Riding Mid-Major Streaks
by Trevor Whenham - 11/16/2006
By the time we get to this point in the college football season teams have played enough games to where they are establishing trends and those trends are often long enough and consistent enough that they are worth a look, and maybe even a bet. It's easy to keep track of the big teams in the major conferences that are on some kind of a roll - Wake Forest and Ohio State have been very good against the spread, for example, while Michigan and Texas have been less reliable. Those trends are important to know, but they are common knowledge. By following trends that are less known, with teams that are more obscure, you may have knowledge that others don't have, and that may give you an edge. Here are thirteen mid-major teams that are currently in the midst of significant ATS or totals streaks:
Hawaii - This team is an incredible offensive powerhouse. If you haven't seen them play you really should. Junior quarterback Colt Brennan is having a season that is almost incomprehensible - he has completed 72 percent of his passes for 3,753 yards with 43 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. Not bad for 10 games. He obviously won't win the Heisman, but he certainly deserves a trip to New York. The team is as good for bettors as they are offensively. They are 7-1-1 ATS and they have gone over in their last seven games. It's not hard to go over when a team averages 61 points over the course of their last five games.
San Jose State - One streak will probably end when the Spartans play Hawaii on Saturday. San Jose State has gone under the total in their last five games.
Middle Tennessee State - I don't know much about the Blue Raiders, and it is hard to give too much respect to a team that lost to Oklahoma, 59-0. They do have a very nice ATS streak going, however. They have covered their last six games, and they have done it with spreads ranging from -13.5 to +29.
Brigham Young - The Cougars are traditionally a solid team, and this year is no exception. They have covered the spread in their last seven games, including two games in which they were 28-point favorites and one at 28.5. On the season they are 9-1 ATS, and the only loss was to Boston College in overtime by seven when they were 6.5-point underdogs.
Fresno State - Remember when the Bulldogs used to be good? I mean really, really good? That seems like it never happened judging by how they are playing this year. They are 2-7 straight up, and a perfect 0-9 ATS. They play a disappointing Idaho team this week, and they are favored by 10.5, but history indicates that they could find a way to lose.
Nevada - The Wolf Pack has made more of a name for themselves on the basketball court than the football field recently, but they've been a joy to bet on this year. They are 9-1 ATS, including covers in their last eight outings. They won their last game 42-0, so both sides of the ball are working pretty well.
UL Lafayette - Florida International - If these two teams can find a way when they play, neither team will cover. UL Lafayette hasn't covered in their last four, and just twice in their last eight. Florida International hasn't covered in five, and they're averaging one point per game in their last three, so it's hard to believe that they will again.
East Carolina - Rice - This game is just the opposite of the one above. East Carolina is 9-1 ATS, despite being just 6-4 straight up. Their most impressive showing was a cover against West Virginia. Rice is also a solid ATS team, covering their last four. More impressively, Rice has gone over on their last eight games.
Central Florida - Golden Knights' fans may not be happy with how their season is going, but bettors should be. The team hasn't covered in their last five.
Marshall - When it comes to betting totals, my favorite kind of team is one that scores a lot and plays defense badly. Marshall is just such a team. They haven't held a team to less than three touchdowns all year. That has helped them go over the total in their last six games.
Tulsa - The team took Rice to overtime before losing 41-38, which was obviously over the total (56 in this case). That's a lot of points, but it's important to note that 23 of them were scored in overtime. That's not the game that Tulsa usually plays. Before that game the Golden Hurricane had gone under in seven straight games.