John Reed-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow
- The LSU Tigers and BYU Cougars defeated top-10 opponents in Week 3 of the 2018 college football season.
- A majority of bets are on LSU and BYU in Week 4 following their marquee wins.
- According to Bet Labs, it has been profitable to bet against teams after a top-10 win.
It was good to be an underdog bettor in Week 3 of college football. Teams getting points went 37-27-2 (58%) against the spread (ATS), including some major upsets in marquee games.
No. 12 LSU defeated No. 7 Auburn, 22-21, on Saturday as a 10-point underdog thanks to a Cole Tracy’s 42-yard field goal on the final play.
BYU (+1102) handed No. 6 Wisconsin its first nonconference home loss since 2003, beating the Badgers, 24-21.
The impressive wins moved LSU from No. 12 to No. 6 and propelled BYU into the top 25 of the AP Poll. The teams will try to keep the momentum going following victories over top-10 teams.
LSU (-21) is a big favorite against Louisiana Tech on Saturday while BYU hosts FCS opponent McNeese State (currently no line). Most spread tickets are on the Tigers and they most certainly will be on the Cougars as well when a line is posted.
Casual bettors are likely to chase LSU and BYU for a few reasons. The public overvalues ranked teams and has a habit of falling victim to recency bias – an overreaction to recent events, such as upsetting a top-10 team.
Contrarian bettors buy on bad news and sell on good. A team that upsets a top-10 opponent is a prime candidate to bet against and the data backs this theory up.
Since 2005, it has been profitable to bet against a ranked team that beat a top-10 opponent the previous week. According to Bet Labs, bettors fading these teams have gone 129-98-2 (57%) ATS.
We can improve the win rate by targeting favorites after a statement win.
The bigger the favorite the better the win rate. Fading ranked teams favored by 14 or more points after beating a top-10 opponent has gone 69-39-2 (64%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would be up $2,569 following this system.
Oddsmakers will likely inflate the lines for LSU and BYU on Saturday anticipating overreactions from the public following their top-10 wins. This creates value fading the Tigers and Cougars.
No. 6 LSU vs. Louisiana Tech (7 p.m. ET): LSU opened as a 22-point favorite, and the line has already been bet down to Tigers -20. Steam move bet signals, indications of sharp money, were triggered on Louisiana Tech.
No. 25 BYU vs. McNeese State (6 p.m. ET): This system has been even more profitable when the opponent is from a non-Power 5 conference: 36-19-1 (65%) ATS including 8-2 ATS when betting on FCS opponents.