Mid Season Momentum in College Football

Mid Season Momentum in College Football

From time to time I have written articles such as this featuring the conundrum of whether to follow a team’s momentum or take the value against the surging team.  My experience has shown that best results in mid season CFB will be achieved by following the early season momentum or lack thereof during the month of October.    Each week the line maker reviews the point spread diffs from the previous week’s results. He then makes an adjustment in each team’s power rating based on how far the previous game’s result was from the betting line.  His largest adjustments come in the earliest weeks where a teams rating may move by as many as 7-10 pts. 

The criterion for determining this situation will be based on the current line, in our case the current consensus line of Wednesday October 29, 9:00 am EST, compared to the Gold Sheet line of week 1.  For games played Sat. Oct 18th following the momentum of a team where the line was more than 7 pts from week 1 would have produced a record of 12-6 ATS (67%).  For games played Oct 25th the record was 13-7 ATS.

The accompanying chart shows you teams who would qualify in this situation for games to be played Sat. Nov 1st, 2008 including point spread record for both teams, and a 3 point range of how the line would have changed since week 1.  As you will see by grading these results this can be a most valuable tool in mid-season CFB handicapping.  Plays are listed in a rotation order.

Play on team   current line  ATS record  range of line diff   play against team foe Ats   

Iowa                 (+2.5)       4-2               7-10                   Illinois              2-5

Minnesota         (-6)          6-1               14-17                 Northwestern   3-4

Duke                 (+7)         4-2               10-13                 Wake Forest     3-4

Ok State            (-30)        7-0               14-17                 Iowa State        3-4

Ole Miss            (-6)          3-4               14-17                Auburn             1-7

Western Mich    (-18)        3-3               10-13                E. Mich            2-6

Tulsa                  (-7)          6-1               10-13                Arkansas          3-4

Notre Dame        (-5)         4-2               7-10                  Pitt                    3-4

S Carolina          (-6)         3-3                7-10                  Tennessee         3-5

USC                    (-44)       4-2                21+                  Washington       1-6

Boston College  (-5)         3-3               10-13                 Clemson            0-5

San Jose St         (-16)       5-2                7-10                 Idaho                 2-6

Stanford             (-30)       4-3                21+                   Wash State         0-7

Boise State        (-20)        4-2               7-10                   New Mex St      2-4

Rice                   (-2)          5-3               10-13                 UTEP                2-5

Oregon St          (-14)        6-2               14-17                 Az State             1-4

W  Kentucky     (-17)         2-4               14-17                 N Texas            2-6

There are 17 situations for Saturday, November 1st card in which the line makers adjustments based on teams ATS performances have resulted in momentum line adjustments.  Clearly there are situations in which it is prudent to take the value against the momentum situation.  However, it has been my experience, including the combined 25-13 ATS log of L2W, in which these momentum situations can prove to be valuable allies in mid-season CFB handicapping.

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