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CFB Articles

Big Boys Bounce Back

By Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

Monday, October 10, 2016

 

Hard to believe as we approach week 7 of the college football season that we are at the halfway point of the season for many CFB teams. Three weeks ago, I introduced the concept of the AFP (away from the point spread). The purpose of that article was to introduce to you the concept that early season success or failure of a CFB team led to overcompensation in the betting line. The result is we would find great value fading teams who were outperforming the line maker’s expectation, or playing on teams who were underperforming the line maker’s expectations. This concept again worked like a charm for weeks 4, 5, and 6 of the current CFB season.

 

Now that we have hit the midway point in the season, I will show you how you can use that same kind of contrary thinking for profit in weeks 7, 8, and 9 of the CFB season. Much like our contrary AFP thinking, this time we use the ATS results of a team, combined with their AFP, and the results of the most recent game for each team, to isolate optimum value at this point in the CFB season.

 

Last week, we had one qualifying team. It was the Iowa Hawkeyes, who entered their game with Minnesota at 3-2 SU, 1-4 ATS, far below this year’s expectations. The Hawkeyes came off a loss as a double digit home favorite to Northwestern, failing to cover 19 points. The game opened at “Iowa -2”. By the time the public finished betting the game, the line was “Minnesota -2” providing us with 9 points of value from where this line would have been opening week. Result: Iowa 14, Minnesota 7. An outright underdog value laden winner. 

 

Following is the theory that we use during this period of the season:

 

PLAY ON

ANY CFB TEAM WHO IS GREATER THAN .500 SU FOR THE CFB SEASON, BUT 3 OR MORE GAMES BELOW .500 ATS

 

That premise in and of itself will produce point spread winners for you in weeks 7-9. Combine it with the parameters I am about to outline and you can strengthen your play. Here is a list of the parameters that will strengthen the above situation.

 

1. Our team is off a SU ATS loss

2. The opponent is off a SU ATS win

3. Our team has a -50 or more AFP for the season

4. The opponent has a +50 or more AFP for the season

 

The more of these parameters apply the greater value in the line, and the stronger the play becomes. The chart below isolates the qualifying teams for this week with the categories that potentially strengthen the play. The teams are presented in schedule order.

 

 

 

The purpose of this theory is to isolate teams who had great expectations for the season, are still a winning team, but have underperformed expectations vis-à-vis the point spread. In other words, these “Big Boys” are due to “bounce back” in the immediate weeks ahead. Keep an eye on this list for not only this week, but for the weeks ahead, and you will isolate value with quality teams. Look for positive value in line 1 and the greatest divergence in the net AFP, remembering that a net AFP that is (-) normally provides the greatest value.

 

The Super Surgers vs the Towel Tossers

By Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

Monday, October 26, 2015

 

In late September, we began to use the AFP (away from the point spread) concept that I introduced to you in August. The AFP is meant to ferret out value in the betting line as a result of past dichotomous point spread results. To briefly reiterate this vitally important concept once more, we look to “play ON any team who has a NEGATIVE AFP of -20 or less (has a net loss to the point spread for the season of 20 or more points) against an opponent who has a POSITIVE AFP of +20 or more (has beaten the point spread by 20 or more net points for YTD) if the sum of these two numbers is 50 or more.” Two weeks ago in the Michigan State vs Michigan game analysis, I noted the Spartans were a qualifying team. They didn’t need the miracle finish to cover the spread. In that article, I listed 10 more qualifying AFP teams. In all that week, the plays went 9-2 ATS. Last week in my Thursday AFP analysis of the Cincinnati vs UConn game, I again cited 10 points worth of AFP value on the Cincinnati Bearcats, due to their net AFP differential advantage. Along with the other 8 teams I listed, last week’s AFP plays went 7-2 ATS, for a two week run of 16-4 ATS. I will be listing those plays for you in yet another AFP game analysis on Thursday. Right now, I bring up the concept of these AFP net differentials, because they are used as qualifiers for the next three weeks when we isolate our SUPER SURGERS vs TOWEL TOSSERS.

