Regular season over/under win totals are often exciting and fun to bet on before the regular season begins. However, betting on regular season win totals will lock up your money for the entire course of the NCAAF regular season and as a result, it is prudent to properly research and analyze undervalued over/under win totals for teams. Here are some key points to consider when handicapping NCAAF regular season win totals:
Take The Hype With A Grain Of Salt
The media tends to have a significant impact on the public’s perception of certain high-profile colleges and will create grandiose stories about how great the team is, a perfect season feels inevitable, the determination and skill of players, and the brains of the coaching staff. However, many teams entering the regular season with an abundance of hype are forgotten by the time November rolls around. In order to succeed, you must cancel out the outside noise and form your own opinions based on thorough research and analysis.
Returning Players and New Recruits
The overall composition of a college team may vary significantly from year-to-year and as a result, one must gain an in-depth understanding of a team’s personnel. This includes analyzing the strength of returning players based on statistics from previous years as well as scouting reports on the outlook and potential of new recruits. A lot may change from one year to the next and a team that was considered a powerhouse the year before may turn out to be underwhelming the next year.
Oddsmakers take the betting public’s perceptions into consideration when setting the over/under win totals for each team. In most situations, when the public falls in love with a particular team, they have a tendency to bet the over regardless of how high the number is set. As a result, oddsmakers have an incentive to set the line higher than they would have otherwise. In turn, the value of taking the over bet for publicly adored teams diminishes greatly due to inflated win totals.
Although a team’s talent level is a key consideration when handicapping NCAAF regular season win totals, the easiness or difficult of a team’s schedule may result in a few additional or less wins than expected. An above average team may seem like a great team due to its relatively easy schedule – weaker opponents or less travelling than usual. On the other hand, a great team may seem like an above average team due to its brutal schedule. With team schedules often being overlooked, this is an area where handicappers could potentially exploit the most value.
Since your money will be tied up for the entire course of the NCAAF regular season, the wagers that you place must have a lot of value to make up for the lost opportunity cost of using the money elsewhere. When the word “value” is referred to in this situation, it means that if I project a team to win 10 games and the over/under win total is set at 5.5, there is a lot of value in this win total since my projection differs significantly from the line. On the other hand, if I project a team to win 10 games and the over/under win total is set at 9.5, there is still value, albeit a very tiny one.