2015 College Football Season Recap



College Football Best Bets 1877-1540-59 (55%) on a Star Basis for +203.6 Stars Since 1999!!

2015 College Football Season Recap
I won my final 8 regular season Best Bets but went just 3-4 on my Bowl Best Bets while I was 5-0 on my Bowl Strong Opinions. That pretty much sums up my season that overall I was 8-4 on the bowl plays I liked but ended up 3-4 on the Best Bets. It was a disappointing end to a down season that would have been really good if not for my bad luck on close games. I was just 11-20-2 on games decided by 7 points or less, rather winning half of those games as would be expected, and my Best Bet record would have been a solid 50-39-2 for 56% winners if I was 15-16-2 on those close games. My record on clear cut games was very good, as I was 35-23 (60%) on games decided by more than 7 points. I’ve managed to get above 50% despite the randomly bad record on close games but it was still a losing season. However, the math model worked well overall in the 2015 season and I expect to win going forward as long as I’m close to even in close games.

2015 Season Breakdown

As most of you know by now I fairly grade each play as either a deserved win, a deserved loss, a toss-up win, a toss-up loss (i.e. games that could have gone either way) or unlucky wins and unlucky losses, which are games that were subject to variance that clearly determined the spread winner. If you read the weekly recaps then you know I’m more than fair in how I grade each play and I actually grade myself more harshly than I should to avoid any speculation that my grading is biased. In the long run my actual win percentage and my graded win percentage are the same but this season that was not the case, as variance in close games really hurt my bottom line in what I consider a good season of handicapping.

I had 43 Best Bets that were graded as being on the right side and I was 40-2-1 on those, so I only had 2 unlucky losses and an unlucky push, which is not bad. However, I didn’t have any lucky wins all season, as my record on games that are graded as being on the wrong side was 0-27-1 (I had a lucky push on Memphis). While having a -2 in the lucky wins-unlucky losses column is not good the real problem with the 2015 College Football season was my record on toss-up games. I had 20 games that I graded as toss-up games and my record on those games was just 6-14 instead of 50% as it should be. Similarly, my record on games decided by 7 points or less was just 11-20-2 while my record on games decided by more than 7 points was 35-23. If I won the 43 games I was on the right side of, lost the 28 games I was on the wrong side of and split the 20 toss-up games then I’d be 52-37-2 (58.4%) on my Best Bets instead of 46-43-2. That’s the difference between a very profitable season and down year.

Some might think that I’m making excuses for being at 52% but losing 65% of the close games is a fact and it’s also a fact that it’s random to have such a bad record on such games. It’s actually an accomplishment to be at 52% given the 11-20-2 record on close games. An average handicapper would be at 45% with a record like that on the close games. Another indication that my handicapping was better than my record was the +2.8 average line differential (the amount my plays cover by on average) on my Best Bets, which equates to 57% winners in the long run.

The Best Bet sides actually were pretty good despite the bad luck on close games, as my Best Bets sides were 37-32-2 (54%), a record that has been dragged down by being an unlucky 10-17-2 on games decided by 7 points or less, and the Strong Opinion sides were 19-15. The average line differential (how many points the bet won or lost by) of my Best Bet sides was +3.3 points, which is actually very good (59% winners long term) and another indication that the record on my sides should be much better than it is. The Best Bet totals were just 9-11 (1-3 on games decided by less than 7 points), with an average line differential of +1.2 points, and Strong Opinion totals were 11-12 after going 3-0 in the bowl games.

The futures plays were profitable at +5.55 Stars. I was 3-0 on my 3 season win totals for +7.05 Stars, winning 4.05 Stars on UCF Under 7 at +135 odds, 2-Stars on Cal over 5.5 wins and 1-Star on Ohio over 5 wins. I’m now 23-10 on season win totals. However, I lost 1.5 Stars with my 3 longshots to win the NCAA Championship. I got close with 0.5 Stars on Stanford at 43 to 1 odds but lost 0.5 Stars each with LSU (23 to 1) and Texas A&M (54-1).

For the season I was 46-43-2 on my Best Bets and 79-86-4 on a Star Basis for -15.6 Stars with a 0.5 Stars loss on my money line play in the Championship game and a profit of +5.55 Stars on the Futures plays – for a total of -10.55 Stars. The Strong Opinions were 30-27 on the season (19-15 on sides and 11-12 on totals) and are profitable in the long run.

I was just 11-20-2 in 2015 on Best Bets decided by 7 points or less, which is simply bad luck. In 2014 I was -37 fumble margin on my Best Bet sides, which is by far the worst fumble luck I’ve had in 28 years. Some may think the last two seasons are in indication that my model doesn’t work anymore but my math model has actually continued to be very good overall and it’s just random that I’ve had back-to-back seasons of negative variance on my Best Bets (one in fumble margin and one in close games). If I have a season at +37 in fumbles or hitting on 65% of the close games then I’d be well over 60% winners. I have had my share of positive variance seasons, which led to high win percentages and a lot of profit, but all I’m asking for is a season that is even in fumbles and 50% on close games so I can have a winning percentage that reflects my level of handicapping – which is still very good.

I am still 55% winners and +203.6 Stars of profit on my College Football Best Bets since 1999 and I expect to be profitable going forward.

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