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.
- Ben Burns
- February 9, 2016 - 8:30 PM
- Offered at:
- sbgglobal @ -1.5 -110 Dallas
WHITE HOT Ben Burns followed up a PERFECT 5-0 Sunday by delivering a PERFECT 3-0 SWEEP w/ his basketball on Monday. Burns is a PERFECT 5-0 in the NBA the past four days, going a BLISTERING 8-1-1 his L10 basketball overall. When Ben gets in this type of zone, he makes it look EASIER THAN SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL. BANK on more of the same Tuesday!
The Jazz come in on a roll, having won six straight. That winning streak has led to a low line here, which I feel is providing value with the home team. A closer look at the Jazz's winning streak shows that they've been fortunate to play some weak and/or struggling teams and that five of those six games came at home. The one road game was at Phoenix against a depleted Suns team. The Jazz are still just 8-15 away from Salt Lake City and I expect them to have their hands full this evening.
The Mavs got back on track last time out, winning at Memphis. (Arguably a more impressive feat than any of Utah's recent wins.) They've had two days off since then and they don't play again until after the All Star Break. They should be fresh and focused on the task at hand. The Jazz, on the other hand, play at New Orleans tomorrow.
While the Jazz are 8-15 on the road, the Mavs are 15-10 at home. Dallas outscores teams here. Utah gets outscored on the road. Note that the Mavs are 3-1 SU/ATS as home favorites of three or fewer points while the Jazz are just 1-4 ATS as road underdogs of three or less.
The Mavs, 7-1 ATS against teams from the Northwest Division, have dominated the Jazz here for years. Indeed, they're 22-2 as a host in this series, a perfect 10-0 the last 10. That streak will eventually come to an end. I just don't see it happening tonight. Consider Dallas.