Margin of Cover and Another Betting Assumption Investigated

By Joe Duffy
Contributing Editor

Joe Duffy
Sports Network) - We have stated many times that the single most overrated statistic when it comes to picking spread winners is straight up won-loss record. So what it the most underrated? That's a lot tougher inquiry because there are many. But when it comes specifically to picking winners on football totals, offensive snaps per game would top the list.

Our Golden Rule of handicapping totals in football and basketball is that it is much more about pace than offensive or defensive competence. By no means whatsoever does this mean one should blindly bet high snaps over or low snaps under.

Baylor, for example, is well established as a high-powered team, so it is tough to get value betting the over. But a well-researched handicapper knows finding a disconnect between the likely number of plays and the posted total is a big edge in gambling.

Entering games of October 2, here the top five teams in terms of offensive snaps. Over-under record listed in parenthesis with overs listed first.

  • Western Kentucky 92.2 (3-1)
  • Baylor 90.7 (3-1)
  • Bowling Green 90.5 (4-1)
  • Colorado 90 (2-3)
  • Tulsa 89.8 (4-0)

    Do not expect many fireworks with the following teams. Here are the squads with the fewest number of offensive plays.

  • Vanderbilt 57.8 (2-3)
  • South Florida 59.2 (2-3)
  • Eastern Michigan 60.7 (2-1)
  • Central Michigan 61.8 (2-3)
  • Florida Atlantic 62.2 (3-2)

    Of course we have warned about using inductive reasoning in sports handicapping. Yes, the fact that only three of the five slower paced teams are "under" teams is a mild surprise at 12 under to 11 overs. The most up-tempo squads have gone over at a sweet 16-6 rate.

    The disclaimer about inductive reasoning acknowledged, there is little debate knowing the pace of each team is the number one foreteller in making handicapping a "snap."

    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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