College Football Betting - Trends and Rivalry Games
In college they have trends and in the pros they have trends. There is one difference between the two though: NCAA teams stay truer to trends than the pros. If a team is1-11 against the spread (ATS) on the first Saturday in October, most of the time that trend holds true. It's funny sometimes because it's like both teams know that trend and it turns out to be a massacre on a Saturday morning. The scary part is that there are trends on anything and everything! First Saturdays, last Saturdays, morning games, night games, afternoon games, temperature trends, color trends, if the quarterback or running back had so many yards the game before trends, you name it, they have a trend for it? and the real scary part is a lot of times they hold true. In the college ranks, studying the trends is a great way to bet.
Rivalry games play a huge part in a point spread. A lot of times the teams are of equal talent and other times one team is really good and the other is rather crappy. But if it's a rivalry game, the point spreads are usually pretty low no matter how good or bad the teams are. A quick example: In 1996, when Jake "The Snake" Plummer was playing for Arizona State and had that great team, they played their rival Arizona at Arizona. At the time, Arizona State was ranked in the top 3 while Arizona was struggling to win 5 games.
I was figuring the point spread to be in the minus 20's for Arizona State. My mouth dropped when I saw the opening line: Arizona State -7. I said to myself that can't be right but in fact it was. I thought to myself, even being alumni of the University of Arizona, this was a no brainer bet, Arizona State all the way. Arizona State had a chance to be National Champs and even though Arizona was their rival it should be a blowout. For the first half, it was a close game; I actually believe it was tied at halftime. But in the end Arizona St. did blow them out 56-14.
A minus 7-point spread just shows how big a rivalry game is to a point spread. If you look at the rest of the games in that series since that 1996 game, not one game is decided by more than 10 points! Rivalry games usually stay rather close. Look at Florida/Tennessee, those games are usually real close and those point spreads are just as close. Be careful with rivalry games, even though a team is much better than the other, doesn't mean a for sure victory.