Smart Box Series: High Expectations
By Marc Lawrence
When Alabama defeated Florida, 28-21, to win the first ever SEC championship game in 1992, it signaled the start of Division-1 college football conference title games.
This week finds a total of six FBS conference championship games on tap, with no less than four teams each owning one loss on the season.
Satisfyingly enough, these four one-time losers – all 11-1 on the year - find themselves paired against one another as upstart Kent State squares off against Northern Illinois in the MAC title game, while Alabama meets Georgia in the SEC championship game.
In addition to the pressure of being a defending national champion looking to get back to the BCS Championship Game, Alabama must also overcome exceedingly high expectations of its own.
The staggering effect of what happens in conference championship games with teams who have dominated on the playing field the last two seasons is eye-opening, to say the least.
Our database confirms the notion, finding that teams in conference title games who managed to win 19 or more of their last 22 games are just 6-15-2 ATS when installed as favorites in these games.
Worse, when favored by 21 or less points, and playing off a win of 3 or more points, these ’pips’ dip to 1-14-1 ATS in these title game roles.
The Tide may be high in Tuscaloosa these days but expectancy of rewarding their backers is low this week.
- U (CHI at ANA)
- AAA Sports
- May 30, 2015 - 8:00 PM
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ Under 5 115
1* Free Play UNDER Hawks/Ducks.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about these two teams? For me, it's efficient offenses, backed by smothering defensive play and superb goaltending. So, I think it's a bit of surprise that the total is 3-1-2 so far through the first six in the Western Conference Finals, including having sailed above the posted number in three straight. With a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line though, I feel that the UNDER is finally worthy of a second look here as each of these teams clamps down defensively and waits for the other to make the first mistake. In my opinion, this is a great situational play, but it's also very strong from an Over/Under trend based stand point as Chicago has seen the total go UNDER the number in four of six this year after playing to three or more OVERs in a row, while Anaheim has seen it dip below the posted number in five of seven in the same position. With players risking life and limb getting into shooting and passing lanes, all signs do indeed point to the UNDER as the correct move in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.
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