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The Times (and Lines) They are a Changing
August 29, 2006

One (of the many) integral parts of my pre-season CFB handicapping is to compare the old with the new. Before the season begins, I make a line for every game using last year’s final ratings. As the current year progresses, we can then contrast them with the opening lines for each week. I look for big differences and decide if they’re warranted.

As I go through the week 1 rotation, here are the double-digit changes, LY 1st and OL 2nd:

Vandy @ Michigan -15, -25 1/2
La. Tech. @ Nebraska -10, -22
USC -27, -7 @ Arkansas
North Texas @ Texas -58, -43
Memphis -7, +5 @ Ole Miss

I am not saying blindly bet against the big diff’s. I am saying, use this tool to tell you when you are getting line value or not. Every knows ‘SC lost Bush, Leinart and White. And most know Phil Steele’s CFB preview has dubbed the Razorbacks as the nation’s #1 most improved team. These factors have been factored into the line (and then some). In the Trojans’ last game they were laying a TD vs. Texas. You are not getting line value by taking that same TD with the Hogs.

p.s. Use this for NFL too.

For example, LY’s game 1: Oakland @ New England -19 (previous yr.), -7 1/2 (OL)

Everyone knew the Pat’s had lost their Ass’t. HC’s and a few name players, while the Raiders had acquired Randy Moss. In their last game N.E. was -7 vs. Philly in the neutral site Super Bowl. Raider backers got a whopping 1/2 point more facing the defending champs at home! It wasn’t enough.

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