-21)
Pick: Kent State
Tulsa (-17.5) at New Mexico
Central Florida at Southern Miss (-14.5)
Pick: Southern Miss
Kansas State (-7) at Louisiana-Lafayette
Memphis at Middle Tennessee (PK)
Best of luck everyone. And, as always, feel free to Cram Session suggestions to email@example.com or message me on Twitter @Payne_Covers.