Correlation Between ATS Records Complete With NCAAF Picks

Kevin Stott

Friday, October 17, 2014 6:17 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 6:17 PM UTC

Every season there are a handful of high-ranked NCAA college football teams that fail to come through at the betting window as well as a number of lesser teams with poor records covering spreads. Let’s examine and find a play.

Good College Football Teams With Bad ATS Records
The same thing happens in college football every year right about this time as bettors notice that a few of the high-profile teams that the public likes to follow and holds in high regard—some even in this first-ever Bowl Championship Series race—just aren’t getting it done when you put your money down on them. Here are six pretty decent teams and programs who have only each won for their betting backers one time so far this season—almost all are coincidentally 1-5 ATS heading into Week 8—along with the point differential averages in relationship to their game spreads. It would be wise to remember how bad some of these are next time you’re putting a heavy chalk parlay together or planning to bet on one of them purely on name value and reputation.

Ranked #2 by Associated Press (AP) this week, Florida State (6-0 SU, 1-5 ATS, vs. #5 Notre Dame Saturday) has won its 6 games by an average of 18.3 points, but at the betting window the Seminoles have a -8.8 points per game average when compared to the spread (ATS) and they have only covered the point spread once (Wake Forest 43-3, -37½). A team that FSU could very well play in the first-ever national championship game in January—#5 Alabama (5-1 SU, 1-5 ATS, vs. #21 Texas A&M Saturday)—also has just one cover (Florida) in now mid-October and is -5.2 ppg ATS and the Crimson Tide are far from the team some were saying were one of the best ever. Backing the #21 Aggies and QB Kenny Hill in college football odds which have now risen to +14 (Thursday) seems fairly wise on Saturday in Tuscaloosa (CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT).

Oregon (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS, -6.7 ATS), ranked #7 this week, seems to have slipped this season and is no longer the Ducks team one could blindly make first half and full game bets on and then just watch them scoot up and down the field like a colorful video game. Perhaps Chip Kelly’s departure has had something to do with this new sobering reality up in Eugene. And although no longer ranked in the AP polls, UCLA (4-2 SU, 1-5 ATS, -4.0 ppg ATS, at California Saturday), Wisconsin (4-2 SU, 1-5 ATS, -7.4 ppg), and South Carolina (3-3 SU, 1-5 ATS, -9.2 ppg ATS) all three definitely fit into this category. Combined, FSU, Alabama, Oregon, UCLA, Wisconsin and South Carolina are 7-29 ATS (19.4% winners).


Bad College Football Teams With Good ATS Records
Probably the best team when comparing its actual talent in relationship to its ATS record at this point in time is Florida International (3-4 SU, 6-1 ATS, +12.4 ppg ATS, vs. Marshall Saturday), a team some aren’t familiar with but the Golden Panthers have only failed to cover one time (Louisville) this season and it’s almost Halloween. Massachusetts (1-6 SU, 5-2 ATS, +5.6 ppg ATS, vs. Eastern Michigan Saturday) has been outscored by 7.6 ppg but the underrated Minutemen have been profitable for their backers as have Memphis (3-3 SU, 4-1-1 ATS, +10.9 ppg ATS, ) and Western Michigan (3-3 SU, 5-1 ATS, +7.1 ppg ATS, at Bowling Green Saturday), whose only ATS loss so far was to Purdue in the season opener by a slim 1½ points (L 34-43,+7½).

Hawaii (2-4 SU, 4-2 ATS, +2.3 ppg ATS, at San Diego State Saturday), Florida Atlantic (2-4 SU, 4-2 ATS, -3.6 ppg ATS, vs. Western Kentucky Saturday) and South Florida (2-4 SU, 4-2 ATS, +5.6 ppg ATS, at Tulsa Saturday) all have identical SU and ATS records and fall into this funky pattern of losing twice as many games as they’ve won yet covering twice as many as they have lost. Much of this can simply be attributed to random luck but some of these teams will continue to win their backers money in the lowest-profile of games.

Most statistical anomalies get ground down in the end and finish closer to 50/50 but if you can find perceived quality teams that the public likes to back which aren’t covering the point spread and fade (bet against) them, and/or if you can find mediocre to poor teams which are covering the point spread and back them in the right spots you can end up profiting in the long run but you have to do your homework, have good timing and be willing to bet on teams with odd nicknames like the Minutemen and the Warriors and the Owls. Hey, whatever works for your college football picks right? FIU, UMass, Memphis, Western Michigan, Hawaii, FAU and South Florida are a combined 32-11-1 ATS (74.4% winners).

College football picks: Texas A&M +14 over Alabama at 5Dimes

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