Does form matter entering Championship Week? Wisconsin (12-0) is the only undefeated team in the Power-5, while Miami lost its last game by 10 points to an unranked opponent. These two teams enter conference championship games heading in the opposite directions but will it impact the outcomes of their respective title games?
The tables below show how teams have performed straight-up and against-the-spread based on their previous game performance.
It’s better to have won than lost
|Won previous game||61-56|
|Won by 10 or more points||44-35|
|Lost previous game||11-16|
|Lost by 10 or more points||5-11|
|Won 5 or more games in a row||32-32|
|Losing streak: 2 or 3 games||4-2|
A concerning trend for Canes fans is that teams that lost their previous game don’t usually bounce back. It is a small sample but programs that lost by 10 or more points in the last game before the conference title showdown have gone 5-11 straight-up. Clemson is a 9.5-point favorite over Miami in the ACC Championship.
Does Wisconsin’s winning streak matter? Teams that have won 5 or more games in a row entering the title game are 32-32 straight-up. History says it’s a 50/50 proposition but the betting markets list the Badgers as +218 moneyline dogs (31.4% implied probability of winning).
Buy teams that didn’t cover
|Won previous game||56-56-5|
|Won by 10 or more points||37-39-3|
|Lost previous game||13-13-1|
|Lost by 10 or more points||9-7|
|Won 5 or more games in a row||27-33-4|
|Losing streak: 2 or 3 games||3-3|
|Previous game covered||35-40-5|
|Previous game didn't cover||33-25-1|
The most interesting trend above is that teams off a cover have been overvalued while teams that disappointed bettors the week before have been good bets. If a team that didn’t cover plays one that did, betting the team that burned gamblers the previous week has gone 18-12-1 (60.0%) ATS. Teams that fit this trend: USC, Miami, Ohio State and TCU.
Of course, we are dealing with a small sample, so bettors beware. If you want a more tried and true strategy: fade the public, it works in conference championship games.
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