Inside the stats: Football's best/worst underdog bets

Nov 6, 2013 |
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:

Puttin’ on the stats

With Halloween now in the rear view mirror, it’s on to the best time of the NCAAF season – November.

That’s because the combination of stats and angles combine to bring us the best winning edges of the year. Our “Puttin’ on the Stats” theory is a dandy and best of all, it’s simple and it wins.

What we are looking to do from this point of the season is to play any team as a dog if they’ve won all – or all but one – of their games in total yards ITS (In The Stats).

Conversely, we will look to play against any favorite that has lost all – or all but one – of their games in total yards ITS.

As we head toward Thanksgiving, here’s this year’s list of ‘Play On’ (as dog) and ‘Play Against’ (as favorite) teams to fatten up on for the balance of the 2013 season:

Play on dogs: *Arizona State, *Baylor, *BYU, Cincinnati, East Carolina, *Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, *Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Oklahoma, *Oregon, Virginia Tech and *Western Kentucky.

Play against favorites: Central Michigan, Connecticut, Eastern Michigan, Florida International, Idaho, Kansas, *Miami Ohio, New Mexico State, Purdue, Southern Miss, Temple, UMass, USF, and UTEP.

An (*) asterisk indicates the team is either 100 percent or zero percent ITS this season. Once a dog loses the stats a second time, or a favorite wins the stats for the second time during the season, they immediately come off the list.

Show me the money

It’s all about the money when it comes to betting the games.

Heading into this week’s action, here is a list of the top moneymakers and money-breakers and their ATS records in college football (versus FBS foes) and the NFL this season:

College best dogs: South Alabama (4-0), Auburn (3-0), Houston (3-0), Georgia State (5-1), and Temple (5-1).

College worst dogs: UTEP (0-6), Eastern Michigan (1-7), Arkansas (1-5) and Southern Miss (1-5).

College best favorites: Wisconsin (5-0), Buffalo (4-0), Minnesota (3-0), Oregon (6-1), Baylor (5-1) and North Texas (5-1).

College worst favorites: Troy (0-4), Georgia (1-6-1), Fresno State (1-5-1) and Tulsa (1-5).

NFL best dogs: Dallas (4-0) and Indianapolis (3-0).

NFL worst dogs: Atlanta (0-4), Pittsburgh (0-3) and Jacksonville (1-7).

NFL best favorites: San Francisco (6-1).

NFL worst favorites: Houston (0-3).

Vinegar and oil

Our “leaking oil” theory (playing against favorites who have lost the stats in each of their previous three games) finds the following teams going out as creaky chalk this week:
College football: Boston College, Florida, Indiana, Iowa and New Mexico.  NFL: Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.

These plays now stand at 13-16 ATS overall this season, including 9-11 in CFB and 4-5 in the NFL.

Over powering

There have been 72 Overs, 58 Unders and two pushes in the NFL this season.

On the heels of another commanding 4-0 performance last week, non-conference games (AFC vs. NFC) have been solid gold. These games have gone 31-11 over/under.

This week’s potential non-conference Overs would be: Oakland at N.Y. Giants, St. Louis at Indianapolis, Houston at Arizona and Miami at Tampa Bay.

Stat of the Week

Alabama has outscored opponents, 151-0, in the first half of its last six games.

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