Sharing and comparing my method for trying to beat the spread

I live in the Midwest which is Big Ten country. Once conference play starts virtually every Big Ten game is televised in my region and I commit myself to try and watch all of them. I have three televisions set up as some games are being played at the same time. I have no bias or affiliation to any Big Ten team as I am a lifelong Notre Dame fan (I include ND games in my viewing schedule as well). My comments and reports are qualified only by my love of the game and an extreme commitment to watching and following Big Ten football.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

 
LET’S GET IT STARTED
Finally time to kick it off. The first week of the season is always met with anticipation as we finally get to see this year’s edition of Big Ten teams in action under “game” conditions. The first and subsequent weeks prior to conference play are the most difficult to track as there are more games to keep an eye on. Looks like I’ll get to see most according to the TV schedule I have. Only got time for Saturdays so won’t see all of Michigan St. Notre Dame’s 8am start might be a problem as well. Hopefully reruns will be available. One of the downsides of this portion of the season is the mismatches as many teams like to schedule “cupcake” teams at home in order to “tune up” and pad their overall record. Some of these games, particularly those involving non-FBS schools, are hardly worth watching. Can’t really learn much from them and the game is usually less entertaining than a spring scrimmage. Hats off to Michigan (Alabama, ND) and Michigan St. (Boise St.,ND) for scheduling at least a couple of marquee teams. Not all games this week are projected as “blowouts”. Some may actually be competitive. The most intriguing game this week, of course, is Alabama-Michigan followed by Michigan St.-Boise St. According to the “experts” Michigan is the only Big Ten dog. Below are this week’s games listed in order of projected competitiveness. The bottom three teams fall under the “you oughta be ashamed of yourself” category as they are against non-FBS opponents and therefore are not projected. 

WEEK OF 9-1-2012
 
FAVORITE
DOG
SPREAD
NORTHWESTERN
SYRACUSE
1 1/2
PENN ST
OHIO
6
MICHIGAN ST
BOISE ST
7
MINNESOTA
UNLV
8 1/2
ILLINOIS
W. MICHIGAN
10
IOWA
N.ILLINOIS
10
ALABAMA
MICHIGAN
14
NOTRE DAME
NAVY
16
NEBRASKA
SOUTHERN MISS
20
OHIO ST
MIAMI (OHIO)
23
PURDUE
E. KENTUCKY
NL
WISCONSIN
NORTHERN IOWA
NL
INDIANA
INDIANA ST
NL

 HOME TEAM IN BOLD PRINT

 FURTHER REVIEW  

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
So how tough is it to win on the road? The home team went 30-18 in conference play last season. This may not prove much, however, as the schedule could have played out to where the home team was the superior team more often than not. A more telling result may be to determine where the upsets occurred. The underdog won only ten times last season; seven of those victories were at home.

HOME DOG
ROAD DOG
22-Oct
PURDUE 21 ILLINOIS 14
1-Oct
MICHIGAN ST 10 OHIO ST 7
MICHIGAN ST 37 WISCONSIN 31
15-Oct
OHIO ST 17 ILLINOIS 7
29-Oct
OHIO ST 33 WISCONSIN 29
5-Nov
NORTHWESTERN 28 NEBRASKA 25
MINNESOTA 22 IOWA 21
5-Nov
IOWA 24 MICHIGAN 16
12-Nov
PURDUE 26 OHIO ST 23 OT
26-Nov
MINNESOTA 27 ILLINOIS 7

 You could say that Northwestern has the only legitimate “road dog” victory as the odds makers didn’t have the hindsight in early October that we now have (in other words the Michigan St. and Ohio St. victories weren’t really upsets). I think we all agree that crowd noise and the disruptions that travel creates are the general reasons for home field advantage. There are some that go as far as to imply that foul play is involved with the referees. “Homer” is often the term used when the officiating seems to favor the home team. While I don’t believe the officials are biased in a geographical sense, I do believe they are influenced by the home crowd on occasions. I’m not talking about intimidation here but rather that the crowd can point out some infractions against their team that the referees may have otherwise missed. These guys are human and they can’t see everything at once so they must constantly scan the field to spot any wrong doing. I have to believe that a glimpse is all they can catch at times. Nothing, however, is missed by thousands of fans in the stands. Any violation by the visitors such as a block in the back or a late hit is sure to draw a loud reaction, thus prompting the referee to look in a different direction to search for the cause. Maybe he catches only a glimpse of the infraction but common sense tells him that something obviously happened so he throws the flag. A violation by the home team however is sure to be kept to a low murmur that goes undetected by the referee, resulting in the occasional missed call.

 

 

 

 

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