- Overrated college football teams include surprising programs like UMass and Akron.
- There are a variety of reasons why the market may be too high on a particular team.
College football betting is particularly susceptible to the swings and biases of media coverage and public opinion.
Unlike the NFL, which is set up to constantly drag teams up or down toward the mean, college football is designed as an unfair game. Some programs have eight-figure budgets and attract elite recruits; other programs languish in total obscurity for decades at a time.
It’s no surprise, then, that some programs are routinely underrated or overrated over the years.
Those reasons can differ from program to program – especially when dealing with overrated teams – but the top-level takeaway is always the same. Regardless of rationale, avoid overrated teams at all costs.
Here are some of the most overrated college football teams from the last decade, as evaluated by the NCAA football point spread market.
Most Overrated College Football Teams, Last Five Years ATS
|New Mexico State
College Football Teams Are Overrated For Different Reasons
The most underrated college football teams often carry a similar theme. In most cases, they are unsexy teams that quietly succeed, in spite of market expectations.
Overrated teams are a little bit more complicated.
Take, for example, the Virginia Tech Hokies – a team I am exquisitely familiar with here in Virginia, as my regular readers (and Lion’s Edge listeners) are all too aware.
Virginia Tech was a premier ACC program in the early 2000s but began to decline about 10 years ago. Since then, the market has failed to correctly calibrate the decline of the program. College football odds continue to give the Hokies more respect than their current teams and coaches really deserve. They’re handicapped like a mid-tier ACC program when, in reality, they are often a bottom-tier program.
The decline of a once-proud program is a known theme in college football, and the ATS echoes are reflected again and again with teams like Miami and Texas. On the above list, there are shades of that with teams like Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Ten years ago, these were top-15 programs run by excellent coaches. They haven’t necessarily been bad over the last few years, but they’ve dipped below expectations. And ATS underperformance is all about expectations.
Even Western Michigan could be such a candidate, as the Broncos seem to have lagged behind market expectations in the era following P.J. Fleck’s departure from Kalamazoo.
— John Ewing (@johnewing) January 2, 2017
But there are other ways to end up on this list, too. Teams like New Mexico State, for example, have done virtually nothing in recent memory to stimulate market appetite, yet they still show a poor ATS record.
NMSU is an example of simple, straightforward bad football. They’ve been so consistently bad over the last five years that the market has failed to predict how bad they actually are.
There is likely some systemic sportsbook input here, too. As a large majority of bettors aren’t looking to get involved with low-level G5 teams like New Mexico State, this is a side that is predominantly going to be bet by experienced college football handicappers and sharp NCAA analysts. An online sportsbook may feel the need to insulate itself against one-sided action on such a self-selected side.
If true, the result of scenarios like this would be an atypical shade toward the favorite. Such rationale could explain why teams like Akron, UMass, UConn, Kansas, and the New Mexico schools – some of the most consistently dreadful teams in college football – all appear prominently on lists in this article.
Most Overrated College Football Teams, Last 10 Years ATS
|New Mexico State
NFL Futures Betting
Betting on NFL futures is a great way to maintain your football excitement during the offseason.
Throughout the offseason, the online sportsbook releases a variety of futures markets, including win totals, division odds, and conference championship odds.
Visit the sportsbook today to see available futures markets and more football odds!