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Outkick Bets: CFB Lines To Attack (And Avoid) This Week

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Thursday night means the newest college football week returns to us and it’s time to make some wagers and cash some plays. Recently I shared with you the results of some of the early game totals this season and some trends we saw developing and today, I am dropping some more knowledge on your domes, this time regarding spreads.

The most common spreads are: 2, 3, 7, and 22. The first three aren’t a huge surprise, they are very common and considered key numbers and have been for a long time, especially 3 and 7. Before moving on, please note these are according to the closing lines before kickoff. Once you get that number and toe-meets-leather, some interesting things are happening. First, the most commonly seen spreads this season:

3: 14 times. The earliest key number has fairs exactly like the books want them to; 6 times the favorite covered, 7 times the underdog did and 1 push. What’s most fascinating about this number is of the 7 underdog covers, they all won outright. That’s a huge attention-grabber. If you look for pure value, and if the closing number you get is 3 or 3.5 AND you like the dog to cover, just pick them to win.

7: 13 times. The second key number is officially even and that makes as much sense as you could expect. Six favorites won, six dogs won and one push with three outright winners for the barkers. It’s a tough number to bet and it’s why you want to be sure of that bet before dropping the cash.

22: 12 times. How about such a big number on this list? It’s fascinating but also explainable. We have been loaded with so many FCS matchups early so that waters down this statistic a lot. Seven favorites, five dogs and two winners outright if you are keeping score. Don’t expect this number to appear much more this season as conference play begins to warm up.

2: 11 times. Eleven is an odd number and is just past the common scoring margins we are accustomed to seeing in football. It is performing in your favor, however, if you are a fan of the underdogs. Three favorites have covered it, THAT’S IT! Seven underdogs have covered AND outright won the game with a single push. Folks, money is our friend.

Once you get past just seeing how the most common numbers perform, I have to know how they perform, how they work for me. I love looking for plus-money value in college football because it is all over the place. If we look at underdogs specifically, which are almost always plus-money returns, the spreads are where it is at. For example, so far this season if the spread is 1 or 1.5, which has happened 7 times this season, all 7 times the underdog won the damn thing outright. If you see 2 or 2.5, seven of the eleven games have ended in the dogs’ favor this year.

Written by Arky Shea

Arky is a decade plus veteran of sports talk radio and a podcaster since before it was cool (2006). He has also won many, many awards for being good at it. As you read this, he is probably working an angle to win $50 on a game and wondering when the Alabama dynasty actually will end.

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