2012 College Football Week 1 Recap, Review: Boise State, Tennessee, Michigan State and More

After each week, I like to take a day and try and compress what happened over the weekend, and what I have learned. I think this process is extremely important for anyone who is trying to perfect the art of capping games and hit above 52.5%.

Week 1 Recap

For reference, my week 1 plays can be found here. Overall, I’m happy with my week. I tend to keep plays lower units early on in the season as I am a situational bettor, so finding edges can be tough in the early weeks.

The first thing regarding new coaches was reaffirmed for me:

A coach walking into a new program is almost always at a disadvantage in their first game of the season, no matter who the coach is. We saw this with Washington State, Pittsburgh, Houston, and even OSU. Washington State got smoked. Pitt got beat by an FCS team. Houston got smoked by an FCS team. It took OSU a quarter to start to score against a lowly MAC opponent.

This is even more apparent, when a new coach is entering a situation where they have a new QB and lose a lot of starters. This makes it especially difficult to grasp schemes and even makes leadership a question mark.

We have a new coach playing on Thursday night on short rest vs. a returning coach in their first game of the season. Check back later for plays on that game.

 Always buy the points:

This was something I learned early on in my betting days. It only takes one bad loss when you could have bought the points before you check every single game. I am by no means a totals capper. It is not my strength, nor do I claim it to be. I am a situational bettor and an ATS player, but key numbers are still very, very important.

Lets take for example, the Alabama game. I predicted a 31 to 10 score. It ended up being 41 to 14. Not far off. I easily would have covered the 14 spread regardless. At -14, I had a 2 unit play on it. At -13.5, I had a 2.5 unit play. Typically numbers will not change my play, but they will change the value of my play.

My roommate who is not a novice, nor a sharp, learned this lesson this weekend. He took Michigan State on Friday 2nd half -7. They scored a TD, and had the ball on the 5 yard line of Boise St. as time expired. I am almost positive he will always buy the point from now on.

Numbers I like to avoid are football numbers: 3,6,7,10,13,14, etc.

 Public vs. Sharps:

Finally, don’t be scared of the chalk. When I first started betting, I found myself extremely wary of what the “public” was doing. All the forums and message boards you read condemn the public to being squares and un-educated.

In this day and age, it is so easy to grasp information and find it online, that the public vs. sharp connotation is becoming a grey area. Do not let the fact that “all” of the sharps are on the other side than you deter you from your play. The hardest part I find in capping is having a system, and trusting it, and yourself.

What the market movement should tell you is if you are missing something. If I am really big on Bama -13.5 over Michigan, and the market is absolutely SLAMMING Michigan I need to sit back and think, “what am I missing here?”  That use to scare me off of plays, but now it makes me go back and reaffirm why I think my play is the correct one.

 Team Takeaways

SC: Defense looked solid. Should have not let Vandy score a TD (scored on trash plays) Connor Shaw is also a QB I like to back for his heart, not for his arm.

Vandy: Impressed by defense. Offense was highly touted, they should get better.

BYU: Going to be a strong team. Defense made it easy for their offense.

Washington St: Might take awhile to grasp the Leach offense but should be solid when they do. Also, they have no D.

Michigan State: Defense looked so good. They also hit super, super hard. Also, La’veon Bell Heisman future anyone? What a stud. Will be interesting to see how he does against some more stout defense, but he should open up that offense.

Boise St: Boise will be okay, but not like the past 3 years.

Tennessee: LOVE Simms arm. I think possibly the best in the country. Throws it so pure. His WRs are also filthy. If defense remains solid, Tennessee could be scary.

NC State: Will do okay in ACC play. CB are overrated in my opinion. Got overrated from playing trash ACC QBs last year.

Georgia: Can’t judge their defense yet. Have so many players suspended and not playing.

OSU: If Braxton doesn’t blow up, they will be solid. Needs to continue to work on throwing on the run.

Northwestern: Really like the frosh QB Trevor Siemian. He can throw the rock. Kain should revert back to WR, but may be a few weeks. OL needs work. Defense also cannot collapse a 3 score lead like that. Next week Vandy’s O has a chance against this D to get on track.

Cuse: Defense really sucks. Offense has the ability to run a good spread. Just can’t get down 3 scores.

PSU: Still don’t see how they score against any decent defense. Good offenses will score 20+ on them.

Florida: Don’t sleep on them, they will be good. Took awhile to shake off the rust.

Bama: Look so good. Yeldon will be special. McCarron playing behind a NFL O-Line. Def reloaded fine. Roll Tide.

Michigan: 8-4. Defense isn’t as good as people make them out to be. Fitz should help the O open up a bit and take pressure of Denard.

UK: Didn’t watch their game. Defense will not stop a good offense. Joker made some terrible, risky calls.

Da Ville: Will average 30 or more points a game. Especially against Big East D.

GT: Think they will struggle to score against an athletic defense, i.e. FSU, VT.

VT: Not impressed by Thomas. Mis threw a ton of easy passes. thought 4 of 21 completions were NFL throws.

Week 2 Preview

Week 2 is very similar to week 1 in how I approach it. I give the week 1 results about 20-25% of my capping fruition, and the other 75-80% the same as in pre-season. I do adjust for certain things, but in a lot of cases, 4 days of practice will not change too much. Teams are still trying to figure things out and get their offense down, be in the right spot on defense, and iron out the kinks. It is very important to limit yourself only to the first week of results, especially if the BCS team was playing a dud.

For analysis, commentary, and randomness, follow @mtsabert on twitter.

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