I had occasion to follow the college football games this weekend and analyze the results versus the betting spreads as of Friday evening. The results for 44 games (arbitrarily picked by someone else):

Total games: 44

Beat the spread: 18
Did not beat the spread: 25
No action (tie): 1

Calculate the "net spread", which is the line/spread plus or minus the actual score spread. For example, if Tulsa (line: -14) beats Rice (+14) by a score of 27-10, then the net spread is -14 plus 17 equals 3. That is, Tulsa beat the spread by 3.

For all 44 games, the net spread stats are:

mean: -2.23
sd: 13.12

Gotta figure if the mean net spread is less than a field goal, it's pretty tough to beat.





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1 Comment so far

  1. Steve Leslie on October 7, 2009 8:55 am

    Do a study of professional football and I bet (pun) you will see similar if not tighter correlations. years back I read an article on betting on football in Cigar Aficionado magazine. The author expressed the view that many professional sports bettors do not even bet football due to the futility. In pro football the side is usually determined by who has the ball last and turnovers. Both of those are impossible to predict. Plus last week has virtually nothing to do with this week. This is where the adage "on any given Sunday". For those who do bet football they bet the totals. In pro football the magic number is 37 points, and the bookmakers work off of that number every week to set their total. Personally, when I gambled on pro football, I would use a teaser bet with the totals. For example, if a team total was 35 or under, the bookmakers were suggesting that they thought the game was going to be a low scoring affair. Therefore I would pick the two lowest totals and play the unders. Conversely, if the number is high eg. 43 I tease the number down to 37 and bet it over. Nothing works every time, but this worked for me. It would be very interesting to run a numbers check on this and see the results. Janet Jones Gretzky reputedly lost tens of thousands on the Super Bowl one year. Her most stupid bet was betting the coin toss. This is an even money wager yet she laid the vig to bet it. She would have done much better to go and take the money and bet it on the pass line in craps or the color in Roulette. Las Vegas bookmakers typically have losing seasons in baseball and make up everything and more on football. Probably the number one reason is this is when the dead money is looking for a home the most. P.S. look me up on Facebook leslie2780|at|yahoo|dot|com I am always looking for new friends.


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