Opening week of the 2016 college football season was a four-day extravaganza unlike any before it. The College Football Playoff has given teams incentive to step out of the comfort zones and take on high-profile opponents from the word go. It was one big-time matchup after another during Labor Day weekend, a true bettor's delight.
You are reading a new feature here at Doc's Sports. Each week of the college football and NFL seasons, we will bring to you the complete ATS and over/under statistics of all the previous week's matchups with select analysis. How did road favorites manage this week and what's the season-long trend? Have home underdogs been profitable? These are the types of questions to be answered in this space. So let's get started.
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Week 1 Biggest Upsets
There were 12 home favorites that suffered straight up losses last week, with the most shocking being Mississippi State. A 28-point favorite against South Alabama, the Bulldogs blew a 17-0 second-half lead in a stunning 21-20 loss. Mississippi State will try and get on track this week as a 6.5-point home favorite versus South Carolina.
Other notable home favorites to lose straight up were Vanderbilt (-5 vs. South Carolina, 13-10), Kentucky (-3 vs. Southern Miss, 44-35) and Northwestern (-3.5 vs. Western Michigan, 22-21). Next week, the Wildcats of the SEC will be at Florida (-17), while the Big Ten Wildcats host Illinois State (NL). Vanderbilt this week is a 5.5-point home favorite vs. Middle Tennessee.
Home Favorites ATS Record (Week 1): 36-39-1 (48.0%)
Home Favorite ATS Record (Season): 36-39-1 (48.0%)
Barking for Bucks
Home underdogs cashed at a healthy 60 percent clip (6-4-1) in Week 1, with four of those winners also coming straight up. The most notable of these was Texas beating nationally-ranked Notre Dame in overtime 50-47 as a 3.5-point underdog.
It was a championship-level performance from the Longhorns, but one game a season does not make. It remains questionable whether Texas, given its recent history of ugly losses, can sustain this level through the week-in, week-out conference meat grinder. Note the Longhorns are without a bye week in the entirety of Big 12 play (nine straight games).
Home Underdogs ATS Record (Week One): 6-4-1 (60%)
Home Underdogs ATS Season: 6-4-1 (60%)
Under the Number
There was no shortage of sloppy play in college football's opening week. From countless false-start penalties, substitution flubs, head-scratching interceptions and missed field goals, offenses were often their own worst enemy during the four-day extravaganza.
As a result, "under" bettors had a flashy week. In non-overtime games, the "under" hit at a very profitable 60.8 percent clip (48-31). Heck, even two of the five overtime games managed to finish below the total.
It's not unusual for the under to hold a slight edge early on in college football. No preseason games, overwhelmed freshman playing in front of 80,000 for the very first time--there's bound to be some mistakes. The million-dollar question for bettors is if it will continue in Week 2.
Over/Under Record (Week 1): 34-50 (59.52%)
Over/Under Record (Season):
Bucking the Trends
--Notre Dame had cashed at a 60 percent clip (6-4) versus the Big 12 prior to its loss to Texas.
--Wisconsin, which stunned LSU 16-14 as a 12.5-point underdog at Lambeau Field (technically a neutral site), was just 4-6 ATS in previous 10 games against the SEC.
--Auburn (+9) improved to just 4-7 ATS versus the ACC when covering against Clemson (19-13).
--Colorado's 44-7 win over Colorado State marked the ninth time in the previous 12 meetings the under has cashed in this series.
--USC has failed to cover its last five games as an underdog following its humiliating 52-6 loss to Alabama.
--Florida State improved 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a favorite and 6-1 ATS in its last seven games overall.
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