I would say it has been a crazy college football season but for the average bettor it has been the most formful season imaginable.
According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, had you just just bet the AP Top Ten teams you would be 38-14 on the season, 16-1 the last two weeks. How can it get any simpler than that? For a novice bettor it can’t.
Bookmakers have long been the steady hand, waiting for the trends to even out. It has served our business well. But things change. Real estate was the way to invest for the past eighty years. I would say that changed. Has the football landscape changed? The best answer I can give is, maybe.
There is a one thing we know has definitely changed. Of course, it’s the money. We know there is more of it, but where is it coming from? Primarily from TV. Donations are also a huge wellspring of revenue. Those two sources don’t exist in a vacuum. Excitement is at the root. And what bring more excitement than championship teams and blowouts.
The best kids get funneled into the best programs. That hasn’t changed. But what happens when they get there? In years past a team would have a few of its games on the tube, now virtually every major college game is on TV now. The Big 10 Network shows every game. Other conferences are lining up to follow. Notre Dame has had NBC televising their home games for years and I honestly can’t remember the last time an away game hasn’t been on. Texas has its own network. Highlights are shown on ESPN, all the networks and even Youtube.
I’m no sociologist, so I don’t know if TV reflects reality or perception becomes reality, or what. But I do know these administrators, coaches and players are all human. Well, I mean, besides Nick Saban. The coaches run their offense no matter what the score. Those offenses have become more efficient, too, often running the spread or the pistol. Coaches are looking to increase the number of snaps their offenses get. Backups come in and play hard. The cameras are rolling. Add this up and it results in the better teams getting better as the game goes on. We used to look for the backdoor cover out of the underdog. Now these high priced favorites keep extending.
The BCS pollsters tell us that scoring margin means very little, but no one believes it. That’s the key. If its true or not doesn’t matter. The teams vying for a BCS berth don’t believe it. Hence, they want to keep scoring. The alumni want them to, the administrators want them to and most of all the players want to keep scoring. It doesn’t matter if its late in the game, if a player is in there he wants to score. He wants his highlight moment. It’s our job as bettors and bookmakers to recognize it.
There is another element. Conference officials want the favorites to keep rolling. What did Nevada’s victory over Boise St. cost the WAC last season? Whatever the difference between what a BCS bowl and the Las Vegas Bowl pays, that’s how much. There were a lot of people who wanted to see the Broncos lose as they were exiting the conference for the Mountain West but a few pragmatic observers who wanted to see the conference pick up its share of that huge payday a certain BCS bowl would provide. The big conferences are guaranteed one berth, but two is another huge paycheck. Could that trickle down to the game officials? I don’t know. Not consciously. But the best teams always seem to get more calls. Does the promise of a huge payday influence them, too?
I’m looking at this week’s Saturday night schedule, and it’s scary. Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin and Stanford all play late. The wiseguys will probably make a case for the dogs and I hope they’re right. I don’t know the winners, but I know who I’ll be rooting for.
Look at Stanford for example. Going back to last year, so that’s a total of 19 games, Stanford has scored less than 31 points once. They have won by 20 or more 15 times. They have won by 30 or more 11 times. Wisconsin has scored less than 48 once this season, and that was a 35-0 win over Oregon State. The public keeps betting these teams and wiseguys keep betting against them.
I know we keep waiting for the sky to fall in on one of these teams but we aren’t going to get even in one game. In the stock market you can quickly get even if you are shorting an over priced stock once it drops. Just ask anyone who was net short in September 2008. Sports doesn’t work that way though. Good money management won’t have you pressing your bets when you’re losing.
In the investment world they identify situations as value traps where perceived worth is really nonexistent.
I believe what we have here are some value traps.
Chris Andrews - Nevada Bookmaker for 30 years!Writing Exclusively for Pregame.comFollow on Twitter: @AndrewsSports
Hey nice note. I get what you are saying. I see some people going against the big 6 and they get buried. If it aint broke, stay with what is working.
And don't forget that the coaches know the Alumni are betting, and they want to keep the Alumni happy by covering.
RJ Bell - Pregame.com Founder & CEO | Twitter: @RJinVegasThursday: CFB Season Odds Preview
dunno Chris. I have faded some on the top, regretfully so - but stayed away from most of the games all together. Last week I (wrongly) felt there was some value w/ the dogs in big matchups; as vegas "appeared" to over adjust the # to me. I got blown on those games big.
I've been betting football for over 20 years, and let's take "The" Ohio State University as an example; from LY to 1990. If you did not immediatley jump on the bucks within mere hours of the line, you lost value and, as most bettors wait till later to wager, usu. got burned within the rising number.
