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What Does History Say About 5-0 ATS Teams Like Arkansas Ahead of Matchup vs. Tennessee?


Andrew Ferguson/Collegiate Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Jarrett Guarantano and Ty Chandler

Following a three-game skid, Tennessee got its much-needed bye last weekend. I say “much-needed” because the Vols will face the best team in college football this week.

Sorry — the Vols will face the best team against-the-spread team in college football this week.

Arkansas, yes Arkansas, is 5-0 against the spread (ATS) through its first five games. That’s despite a 2-3 overall record, the same mark as Tennessee’s. The Vols are just 1-3-1 against the number.

In other words, while these sides may be boasting equal records through five games, Arkansas has been considerably overperforming, while Tennessee has been doing just the opposite.

So where does leave us for this week’s matchup? Should bettors stay away from the Vols just because their opponent has been an ATM machine? Or is there value in attempting to break the ATS streak?

College Football Betting Trend: Tennessee vs. Arkansas

I’ll start with a warning that a trend of this sample size is in no way guaranteed to be predictive. But, here’s what our database tells us:

Since 2005 (when we started compiling college football odds data), teams that have maintained a perfect ATS record through five games have failed cover in their sixth more often than not.

In fact, of the 70 teams that have been in the position Arkansas finds itself this week, only 28 have covered the spread. The 39-28-3 record in fading such teams comes out to a solid 58.3% win rate.

Making the Vols even more appealing this weekend, at least historically speaking, the public has begun to flock toward Arkansas to the tune of a 62% spread backing (as of Thursday afternoon).

Filtering that 70-game sample down to fading only the 5-0 ATS teams getting at least 60% of bets?

25-8-2 against the spread.

Of course, it’s only Thursday. As you may be aware, percentages can certainly shift significantly in 48 hours, so there’s no guarantee that Tennessee fits these criteria by kickoff.

Still, the point remains: don’t be afraid of a side simply because it’s yet to lose. The market has ways of correcting for such streaks.

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