College Football ATS Studs and Duds
T.O. Whenham of Doc's Sports Picks
Some teams have never met a spread that they can't cover, while others seemingly won't cover a spread no matter how low it is set. Whether a team consistently covers or consistently doesn't, you have to like them, because it is their consistency that can put money into your pocket. Here, then, are five of the ATS (against the spread) studs and five of the ATS duds of this college football season thus far:
Ohio State (4-0, 4-0 ATS) - Not only are the Buckeyes the best team in the country, but they are the best ATS as well. The consistency doesn't stop there, either - the Buckeyes have also gone under in all four of their games. This week they are seven-point favorites against Iowa with an O/U of 43.5. The lazy bettor could just follow history and take Ohio State and under and be done with it.
Louisville (4-0, 4-0 ATS) - The Cardinals have covered comfortably all four games, including margins of 19 and 22 points over the spread. They are less impressive in the O/U. They went well over in their first two games, and then were under by a fair bit in their last two. If their offense hasn't been scoring quite as much, then their next game against Middle Tennessee State -- after a week off -- should solve that problem.
Central Michigan (2-2, 4-0 ATS) - The Chippewas have managed to beat bad teams and stay reasonably close to good teams. They're 7.5-point dogs against Kentucky this week, so history would indicate that we are due for a Kentucky win by seven.
Syracuse (2-2, 4-0 ATS) - Syracuse has a couple of impressive covers on the books this season - a near win against Iowa and a 10-point win as 3.5 point dogs against Illinois. They've covered as favorites and underdogs, at home and on the road. They aren't overwhelming and they aren't exciting to watch, but it's working on the betting side. This week they are five-point favorites when they host Wyoming.
East Carolina (1-3, 4-0 ATS) - The Pirates aren't exactly lighting the Big East up, but they are doing enough to stay close and enough to cover. Essentially, they are bad enough to get fairly large spreads, but good enough to lose by less than expected. After a week off they will try to pull it off again against a vulnerable Virginia team.
Stanford (0-4, 0-4 ATS) - The Cardinal are just terrible this year. They were one-point dogs against Navy and the lost by 28. They were favored by 10.5 against San Jose State and they lost. They are just plain bad. Unfortunately, they aren't bad enough to be consistent on the O/U - they are 2-2. They have their biggest spread yet this week, at +23 against UCLA. UCLA doesn't look great, but you can't love Stanford's chances.
Florida Atlantic (0-4, 0-4 ATS) - This is a team that is so monumentally bad that there is probably not a spread big enough to give them a chance. The smallest spread they have faced all season is 21.5, yet they haven't come within a touchdown of covering. The low point was Kansas State. They were 21.5-point dogs, but they lost 45-0. The Owls are so bad that they are 14.5-point underdogs this week to Louisiana Monroe, a team that lost to Alabama by 34 last time out.
Virginia (1-3, 0-4 ATS) - They have been favorites twice and underdogs twice, so it doesn't matter what the bookmakers do, it doesn't help. They've also missed the cover in different ways - Georgia Tech covered by just half a point, while Virginia lost to Western Michigan by a touchdown as a 10-point favorite. Next up is Duke. Virginia is a 5.5-point favorite, and Duke isn't very good, so an impressive ATS streak could end.
Mississippi (1-3, 0-4 ATS) - Ole Miss was a two-point chalk last time out against Wake Forest. They lost by 24. That pretty much sums up the season for Ole Miss bettors. This week they are 18.5-point underdogs against Georgia. That's the same Georgia team that was almost incredibly embarrassed by Colorado last game and should be out for blood this time. It could get ugly for Ole Miss, and it could keep the ATS streak intact.
Arkansas (3-1, 0-4 ATS) - Here's a fairly decent team that just can't cover. They were blown out by USC in the opening week. Since then they have been favored all three weeks and they have won each game, but they just haven't been able to win by enough to pay off bettors. They have a week off, then they should be a pretty large underdog against Auburn. Auburn is 3-1 ATS, so it would seem easy to predict what will happen here.