Editor’s note: Paul Bovi’s debut on VegasInsider.com has been unreal. Bovi’s total system has rewarded big-time in both college and pro football. This bowl season, Bovi is unloading on the books with sharp total plays plus steam selections. Also, don’t miss out on his red-hot totals in pro football, which is hitting an eye opening 68 percent (27-13) on over/under plays. Don’t miss out on another week in the NFL!
Last time I checked the Arena Football League was on hiatus. After all, an 84-point total could only provoke such thoughts. Not so fast my friends. Louisville and Boise State have broken new ground with the highest over/under ever seen in a college football game. That’s right 84 points! The two schools will square off in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
Pardon me for sounding retro, but I can remember only a few short years ago that a 60-point total was a rare occurrence. Today, totals exceeding 60 are quite common, though the same can be said about baseball players with five percent body fat. Seventy-point totals, once reserved for the likes of WAC teams, Hawaii and San Diego State, are becoming more mainstream, especially with the offensive prowess of the MAC, which is producing big time quarterbacks by the bushel. This year, out of 28 bowl games, 14 games have point totals in the 50s, three in the 60s, two in the 70s, and one in the 80s. Only eight games have an over and under in the 40s, which was the norm up until only a few short years ago.
Now we have crossed the “80” threshold, in this case 83.5 or 84 to be exact, depending on the venue. At least the math is simple. Exactly 12 touchdowns, assuming each conversion is successful, is required to cash a ticket. Upon further breakdown, that is three touchdowns per quarter, and exactly one touchdown every five minutes. I guess you could say that channel surfing is prohibited, and bathroom breaks should be restricted to between quarters, unless you happen to have a porta potty in your living room.
I sense that many bettors had eyeballed this contest for a large ‘over’ play. And why not? This year, both Louisville and Boise State compiled an average point total that was an eye popping 50! Defensively, Boise has surrendered an average of 24 points, while the Cardinals have yielded 18. If you do the math, Louisville has been involved in games that have averaged 74 points with Boise bringing up the rear at 68. Upon further computation, that suggests that the over and under for this contest should be 71, right? Hang on.
Odds makers are smarter than that. If you consider the inferiority of the offenses that Boise has faced in comparison to what Louisville will bring to the table, it renders the 24 an irrelevant number, at least in the eyes of the bookmakers. Tulsa and San Jose St laid 42 and 49 against the Broncos, which should give you some indication of their defensive prowess, or lack thereof.
Meanwhile, Louisville has put up 50-plus points in each of their last five games and that does not figure to change. Boise State has eclipsed that 50-point plateau in their last four games.
Still, when handicapping totals, and that is what I do, you must look for value. In stock market terms, the idea is to get one dollars worth of scoring potential, for 80 cents. These totals are designed to be set to perfection, though inter conference match ups make that a formidable task for the line maker. For example, a Sun Belt team with a weak defense like that of North Texas, whose schedule is dominated by the likes of UL Monroe, Utah State, and Middle Tennessee, are likely to have trouble containing a Conference USA team like Southern Mississippi. In the case of Louisville versus Boise state, the number has been ramped up to reflect the opinion of the odds maker, and the knowledge that the public will generally play ‘over’.
The danger of playing high totals can be best illustrated by Louisville’s last bowl game, against Miami of Ohio in the 2003 GMAC Bowl. After putting up a combined 42 points midway through the second quarter, the scoring tapered off sharply. It took a 35-yard interception return with eight minutes left in the game to salvage the over for those bettors that bought into the highest number of 71. The final score was 49-28. With 84 points to work with here, well, let’s just say that the margin for field goals, costly turnovers, handoffs, or compassion is limited. Two weeks ago, Louisville had a 63-0 lead after 3 quarters against Cincinnati, only to call off the dogs in the 4th quarter. Louisville won 70-7 which is a loser based on this number.
There is one further element to consider here, and that is the weather. With an average December temperature of 52 by day and 34 by night, Memphis, though far from balmy, should be conducive to flying footballs. But, that is not a given. The all time low during the month of December for Memphis is –13 and they have been known to have a few white Christmases.
The guy from Crazy Eddie who used to talk about his prices being insane, might also have been referring to this total. That being said, the game will probably go high. Incidentally, the game begins at 3:30 on New Years Eve, which means you should have just enough time to catch the ball drop when the game finally ends.