NCAA Football Handicapping: Who Will Be The ATS Kings?
by George Monroy - 7/26/2013
The college football season will be here in a few short weeks. And even though we expect Alabama, Georgia, and a few other teams to be in contention for a BCS title, the question on every gambler’s mind should be which teams will rule the ATS rankings? Watching the Crimson Tide steamroll through their schedule with a 12-1 record on the way to another National Championship may be entertaining, but it’s also meaningless if bettors can’t win some money along the way. Last season Alabama went 13-1 and won the BCS National title yet ended up with only a 7-7 record against the spread.
What gamblers should be looking for during this upcoming season is teams that have potential to cover the spread. Alabama and the other top-ranked teams will routinely see double-digit spreads that will be in the 20s and even creep into the 30s at times. Sure, everyone loves to bet on the favorites, but is giving up 30 points really worth the risk? Let’s take a look at the ATS rankings and see which teams have the potential to make gamblers the most money this season.
Last season’s ATS rankings
Before we try and predict which teams will have the best ATS records this year, let’s take a look at last season’s ranking and see what types of teams made bettors the most money. Here is a quick look at the Top-12 ATS teams from last season.
Utah State: 12-1
Fresno State: 11-2
San Jose State: 11-2
Penn State: 9-2-1
Kent State: 10-3
Kansas State: 9-3-1
Arkansas State: 9-4
Ball State: 9-4
Of last season’s 12 best ATS teams, none were ranked in the Top 10 of the final Associated Press poll rankings, and only four—Utah State, Northwestern, Clemson, and Kansas State—made it into the Top 25. There were also no SEC teams in the top ATS rankings, and even though the conference rules college football and the BCS rankings, they are not necessarily the best bets in football.
2013-14 ATS rankings
Predicting which teams will make gamblers the most money during the upcoming college football season is not an exact science, because if it were every gambler would be a huge winner. However, there are certain types of teams that we can expect to be at the top of the heap. The top-ranked teams might have mediocre ATS records this season because their spreads will be so large, so expected middle-ranked teams and smaller schools to have the best value this upcoming season.
Teams like Clemson, Kansas State and Utah State will be ranked in the middle of the Top-25 polls and provide excellent value for gamblers. Here is a list of schools that might have excellent ATS value heading into the season.
San Jose State
Each of the above teams had better than a 68 percent ATS winning percentage last year. And even though we can’t count on old results during the upcoming season, the schools listed above are the types of teams that could have excellent ATS value. The best idea is to keep an eye on some of those teams early in the season and jump on a solid ATS trend before anyone else spots it.
College football is an excellent sport to wager on because they are so many schools to chose from that there is always value hidden somewhere. Your best handicapping bet is to look at a smaller school to wager on and stay away from the major schools with larger spreads to cover. Remember to bet wisely, and may the spread be with you this season.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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