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    10 College Football Handicapping Tips

    Updated: March 19th, 2011
  • 10 College Football Handicapping Tips
    by JJBeatz of www.collegefootballbreakdown.com

    1) Favor large favorites in the first few weeks of the season.
    Past History says so.
    Power Ratings are based of “average performance” The better teams get psyched to play the inferior teams in the first few weeks and therefore are able to raise there level of play while the inferior team cannot regardless of their anticipation.
    The hot weather and the lack of physical endurance is a problem for all teams early in the season. Since the inferior tends to be on the field longer and normally has less depth, the inferior team wears down more than usual in the early weeks.

    2) Be Quick on Week 2
    After Week 1, there will be several teams that played better than their power ratings, meaning that the covered the spread by a wide margin, or those who played worse than their power ratings, meaning that they failed to cover by a wide margin. This is an opportunity for the bettor. The opportunity exists because you may be able to adjust your power ratings quicker than the bookmakers do. You must analyze each game that produced these results to see if the team is actually better or worse than the bookmaker’s power ratings. What’s most important about the analysis is effort.

    3) Be a little leery of the larger favorites between Week 3 to Conference Openers Teams that have clearly flexed their muscles and have looked impressive in the first two or three weeks may be looking to rest players, hide any new plays, shorten the game, and in general, “go through the motion.” The coaching staff understands what they have and now will be focusing on the bigger prize, conference play.

    4) Matchups! Matchups! Matchups!
    Finding Matchup advantages is a great way to find an edge verse other bettors. The simple approach of comparing offensive and defensive rushing and passing statistics is good, but you must go deeper.
    You will many experts analyzing speed verse strength, but the most important matchup to consider is at the line of scrimmage. You must do your homework to understand the strengths and weakness of the offensive and defensive lines. For example, one offensive line may be very strong at preventing bull rushing attack but may be vulnerable to speedy defensive lines. What are they facing this week? These are just a few of questions you must answer when looking at matchups.

    5) Energy
    The energy and focus that a college football team puts on each week is a great determinant of the final outcome. Unlike the NFL where teams show up with great effort each week because their job and compensation depends on it, college football players are 18-22 year old students who have responsibilities and limited practice time to get prepared. Automatically, “getting up” or being focused for every gay is not possible. Many college coaches will tell you that they cannot get their team to be completely focused and energized more than 3 or 4 times a year. With this said, handicapping the energy and focus level that a team will play with each week is as important as the talent differentials of the teams. www.collegefootballbreakdown.com devotes a section of the website called Team Intensity Team Intensity which analyzes the expected energy and focus that a team will give forth. There are several factors that go into the number and with our experience, JJ Beatz and Yonkers Phil are able to use this to our advantage when making picks.

    6) Be Dynamic! Take advantage of Mid-Season Team Improvements
    Most betters have 9 to 5s and do not have the time to follow every nuance of each team. Opinions on team’s power ratings are formed in the first 4 or 5 weeks when betters are expressly interested in gauging the talent levels. This opinion tends to be burned into the casual bettors mind. They feel that there work is done and they do not have to continue to gauge talent level. This is an opportunity for a smart handicapper to take advantage of teams who are making improvements and who are benefitting from weak Vegas Power Rating. Be dynamic with your opinions. You might just discover a team that has been written off but one that covers 4 or 5 straight. www.CollegeFootballBreakdown.com’s staff is always on the lookout for these type of mid-season turnaround stories who can cash in for you.

    7) Bet against teams with inferior defenses on the road.
    On the road, you must posses a defense than can stem momentum and settle the crowd. If you cannot play solid sudden change defense on the road, things have a way of getting ugly. Take advantage

    8 ) Bet against teams late in the season that are wearing down due attrition of players. These teams should be on the field for at least 90 plays on defense. After week 9, most teams who seem to be reeling, continue to play poorly until they meet a team that is as bad.

    9) Setups
    Good handicappers are looking at matchups that can be exploited several weeks in advance. The main questions that remain for their decision are how the teams enter the game and what the line will be. This method of looking ahead is great for 3 reasons. 1) It forces you concentrate on each team’s performance heading into the game which gives you better insight than reading past recaps. (or you can visit the www.CollegeFootballBreakdown.com Game Breakdown section for real analysis) 2) It prevents betting into a line that is substantially worse than expected. It you are expecting to lay 3 points but the actual line comes up 6, regardless of the matchup, you may have to prudently lay off from wagering. 3) Waiting for perceived fantastic setups helps with money management by controlling overbetting on 1, 2, or 3 star games knowing that a possible 5 star game is coming up in the next few weeks.

    10) Adjust to new information
    Continue to work each week on finding new information e.g. game changing injuries on the lines of scrimmage that get overlooked, subtle weather changes that especially may affect the game, such as, wind or rain. Finding a consistent edge takes a lot of digging and hard work. You will find some of this information in the Inside Slant and Game Preview sections of www.collegefootballbreakdown.com. But you may have a higher winning percentage by just following the Weekly Picks Section because Our Efforts Are Your Gains.


  • JJBeatz


    John "JJBeatz" Jacobson is a handicapping analyst who covers the Big Ten, Sun Belt, MAC, Big East, Big 12 and Conference USA for www.collegefootballbreakdown.com. His nickname, "JJBeatz" was given to him by colleagues on Wall Street for his ability to make them money betting college football. JJBeatz is short for JJ beats the spread.

    John's passion for the sport of college football began when he played his first parlay card in elementary school. His fascination with making informative predictions allowed for a smooth transition into equity analysis and trading on Wall Street. As John often says, "Similar skills, such as money management, an analytical mind, hard work, an attention to detail, and perseverance, are needed in both trading and sports betting." JJ continues to work on his craft and loves to make people money.

    E-mail JJBeatz: jjbeatz@collegefootballbreakdown.com.

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