Iowa State’s Campbell Tops Big 12 Coaches in Cover Rate

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 12:52 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 4, 2018 12:52 PM UTC

Matt Campbell is transforming the Iowa State football program, and the betting market is slow to react. The second-year head coach owns the best cover rate of his peers in the Big 12, followed closely by the legendary Bill Snyder. 

Matt Campbell, Iowa State
  • ATS Record: 16-7-2 (69.6 percent)
  • ATS Margin: 7.0
  • Avg. Line: 4.5

Campbell earned 2017 Big 12 Coach of the Year after leading the Cyclones to 8-5 SU and 9-2-2 ATS records. This includes a record-high five conference wins for the school and a 21-20 Liberty Bowl win over Memphis on the Tigers’ home turf. Campbell is turning the program around on the backbone of a diverse spread offense that can effectively attack opponents through the air or on the ground. Iowa State averages 28.5 points per game behind the second-year coach. One has to go back to 2002 to find a Cyclones team that put up as many (28.9) in a single season.

Campbell emphasizes mistake-free football. Iowa State led the Big 12 in turnover margin at plus-11 in 2017, ranking ninth nationally. It was the only team in the country not to lose a fumble the entire regular season. Running back David Montgomery coughed one up on 3rd-and-goal at the Memphis 1-yard line with 4:06 remaining in the Liberty Bowl victory.

Behind Campbell, the Cyclones are 10-6 SU and 13-3 ATS when winning or coming up equal in the turnover war. Bettors are cashing in when they square off against opponents that force few takeaways. Iowa State is 7-1 ATS against foes generating 1.5 turnovers or fewer per game entering a matchup. It is covering a 6.3-point average line by a whopping 17.9 points per game. This includes last year’s shock 38-31 win at Oklahoma as 29-point underdogs.

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Thankful and grateful for all those who helped our football program enjoy a memorable 2017, especially our great senior class. The culture has changed, our foundation is set, and we look forward to our future. A #NewStandard has been set. #WinInTheDark

— Matt Campbell (@ISUMattCampbell) January 2, 2018
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Bill Snyder, Kansas State
  • ATS Record: 174-124-5 (58.4 percent)
  • ATS Margin: 3.5
  • Avg. Line: -6.0

Snyder is arguably the best, and easily the most respected, head coach in the nation. The 2015 College Football Hall of Fame inductee doesn’t own a national championship, but year after year gets the most out of inferior talent with a simple, consistent game plan etched in his “16 Goals for Success.”

Snyder’s success is reflected in his positive betting record. After two tenures and 26 years in Manhattan, the Wildcats are 174-124-5 ATS overall, topping a -6.0 average line by more than a field goal (3.5). This is quite remarkable considering percentages invariably retreat closer to 50 percent with more games under one’s belt. Snyder has sustained just five losing betting seasons during his reign: 1989, 2003, 2004, 2010 and 2015.

Snyder saves his best for conference opponents, going 124-82-5 (60.2 percent) ATS overall. Two angles where the Wildcats shine are either coming off a loss or when facing a division foe on a one-game winning streak. Snyder is a remarkable 70-26-2 ATS (72.9 percent) in these situations combined, covering a -1.8 average line by 6.9 points per game.

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
  • ATS Record: 88-69-8 (56.1 percent)
  • ATS Margin: 2.4
  • Avg. Line: -7.8

Gundy’s offense is beautifully simple, yet complex. It’s no-huddle, spread, vertical, run-pass option, and more, all rolled into one. Defenses can do little to prepare. Oklahoma State averages 37.8 points per game since Gundy took over in 2005, helping the coach to an 88-69-8 ATS (56.1 percent) record against the spread.

One situation the Cowboys shine in the betting market under Gundy is against out-of-conference opponents completely unfamiliar with the offensive blueprint. Oklahoma State is 35-19 ATS (64.8 percent) all-time, covering a -16.4 average line by 3.6 points per game. The team posts 41.8 points per contest. Gundy’s trouble spot is when the opposing offense can keep up. Defense plays second fiddle in Stillwater. The Cowboys are 6-4 SU and 4-6 ATS up against foes averaging more points then them for the year entering a matchup. They are 20-8 ATS (71.4 percent) when owning the more high-scoring squad.

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