You can find value in lesser football conferences if you know what you are looking for

October 8, 2018 10:04 PM

Don’t ignore lesser conferences when looking for betting value in college football. The market can be slow to react to extremes in either direction because leagues like the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mid-American, the Mountain West, and the Sun Belt get less media attention and mainstream betting interest.


As we approach the midway point of the college season, all of the following teams have cashed 80% or more of their tickets.


Off-the-Radar Launches (ATS records)

Utah State 5-0

Georgia Southern 5-0

Appalachian State 4-0

Cincinnati 5-1

Central Florida 4-1

Florida International 4-1

Western Kentucky 4-1

Alabama-Birmingham 4-1

Fresno State 4-1

Troy 4-1-1


Now, VSiN isn’t suggesting that anyone should have anticipated all of those great cover runs before the season started. But certainly early success was followed by more success! There were quality indicators out of the gate. Important market influences didn’t adjust.


Maybe they still haven’t adjusted enough. Sharps hit Utah State VERY hard this past Friday night as a short dog at BYU. Utah State would win that rivalry showdown 45-20. Georgia Southern remained undefeated ATS with a 48-13 win as just a 12-point favorite over South Alabama this past Saturday. Cincinnati covered by more than a TD in a 37-21 win over Tulane for its fifth cash.  Underdog UAB covered by four touchdowns at Louisiana Tech.


On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of disasters in the first half of the season as well…

Off-the-Radar Crashes (ATS records)

Connecticut 0-5-1

Florida Atlantic 1-5

Wyoming 1-5

Louisiana Monroe 1-5

Navy 1-4

Marshall 1-4

Arkansas State 1-4

Texas-San Antonio 1-4-1


Wyoming fooled the nation in a strong early win at New Mexico State that got “over-covered” in media and handicapping chatter because there were so few games that week. Cowboys haven’t covered since! That includes an outright loss as a favorite at Hawaii this past weekend when the host’s starting quarterback was a late-day scratch.


Navy was a short road favorite at Air Force in the “Commander in Chief” series. Sunk 35-7.


Oddsmakers are having trouble making lines high enough when UCONN is on the field. Huskies were 35 at Memphis this past Saturday. Halftime score was already 41-14 in what finished as a 55-14 laugher. Louisiana-Monroe allowed 70 points to Ole Miss after falling behind 49-7 at the half. Full game point spread was only 24 points.


First-year football bettors are tempted to focus on TV games because it’s so much fun to root for your bet. By this stage of the season, many of you are learning that it’s NOT fun to watch yourself lose money on TV! Think about embracing some of these lower-profile leagues. You may enjoy the best of both worlds as some are about to scoot into mid-week TV windows. Appalachian State visits Arkansas State (both from today’s lists) Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

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