Smart Box Series: As The Noose Tightens
By Marc Lawrence
November is, unquestionably, the best time of the season for sports fans. The NFL enters its second-half race, College Football concludes with teams scurrying for bowl bids while the NBA and College Basketball tips off a new campaign. It’s also a great time for handicappers as value aplenty abounds.
Our focus in the world of College Football begins to center around postseason bowl games during turkey month. In particular, we like to zero in on undefeated teams at this stage of the season. That’s because the deeper they get into the season, the more pressure there is on them to remain unbeaten. As a result, the noose certainly gets tighter and tighter each week, especially when these perfect teams take to the road.
This is confirmed by the fact that, since 1980, undefeated College Football teams playing on the regular season road from Game Ten on out are 96-35-1 SU and 54-66-2 ATS. Hence, these teams tend to suffer their first loss of the season nearly one-third of the time. A warning signal has been sounded for Kansas State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Oregon this week.
Pair them up against an opponent that has some semblance of a defense (allows 24 or fewer PPG on the season) and the shiver in their boots, going 42-31-1 SU and 24-45-1 ATS. The Cardinals and Wildcats will be showing signs of trembling this Saturday.
Bring them in as a favorite or dog of less than 4 points off a SUATS win and it’s time for blindfolds, as these guys are 11-26 ATS.
The bottom line is these teams are at their absolute worst in these games when they take to the road off a SUATS conference win from Game 10 out with a perfect record as a favorite or dog of 4 or less points against a foe that allows 24 or fewer PPG provided they’ve won 20 or less of their previous 28 road games. These teams tend to die hard, going 9-9 SU and 2-16 ATS.
Both Kansas State and Louisville look to meet their maker this week. Gentlemen, mount your horses.
- February 27, 2015 - 7:30 PM
- Bryan Power
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ 11.5 -105 Orlando
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1* Orlando (7:35 ET): I often like to back larger underdogs in games w/ lower totals (sub-200 pts) and that's the case here as we get a Magic team that's been playing a lot better since firing HC Jacque Vaughn. Last time out, they were oh so close to recording a fourth straight victory before losing at home to Miami in overtime. Poor play down the stretch, free throw shooting in particular, cost them an eight point lead in the final minute of regulation.
But still this is a Magic team that's gone 5-2-2 ATS its L9 games and they are 3-1 ATS this season when taking this many from the linesmakers. They have either beaten Atlanta or kept it close each of the past five matchups dating back to last season, going a perfect 5-0 ATS in those contests. This includes an outright win at home and a six-point loss back in December.
Atlanta had started to show signs of slowing down (lost 3 of 4) prior to winning B2B games. I was on them Wednesday vs. Dallas, but they were catching the Mavs w/out rest there. As a favorite of this size, the Hawks are just 1-3 ATS this season. Orlando's defensive numbers have been quite impressive the last four games, holding opponents to an average of just 89.5 PPG and remember that's w/ Wednesday's going into OT. A similar defensive effort here should easily keep them within the number. 1* Orlando
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