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Analysis Of Historic ATS and Total Cover Rates By Week For College Football and the NFL

Those of you who are familiar with our site, know that we like to look for unique trends to apply towards handicapping individual games.

For both College Football and the NFL, if you take a close look at historic ATS and Total cover rates by week, some interesting things come to light.

We went back through five years of football data, and plotted the percentage of Favorites and the Overs that covered by week throughout each season.

What we found is that, while there is some outlying data,  there appears to be a degree of  consistency as to what happens from week to week in football, for both ATS and Total results after the first six games of the season.

You can theorize that this happens due to factors such as scheduling, the effects or “pre and post” bye weeks, odds maker adjustments, or by simple coincidence, but non the less it’s interesting to analyze.

To be clear, we are not advocating that you play every Over on a Week that has been historically strong, but hope you find this data useful in your handicapping .

In our opinion, the value of data like this is to help you build cases for and against games, and at times to help to decide when to increase and decrease units you may be playing.

We will be re-visiting this post to see how well the current season data holds up to the historic data.

Background

  • The data set labeled as “ALL” is defined as a five year history for seasons 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011
  • The data set labeled as “2009/2010” is specific to that season only
  • The data set labeled as “2010/2011” is specific to that season only
  • The data set labeled as “2011/2012” is specific to the current season only as is through Week 7 for NCAAF and Week 6 for the NFL
  • All pushes have been omitted
  • The graphs labeled “FAVORITE COVER PERCENT BY WEEK” represent the percent of Favorites that covered in each week for the particular time-frame
  • The graphs labeled “FAVORITE COVER PERCENT BY WEEK – DEVIATION FROM 50%”  represent, by percent, of how much above or below 50% the Favorites covered in each week for the particular time-frame

NCAAF ATS Observations

  • With the exception of Week 6, the Current Season outcomes have fallen into what we would call the norm based on the historic data
  • The 2009/2010 Season was an outlier to the data in Weeks 13 and 14
  • The data suggests a bias towards Favorites in Weeks 8 and 12
  • The data suggests bias towards Underdogs in Weeks 10 and 14

NCAAF Total Observations

  • Through Week 7, the Current Season data has generally followed historic patterns
  • The Current Season Week 7 (prior week) indication would have been a strong bias towards the Under, which was 29-20
  • Based on the data we would look for Unders in Weeks 8, 9, 12, and 14
  • Based on the data we would look for Overs in Week 10

NFL ATS Observations

  • It is expected that the NFL data would be somewhat more erratic due to the smaller sample size
  • The data suggests a bias for the Favorites in Weeks 11, 12, 14, 17
  • The data suggests a bias for the Underdogs in Weeks 9, 10, 13, 15, 16

NFL Total Observations

  • It is expected that the NFL data would be somewhat more erratic due to the smaller sample size
  • Based on the data we would look for Overs in Weeks 7, 9, 10, and 17
  • Based on the data we would look for Unders in Weeks 8, 11, 12, and 14

In the embedded Excel workbook below,  you will find the following worksheets:

  1. NCAAF_ATS – NCAAF HISTORIC FAVORITES BY WEEK
  2. NCAAF_TOTAL – NCAAF HISTORIC OVERS BY WEEK
  3. NFL_ATS – NFL HISTORIC FAVORITES BY WEEK
  4. NFL_TOTAL – NFL HISTORIC OVERS BY WEEK

Please note the following regarding the data:

    • The data is for the Current Season of NFL Football that we display on our site GreyMatterStats
    • All Pushes have been omitted
    • On the Excel Web App toolbar of embedded spreadsheet, if you click the right-most button, View Full Size Workbook, the entire workbook will open for viewing in a new window

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We hope you find the information an asset to your handicapping and please visit our free site, GreyMatterStats, where we put this information at your fingertips.

If you find something of interest that you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment or Tweet us  @GreyMatterStats

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