The beauty about studying how teams fare against the line often reveals that what you see, isn’t necessary what you get.
Cases in point from the 2006-07 college football campaign: LSU, ranked No. 2 in this season’s AP preseason poll, was 11-2 straight up a year ago and a lukewarm 6-5-2 against the spread. National champ Florida, off a 13-1 record, was only 5-7-1 ATS.
Then there were the opposites: Eastern Michigan and Temple, from the Mighty MAC, were each 1-11 SU. Combined, they were 11-12-1 ATS. Nearly 50 percent covers from teams that won less than 10 percent of the time.
This is material not seen in non-betting publications and why it’s so important to study game stats. Often stats reveal a story within a story.
The question is how far back a bettor should go in studying trends. You can make a case either way in terms of long or short range.
For our purposes we’ll deal with last year, since programs lose players to graduation or the pros regularly. So entering the 2007-08 season, here are the schools that were best in the nation at covering lines. Note that five schools covered 10 or more times and seven more posted nine wins at the window.
Nevada (WAC) 11-2
C. Michigan (MAC) 11-2-1
BYU (Mountain West) 10-2
E.Carolina (C-USA) 10-3
Oklahoma (Big 12) 10-4
9’s: Hawaii, Ohio St, Rice, Rutgers, San Jose St, S.Carolina, S.Florida, Wisconsin.