There is always a danger in paying too much attention to the performance of conferences as opposed to individual teams. After all, it's the teams that have to play each game, not the conferences as a whole. Still, by evaluating the performance of conferences from a betting perspective we can get a sense of how they are performing - and, most importantly, how that performance matches up to the perception of the betting public. If a conference is performing much better or worse from a betting perspective than the public perceives them to be performing then there can be a chance for bettors to find value. Here, then, from worst to best are how the Power 5 conferences have fared against the spread through two weeks:
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Big 12 (7-11-1 ATS): On the scoreboard the conference isn't doing too badly. Only Kansas doesn't have a win, and seven of the 10 teams are unbeaten through two games. TCU has struggled somewhat to meet their high expectations despite the wins, but they are legitimate national contenders. Baylor is too, and Oklahoma is making a strong case as well. So they aren't disappointing in that regard - only when it comes to covering spreads. Only one team - the Sooners - has covered the spread in both games that they have played. On the other hand, four teams have failed to cover a spread at all. It's no surprise that neither Kansas nor Texas has - they are terrible. Oklahoma State and Baylor have also let down bettors - though Baylor has only had a spread in one game.
SEC (14-13 ATS): Only three teams in the whole 14-team conference have covered both spreads that they have faced. Ole Miss and Texas A&M aren't that surprising - both are decent teams off to solid starts. The third, though, is a surprise - Vanderbilt has covered both of their spreads despite being the only team in the conference without a win. Really, all you need to know about this team is that they not only lost to Western Kentucky, but despite being an SEC team they were home underdogs. On the flip side, only three teams have yet to cover a spread - Auburn and Missouri through two games and LSU against just one FBS opponent. The other eight teams are a perfectly underwhelming 1-1 ATS to date.
Big Ten (15-12 ATS): This is widely viewed as just a two-team conference, but Michigan State and Ohio State aren't really doing their jobs for bettors. They are playing great but have covered just one spread between them - Ohio State in their opener at Virginia Tech. Only Michigan State and the very disappointing Penn State have failed to cover a spread. On the other hand, three teams that weren't expected to have a pulse between them - Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern - have covered all of their spreads and won all of their games, too. All in all, given how negative people were about this conference coming into the season, their performance has been surprisingly solid. If you had bet on every Big Ten team in every game played then you would have made a small profit. You can't ask for much more than that.
Pac-12 (13-10-1 ATS): The Pac-12 has given fans of the conference plenty of reasons to be concerned, and it's easy to believe that it is going to be a down year for this group. Like the Big Ten, though, a bet on every team in every game played would have produced a small profit. That is solid. Four teams have not yet cost bettors any money - Cal, Washington and USC are 2-0 ATS, and UCLA has a cover and a push. The only teams that have been real disasters for bettors to date are a generally underwhelming one, Oregon State, and a very disappointing one, Arizona State. There is room for improvement, and it sure seems like the conference is going to beat each other up once conference play starts, but things could certainly be worse.
ACC (20-7-1 ATS): It is rare that the ACC ever gets credit - they seem to be viewed as the clear weakest link amongst the Power 5 in a lot of ways. From a betting perspective so far, though, they are miles ahead of the rest. Remarkably, six teams in the conference have a perfect 2-0 ATS record so far, and Virginia has a cover and a push. That means that half the conference has been profitable for bettors - not a wonder that the group has performed so well for bettors. Also, all 14 teams in the conference have covered at least one spread through two games. There is the provision that the conference has not exactly challenged themselves from a scheduling perspective for the most part, but this has certainly been a strong - and much stronger than expected - performance to this point.
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