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CFB: Itís All About Perception
by Nick Parsons

Itís All About Perception

One common mistake that casual bettors often make is the assumption that oddsmakers set point spreads and totals based on what they think the final score will be.

While this uncanny ability helps, most experienced bettors know that this is far from the truth. In most instances lines are set to divide peopleís opinion (trap games are for a whole different discussion) this is after all how sportsbooks make money.

The public and mainstream mediaís perception about a game is factored more into a line than any hidden statistic.

Remember too that the modern day oddsmakers is not just trying to divide square bettor from sharp, but rather square from other squares and sharps from other sharps.

With the College Football season fast approaching here are couple mainstream perceptions that sportsbooks are well aware of.

This is Rich Rodís Year?

8-16 in two years doesnít cut it in Michigan; however many feel that this downslide was based on Rodriquez not having a Quarterback to run his spread offense. Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier are currently in a battle for QB1 and both possess the necessary tools and traits to run this offense

With the focus of the blogs and beat writers on the QB situation most people often forget how bad the Wolverine defense was last year. Michigan gave up a conference worst 33.3 points per game in Big Ten Play last season and most of the starters along with DC Greg Robinson return this year.

Much to the delight of Rich Rod believers the line for the home opener against UConn came in at -2.5 in favor of Michigan. Be wary of gifts though, the Huskies return former blue chip recruit Zach Frazier at QB and this was one of the best teams cover teams last year going 9-2-1 ATS.

The U is Back?

Everyone has now seen the popular ESPN 30 for 30 doc ďThe UĒ and it has brought back a sense of nostalgia for the once great program that dominated the 80s. Last yearís 9-4 season which included a win over then #8 ranked Oklahoma has got the public thinking that the Hurricanes are set to rejoin the elite of college football.

Add the fact that after the Florida A&M opener there are three tough road games with short lines (Ohio St +9, Pittsburgh -1, and Clemson -3), and many feel that you have the best bets of the season.

Look twice at that schedule however, Ohio States is aiming for a National Title and Terrelle Pryor will be gunning for the Heisman. Pitt is favored to win the Big East and had only one loss at home in 2009 and that was to Cincinnati after a botched extra point attempt. And an in-conference road game at Clemson, who Miami only beat in OT last year, will be tough, also remember that the Oct 2 matchup is homecoming for the Tigers.

Notre Dame Sucks?

Oddsmakers love teams like Notre Dame because popular teams will draw in an equal amount of bettors betting on the team because they are fans and those fading them simply out of hate.

Indeed Irish faders enjoyed a renaissance during the Weis era which ended with the Irish going 4-8 ATS. Many are under the assumption as well that even if Brian Kelly is the right man for the job that it will take a couple of years before the program is back at the top.

However some might forget that Weis did an excellent job of recruiting in his final years at South Bend. The 2010 Notre Dame team will be composed of several recruiting classes that ranked in the top 5.

Some see the -10.5 point spread in the opener versus Purdue as too high, but just remember what Brian Kelly did with minimal talent at Cincinnati.

Boise State, WAC cover machines?

Its Boise Stateís final year in the WAC and with National Title talk surrounding the team, many feel that they will blow through conference competition. This is warranted given that Boise St has gone 17-8 ATS in their last two seasons and has not lost a conference games since 2007.

But if Boise can get through Virginia Tech and Oregon St before WAC play begins, there may be no need to blowout games. Boise is already ranked within the top 5 in most preseason pools and they will also have the sympathy of many voters that are fed up with the BCS.

Also with these expectations expect most spreads to be over four touchdowns. With not nearly as much motivation to blowout games this season and high spreads, Boise backers could see many of their games decided in the 4th quarter by walk-ons.

Boise opened as -2.5 favorites in their opening game in Washington DC against Virginia Tech.

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