Using the AFP as contrary indicator in College Football

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Published on:
Oct/05/2010
college football

One of the most valuable tools for isolating value on each Week’s card is the “AFP”.  Each week, in my Game Analysis, I refer to the AFP number.  This “awayfromthepointspread” number is the margin of pointspread victory or defeat by a particular team in a game or group of games.  It is a major factor used by the linemaker in adjusting the power rating of a team for their future game or games.  Let’s take a look at some examples of the AFP in action. 

On the CFB schedule for Saturday, October 2,2010, there were 12 games in which one team had a +50 net AFP vs. their opponent.  That is, one team had a (+)AFP #, their opponent had a (-)AFP #, and the sum of the two was 50+ points.  With the linemaker using these AFPs to make his adjustments, many of the games shifted a TD or more from the opening week line.  Yet, those who followed the +50+ net momentum team were setting themselves up for a harsh reality.  They went 3-9 ATS, indicating the teams return to form that was expected of them by the experts at the opening of the season.  If you would like to check this list for yourself, the +50+ AFP teams were:  Central Michigan, NC State, Maryland, Kentucky, TCU, Air Force, UCLA, Toledo, Florida International, Idaho, Boise State, and Hawaii.  Only the last 3 of these got the ATS victory. 

This week, there are 13 games on the card in which one of the teams is a +50 or more AFP.  With diligence and hard work, you can isolate these games and decide for yourself whether there has been an overadjustment. 

Following, however, is another excellent way, using only the ATS records, for you to isolate contrary plays.

By game 5, most teams have played their non-con schedule and are ready to enter conference play (42 of the 55 CFB games are conference games this week).  It is an excellent time to begin to take advantage of a team’s AFP that has been skewed by their non-con results.  Some coaches like to play “cupcake” September schedules and run up confidence building wins for their team.  Others prefer to play it closer to the vest using these September games to evaluate talent and prepare the team for conference play.   Let’s use the latter of these two types of teams as our example. 

From Game #5 on in CFB, consider looking for AFP value with any team who is NOT under .500 SU but is 3 or 4 games below .500 in the ATS column.  Conversely, their foes should be greater than or equal to .500 ATS.  Common sense dictates that we are looking at a value situation here with the value increasing depending on the divergent, cumulative AFP values of the respective teams. 

Here are some criteria to consider that have historically proven to make this situation even stronger. 

  1. This is a conference game.
  2. Our “play on” team is NOT on a winning or losing streak of 2 or more games.
  3. Our “play on” team is NOT undefeated.
  4. Our “play on” team is NOT off a double digit ATS win.
  5. Neither of these teams is off an upset win.

by Joe Gavazzi  Winning Sports Advice

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