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.
- Power Sports
- August 27, 2016 - 7:10 PM
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ -161 Boston
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1* Boston (7:10 ET): I'm just not sure that I buy into this late season Royals' resurgence. A 6-3 win last night at Fenway Park does make it 11 wins in the 12 last games for the two-time defending AL pennant winners. But they were outhit 15-9 in the victory. Then there's the matter that despite being six games over .500 for the year, they've actually been outscored by 19 runs. That's a win expectancy of 62, a five-game difference from their actual record. Their road record is still 27-40, which is third worst among AL teams. I'm taking Boston to bounce back Saturday night.
The Red Sox have the best run differential in the entire American League at +116. No other team has outscored its opponents by more than 100 runs. This is largely due to having the #1 offense in the game (692 runs scored). For the sake of comparison, the Royals have scored only 507 runs this year, which is actually the fewest among AL clubs.
The price has come way down on Boston since the line opened. Speaking of "price," it will be David going for the Sox tonight. He's won his L3 starts w/ a 1.64 ERA and 0.864 WHIP. On Monday, he shut Tampa Bay out for eight innings, allowing only two hits. He's opposed by Danny Duffy, who I suspect is the driving force behind the line move. The Royals have won each of his last 11 starts. But he hasn't faced an offense quite like this one (Red Sox average 6.0 rpg at home). Off three consecutive losses (as they are here), the Red Sox are 7-1 this season. 1* Boston