My methodology for handicapping college football is based on fundamental (as confirmed by statistical) handicapping, situational plays (the Handicapper’s Conundrum) and a dash of technical handicapping (such as home/road dichotomies and coaching personality profiles). Let's see what we've got in store for this weeks college football picks.
In the last month, I have penned individual articles covering 4 unique facets of statistical handicapping. These focused upon (1) 200 Club Members and Steamrollers, the powerful offensive football teams, (2) Defensive Powerhouses, the most statistically sound defensive units in the game; (3) Defensive Duds, those stop units who can’t be trusted to stop the wind; and (4) Offensive Oafs, the most impotent attack units in the game whose lack of efficiency makes them untrustworthy in any role. Last week, by using those statistical indicators, you could have gone a rock solid 32-17 ATS in their respective PLAY ON or PLAY AGAINST roles. That success, however, paled in comparison to my outstanding record of 11-1 ATS (92%) for my LTS clients for the Saturdayending November 1st. It was truly a great start to what is annually my best month of the season. Credit outstanding Game Selection Management to isolate those winners! By the way, Top Plays rated 4% of bankroll or higher, went 5-0 ATS, covering by 116 points.
As the calendar turns to November, situational handicapping is given a major boost with our weekly lists of (SS) Super Surgers vs. (TT) Towel Tossers. Remember that situational handicapping is the weekly Handicapper’s Conundrum in which he must decipher whether a team plays with positive momentum or letdown, or whether a team plays with negative momentum or bounce back. The concept I am about to present in this article, must be used in conjunction with those solutions to give the handicapper an accurate assessment of a team’s mental, emotional and psychological state as they enter this week’s contest. Allow me to share each of these concepts with you on an individual basis.
The success of a college football team is measured for many teams in the middle range of CFB proficiency by whether they reach a Bowl game or not. Playing in a Bowl game is important for 2 dominant reasons. First, it allots a team extra practice days in which it cannot only prepare for the Bowl game, but to make an assessment of the current state of the program and often times get a jump ahead to next season. The second, and more obvious reason, is the monetary gain associated with a Bowl appearance. In spite of the fact that CFB now has its own version of the Final Four, there will still be more than 30 Bowl games this season with over 60 teams participating. To qualify for a Bowl game, a team must have 6 victories against Division 1 foes. With a 12 game regular season schedule, that guarantees a .500 or better season, which is a measurement of success in and of itself. Using that line of thinking, it is a short leap to my isolation of the concepts of (SS) vs. (TT).
Towel Tossers (TT) are those teams who already have 7 or more losses. With no chance of being invited to the post-season party, these teams often begin to prepare for next season or experiment with new combinations of players on offense and defense. Often these teams have suffered attrition through injury or have a team chemistry that has never developed. There is little positive karma in the practices. It results in a team who can “toss the towel” on any given weekend. Usually the statistical profile of these teams does not lend itself to play ability. As a result, unless you can find great value with this team, such as in the role of a rivalry underdog, it is best to not include these teams on your ticket.
At the other end of the spectrum, are the CFB November Super Surgers (SS). These are teams who still have a reason to play. Clearly, there is motivation for many of these teams who are playing for a league title or for an improved Bowl bid. Much of the time, however, these teams are overpriced because of their positive momentum or obvious need. A better group of teams on whom you may isolate your handicapping skills would be teams with 4 or 5 victories in the month of November, who are still playing with “the carrot” of a Bowl bid being dangled in front of them. Finding teams such as this, who have positive statistical profiles, are playing with positive momentum, or who are likely to bounce off a loss, can provide many of the hidden gems that you can find on the CFB landscape in the month of November.
Always remember that fundamental, statistically based handicapping should be at the heart of your selection process. Solving the Handicapper’s Conundrum is an additional exercise which must be performed. Come November, however, the savvy handicapper will also look at his list of (TTs) and (SSs) to find outstanding wagering propositions for his college football picks on the current college football odds board for each week.