Don't Expect a Bounce Back From Power 5 Teams That Disappointed in Week 1
Novice bettors are often taught that line value can be had if you think contrarian. The notion is based on the simple premise that the market can over-adjust based on recency bias.
A dominant win or an upset loss can swing the following weekâ€™s line several points. If you can determine where there may be an overcorrection based on that single game, recent performance, a bettor could potentially land on a winning side based on a few â€œfreeâ€ points.
There may be no better opportunity to take advantage of soft lines than in Week 2, which could rightly be dubbed Overreaction Saturday. This is especially true for Power 5 teams that lost on opening weekend to assumed inferior opponents in the Group of 5 or FCS.
Last weekend saw seven Power 5 teams -- Iowa State, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington State -- go down to non-Power 5 teams. Perhaps even more surprisingly, four of those teams went to a bowl game last season.
One might hypothesize, as I did, that those Power 5 teams might be undervalued in Week 2 based on the potentially hasty assumption that the team was worse than expected. However, what I found suggested that oddsmakers often times mistakenly built in regression back to the mean with those Week 1 losers.
Looking back on 38 games since 2010 where a Power 5 team lost in Week 1 to a Group of 5 or FCS school, a couple of trends reveal themselves that could help bettors in Week 2.
Week 1 Losers as Underdogs
In the last seven seasons, a Power 5 team has been an underdog in Week 2 after a Week 1 loss to a Group of 5 or FCS team 17 times. In the opener, those teams were defeated on average approximately 30-20.
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