Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Wagering on home underdogs is usually a
smart bet each and every season and in the 2012 campaign they are covering at a
54 percent clip.
That number hasn't won folks a ton of money, but it has kept them in the black.
Still, if gamblers who love this trend just happened to stay away from betting
any of the games in Week 5, they would be way above .500 at 59 percent. Last
week's 10-12-1 mark dropped the overall percentage down to the aforementioned
Not only is betting on home underdogs against-the-spread a solid proposition,
taking them on the money line is also a smart wager. Between weeks two and
four, 12 of the 20 ATS home dogs won outright. Four of them (Wake Forest and
Arizona in Week 2, Pittsburgh in Week 3 and UNLV in Week 4) were double-digit
underdogs while three others were getting a touchdown or more.
This past weekend began with more of the same when the Washington Huskies beat
Stanford, 17-13, as seven-point dogs on Thursday night. And when Kent State
knocked off Ball State at home as 2.5-point underdogs as the first set of
Saturday games were being completed, the winning percentage was a stout 61
percent. Unfortunately, road favorites clicked at a 60 percent clip the rest of
Week 6 could have as many as 20 possibilities to choose from. Read on for a
closer look at two of them.
ACC and BIG 12 HOME DOGS
The most intriguing pair of games are North Carolina State against Florida
State and Texas Tech versus Oklahoma.
The Wolfpack have given the Seminoles fits over the years, not only covering
nine of the last 11 meetings but also winning five of them. North Carolina
State's exploits have been nothing short of remarkable, particularly since
Florida State was favored in all 11 contests.
Moreover, all five Wolfpack outright wins came when the Seminoles were ranked
in the Associated Press Top 25, including twice when Florida State was ranked
inside the Top 10!
The Seminoles are currently third in the country, so the Wolfpack will surely
have their hands full. Florida State is sixth in the country in scoring, ninth
in total offense, third in total defense and seventh in scoring defense.
It also must be pointed out that they have played two non-Football Bowl
Subdivision teams as well as Wake Forest, so their numbers are definitely
skewed. In their two other contests, they won by just 12 and 13 points,
respectively, failing to cover each time.
The Wolfpack are 3-2 but could easily be 4-1 if not for six turnovers against
Miami (Fla.) this past Saturday. The Hurricanes also were fortunate to score
the game-winning touchdown on a 62-yard strike from Stephen Morris to Phillip
Dorsett with about 30 seconds left in the game. That loss will certainly keep
the Wolfpack focused versus Florida State.
The other key game pits undefeated Texas Tech against a one-loss Oklahoma
squad. Even though the game will be played in Lubbock, the 2-1 Sooners are
favored over the 4-0 home team.
Oklahoma has not looked like its old self in either of its two FBS contests.
Texas-El Paso, one of the early 2012 home underdogs to cover, trailed the
Sooners by only three points heading into the fourth quarter in Week 1 despite
Nick Lamaison completing just four of his first 17 passes for 24 yards. The
Sooners were able to pull away late to get the 24-7 victory, but it certainly
was far from easy.
Three weeks later, they turned the ball over three times to Kansas State in a
24-19 loss against the Wildcats. Oklahoma's defense was abused for 213 rushing
yards on 4.8 yards per carry after having an extra week to prepare for the
Wildcats' running attack.
The Sooners have an extra week once again to get them ready for Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 season as
they are 4-0. Their schedule has been fairly easy, but they did go into Ames
and take down Iowa State last Saturday.
The game was close heading into the fourth quarter, but Texas Tech pulled away
with 10 unanswered points to get the 24-13 victory. The defense was the story
as it held the Cyclones to 189 yards of offense and just 3.3 yards per play.
The Red Raiders upset Oklahoma last October as 29-point underdogs. It was only
their second career win in Norman. The four other victories came at home with
three of them coming in the last three matchups in Lubbock.
Texas Tech has been the underdog the last six meetings and the Sooners are
favored once again.
AFTER FIVE WEEKS
My overall record through Week 5 stands at an even 34-34 after a 9-8 week. The
five-star plays are 8-5, the three-star selections are 3-8, the two-star picks
are 16-14 and the one-star plays are 7-7.
As a reminder, the five-star plays are when my personal plays coincide with my
power rating plays (games with at least a five-point differential between my
line and the actual line). The three-star choices are my personal picks, the
two-star plays are the games the power rating system picks and the one-star
plays are my personal secondary selections.
THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) Alabama, 103; 2) Oregon, 102.5; 3) Florida State, 102; 4) Georgia, 101.5; 5)
USC, 100.5; 6) LSU, 99.5; 7-T) South Carolina and Texas, 98.5; 9) Florida, 97;
10) Texas A&M, 96.5; 11) Oklahoma, 96; 12) BYU, 95.5
(The Top 12 is not a reflection of a given team's won-loss record. It is based
on power ratings used to predict spreads for the upcoming week. At the
beginning of the season, all 124 FBS teams are assigned a power number, which
changes on a week-to-week basis depending on the results of the previous
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