This year we have top 10 teams with numbers filled w/ helium and still covering the spread by double digits. They are "yeasty" and rise beyond belief. I've never seen such, maybe week 1 or 2, but never this late in the season.
Once again, I have a couple of "fade" plays this week going - as the # is too high. Boise St is overchalked at 31 and climbing - my local will probably deal 33 or more in that one (he is overadjusting on top of overadjusting); I have a lot of respect for air force and think they keep it on the ground, munch clock, boise gets theirs, and moore has clip board late 3rd. Boise by 25-27 I say - but dunno. Maybe BSU by 50 the way things are going.
My book is actually losing money taking bets this year. He has a 150 client roster and has been getting absolutely torched on top ten, also tied up teasers and pars. He cannot afford to deal at vegas prices anymore. Lucky for me, I like dogs and pick and choose. He only adjusts the xtra heavy favs - which will be once again Whiskey, Boise, Stanford, and possibly Okie State.
We shall see.
I think Boise will cover. They need to impress and the BCS standings is the elephant in the room with these games. It is becoming comical some of these scores. I like to stay with the favorites as it makes my betting dollar go further. I don't want to sweat the harder picks and watch the game and have it come down to the last play. So much more enjoyable seeing points being scored by your team than taking the other side....i guess you can hope for FG's in that case.
In addition...there is no offense on the other side of these big guys. So whatever points the top teams score..they are set in stone and don't have to worry about the score being compromised with the side scoring, even a FG. So you get hit both both sides, potent offense and a strong defense equals easy cover.
Who is Chris Andrews? Worked at the Stardust and Barbary Coast sportsbooks and in 1981 went to manage Cal Neva (eventually becoming a partner at Cal Neva in 1991). Left Cal Neva in 2003 to go to Golden Nugget in Las Vegas after his cousin bought the property (otherwise he would have have never left Cal Neva). In 2005 after the sale of the Golden Nugget he went to work at Leroys. In 2008 Chris left Leroys and formed Sierra Nevada Wealth Management (Registered Investment Advisor) in 2008. He is now back at Cal Neva working directly with legendary bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich. Cal Neva has 35 locations throughout Nevada, including the Las Vegas strip, Henderson, Mesquite, Reno, Sparks, Carson City, South Lake Tahoe, Jackpot, and Gardnerville. You can catch Chris on ESPN945.com and follow him on twitter at @andrewssports.
I don't agree with this analysis, as a trader and wealth manager. Although he makes a point about how things have changed, isn't it a little premature to think that betting favorites will be cash cow all year because of 5-6 weeks? Real estate changed as an investment because of manipulation of interest rates and changes in the law, point being, it didn't change on its own as an investment. Now your saying because teams are on TV more, as they've been, for instance with the big ten network, for several years, we've had some major change in what betting trends will win. The big ten network is not new this year and even if more games are on TV you can still watch only a couple each day. Also, isn't it a little funny that even with sunday ticket and NFL games being televised on Thursday night nothing has changed there. I don't buy at all that the fact that more games are on TV and favorites have covered in large number for about a month thats we've had some huge transformation.
I remember as a trader when internet stocks were at 100x earnings and we were told that valuation of stocks would not be at 12-14x (As most stocks had been valued for over 7 decades) earnings anymore because the internet was going to allow for 50% a year growth. All those stocks crashed. I remember when 7 years ago people said real estate could appreciate at 8-10% a year rather than the historical 1-2%, and that was garbage. In 2007 chinese stocks traded at ridiculous valuations because we were told China wasn't like other countries and it wouldn't have recessions or grow at less than 12% a year - guess what - that was garbage too and those stocks crashed the worst when the economy fell apart in 2008. More recently, I remember when we were told that oil would be permanently in the 150-200 range since the supply-demand dynamic that had been in place for 50 years had changed with China and India growing at over 10% a year - it dropped to 30 a year later. I think the point, in my opinion, is that when people try to tell you that multi-decade trends have changed because of a small sample of data its usually exactly the time when those trends tend to correct to the mean - once people accept abnormal as being normal its often when they are unable to objectively look at the facts. I just thought I'd chime in as someone in the investment and trading field, no clue as to whether or not the reversion to the mean works here or not.
someone needs to tell Spurrier,lol
To me the key question is: Has something changed with the way Top CFB teams play games?
Greater inclination to run up score for style-points?
Pace of game and scoring results in greater score seperation between haves and have-nots.
If nothing has changed, then fading this trend will certainly be profitable.
If something has changed, and the market has not fully adjusted, then following this trend will certainly be profitable.
Even if the game has changed....bookmakers should adjust and lines and will continue to inflate...the public will keep pounding these favorites until they get burned....
What goes up must come down...what goes down must come up...
Owner, Fazzer Sports
Twitter me at @FazzerSports