By Marc Lawrence
November is, unquestionably, the best time of the season for sports fans. The NBA and College Hoops seasons tip off a new campaign. The NFL enters its second-half race while College Football concludes heads to the finish line with teams scurrying for bowl bids. It's also a great time for handicappers as value-aplenty abounds.
Our focus in the world of College Football begins to center around postseason bowl games during Turkey Month. In particular, we like to zero in on undefeated teams at this stage of the season. That's because the deeper they get into the season, the more pressure there is on them to remain unbeaten. As a result, the noose certainly gets tighter and tighter each week, especially when these perfect teams take to the road.
This is confirmed by the fact that, since 1980, undefeated College Football teams are 44-63-2 ATS when playing on the road from Game Ten or later. Put them up against a conference foe and bring them in off back-to-back double-digit victories and they slip to 13-27-1 ATS. And, if these same teams won 11 or fewer games last season they fall to 5-21-1 ATS. This week's qualified collar-tightening team is Oregon - the top ranked team in the land.
One final caveat: if these fully qualified teams are not laying more than 28 points, the horse they sit on becomes a 2-18-1 ATS proposition. Ducks, prepare to meet your waterloo...