Margin of Cover and Another Betting Assumption Investigated

By Joe Duffy
Contributing Editor

Joe Duffy
Sports Network) - Here is a Margin of Cover (MOC) breakdown. Renamed "sweat barometer" in Chad Millman of ESPN's column, MOC is similar to scoring margin, but it is measured by how much a team covers or fails to cover the point spread.

Many sports handicappers believe MOC is invaluable in isolating under and overvalued teams. There are some teams that have had just two lined games, but we are including squads with at least three contests to judge by.

As of games entering weekend of September 18-20

Minimum number of lined games: 3

Here are the top teams to bet on according to their MOC:

Team ATS Record Margin of Cover
LA Tech 3-0 +23.3
GA Southern 3-0 +21.8
Texas A&M 2-1 +18
West Virginia 3-0 +16
Mississippi 3-0 +15.8

These would be the best teams to best against according to MOC:

Team ATS Record Margin of Cover
Vanderbilt 0-3 (-24.2)
Fresno State 0-3 (-21.5)
Texas Tech 0-3 (-21.5)
UL Lafayette 1-2 (-18.8)
UNLV 0-3 (-18.8)

These are the top "over" teams based on average margin they have exceeded the posted total:

Team Over-Under O/U Margin
Western Kentucky 3-0 (+22.8)
Buffalo 3-0 (+22.2)
Toledo 3-0 (+18.8)
MTSU 3-0 (+18.2)
Tulsa 3-0 (+14.3)

Conversely the best under teams according to how much they have fallen short of the posted number:

Team Over-Under O/U Margin
Wyoming 0-3 (-17.3)
Penn State 1-2 (-17)
Ball State 0-3 (-15.8)
Houston 0-3 (-15)
Ohio 1-2 (-14.8)

As we always tell you, this stat is an excellent starting point, but in no way should be bet blindly. We use it as a "cheat sheet" as to which games we may want to scrutinize.

Counterintuitive Pays off Again
Recent we gave a "tisk tisk" to ESPN gabber Colin Cowherd for simply assuming a theory was true without actually looking up the facts.

In college football, there is a rare occurrence in which a team is playing their third straight road game versus an opponent playing their third straight home game. Many would assume that is a big advantage for the home team, correct? Not really, the home team has covered at 55-49 rate.

But what if the home team is clearly the better team? Nope, road underdogs of seven or more playing their third straight road game to a team hosting their third straight home game are actually 36-25.

However, all is right with the world when it comes to instincts if the home team is not also vastly superior. Home teams not laying seven or more under the previously mentioned parameters are 29-13 against the spread.

Alas the only time a road weary team will be playing at a team getting a ton of home cooking in 2014 is on September 27 when Miami Ohio travels to Buffalo.

But the larger lesson is to never assume in handicapping.

The author, Joe Duffy has his picks part of GodsTips, anchor of A long-time veteran of the sports betting industry, Duffy trained under NFL legends-turned-handicappers Ray Scott and Hank Stram.

Copyright 2014

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