College Football Betting Trends: 4 ATS Trends for Conference Championship Week

College Football Betting Trends: 4 ATS Trends for Conference Championship Week article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

I don't value trends as much as some other bettors, as I believe most are usually just noise. Plus, you always have to keep in mind that betting markets will adjust over time to any identifiable profitable trends.

That said, I do find them interesting at the minimum for one-off unique events like conference championships. Here's a quick summary of a few that I dug up pertaining to both sides and totals.

Barking Dogs

In all conference championships since 2005, underdogs have gone 63-54-3 (53.8% ATS), per Action Labs. True home and road underdogs have performed better at 24-14 (63.2%) than neutral-site underdogs at 39-40-3 (49.4%), which I assume is mainly random noise.

In regard to conference-specific trends, the MAC has seen pups cash at the highest rate of 75% (12-4-1 ATS), while the ACC comes in with the lowest at 41.2% (7-10 ATS).

Also, unranked underdogs have enjoyed quite a bit of success ATS against ranked teams in conference title games at 14-6 ATS (70%) — covering by an average margin of 10.58 points. This year, North Texas and Purdue fit that mold.

Don't Overreact

Underdogs that failed to cover multiple games in a row have gone 19-4 ATS (82.6%) in their conference championship. They have covered by a gaudy average margin of 10.93 points. This trend applies to North Texas and North Carolina this weekend.

Conversely, conference title favorites that have covered multiple games in a row have gone just 1-10 ATS against underdogs on multiple-game ATS losing streaks. This unfavorable trend only applies to Tulane this week.

Seeking Revenge

Five of the matchups this weekend involve regular season rematches with the following teams losing the first game:

So, do teams that lost the first clash have an edge the second time around in the conference title? Not from an against-the-spread perspective, as they've gone just 23-23 ATS.

However, 31 of the 46 (67.4%) teams improved their scoring margin in the second meeting by an average of 7.9 points.

That includes three underdogs that lost in OT — two of which didn’t cover. I'd say the team that is more likely to make bigger adjustments after losing the first meeting holds a slight edge — although the market appears to generally price these spots efficiently.

Total Madness

Since 2005, unders in conference championship games have gone 60-59-1 (50.4%). This is right around 50%, as you'd expect, especially with closing totals getting even more efficient later in the season.

For what it's worth, the Mountain West and Big 12 have been the best under conference championships at 7-2 and 9-2, respectively. Meanwhile, the SEC has treated over bettors the best at 12-4-1.

Here are a few other nuggets you may find interesting:

  • Totals under 45 points have gone 9-1 to the over, which doesn't apply to any matchups this weekend.
  • At 48 or lower, overs have gone 17-9, which only potentially applies to TroyCoastal Carolina.
  • When 65 or higher, unders have gone 15-9 (62.5%), which applies to USC-Utah and North Texas-UTSA. The highest closing total (80) occurred in the 2017 AAC final when UCF beat Memphis, 62-55, in overtime.

Lastly, overs in indoor venues are 28-25-1 (52.8%) since 2005, going over by an average of 1.8 points per game. For reference, that's pretty close to the upward dome adjustment I made for the MAC Championship in Ford Field, which has seen an average of 57.1 (and median of 60) points scored.

Other conferences that will play indoors this weekend include the Big Ten, Big 12, C-USA, Pac-12 and SEC.

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