 

The Super Surger vs Towel Tosser concept can be a very powerful momentum play for the next three weeks. After that, the rivalry dog concept trumps virtually all else. Until then, we look to make momentum plays on Super Surger teams that meet qualifications that I list below. We also look to make negative momentum plays against the Towel Tossers that I list below. When these two concepts match up in a game, AND THEY ARE NOT NEGATED BY AN AFP NEGATIVE NET DIFFERENTIAL, these are very powerful plays. Let’s discuss some of the qualifiers for each of those two categories of teams.

 

TOWELTOSSERS are teams who have slim or no chance of going Bowling. Often these teams are perennial losers who go meekly in the first few weeks of November. Only as big rivalry dog in the closing weeks do they again come to life. Parameters for such TOWEL TOSSERS are those teams who are NOT Bowl eligible, either because they already have 7 losses, or because the game they are currently playing becomes a reality that it is their 7th loss. These teams are not to be trusted unless they are to be considered as an AFP net differential play. 

 

At the other end of the spectrum are the SUPER SURGERS. These teams can be broken up into two groups. The first group is teams who are vying for a 6th win, which will make them Bowl eligible. Normally, these teams can be considered at this point in the season to be teams who are within one game of .500 (or .500). These teams show great intensity and passion as they play in competitively priced games to get their qualifying 6th win. Rarely are teams such as this off set by net AFP indicators.

 

The other area of SUPER SURGERS is a bit trickier. These are teams ranked in the top 8 who are vying for Final Four consideration. Whether it be factual or not, these teams believe the “eye test” is meaningful in their rankings. As a result, their coaches will often go for the throat. Similar teams in this category are those who are vying for a league, or division, championship. Though these teams may be less conscious of margins, they still play with great passion and intensity, especially in competitively priced games.  It is teams in this latter category of SUPER SURGERS that we must be especially weary of playing if they are offset by net AFP considerations. 

 

There is no doubt that it takes a bit of experience in order to accurately, and most efficiently use, the concept of SUPER SURGERS and TOWEL TOSSERS. Essentials include the YTD records, straight up ATS and AFP margins, as well as Conference records of such. This week I will include a couple of concepts of SUPER SURGERS vs TOWEL TOSSERS so that you get the gist of qualifying games.

 

Projecting the 2015 CFB 200 Club Defensive Duds

By Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

Monday, August 17, 2015

 

As with most of the articles I author when analyzing college and NFL statistics, there is nearly always a yin to the yang. Such is the case with the 200 Offensive Club members. This is a companion article to the recently authored “Projecting the 2015 CFB 200 Offensive Club Members.” In that article, I pointed out how you could achieve 76% ATS winners by isolating any CFB team who runs and passes for 200+ YPG if their opponent does not. 

 

With yardage and scoring on the rise to nearly 400 YPG and 28 PPG in college football, one would assume that it would not be a big deal if a CFB team allowed 200 YPG, both running and passing. Such is not the case as proven in the companion article. 

 

In an effort to use the past to predict the future, the following chart details which 2014 CFB teams ALLOWED both 200 YPG running and passing. 

 

2014 Defensive Duds

TEAM                   

CONS

 YEARS

2014 SU

2014 ATS

DEF RY

DEF PY

DEF TY

OFF RY

OFF

YDS

DEF

RTN

DL

RTN

Arkansas St.

1

7-6

7-5

205

216

421

217

477

5

2

Bowling Green

1

8-6

4-9

202

291

493

173

435

4

2

Colorado

3

2-10

6-6

205

255

460

155

439

9

3

Colorado St.

1

10-3

7-5

201

224

425

159

481

8

3

E. Michigan

3

2-10

5-6

225

274

499

138

290

8

3

Florida Atlantic

1

3-9

6-6

223

238

461

164

363

6

3

Fresno St.

1

6-8

6-7

202

254

456

182

407

6

2

Idaho

2

1-10

4-7

248

214

462

140

412

6

2

Illinois

2

6-7

5-7

239

217

456

117

367

7

2

Iowa St.

2

2-10

4-7

246

283

529

124

372

6

2

Kansas

1

3-9

5-6

210

243

453

121

324

4

2

Kent St.

