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Over-Emphasizing Offense

College Football Betting Advice: Over-Emphasizing Offense

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

It’s impossible to grow up watching college football and not be predisposed to placing too much importance in offense. For your whole life, the best players on offense are the one who get the lion share of the attention. All these years and only one Heisman winner who was a defensive player attests to that. The teams you see on TV and that are talked about the most are invariably the most powerful teams. It’s hard to not come sway from all this thinking it’s all about offense.

When you watch highlights, you see the best offensive plays of the game. A defensive play needs to be extra-special to make it on a highlight reel. Whenever they break away from a game to show you a play from a different game, it is always a touchdown. It’s no wonder why even the most savvy fans and bettors can’t help but be a little programmed by this over-abundance of emphasis placed on offense.

If we see this phenomenon of people overvaluing offense, what does that mean? It means we should go the other way. We know people are preconditioned to put their betting dollar behind offense. The bookmakers know it also. They know people crave offense and tend to put more money on offense--whether it be taking the “over” in games or over-betting teams that are perceived as having high-flying offenses.

This is not to suggest that teams with powerful offenses don’t cover spreads or that the “over” doesn’t come in often, but we should be looking to secure good value by exploiting the public’s fascination with offense. Defense doesn’t get a lot of attention. Special teams excellence goes by with hardly any notice. But as we watch college football, we see that other things besides offense win a ton of games and cover spreads.

Watch out for teams getting a lot of attention for having explosive offenses. Once those teams start getting media coverage and the hype machine takes over--you should start looking for a good spot to bet against them. The point-spreads will keep getting bigger and bigger, with the bookies almost tempting you to take the other team. We can start getting good spreads on the other side once the public and media pumps up the other team to a degree that is out of whack with reality.

In addition, you should independently scout teams whose defenses are quietly rounding into shape. It won’t be discussed in-depth on ESPN. You won’t hear about it on the radio. No one at work will be talking about teams that have held their opponents to under 10 points for 3 straight games. All people and the media have time to talk about is offense. So you start looking for defense. Create your own bandwagon.

With the offense-first mentality on the part of the betting public, this can also affect totals. People like offense so when they see a team with a powerful offense or especially two offensive-minded teams playing each other, they will also predict offense. If you see a game like that, which part of the over/under do you figure would be more inflated?

Again, we must realize there are no hard-and-fast rules when betting college football. You might take this advice and go look for a game involving two powerful offenses and bet the “under,” but the “over” will win. It’s not a system. It’s a way for you to use the public perception of something in your favor over the long-run.

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If you know the public is fascinated with offense, then you can often times find good value going the opposite direction. It might take a while for you to start seeing the results. And don’t forget to continue to do the hard work. This isn’t meant to give you license to slack off and just start betting against powerful offenses and taking the “under.” The handicapping has to hold up, as well. If everything holds up, taking sides and totals where the value is good can help bolster your returns over the long haul.

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