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Preseason Publications Help Isolate Overvalued and Undervalued Teams
Aug 12th, 2007

Joe Duffy (

Many a professional handicapper is publishing his preseason college football predictions. Unfortunately, these prognostications can have limited value to the pointspread bettor, even if the conjecture turns out to be spot on.

For example, all of the touts I’ve seen have forecasted USC to win the Pac-10 and Stanford to finish dead last.  It is quite conceivable for these prognostications to be flawless, yet the Cardinal could still finish with a better record against the spread than the Trojans.

We take conference foreboding an imperative step further. Borrowing the research done at, over the years we have compared and contrasted the consensus predictions of the respected preseason college football publications to the offshore odds.  

While this has proven enormously valuable for placing futures bets, it is even more advantageous in compiling a “cheat sheet” of overvalued and undervalued teams entering the season.

First of all, let’s set the simple criterion. Stassen takes 12 preseason publications and uses a basic point system to compile a consensus.  If a periodical predicts a team to win their conference, they are assigned one point.  Two points are given for a second place prediction, three for third and so on.

Of course the consensus is formed by ranking teams by lowest point total to highest. Better yet, the specific point compilation helps us “rate” teams (see previous articles about the difference between rating and ranking). We compare the Stassen research to the odds to win a conference or division as posted by BetUs Sportsbook.

Major dichotomies are noted and teams are graded as overvalued, extremely overvalued, undervalued, extremely undervalued, or at value.

For example, the Miami Hurricanes are modest -115 favorites to win the ACC Coastal even though Virginia Tech at even money is the unanimous choice to win according to the preseason magazines. Yet, GA Tech is at +775 even though they are dead-even with Miami according to the 12 modules.  We flag Virginia Tech as “at value”, Miami as “overvalued” and GA Tech as “extremely undervalued”.

By no means do we gaze at just the top or for that matter the bottom of the standings for an edge.  For example Illinois is the second long shot in the Big 10 at +3500. However, they are a comfortable seventh (remember there are 11 teams in the Big 10) in the compilation.  We grade the Illini as “undervalued”.

Remember that the offshore odds take public perception into account.  No publication is perfect, but we have found the rated assemblage of the numerous sources to be more accurate in distinguishing the talent levels of the teams. 

Even the most accurate conference predictions can be flawed to the gambler because betting odds are the great equalizer. Our system of contrasting the data with the betting odds gives sharp players the premier preseason sports betting cheat sheet. 

Joe Duffy is CEO of, home of free picks, live scores and odds, sports betting databases and the famed Tailgate Party, news and notes of interest to the online bettor compiled from hometown newspapers.

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Joe Duffy is founder of featuring the world’s top sports service selections.
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