Going beyond Level 1 reasoning

Welcome to the inaugural post here at the “Anti-Chalk Blog.” The basic idea here will be to take sports-betting beyond level one thinking.

By “level one,” I mean avoiding this line of reasoning:
Team X is better than Team Y, so I will bet on Team X.

It is impossible to even hit at a 50 percent rate with level one thinking. What we need to do is understand how an oddsmaker comes up with a line, why a line moves, trends to follow, how to find the best line and much, much more. We’ll attack all these angles in due time.

For now, we’re going to isolate one of my favorite trends in college football: Betting against a team that is off of a emotional game or big win. The benefits of this trend are two-fold:

A) College teams and young players in general often have a letdown after an emotional game or big win. Everyone on campus is slapping them on the back. They don’t practice as hard. It’s hard to perform at optimal levels two weeks in a row.

B) The point-spread is often inflated. Everyone saw Team X get that huge win last week and now they are running to the window to bet on them. So even though the true difference between Team X and Team Y is Z, the posted spread is Z+3. That creates value.

OK, enough of the abstract symbols. Let’s get to this weeks’ NCAA plays based on this trend:

BOSTON COLLEGE +21 at Clemson:
This is a situation where Clemson has beaten not one, not two but three ranked teams in a row. Now they get a middling Boston College team in an afternoon game with no national spotlight. It’s a perfect spot for a letdown.

VANDERBILT +28.5 at Alabama:
Last Saturday night, Alabama went into Florida’s swamp and won a night game. That’s emotional and epic. This week, they have to play the “nerds” from Vanderbilt. It’s a spot where ’Bama will be looking ahead.

MISSOURI -3 at Kansas State: I think K-State is underrated, but the line speaks volumes here. They are ranked and undefeated yet are a home underdog to a 2-2 Missouri team. Kansas State is off wins in Miami (FL) and home against a previously 15th-ranked Baylor team.

TOLEDO -21 vs. Eastern Michigan:
One of the things we’ll talk about is getting value out of the smaller conferences. Since there is less media attention on these games, there is often more value. In this case, Toledo is coming off games in Syracuse and at Temple (a win). It’s time for them to come back to earth.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…