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.
- St. Louis
- AAA Sports
- March 30, 2015 - 8:00 PM
- Offered at:
- pinnacle @ -160 St. Louis
1* Free Play Blues.
I think the home side is worth the price of admission in this spot. Both teams have for the most part played extremely well all year, but each is stumbling towards the finish line. In a situation like this, I don't think that home ice advantage can be overlooked and feel that it will ultimately help in deciding the outcome of this contest. After winning seven of nine, the Canucks have dropped two straight, including a 4-3 OT loss to Dallas on Saturday. To say this is a revenge game for the home side would be an understatement I think as Vancouver has won five straight in the series. The Blues will be hungry, they're just 1-2-2 in their last five and have lost four of six at home. I am going to call Vancouver's Eddie Lack and St. Louis' Brian Elliot a "wash" tonight, but note that the Canucks are just 4-5 (-2.1 units) following a loss by four goals or more in overtime this season. The desperation level in which St. Louis plays with tonight will be the difference, consider a second look at the BLUES in this one.
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