1

2-9

5-6

215

216

431

82

315

8

2

Maryland

1

7-6

5-7

202

234

436

122

342

4

1

Miami OH

3

2-10

7-4

200

234

434

102

380

8

3

New Mexico

2

4-8

6-6

268

249

517

311

400

8

2

N. Carolina

1

6-7

5-7

241

257

498

151

429

7

2

Old Dominion

1

6-6

4-7

224

230

454

149

442

4

1

Rutgers

1

8-5

8-4

213

230

443

163

390

6

2

SMU

1

1-11

4-8

235

264

499

100

269

7

2

S. Carolina

1

7-6

5-7

212

221

433

161

443

9

3

S. Mississippi

3

3-9

5-6

216

235

451

96

365

4

2

Texas A&M

2

8-5

4-8

217

234

451

150

455

7

3

Texas St.

1

7-5

8-3

203

243

446

238

464

5

2

TTRR

2

4-8

6-5

260

253

513

153

504

7

1

Troy

1

3-9

6-5

245

206

451

164

363

7

3

Tulsa

2

2-10

5-7

215

272

487

148

412

6

3

UNLV

3

2-11

5-7

294

219

513

129

387

5

1

W. Kentucky

1

8-5

6-7

221

289

510

162

536

9

4

Wyoming

3

4-8

4-7

203

228

431

154

381

4

2

 

By totaling the 2014 SU and ATS columns, you can see that these Defensive Duds were just 134-226 SU (37.2%) and 157-182 ATS (46.3%).  As with the article on 200 Club Offensive Members, note that this record is the pointspread in ALL games for ALL teams.  Here are a couple of subsets to consider before we look at the actual numbers of recent seasons: 

 

·         120-147 ATS - if excluding any team who outgains their opposition (37-35 ATS).

·         34-56 ATS (37.8%) – if the Defensive Dud is outgained by 100+ YPG by their opponents.

 

I conclude this companion article to the 200 Club Offensive teams by repeating the real world numbers for the last 4 seasons. 

 

Play any CFB team who runs and passes for 200+ YPG, if their opponent does not

 

452-143 ATS (76%)

 

These numbers from last year simply isolate the teams who were Defensive Duds in the 2014 season.  A clue to projecting this year’s Duds may come by reviewing the consecutive years each team has qualified in such a role.  In addition, pay special attention to the last 2 columns on the right, which list the amount of experience these teams possess on the defensive side of the ball.  Most of all, remember that this is a “matchup game.”  For every game handicapped, we must analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each offense against the opposing defense.  Let this list work hand in glove with the companion article on 200 Offensive Club Members from 2014.  It can be a valuable aid in the month of September.  By the time October rolls around, you will have enough current season data (assuming a similar strength of schedule) to project 200 Club winners on a weekly basis.

2015 CFB SUPER Ds

By:  Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

October 13th, 2015

 

We have played 6 weeks of the 2015 CFB season with many squads having already completed 50% of their regular season schedule.  With teams now well-entrenched into the conference season, it is time to take a look at the nation’s best defenses.  In this era of high-tech offenses, most notably exhibited in the Big 12 and PAC 12, it is still important to pay respect to the old adage that “defense wins football games.”  With that in mind, we take a look at the nation’s Top 10 Defenses and the parameters used to qualify these teams.

 

The first parameter is scoring because it is the bottom line by which all defenses are judged.  To qualify for our list of SUPER Ds, a team must allow 21 or fewer points per game.  That is a TD lower than the average.  The second key parameter is yards per game.  Our SUPER Ds must allow 300 or less YPG (a full 100 yards less than what most teams average).  A not so common defensive indicator is yards per play (YPP).  Yet, it is one of the best indicators of the combination of running and passing defense.  Great D’s allow 4.5 YPP or less in CFB.   Finally, we all know the importance of the running game in CFB.  To qualify as a great defense, our SUPER Ds must allow 125 RPG or less and 3.0 YPR or less. 

 

Using those criteria, I have isolated the Top 10 SUPER Ds for the first half of the 2015 CFB season.  As you will read in the game analyses which accompany this article, there are 3 terrific opportunities to use teams on our list as double digit underdog this week!

