What are the Odds? Betting Against the Consensus
Each week of the college football and NFL season, as the days progress from when the opening lines are first released, a consensus is formed as to which teams the betting public is heavily favoring. Right up until game time, the percentages are constantly being recalculated to reflect a confidence level in a team’s ability to cover the spread. Sometimes these percentages can soar into the mid-70s , but anything over 65 percent favoring one side over the other indicates a pretty strong vote of confidence for that particular matchup.
Going back to last week’s games starting with college football, there were seven matchups where the consensus was over 65 percent for a particular side. Boston College had the highest percentage at 71.25 that it would cover as a seven-point road favorite against Army. It went on to lose that game outright, 34-31. Air Force has the next highest percentage at 69.57 as a nine-point home favorite against Navy, and it lost straight-up as well, 28-21. If you would have bet one unit against the consensus in all seven of these games, you would have walked away with a record of 5-2 and $280 in your pocket.
Turning to last week in the NFL, there were four games where the consensus favoring one side over the other was greater than 65 percent. The consensus was all over the Packers at 73.08 percent as 6.5-point road favorites against Indianapolis, and we all know how that turned out. The next highest pick was 70.75 percent on Baltimore as a six-point road favorite against Kansas City. The Ravens could only manage a three-point win. Chicago came through with flying colors as a 70.57 percent consensus pick with a romp over Jacksonville, but Cincinnati was another consensus casualty at 66.17 percent with a 17-13 loss to Miami as a three-point home favorite.
That same one-unit wager against the consensus in all four of these NFL games would have netted you a quick $190. If you would have bet the opposite way of the consensus for all 11 of these high-confidence games, your weekend profit would have been $470.
- Jesse Schule
- March 27, 2015 - 7:15 PM
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ -8.5 -105 Gonzaga
This is a Free #NCAAB play on the Gonzaga #Bulldogs.
According to bookmakers, the UCLA Bruins are the least likely of the remaining teams to win the NCAA Tournament. You can still get the Bruins at 100-1 odds at Westgate Superbook. The Bruins were very lucky to have even qualified for the tournament, and many experts were critical of the committee for selecting them. UCLA came into the tournament with a 2-8 record versus the RPI Top 50, and 4-11 away from Pauley Pavilion. If you look at the Bruin's schedule, the most impressive thing they've done is lose to Arizona. Some might say they finished the season strong by winning four of five prior to the tourney, but it's worth pointing out that all four of those wins came against bottom feeders of the Pac-12. They beat Washington and Washington State, and USC twice. The Trojans finished dead last in the conference with a record of 3-15.
After being gifted a one-point victory on a controversial goaltend call in their first round match versus SMU, they got a lucky draw against minnows UAB in the second round. I think their luck is going to run out here in the Sweet 16 against Gonzaga, a team with a lot to prove. Perhaps the fact that the Bulldogs have a history of early exits has contributed to why the line in this game is still in single digits. This year's team is even stronger than it was in past season's though, as evidenced by their 87-68 win over a very solid Iowa team in the second round. The two teams that eliminated Gonzaga in the last two years have each gone on to the Final Four (Wichita State and Arizona). UCLA doesn't come anywhere near either of those teams in terms of talent. When these teams met during the regular season, the Bruins lost to Gonzaga by 13 points on their home court. I see no reason why they should expect a better result here in Houston.
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