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College Football 2012: Overvalued and Undervalued Teams

College Football 2012: Overvalued and Undervalued Teams

College Football 2012: Overvalued and Undervalued Teams. Several weeks ago I sent out a college football handicapping Q & A to several knowledgeable cappers and received the following answer to one of my questions from Chris Copeland.

Chis is a Michigan State grad and founder of, a sports betting analytics software and he’s also a College Football handicapper at

Question – Do you select teams or spots in the preseason to wager on or against? If so, who is going to be overvalued and undervalued this year?

I typically try to avoid being biased to certain teams until I see them on the field. Sure, I read about them in the magazines and think I know a certain team, but I’m of the mindset where I want to see how the team performs before I put my money on them and that probably speaks to why I bet pretty light in the first two or three weeks of the season. I’m watching as much football as I can and figuring out who will be a good value or who’s being overvalued based off the first couple of weeks.

A couple of overvalued teams 

Michigan – (I know, I know, MSU alum). But if you take a deeper look, UM was very fortunate to have won as many games as they did last year and they could have easily been 8-5. Hats off to Greg Mattison for the great job he did with the defense, but in 2012, UM faces Bama in Texas, and goes to ND, Nebraska- both night games and Ohio State- who will be playing their final game of the season.

On top of that, UM has a good MSU squad and at improving Purdue and Iowa. Vegas currently has the O/U at 9 wins and this seems to be a push at worst, as I don’t see, after the Bama loss, UM going 10-1 the rest of the way.

BYU – Impressed us last year as an Independent by going 10-3, but how many teams did they beat with a winning record? Two- Utah State and Tulsa in its bowl game.

Now, the schedule gets a lot harder with road games at Utah, Boise, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech and I don’t expect them to win any of those. Add in Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars and a Utah State team that almost beat them last year, and I see a big drop off for the Cougars. BYU also only returns 11 starters. Vegas has BYU at 8.5 RS Wins and I’ve already bet the under.

A couple of undervalued teams

College Football 2012 - Overvalued and Undervalued Teams

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

Clemson – Vegas has its O/U at 8.5 and I really like what their offense brings to the table (yes, even with Sammy Watkins suspended).

The defense also returns a lot of guys and that should help what was an underwhelming defense at times last year. The schedule also isn’t too bad with the only difficult road trip being FSU as Clemson gets GT, VT and South Carolina all at home.

Wisconsin – It probably goes without saying considering OSU and PSU are ineligible, but there’s no reason why Wisconsin won’t win the Leaders division.

Vegas has the O/U at 9 wins and they really might only be an underdog in one game all season (night game at Nebraska). They get OSU and MSU at home and miss Michigan. An easy OOC schedule, per usual, should have the Badgers 4-0 going into the Nebraska tilt and they could end the year with 10 or 11 wins.

I would like to thank Chris for his participation and sharing his thoughts with us on some of 2012’s overvalued and undervalued college football teams. Please let us know who which college football teams you think will be overvalued and undervalued this season

– Pez.


5 Responses to “College Football 2012: Overvalued and Undervalued Teams”

  1. SabertStxVii SabertStxVii says:

    I totally agree with all of these teams, except for maybe the Clemson call. I think when classifying overvalued and undervalued teams, there are different ways to look at it. One way, which Chris did, was agaisnt their O/U win totals. I also agree with Chris when he says he doesn’t like to lay money on a team that he hasn’t seen yet, therefore I tend to stay away from O/U and Futures unless its for fun. I think that there are ways the books capture public money in favorable odds on teams that are big-time hyped leading into the season.

    Examples of this are Michigan who are totally being hyped about Denard returning as a Heisman candidate and their “superb” defense. Their defense was superb last season against 3 ranked teams — MSU, Neb, and VT. None of those teams pose a serious threat. I think that people are way too high on a Michigan team that played a cake schedule. If you would have given Michigan Ole Miss’ 2011 schedule, you see them going 7-5, possibly even 6-6.

    With that being said, I think Michigan spreads will be a bit inflated, even after the Bama game.

    Thanks for commenting Chris.

  2. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Did a a bunch BYU players suddenly go on a morman mission? I’m counting 14 starters back for BYU (7 offense & 7 defense), not 11 like what was stated. I admit that BYU has a lot to prove this year, but aside from TCU, they really didn’t have much of a chance to beat a winning team after Nelson came in. And they took care of business against everybody else by an average score of 41-13. Chris is basically assuming that BYU will be the same team this year without any improvement. Which is possible, but all signs point to the team being better this year. I don’t know what kind of juice he’s paying, but Chris could be right about the under 8.5 since I’m expecting around 8 wins for the Cougs. He’s dead on about Wisconsin. I think they could be a dark horse national title contender team by the time all of the dust settles.

  3. Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

    GoSooners and I have been having a lively discussion about the Cougars in our BYU season wins total article:

    I count 13 starters returning (6 offense & 7 defense), however there are several players on offense that I don’t count as returning starters (they started less then half the games last year) and they have a few defenders that actually did return from Mormon missions (Ian Dulan @ DE was a 16 game starter before going on his mission several years ago and he redshirted last year).

    We’ve received a lot of good comments about Riley Nelson from BYU fans who are saying that he should be improved this season in the passing game.

    My quick take on BYU is they will probably be an improved team this year, but their schedule is more difficult then it was last season, so I think it will be difficult, but certainly not impossible, for them to repeat their 10 win (9 win regular season) season of last year.

  4. alkimyst says:

    Just my two cents, but I think Indiana, a perennial doormat in the Big Ten, may surprise some people this year. Wilson seems to have some good things brewing in Bloomington. People are actually talking about football again, whichj is a huge leao forward. Also, think Arkansas State with Malzahn now coaching will be a good “wager-on” team. I tend to be a contrarian, so I am usually looking for reasons to go against the Top 25, but it certaibnly seems as though the landscape of college football has changed forever, with a much greater emphasis placed on speed and high powered offenses over the last several campaigns. Hence, frontrunners like Alabama and LSU may still have some value, as their defenses seem to have the speed and athleticism to keep up with most anyone on the other side of the ball. If they ever figure out a way to score with the likes of Oregon and Ok St, all of our heads might explode. Looking forward gto another profitable college football season!!

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      alkimyst, thanks for the comment. I actually wagered twice on IU last year and won both games (PSU & Ohio State). I like Roberson’s athleticism at QB, but their OL and defense overall always get me nervous anytime I am considering them.

      Hard to see LSU and Alabama repeating last years ATS records, their lines will be inflated, but as you point out their defenses are so good that betting against them is always risky.


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