By Zack Schlegel
It’s Friday night, the eve of another wild college football filled Saturday. You made it through another week at work and it’s time to kick your feet up, pour yourself a drink, and open up the sportsbook to check out the betting lines. Seems easy enough, right? Then the question arises, “How am I supposed to decide which games to bet on, when there’s over 60 to choose from?”
My friends, this is where we separate the Pros from the Joes.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a look at the board and deciding you’re just going to bet your favorite team every week, or ride your gut feeling through the season. Especially if your favorite team is Alabama or Clemson, I ain’t mad at you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to find an edge and take your handicapping game to the next level, thankfully there are advanced statistics that will help you do just that.
Oddsmakers and the betting market have already taken into account these advanced statistics when generating point spreads and totals. This is why Vegas is often eerily accurate with their numbers. While these advanced statistics are available to all who seek them, the way in which college football bettors interpret these numbers is what matter the most.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
YARDS PER PLAY, NOT YARDS PER GAME
RATES, NOT RAW NUMBERS
OPPORTUNITY RATE VS STUFF RATE
Now, let’s take a look at finding an edge when betting totals (over/under):
Finally, here is a breakdown of the five most important factors that directly affect the success of a college football team. These five factors come together to make the S&P+ ratings, which rates all FBS teams based on play-by-play performance rather than wins and losses.
EFFICIENCY (success rate)
Overall, there is a wealth of information available to those who are looking to gain an edge. What you choose to do with it and how you choose to interpret it, could be the difference between cashing tickets or losing your bankroll.
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