 

TEAM

PPG

RY

YPR

TY

YP PLAY

Alabama

16

77

2.6

265

4.0

App. St.

11

99

3.0

267

4.4

Boise St.

12

61

2.0

260

3.8

Boston Coll.

7

42

1.4

140

2.6

Duke

9

122

2.9

253

3.8

Michigan

6

66

2.2

181

3.1

Missouri

14

113

2.9

276

4.1

Penn St.

14

119

3.0

278

4.3

Pitt

21

86

2.9

266

4.4

Utah St.

19

102

2.8

297

4.4

     

 

The solid defensive play of these teams has carried them to a 43-14 SU record.  Though the teams are approximately 50% ATS overall and as underdog, the best may be yet to come this week.  Perennially these teams have performed at their best in the role of double digit underdog.   No fewer than 5 of our teams are in the role of underdog this week.  They are:  Utah St., Boston College, Missouri, Pitt and Penn St.  Historically speaking, however, it is the 3 of these teams in the role of double digit underdog, where these Defensive Dandies perennially bring home the Alpo.  The companion analyses to this article will point out those teams with accompanying support.

 

Don’t miss these double digit SUPER Ds as part of your winning ticket this Saturday! 

 

2015 CFB INDICATORS THROUGH 5 WEEKS

By: Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

October 6th, 2015

 

I spent a part of the month of August reviewing statistical indicators for the upcoming 2015 CFB season.  I found that, despite the rise in scoring and increase in passing, it was still the CFB teams who had a balanced offense or dominated the line of scrimmage that produced the biggest profit, week after week and year after year, in the CFB season.

 

The first area that we look at is a group of teams that I call the 200 CLUB.  I have tracked these teams since the beginning of the millennium with great success.  These have shown a consistent record of 75% ATS winners in the previous 15 years.  More specifically, in the last 4 years, the record has been an even better 605-180 ATS (77%).  So just who are these balanced teams that get us the money?  The theory is quite simple.  “In any given CFB game, play a team who runs AND passes for 200 or more yards, if their opponent does not.”  So how is this theory doing in CFB after 5 weeks of the season?

 

·         56-18 ATS (75.7%) … play any team who runs and passes for 200 or more yards in a given CFB game, if their opponent does not.

 

The next area to isolate is the heart of what we call our STEAMROLLER plays.  In this handicapping situation, we look to isolate any team who will double rush their opponent.  The results for the millennium show a similar 75% win situation to the 200 CLUB above.  More specifically, in the previous 4 years, the record is 921-311 ATS (74.8%) winners.  Now, let’s take a look at how that situation has done in the 2015 CFB season after 5 weeks of action.

 

·         75-32 ATS (70.1%) … play any CFB team who double rushes their opponent in a given game.

 

The record of each of these rushing statistics should begin to increase, now that the big lines of the “September preseason” are out of the way.  As an example of this, consider that last week, in what was the first week of conference play for many teams, the 200 CLUB went 9-2 ATS while the double rushers were a resounding 21-5 ATS.

 

Of course just like in the NFL, “ALL bets are off,” if our opponent has a (+3) or more net TO differential!  Just witness our top of the ticket loser with N. Illinois last week, who double rushed C. Michigan 211-93, but lost 29-19 because of a (+3 net TO margin by the Chips.  The recent 4 year record of any CFB team with a (+3) or more net TO margin in a given game is 338-54 ATS (86.2%).  Now, let’s take a look at the record of 5 weeks of CFB play in 2015.

 

·         47-11 ATS (81%) … play any CFB team who has a (+3) or more net TO margin in a game.

 

By the way, much like the NFL, CFB teams with exactly a (+2) net TO margin are solid money winners:  you would have a 41-16 ATS record (71.9%), if you were to isolate any CFB game where one team had an exactly (+2) net TO margin.  

 

Focusing your statistical handicapping on the point of attack is an outstanding way to record profitable weeks that run into seasons.  Stick to your guns with this method of handicapping and DO NOT be deterred, if a series of your losses are due to a negative TO differential.

