Starting up again this week, it’s the wildly-popular Don’t Dread the Spread podcast with Sam & Sam! Get educated on the art of sports betting as football season draws closer. Begin your learning with co-host Sam Verhulst’s article below, and listen to the latest episode on Thursday morning!
The hardest idea to grasp for those new to the world of sports betting is the difference between a good team and a good wager, more info on that later. After all, good teams win, but great teams cover. The key to successful sports betting is not knowing which teams will win games, but identifying which teams will exceed expectations.
With that in mind, here are three teams to avoid during the 2016 college football season. These teams may be good, but everyone already knows this.
- Washington Huskies
The Huskies, led by head coach Chris Petersen and loads of returning talent, are the current favorites to win the Pac-12. This despite the fact they won only seven games last year and have not won the Pac-12 outright since 1991. Now, there is no question Washington will be much improved this year. They have perhaps the Pac-12’s best defense and lots of potential on the offensive side of the ball, led by sophomore running back Myles Gaskin. The Huskies will be a good team this year, but the problem is everyone already thinks they’ll be good. For the wise bettor, the time to wager on the Huskies is long gone.
The current win total is set at 9 for the 2016 regular season, three games higher than in 2015. Even this total is weighted at -130 (wager $13 to win $10), higher than the usual -110. To win this bet, the Huskies will have to go 10-2 during the season. In a highly-competitive Pac-12 with games at Oregon, Utah and Washington State, as well as home games against USC and Stanford, a few losses seem likely.
The Huskies are the popular pick to surprise everyone this year, but there is no surprising Vegas. The lines have already adjusted to this team’s potential. Do yourself a favor and don’t buy in high on one of the few teams you could see play while high.
- Clemson Tigers
Clemson made an impressive run to the national championship in 2015. They return almost their entire offense this year along with star receiver Mike Williams, who missed all of 2015 with a neck injury. The offense will be very, very good this year. The defense has to replace the loss of NFL talent Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd, Mackensie Alexander, T.J. Green and Jayron Kearse. There are plenty of blue-chip recruits to fill the holes, but if Clemson has a weakness it will be the defense.
Clemson is stacked. The problem is everyone knows it. Clemson’s win total is 10.5. They only have to lose two games to lose you money. The ACC as a whole is much improved and Clemson has tough games at Florida State, at Auburn and against Louisville. Clemson will be good this year, but there isn’t much value in hoping they repeat last year’s success with an inexperienced defense.
- Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners surprised people in 2015, winning 11 games behind a breakout season from quarterback Baker Mayfield. They won’t be surprising anyone this year as many expect the Sooners to dominate the Big 12 and make a repeat trip to the College Football Playoff. Their current win total is 10 games. People forget Clemson and Texas dominated this team in the trenches last year. They also should have lost to Tennessee and barely snuck by a depleted TCU team in Norman.
Oklahoma returns a strong run game led by dynamic backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, but they may struggle to replace star receiver Sterling Shephard. More importantly the Sooners’ toughness in the trenches is yet to be proven, and until I see them dominate I cannot project Oklahoma as a great team. Oklahoma has a difficult non-conference schedule with games aganst Houston and Ohio State. They then travel to TCU before the Red River Rivalry. Baylor and Oklahoma State to end the season will also be tough games.
Oklahoma will be a good team this year, but expecting them to win 11 games seems ambitious. They are unquestionably the favorite to win their conference, but as the odds-on favorite there is definitely no value on the Sooners. I won’t be betting on them sooner or later.