Vegas is for losers.

Matt Melton takes a look at how every D-1 game in 2012 performed against the point spread.  The results won’t surprise too many of you.

Out of the 697 regular season games involving IA opponents, 261 of them (or 37.45%) finished within one touchdown of the betting line. In other words, more than a third of the time, you’re hard-earned money was one play away from either nearly doubling or floating away. Think about that the next time your buddy has a ‘sure thing’. Overall, over two thirds (67.00%) of the games finished within two touchdowns of the betting line and fewer than one of every five games differed by more than 20 points.

That translates into the average game being roughly twelve points off from the spread.  Not exactly a lock.


Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!

7 responses to “Vegas is for losers.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Makes it look like the guys who set the spread aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.


    • They are. It’s just that they’re not trying to make game predictions, just trying to get even amounts of money bet on each side of a game so they can go home at the end of the day with the vig.


      • Hogbody Spradlin

        That point understood. But from seat of the pants, the deviations from predicted to actual spread feels like they’re paying out too many imbalanced pots. They obviously make profit but . . .

        On the other hand, I imagine that in many games it’s not the initial spreads that attract the excitement and equal bets, but the adjustments to the spread. You know: OMG they just reduced Siwash vs. Wassamala from 10 to 9, so let’s flood money on Wassamala.


    • Depends. How many of those bigger than expected margins were in favor of the team with less money on them? There’s a couple every now and again that look too good to be true on Wednesday, and come Saturday night, you’re well too aware of what Vegas knew and you didn’t.


  2. Those hotels and casinos aren’t built with the money they pay out to winners.


  3. Dante

    The important thing is that the single game-changing play didn’t happen, not that it couldn’t happen. How far off the line is isn’t relevant in that respect.


  4. Macallanlover

    I subscribe to the “one play” theory when attempting to find 4-5 games each week to bet, if my analysis is more than 6 points different from the published line I put it on my list to pare down to the best bets I see. I also play 3 game “teasers” where you can slide 10 points on each of three different teams either way to increase your chances, but you cannot lose any of the three. The stats provided show how important a 10 point movement of the line can be, especially in the pros. I particularly like to take favorites between 7 and 10 points and have them Even, or up to +3. I have never subscribed to the idea of a “lock”, but have to admit to getting cocky a few times a season when I think I just can’t lose. Strictly for entertainment, and forces me to keep up with all teams/conferences/coaches, but I am always happy to just stay close to even for the year.