 

A  Primer on Using the AFP as Contrary Indicator

By Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

Monday, September 14, 2015

The AFP (away from the point spread) is an all-important number used to determine value in the betting line. The term “away from the point spread” denotes how far away from the opening line is a point spread result. Every team has one for each game, or group of games, that they have played. For example, each team has one for its most recent game, for its games for the YTD, and for home and road respectively. It is also a number that is used by the line maker to adjust his power ratings and thus, the point spreads on the games. Roughly speaking, if no other factors are involved, a team’s power rating may move a point for every 7-10 points that their results are from the point spread.

As we saw in our analysis of the week 1 results, the line maker did an outstanding job, as the average AFP for all the games played was only slightly over 10 points. This indicates that the line maker has an excellent handle on most of the teams as they come out of the gate. This strengthens our case that when a team’s performance after 2-5 games is greatly divergent from the line maker’s projections, there will most probably be a return to form. In a specific game, when one team has a positive AFP and the other has a negative AFP, that is when the greatest value occurs. 

Here is a very general rule to follow: Beginning in week 3, but working especially well in weeks 4 and 5 of the early season: “Play any team with an ATS record of .500 or less and a negative AFP of 20 or more if they are playing an opponent who has a .500 or better ATS record and a positive AFP of 20 or more, the sum of the net AFP differential should be 50 or more.” If the betting line this week is 7 or more points from the projected opening line in week 1, you can be assured that value exists.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples from this week 3 card to see where some value may occur. 

Temple (-11) at UMass

The Owls with 19 returning starters have broken from the gate with consecutive upsets of Penn State-for the first time since Lassie was a puppy, and Cincinnati-with Conference revenge. In those two games they are 2-0 ATS, with a +38 AFP for the season. Now they will travel to UMass as a double digit road favorite. There they will face a UMass team, which some have ranked as the most experienced team in the nation. In their first game at the altitude of Colorado, the Minutemen fell 48-14 with a -21 AFP. The combined -59 net AFP differential favoring UMass is a strong indicator that there is value in this line today for the Minutemen.

 

Nevada at Texas A&M (-29)

Despite 13 returning starters, Nevada lacks overall experience. They have begun 1-1 SU, but 0-2 ATS following their 44-20 home loss to Arizona as 11 point pup. It has resulted in a -27 AFP for the YTD. Many felt Texas A&M underperformed last year in going 8-5 SU, 4-8 ATS. A change in Defensive Coordinator has led the Aggies to a 2-0 SU ATS start, including a dominating opening week win against Arizona State. The result is a +23 AFP number, and a net AFP differential of -50, favoring Nevada at the inflated price of +29.

 

Texas Tech at Arkansas (-9)

After an underachieving 4-8 SU season of last, TTRR has broken from the gate with a couple of high scoring outbursts. That includes a 69-20 win last week, in which they covered by 29 points. Arkansas is 1-1 SU ATS for the year, but with a -24 net AFP after losing outright as a 22 point home favorite to Toledo by a score of 16-12. The net -50 AFP differential favoring Arkansas has resulted in a single digit line in a game that would have seen the Hogs as a near 3 TD favorite opening week. 

California (-3) at Texas

Each of these teams was sub .500 last year, but it’s the Cal Bears who have broken from the gate at 2-0 SU ATS with 17 returning starters playing to a +34 net AFP. No argument that Texas has been a huge underperformer in their 1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS start, in which they were embarrassed at Notre Dame and allowed Rice to come through the back door. The -26 Texas AFP combines with a +34 Cal AFP for a -60 net AFP differential favoring the Longhorns. It results in Texas being a home dog in a game where in the beginning of 2014 they may have been a 3 TD favorite, and certainly would have been favored the opening week of this season.

The above are four games in which the net AFP differentials have resulted in value for one of these teams after just two games.  It will not be surprising to this bureau if many of these teams play to the line maker’s original projections and result in ATS winners.

