By Joe Gavazzi

The AFP (Away From Pointspread) is a concept I will be introducing beginning this week.  Briefly defined, AFP is the number by which a team beats the pointspread (positive) or loses to the pointspread (negative). This number can apply to a team’s performance in any given season, for the year to date, for home or away, or, for a single game.

Here is a brief example: The Pittsburgh Steelers are (-6) vs. Cleveland.  Pittsburgh wins the game 30-14.  This means Pittsburgh has a +10 AFP for the game (beat the pointspread by 10 points and Cleveland has a -10 AFP for the game (lost to the pointspread by 10 points).

Why do these AFP numbers evolve into a handicapper’s conundrum?

For the novice bettor, he will blindly follow a team’s momentum, either positive or negative, by reacting to that team’s most recent results.  What he does not take into account is that the linemaker is making the same adjustments by moving the team’s power rating based on those identical results.  Thus, the value in blindly following momentum is clearly negated.  This may work for the first several games of a season as team’s get off to hot and cold starts.  By game #4 however, the opportunities to blindly follow momentum are quickly negated by pointspread adjustments.  This applies specifically to College Football wagering.

The handicapper’s conundrum comes when it is time to jump off the momentum train and search for value as a team’s performance returns to the norm.  The following is a potentially profitable rule of thumb which I use in applying a team’s AFP to future pointspread results.

BEGINNING IN GAME #4 WHEN EACH TEAM HAS PLAYED 3 OR MORE GAMES, I look to PLAY ON a team, coming off an ATS loss,  if they have a less than .500 ATS record and an AFP for the season to date of -50 or more. Optimally, their opponent has an AFP of +25 or more, a positive pointspread record, and is coming off a pointspread victory.  These are the type of games that, although very contrary, inevitably produce rewarding pointspread results.  You can also use the inverse of this theory by looking to PLAY AGAINST teams with a +50 AFP using the inverse parameters for each team’s results. I call this the 50 POINT AFP SOLUTION (to the handicapper’s conundrum) of when to follow momentum or look for the bounce back.

These opportunities are best presented from games #4 through #7 at which time teams often evolve into “Towel Tossers” or “Super Surgers”.

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