Heisman jinx could pose threat to Baylor

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Before you begin to make your selection for the December 28 Alamo Bowl between Baylor (-9½) and Washington, you may want to consider a trend that has proved pretty profitable the last 37 years and is hitting at 71%.

Yes, it’s the Heisman jinx.

You may not be into the jinx or curse thing, but it can be pretty powerful. Just ask the Red Sox and the Bambino, the Cubs and the goat, and the player featured on the Madden football game each year – how’s that contract coming along Peyton Hillis?

Winning the Heisman Trophy carries a burden with it that seems to spill over onto the field of play in their next game, which is the bowl game, unless your Andre Ware who won in 1989 with Houston and didn’t go to one.

While the last two Heisman winners, Cam Newton and Mark Ingram, won and covered their bowls, collectively, it has been pretty strong. If you simply bet against the Heisman winner since 1974, you have covered at a rate of 25-10-1. I’ll take that any day.

Washington should have been pretty enticing already getting points. Last season the Huskies shocked the nation with the biggest upset of the Bowl season by beating Nebraska (-13) 19-7 in the Holiday Bowl.

It’s hard to look past Baylor’s impressive five game winning streak coming in that include wins against Texas and Oklahoma, but the Big-12 isn’t what it’s all cracked to be just because they don’t play any defense. This is why the Big-12 struggles collectively in bowl games, almost on par with the MAC.

Over the last three bowl seasons the Big-12 has gone 7-16 against-the-spread matched up against other conferences. Their style of play works well against each other in with no defense and they pile up a bunch of points, but if they get frustrated by a harassing defense, it ruins their flow and usually results in defeat.

So when analyzing Washington and Baylor for the game, be sure to consider the Heisman jinx. The cause for the jinx probably has more to do with all the sudden publicity that comes from winning the honor and takes the player to a new level. It’s also puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the winner to perform well along with a bulls-eye on him from opposing teams.

So Much for Trends

While discussing the Heisman trend and how conferences have done in the past, it’s important to note how two conferences did in their first attempts at bowl games this year. The MAC had been 3-10-1 ATS over the last three bowl seasons, but have come out firing with a 2-0 record. The Mountain West had gone 8-2 ATS in their last two bowl seasons and starts this year 0-2.

Conference affiliation and recent past trends

• SEC top heavy (9-11 ATS last 2 bowl seasons)

• Big-12 terrible collectively (7-16 ATS last 3 bowl seasons)

• MWC 8-2 last 2 seasons

• MAC 3-10-1 last 3 bowls

Favorites vs Underdogs – what has happened last 3 seasons

• 2010 Favorites: 20-13, OVER 17-16

• 2009 Favorites: 14-20, UNDER 19-14

• 2008 favorites: 16-18, UNDER 21-13

Las Vegas Bowl

Arizona State comes limping into this game losing their last 4, all games in which they were favored in. Boise State hasn’t covered in their last 6, but four of the spreads were 30-points or higher. Boise State has played solid defense in their last three bowl games allowing only 30 combined points.

Look for Boise State (-14) to take out their BCS frustrations on ASU and win quite easily as they send off quarterback Kellen Moore and the other seniors in impressive style.

Sports Book do Well

Last season started out as a disaster for sports books as favorites won the first six bowl games, but Saturday’s kickoff to the bowls went much better. The combination of Temple (-7), Ohio (+1½) and Lafayette (+5) winning was enough to keep bettors off-balance and not gain any momentum to ensuing bowls which lessens liability and allows for the books to start the rest of the bowls with a clean slate.

Last season’s rough start created a snow-ball effect that multiplied risk through each bowl.

College Baskets a Grind

Most sports books have reported consistent win in college basketball, but the win has been small and a daily grind. College hoop action picks up considerably with the public after the New Year.

NBA Prop at Lucky’s

Lucky’s sports books posted a proposition on most wins by the Lakers and Clippers almost immediately after the Chris Paul deal was official. The price has the Lakers -250 with the Clippers getting +200. My first reaction when I saw the prop was, where’s the spread?

I thought there had to be some kind of mistake like it should say Lakers -4½ wins, -250, or something like that. But when you start to look at the talent on the Clippers roster with Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billips, a case can be made for the Clippers to contend well.

My best guess would have the Lakers as a No. 3 seed in the playoffs with the Clippers maybe No. 7.

NBA Schedule

My friend, professor Ed Meyer, sent me some notes on the shortened NBA schedule that has all kinds of oddities in it that look to give certain teams an advantage over others.

For instance, the Knicks get 14 opponents playing their fourth game in five days. The Raptors get only two. The Cavs only have three games all season in which they are rested vs an unrested opponent. The Wizards get 17.

The Heat only have two opponents who are playing the second of back-to-back road games – and they are unrested themselves in both of them.

NBA Championship

The Las Vegas Hilton readjusted all its NBA futures with the signing of Chris Paul and dropped the Clippers from 50-1 all the way down to 15-1 . The Heat are still the favorites at 9-5, followed by the Thunder (5-1), Bulls (6-1), Lakers (6-1), Mavericks (7-1) and Celtics (12-1). Everyone else is listed at 20-1 or higher.

Have a great Christmas and enjoy the day with your family and now, of course the NBA. Here’s a few stocking stuffers: Knicks 110-98 over the Celtics, Heat 98-90 over the Mavericks, Lakers 95-92 over the Bulls.


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