Football fans under the age of 80 are celebrating that college football has finally evolved into a playoff system for Division I. But gamblers must be aware that said progress will affect regular season handicapping in at least two time-tested and proven winning angles: the bubble burst and “style points” system.
For those not yet on the gravy train at Joe Duffy’s Picks, firstly we should encapsulate the edicts before revising them as state of affairs compels.
Bubble burst: It is a prosperous decree that applies in all sports with different metrics adjusted to the dynamics in each. In its purest and most basic form, in college football we fade legitimate national championship contenders the week after a loss eliminates them for contention. In almost all cases, it would mean an undefeated team getting knocked off its perch. It also becomes stronger when the team we venture against is playing a road game.
This sports gambling commandment is advocated to by many sharp players, though there admittedly is not full agreement on its application. We have the strong addendum that the “higher they go, the harder they fall.” The later in the season a team is eliminated and the higher ranked they were when defeated (the former stipulation foremost) the more heavily it is weighted.
However, one of our short-listed trusted begetters on our outsourced picks apply this year around. If the No. 2 team loses their opener for example, he almost always will bet against them the following week. That early in the season, we are less enthusiastic.
Of course, I should explain what our outsourced picks are. Previous entitled a “competitor consensus,” but renamed to more accurately reflect the parameters. If we have a lean one way and one of the few top sports services or sources we respect has a big pick on a certain side or if we are neutral on a pick, but at least two elite sources or contacts have a bet sans any conflicting bets from said sources, it is a bet for us as an outsourced pick.
We deliberate on it as more of a late-season edict, but the truth is betting against teams off heart-breaking losses is a more encompassing precept and will appropriate some consideration even in the early weeks.
In recent years, we had an SEC exception, knowing a one-loss Southeastern Conference champion could and likely would play for a BCS Championship. Hence, when an SEC contender lost their first game, this dominion was deliberated very mildly. A four-team playoff ensures the bubble-burst is only a factor to two-loss SEC teams. Also consider that it is very possible two of the four finalists can come from the SEC.
We also have to consider if it is realistic for a non-SEC team to get a bid with one-loss. In previous years, it would be unlikely, but the playoffs make the spectacular angle more nuanced than in the past.
On the upside, the angle becomes stronger for the non-power conferences. A MAC team losing in week 10 for the first time becomes a stronger fade.
Style points: It is not exactly a revelation to say that the public loves to bet underdogs. Therefore most sharp angles generally benefit underdogs. Consequently it is an anomaly to not only to have a winning clause that screams to bet the favorite, but also very often the substantial chalk.
Selective counterintuitive reasoning is necessary in successful betting. Yet an angle that has all the earmarks of a square system has actually been enormously popular. When there is a realistic mathematical possibility of a power conference team finishing undefeated, yet not making the BCS Championship game, we bet on such contenders to cover large point spreads knowing they not only had to win, but win by large margins.
But upon further scrutiny, it is crystal clear why this is the exception to the rule where laying the larger number is lucrative. Joey Bagofdonuts has the false sense of security betting on the superior side of mismatches, oblivious to any to motivational factors. But when handicapping large point spreads, the obvious question is to ask if the favorite has motivation to run up the score.
Because the “style points” angle is indisputable motivation it is the exception to the rule of wanting to bet on the same side as the impulsive and knee-jerk chalk bettor.
We have already stated that a one-loss SEC Champion would be in as long as the balance of power sees no major shifts at the top. Attrition says it is unlikely that three other power conferences will produce an undefeated champion.
Once it is mathematically assured, this rule would no longer apply to undefeated teams in the Pac 12, Big 12, Big Ten, etc. but would instead shift to both highly ranked one-loss power conference teams and undefeated mid-majors, likely expanding, not reducing the opportunities.
Though the most astute betting opportunities endure in lower profile games, there is no dearth of money to be made in the high profile games. College football’s way of determining a national champion finally leaving the dark ages will bring a few more winning occasions. Football winning commences with preseason football picks ATS but lasts all season long.
Joe Duffy learned the trade of handicapping from NFL Hall-of-Famers Hank Stram and Ray Scott. He is one of a miniscule number of people who has been a full-time pro handicapper since 1988. He is the CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com