Look at the Top 25 rankings, its littered with Power 5 teams. Scroll down far enough and you’ll see a few Group of Five teams. South Florida is No. 17, UCF ranks No. 20 and Memphis rounds out the Top-25. These plucky contenders have earned the respect of pollsters but should bettors wager on ranked Group of Five teams?

We all love underdogs stories, this isn’t one of them.

Using the Bet Labs database, we find that Top 25 teams outside of the Power 5 conferences have not been profitable bets (ignoring independents like Notre Dame and BYU).

It gets worse if these ranked teams are favored: 147-175 (45.7%) ATS, -34.77 units. The lower in the polls the more money the Group of Five teams have cost bettors.

RankingATS RecordUnits
All teams147-175 (45.8%)-34.77
1-1030-33 (47.6%)-4.34
11-25117-142 (45.7%)-30.43
15-2596-121 (44.2%)-29.45

It is fringe Top 25 teams like South Florida, UCF and Memphis that burn bettors. Casual gamblers see that a team is ranked and will bet them. Oddsmakers know square bettors are influenced by the polls and inflate the lines.

Contrarian gamblers can profit by fading low ranked (No. 15-25) Group of Five teams. The most profitable situation is to bet against low ranked Non-Power 5 teams that don’t have a perfect record.

Bettors have gone 79-55-4 (58.7%) ATS fading these teams. One team matches this week: Memphis. The Tigers are 5-1 with a blowout loss at UCF and its two best wins coming against a pair of teams that were ranked No. 25 when they played.

Not to take anything away from Memphis but their spot at No. 25 feels like a token ranking for a Group of Five team that isn’t undefeated. At the time of publication more than 65% of spread bets are on the Tigers at Houston. Contrarian bettors should fade Memphis and lay the points with Cougs.


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