Last Updated: 2017-12-29
For the final College Football Power Ratings article of the year, I’ll take a look at all of the games through New Year’s Day and with Power Ratings as my guide, pinpoint the games in which one team, from a Power Ratings perspective, may be undervalued and, in addition, is receiving less than 50% of the bets.
Here is the historical data regarding teams receiving less the 50% of the bets in bowls through 2016:
Less than 50% 53.4% ATS
Less than 40% 59.3% ATS
Less than 30% 65.3% ATS
I would also encourage you to look beyond the games that are included in this article, as this trend has proved quite applicable this year once again, and as of Dec 28th the record for teams receiving a minority of bets is as follows:
<50% 13-5 ATS
<40% 5-3 ATS
<30% 1-3 ATS
While the spreads on most of the biggest games are right in line with our Power Ratings, there are still some discrepancies among the remaining games, and those that are receiving a minority of bets are included in this article. It’s also important to consider that bowl games are receiving a vast majority of the action on the day before or the day of the game, and though looking ahead at bet splits gives you a fairly accurate prediction of what the eventual split will look like, it still can vary a bit, so you will want to keep an eye on the market as the game approaches. Another reason it pays to wait on placing bets on these bowl games, is if you are aiming towards taking teams receiving a minority of spread bets, then often you will get the best number on that team after the public gets fully involved and creates increased line value on the unpopular team. So, as we head down the final stretch of the college football betting season, keep these trends in mind, and for one last time this year, here are the Power Rating Plays of the Week.
Arizona State vs NC State
Off shore opener: ASU 6 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: ASU 7 -115
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: ASU 4
Consensus: 68% NC State
With NC State opening as 6-point chalk at Bookmaker, early action has been overwhelmingly in favor of the Wolfpack, and as a result, we’ve seen this line progressive creep up to what is now a consensus of soft 7 across the off-shore market. Of the books who have stayed south of 7 with extra juice on the 6.5 are Pinnacle and BetOnline, while The Greek is at 6.5 -110, a collection of “sharper” books and indicative of a professional lean towards the dog currently. I’d expect 7’s at a better price to become available eventually, so I’d keep an eye on the market and wait them out, while also preparing for the potential of a sharp move on the Sun Devils, that could drive this number back below 7 across the board.
Kentucky vs. Northwestern
Off shore opener: UK 7 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: UK 7.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: UK 1.5
Consensus: 70% Northwestern
Receiving only 30% of the bets thus far, Kentucky is on the verge of crossing into the 65% ATS threshold, when it comes to the aforementioned bowl season trend. Oddsmakers have responded to this early onslaught of Northwestern action by moving off of the key number of 7, creating more value on an underdog that our Power Ratings would have getting 1.5-points. At this point in time, most of the 7.5’s out there are at standard juice, with Bovada and BetOnline being the only two major books to have this juiced to the Northwestern side at 7.5. The Greek is the outlier in the market, remaining at 7 -105 on Kentucky, and with its reputation as a sharp book, this certainly supports our case. The 7.5 -105 at 5Dimes looks like the best price out there currently, and I couldn’t fault you for grabbing that reduced price now while you can, but again, exercising patience is advocated for the most part in taking bowl teams receiving a minority of bets.
Mississippi State vs. Louisville
Off shore opener: Miss St. 5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Miss St. 6.5 -105
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Miss St. 2
Consensus: 77% Louisville
Easily one of the most lopsided of all the bowl game consensuses, everybody is all over Louisville early and that action has driven this number up to 6.5 with extra juice from its open of 5 at Bookmaker. Our Power Ratings have this game under 3, and falling into the category of teams going 65% ATS historically, State certainly seems to make some sense here. 7 appears to be an inevitability throughout the market, as they have already begun to pop up at Bovada (Miss St. 7 -110) and the Greek (7 -115), and every 6.5 at the major off-shore books is juiced to the Louisville side. Once the public really gets ahold of this number it’s hard to know how high it will potentially go, but seeing where the market appears to be headed, anything south of 7 isn’t worth an investment.
Miami FL vs. Wisconsin
Off shore opener: MIA 7 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: MIA 4.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: MIA 4
Consensus: Wisconsin 55%
Though not as strong as a consensus to fade as the other games, we still have 55% of the action coming in on the Badgers (53.4% ATS), and a reverse line move toward our number against that consensus. Moving off of the key of 7 is quite the significant move, and though a lot of the line value that was once there is now gone, we still see about at a half-point of value with the hook on 4, and there is no guarantee that this number doesn’t jump back up when the public gets involved fully. With 4.5 -110 the consensus almost completely across the off-shore market, action would appear to be quite balanced at this number and we may have to wait until very close to kick to see any movement, but it’s worth waiting out. Though the current consensus may be balanced at 4.5, that’s doesn’t mean that with this being the 8pm game on Saturday night, the public doesn’t eventually pounce on the Badgers and drive this number back up to at least a 6, where we’d love to have it in pocket.
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