 

 

ARE WE ON TRACK? … WEEK 1 CFB REVIEW BY THE NUMBERS

By: Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

September 8, 2015

 

In Monday’s article, we graded our August Homework which showed mixed results.  When putting it all together, with a heavy dose of my ample experience, there turned out to be significantly more winners than losers.  That’s what it is all about!  Today, I am going to take a look at the results of 2015 CFB Week 1 from a statistical and pointspread perspective. This will allow us to know if preferred methodologies are still working as we come out of the gate of the current season.  The article will also survey some averages to see if they are on track with years gone by.  Let’s begin with the fundamentals of the running game and TOs.  All statistics are for the 38 regularly scheduled games in CFB that were completed from Thursday, September 3rd through Monday, September 7th (Toledo, LSU, Miami OH, and Georgia either postponed or not completely played). 

10-3 ATS (77%) … These are the results of our Offensive 200 Club Members that rushed AND passed for 200 or more                                   yards, while their opponent did not.  This is right on the 76% long-term average.

11-4 ATS (73%) … These are the results for teams who DOUBLERUSHED their opponents in Week 1.  Like the 200 Club Members it is very similar to the 75% long-term average.

6-1 ATS (83%) … These are the results for any CFB team that had a +3 or more net TO margin in Week 1.  Again, remarkably similar to the 86% winning average in recent seasons.  Teams with a +2 net TO margin were 4-2 ATS (67%).

10.7 PPG … This is the AFP, the average that the 38 games scores finished “AWAY FROM THE POINTSPREAD.”  Consider this to be an excellent job done by the linemaker in Week 1.  In each of the preceding 5 seasons, this number was greater than 12 PPG.  If he continues with a performance that is that good, we will be greatly challenged this 2015 CFB Season.  

 

So, where can we look to make our money this season, if the linemaker’s numbers on the 130 teams we handicap is that good?  

 

16 OVERS/22 UNDERS … There was clearly linemaker error in the opening week.  True enough, games have been accelerating in pace from 2011 with an average score from 54 to 57 PPG last season.  But, the linemaker assumed that increase would continue in opening week (a normally low-scoring week as offenses gear up with an average send out of 58 PPG).  The true results were an average of 55 PPG being scored with the difference in the results coming when the first 6 games on the Thursday night card went UNDER the posted total.  

13.7 PPG … Another way to make money was with the 45 “Extra” games that were posted online.  Unlike the linemaker’s accurate send out that had an average AFP of 10.7 PPG, these 45 games had results that were an average of 13.7 PPG from the line.  In fact, 33/45 of the games landed more than 7 points from the line.  Plenty of opportunities there for those who did extra homework! 

All in all, I would say we are right on track for the continuation of the 2015 CFB Season.  Our running results held true to form in the first week.  We will build on the results in each succeeding week and combine those fundamentals with the situational plays (see today’s article on the Handicapper’s Conundrum) to further increase our winning percentage.

 

 

THE HANDICAPPER’S CONUNDRUM

By: Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

September 8, 2015

 

Each week in CFB handicapping, as well as in all other sports, the handicapper is faced with the conundrum of whether teams will continue their positive or negative momentum, or whether there will be letdowns or bounce backs.  The handicapper’s job through years of experience, as well as situational handicapping, is to develop an instinctive feel for which way these results will lead us in the next game.  In this article, I present 2 different ways in which the handicapper can look to isolate situations as described above.

The first chart shows a list of teams, who won a game straight up last week as an underdog of 6 or more points.  Examine these teams carefully in their next game, to see whether you believe the momentum from that upset will continue, or whether they will have a letdown.  Conversely, be aware of the teams who were upset.  Does their negative momentum continue?  Or, should we expect a bounce back?  A key component of our analysis will be the adjustment the linemaker has made as a result of the upset.  Survey the last column of this chart entitled “AFP” (AWAY FROM THE POINTSPREAD) and consider that the larger this number is, the greater the adjustment by the linemaker.  Here are your upsets from Week 1.

 

TEAM

LINE

FOE

SCORE

AFP

Portland St.

+31

Washington St.

24-17

+38

N. Dakota

+18

Wyoming

24-13

+29

Florida Int’l

+17

UCF

15-14

+18

Fordham

+14

Army

37-35

+16

Northwestern

+12

Stanford

16-6

+22

Hawaii

+8

Colorado

28-20

+16

Temple

+6

Penn St.

