As often as we can continue to reiterate the fact that Power Ratings lose value as the College football season progresses and the market gradually tightens, last week showed that combining Adam’s numbers with market analysis can still produce some positive results. It was a welcomed 2-1 week, bringing our season long record to 13-18, and continuing our upward climb towards the black, after a brutal start to the season.
Yes, it’s this time of the year in which situational spots outweigh Power Ratings overlay, but we can’t underestimate the indicators within the market place that essentially contain within them a situationally based response. The biggest challenge in waiting for a reaction in the marketplace, however, is getting the best of the number, which certainly isn’t easy to do when the professional syndicates of the world rarely miss these numerical opportunities.
At the very least, these plays can help you narrow down your card for a handicap of you own, or even serve as part of a consensus, among other freely available information, in pinpointing betting value.
As part of this article’s freely available information, there is certainly some value in going back through the previous week’s plays and learning what constitutes a correct play and how value can be derived from misleading scores relative to what actually took place on the field.
The first play, and only loss of last week, came with Coastal Carolina, who was showing some line value according to Adam’s Power Ratings, but an analysis of the market could’ve given us some cause for concern. Being such a low-profile game, the near 70% consensus on Arkansas State could’ve been indication for where the professional opinion was; but I went with it, because of how little the line had moved in light of this consensus. This definitely turned out to be the wrong decision, as Arkansas State would go on to win in dominant fashion, 44-16, outgaining Coastal by 156 yards. Nothing misleading here, Coastal Carolina was the wrong side.
The second play of the week was with Washington State, who would eventually close as a 5.5-point favorite in response to some late Colorado support, but would go on to cover easily, 31-7. The lopsided final may have been misleading, with the Buffaloes losing two fumbles, but Washington State certainly still deserved the cover. Outgaining the Buffs by 180 yards, while moving the sticks 26 times to Colorado’s 12, and dominating time of possession (41:46 to 18:14), the Cougars came through in a big way and covered easily for our first W of the weekend.
Finally, it was Minnesota, who as I mentioned in last week’s article was probably one of the more difficult teams to bet of the week, as an eventual 10-point underdog, that provided us with our second cover of the weekend. The reverse line movement against a heavy Purdue consensus foreshadowed what was not only an easy cover, but an outright dominating, 41-10, win for the Gophers. Minnesota was the beneficiary of a lost fumble, but won: yards per pass play by 3 yards, yards per rush by 3.6, the first down battle by 8, and outgained Purdue 415-233. No doubt Minnesota was the right side here.
In moving on to week 12, we are now only a couple of good weeks away from completing this impossible turn-around and finishing this season with a positive record for our Power Ratings Plays of the Week. Hopefully, with Adam’s continual adjustments and with our lessons-learned in analyzing the market, we can keep the momentum positive.
Maryland vs. Ohio State
Off shore Consensus Open: Maryland 17.5 – 110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Maryland 14.5 – 105
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Maryland 12.5
With Maryland opening as a 17.5-point underdog and 73% of the action coming in the Buckeyes, the movement against this lopsided consensus is indicative of some serious professional involvement on the Terrapins.
With Adam’s Power Ratings having this game on the other end of 14, this movement is in line with our projection and while three points of line value once available is now gone, we still have some value remaining relative to 12.5.
Currently, the market shows a concoction of 14.5’s, 15’s, and even a few 15.5’s at the major recreational books, Bovada and MyBookie. The sharper off-shores are the one’s down to 14.5, and while once juiced to Maryland at this number, Pinnacle, Matchbook, and BetOnline are now reduced at 14.5. While the 15’s and 15.5’s are slightly better numbers than the sharper 14.5’s, I’m not sure I’d go out of the way to get these dead numbers over paying a reduced price at a worse number.
Either way, there is no reason to rush to that online sportsbook account just yet. Considering the 73% consensus, and how public of a team Ohio State is, we may see better numerical opportunities by Saturday.
Middle Tennessee @ Kentucky
Off shore Consensus Open: Middle Tennessee 13 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Middle Tennessee 16 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Middle Tennessee 8.5
As hard as it is to play against moves in the market, sometimes when Power Ratings assume enough line value, and the move is potentially explainable through public action, a team is still worth a look. That’s what I believe we have here with Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders are currently showing over a touchdown of overlay, and though the number has moved against Adam’s Power Rating, this is potentially in response to nearly 60% of the action coming in on Kentucky.
The Blue Raiders officially opened off-shore as a 13-point underdog, and though it would appear that the number move through a semi-key number, if you look at the sharper shops, the line history tells a slightly different story. At Pinnacle, for instance, Middle Tennessee State opened as a 14-point underdog, and at one point, was actually was bet down to a heavily juiced 14 -114 against consensus, a sign of a potential sharp interest in the Blue Raiders.
Since then, the market has moved to a consensus of 16, and has held steady here for much of the week. MTSU 16 -110 is the standard, while Pinnacle is the only major off-shore reduced to -106 on both sides.
In expectation of the late recreational opinion favoring Kentucky, it’s probably best waiting this one out and hoping for a 17 by kickoff, getting that pseudo-key number and significant line value.
Florida International @ Charlotte
Off shore Consensus Opener: FIU – 6.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: FIU – 6 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: FIU – 9
Similar to the Middle Tennessee game, a first glance would appear to show this number moving against our position, which has this spread on the other side of a primary key. However, looking closely at Pinnacle, the number moved towards our position since open, moving onto the secondary key of 6 from the 5.5 open. This isn’t necessarily a strong move considering the 83% consensus on Florida International, but with this game being as low-profile as it is, I highly doubt there is much recreational interest here.
Currently, the market is showing a blend of 5.5’s and 6’s, which presents the opportunity for some relative value to some of the sharper off-shores. With Pinnacle and Matchbook at 6, laying 5.5 might be worth considering and 5.5’s are out there to be found at several off-shores such as Bookmaker, The Greek, BetCris, and BetOnline.
If your situational handicap supports a play, and you can find a 5.5, it’s probably worth laying it sooner rather than later, as an 83% consensus suggests if this number is going anywhere, it is going up.