Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban
- Week 1 of the 2019 college football season continues with tonight's slate of matchups.
- Using Bet Labs, we share three profitable college football Pro Systems for betting on Week 1.
The 2019 college football season continues to roll with a jam-packed slate on Saturday. There are 16 top 25 teams taking the field, highlighted by No. 16 Auburn hosting No. 11 Oregon. We even get games on Sunday and Monday.
With that in mind I dove into the Bet Labs database to find three profitable College Football Pro Systems that bettors can follow in Week 1. As a bonus, we give out a free pick for each system!
All odds below are as of 5 p.m. ET on Friday and via PointsBet.
Bet Labs users can find these Pro Systems in the Think Tank. Not a Bet Labs member? Sign up to get access to all of our Pro Systems and receive alerts when games match.
Buying Low on Bowl Teams
In the first week of the season it has been profitable to bet bowl teams from the previous year when the line moves against them (example: from +3 to +5 or from -3 to -2). Teams in this scenario are 370-315-7 (54.0%) against the spread (ATS) since 2005.
This strategy works because bettors are getting a talented team (again, made a bowl last season) at a discounted price, usually as a result of an overreaction from casual bettors to a piece of information. This system is most profitable when the previous season’s bowl team is playing its first game at home or on a neutral field.
Pick: Duke +35 at Alabama (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Alabama opened as a 31-point favorite. More than 80% of spread tickets are on the No. 2 team in the nation, forcing oddsmakers to adjust the Tide to 35-point favorites.
Nick Saban has been the most profitable coach in openers since 2005 compiling a 10-1 ATS record. Bettors clearly believe Saban will cash for them once again.
However, this system points to value in Duke. Plus, Saban has been inconsistent as a large favorite. Since 2005, Alabama is just 11-22 ATS when favored by 30 or more points.
Note: There are 22 other matches for this system in Week 1.
Weather is an important factor to consider before placing an over/under bet. In college football, hot temperatures have led to increased scoring. Air density decreases as temperatures increase, making it easier for quarterbacks to throw downfield and for kickers to make field goals, which increases scoring.
Players also fatigue more under the pressure of intense heat. This can be problematic for defenses as they become more susceptible to allowing bigger plays.
In games with average temperatures of 85 degrees or warmer, the over has gone 351-292-11 (54.6%) since 2005. This strategy is most efficient in non-conference games (the lack of familiarity promotes scoring) and matchups where wind will not be an issue — windy conditions can disrupt the passing and kicking game.
Pick: Memphis vs. Ole Miss over 69 (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ABC)
The total opened 68 and has increased to 69 points. Are you worried the value is gone since the total has increased?
In games matching this system, the over is 99-55-3 (64.3%) when the over/under increases by at least a 0.5 point.
Note: There are 17 other matches for this system in Week 1.
Small Road Dogs
The public loves betting the chalk. Since 2005, favorites in college football have received a majority of spread bets in more than 80% of games. Oddsmakers know casual bettors want to wager on the favorites, thus they will shade the lines leading to value on the underdogs.
Recreational gamblers also overvalue home-field advantage. Thus, a contrarian gambler can exploit these square tendencies by betting small road underdogs to win outright.
These teams don’t have a winning record overall, but because we are wagering on plus-money underdogs it has been a profitable strategy.
Current Pick: SMU (+115) at Arkansas State (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
SMU and Arkansas State are evenly-matched opponents. According to The Action Network’s college football power ratings, the Mustangs have a rating of 62 while the Red Wolves have a rating of 64.5.
This game is close to a pick’em, but Arkansas State opened as a 3-point favorite with home-field advantage. The line has moved in SMU’s direction. Act quickly to place a wager on the ‘Stangs before the line moves again.
Note: There are three other matches for this system in Week 1.