27-10

+23

UConn

+6

Villanova

20-15

+11

 

 

Hint:  From a historical perspective, one of the best ways to take advantage of a letdown is to play AGAINST teams who are a home dog, following a big upset (the superior road favorite is on alert).

 

A second way to isolate games in which there are dichotomous results from the previous week is to examine games in which either of the teams had a +3 or -3 (or more) NET TO MARGINS.  Here is your list of games in which teams had a +3 or more net TO MARGIN.  I have also included a total yardage column for each team to see if the final score was warranted.

 

TEAM

TO MARGIN

TOTAL YDS

LINE

SCORE

AFP

FOE

YARDS

S. Carolina

+3

394

-2

17-13

+2

N. Carolina

440

ODU

+3

413

-7

38-34

-3

E. Michigan

444

Florida Atl.

+4

580

+6

44-47

+4

Tulsa

618

W. Kentucky

+3

247

-2

14-12

0

Vandy

393

Arkansas

+3

490

-33

48-13

+2

UTEP

204

WVU

+5

544

-19

44-0

+25

Georgia South.

224

USC

+4

509

-28

55-6

+21

Arkansas St.

402

 

 

Let’s use the first of these games as an example.  N. Carolina ran and passed for 208 or more yards against S. Carolina.  That is normally good enough (76% of the time) for a pointspread victory.  But, a -3 net TO margin, which included 2 INT in the end zone, resulted in what many might consider to be an undeserved victory for S. Carolina and ill-deserved loss for the Tar Heels.  Resulting thinking may be that S. Carolina is a bit overrated and overconfident in their next game, while N. Carolina should come hungry and be mad as hell. 

 These are 2 of the ways in which the situational and statistical handicapper can use last week’s games as indicators of success in next week’s action.  But, it is still just the tip of the iceberg in solving the HANDICAPPER’S CONUNDRUM

 

 

SEARCHING FOR VALUE IN WEEK 1 OF CFB

By: Joe Gavazzi, Winning Sports Advice

Monday, August 31st 2015

 

It has been quite a journey for us in the month of August, as we prepare for the upcoming 2015 CFB Season.  

In the last 30 days, I have presented you with a primer for your best preparation for the CFB Season which begins this Thursday, September 3rd.  

We began with RETURNING STARTER THEORY, using parameters for PLAY ON and PLAY AGAINST teams.  Following that, and working hand in glove with the returning starter theory, is our TEAM EXPERIENCE RATINGS which include lists of a combination of senior starters and returning lettermen.  Again, both PLAY ON and PLAY AGAINST lists.  From there, we created separate lists of UNDERRATED AND OVERRATED teams.  These are essential in the early going.  Our attention then turned to statistical/fundamental handicapping, in which a list of 200 CLUB MEMBERS AND DOUBLE RUSHERS was presented in separate PLAY ON and PLAY AGAINST lists.  The month culminated with the statistical look at last year’s DEFENSIVE DOMINATORS AND FALSE FAVORITES from a statistical point of view. 

These articles are all available on this site for your review.  If you have not yet read these articles and incorporated them into your preparation process, then you need to do so ASAP.  They provide you with a valuable basis for September handicapping.  

Even with all this work, you have just scratched the surface of selecting the games for opening week in CFB.  For, you now must attach a value for the improvement or lack thereof that each team brings to the table at the beginning of the 2015 CFB season.  Know that, while you have been going through this entire process, that the linemaker has been doing exactly the same thing.  THERE IS ONLY VALUE IN GAMES WORTH BETTING WHEN YOUR OPINION OF A TEAM IS BETTER THAN THAT OF THE LINEMAKER’S.  

The basis for making these judgments are closing power ratings from the 2014 season.  By the end of last year, most power ratings give roughly the same evaluation for the teams, as there has been an entire year of data to make these ratings.  You must start with a power rating system, either of your own or from any source with whom you feel comfortable and have trust.  Make your adjustments based on the evaluations of your preseason work.  Then, compare your own opening lines to that of the actual lines to search for your value.  When your opinion is more accurate than the linemaker and the oblong ball does not bounce against you, then you have a pointspread winner! Congratulations on a job well done.

 

 

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