Hidden within the despair of enduring one of those runs that will forever remain ingrained in one’s gambling memory banks, lies that insurmountable joy that results when it all turns around. And turn around it finally did last week, with a 3-0 week; and though still much to be desired, a 5-13 record on the year with our Power Ratings Plays of the Week.
When you’ve done this long enough, you don’t doubt anymore that things will eventually turn around in the long run, but that doesn’t make it any easier watch game after game lose when the market has demonstrated value in your plays. But only choosing a few plays a week to write about subjects this article to the possibility of terrible runs, and even seasons; when if given the opportunity to extrapolate its success and failure over a much longer-term scale, would eventually even its record out to a lot closer to 50% and very likely above that.
So, before we try to ride this momentum into another positive week, lets recap last weeks action to see what we can learn and gauge our level of luck in cashing in on our plays.
The first play of last week’s slate was with Northwestern, who closed as a 10-point underdog, while Adam’s Power Ratings had them only a 7.5-point dog. The Wildcats would go on to win outright, 29-19, and it doesn’t get much sweeter than that with a double-digit underdog. Though the score may have been a bit misleading, with Michigan State actually outgaining Northwestern by 44 yards, and picking up 3 more first downs, with a -1 turnover disadvantage, the Wildcats plus the points were without question the right play in this one.
The second play was with Pitt, who took on some serious steam from professional bettors, closing as a 3-point underground from the 6-point open, and winning in overtime, 44-37, over Syracuse. The box score reveals that Pitt didn’t exactly luck into this win either, outgaining the Orange by 26 yards, staying even with Syracuse in first downs gained (19-18), all the while losing 2 fumbles to Cuse’s 1. This game could’ve really went either way, and losing two fumbles is actually a bit unlucky, so you can’t really argue the fact that Pitt was the right side here as an underdog.
The final win of the weekend was with Texas A&M, who played host to Kentucky as a 5.5-point favorite and won the game by 6 in the final minutes for a close call of a cover. What the box score reveals here, however, was a dominant performance by A&M: outgaining Kentucky by 222 yards, winning the first down battle, 21-8, and only allowing 2 3rd down conversions to their 7 acquired. The Aggies two turnovers hurt them here, and with one of those being a lost fumble, this would’ve been a bad beat if A&M wouldn’t have covered; but they did, and all was right with the gambling world – for this game at least.
As much as we’d like to go even deeper into these games and dwell on the feeling of having some things go our way for once lately, we have a whole new weekend of football ahead of us, and a whole new slate of games from which to derive the value that will hopefully keep this train rolling. So, without further ado, let’s see which games are showing value in the off-shore market for our week 7 Power Ratings Plays of the Week.
San Diego State vs. Air Force
Off shore Consensus Open: SDSU -9.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: SDSU -10.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: SDSU -15.5
Opening just under that third most significant of key numbers, San Diego State has taken on 59% of the spread bets, and as a result, this line has pushed through that 10 to its consensus of 10.5, offshore. Obviously getting the 9.5 would’ve been ideal here, but with our Power Ratings suggest a good 4 points of line value still available, with overlay through a semi-key number of 14.
Currently, at 10.5, some of the sharpest books, such as Pinnacle and Matchbook are juicing the Aztec side, which certainly does something to mitigate the hesitancy towards wanting to lay this number on the other side of a key. The move through 10 would also do the same, because we can be quite certain that some professional assistance helped drive the 9.5 up though 10. Therefore, everything in our number and the market suggests some value in the Aztecs, and if planning on partaking, I’m not sure I would wait around, with nearly 60% of the action on San Diego State so far.
Charlotte vs. Western Kentucky
Off shore Consensus Opener: Charlotte 9.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: Charlotte 7.5 -115
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: Charlotte 4.5
When Power Ratings suggest five points of value on the other side of a primary key, you love seeing the market move towards your number, and that’s exactly what’s happening here with Charlotte as a home underdog. And usually, with 64% of the action on a side, and you have a two-point move through a dead zone, you might be tempted to think this is some early recreational play driving the move, but with a game of this level of obscurity, I’d be more inclined to call this action sharp.
Now with the market settled at 7.5, we’re seeing extra juice almost across the off-shore board on the 49ers, suggesting some sure-fire value on that hook on 7. Only The Greek, at 7.5 -110, is offering standard juice on both sides, so if you have access to that, on any -110 for that matter, the market demonstrates some comparative value on that price.
Another thing that juiced 7.5’s across board suggests is that if this number is going anywhere, it is heading downward, and I’d be more surprised if hooks remained by kickoff, than if they didn’t. So, if you can’t get -110 now, take it for sure, but if you only can find 7.5’s with that extra 5% tax, then you may just have to pay that price to have a hook on a key number while the opportunity still presents itself.
North Texas vs. Southern Miss
Off shore Consensus Open: UNT -8.5 -110
Off-shore Consensus Line: UNT -9.5 -110
Bang the Book’s Power Rating line: UNT -14
Opening in that dead zone between 7 and 10, the Mean Green of North Texas have taken on about 62% of the action thus far, and we’ve seen a subsequent uptick in the market, with them now a consensus 9.5 favorite. The move isn’t overly significant, but once again we have an off-the-radar game, and in these cases there is a good chance any movement is in response to smart money. We also have five and a half points of overlay through 10; solid value on a single digit spread.
At 9.5, the market seems settled, with a few rogue 8.5’s, 9’s, and 9.5’s, here and there, but with these all nestled within the same dead zone, there isn’t really much difference in value between them. Seeing Matchbook charging -114 on -9, however, would tell me that -9 or better would be a good starting point to lay something -110 or reduced, while Pinnacle showing 9.5 -106, indicates they’re comfortable taking action on either side of that number; therefore, I think the aim here is try to snag any of those reduced numbers off-shore with 9 or better being the goal.
Either way, this number looks to be rather settled under 10, and I don’t think it’s a game where we need to be in a huge rush to the online account or betting window. Getting the absolute best number available isn’t super important here either, as long as we stay under 10, and don’t miss the boat if some higher limit steam pushes this up to 10 or higher.