College Football Betting: Troy at South Alabama

College Football Betting:  Troy at South Alabama

Four college football games scheduled for Friday night and at the top of the betting board is a Sun Belt Conference matchup between Troy and South Alabama. Troy is 1-6 on the season but looked to be heading in the right direction following a solid win/cover over New Mexico State at home. Unfortunately, the next week they were eviscerated by Appalachian State on their own field losing 53-14 as a -7.5 point favorite. South Alabama is 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in conference. It’s hard to tell how good this team is and we weren’t particularly impressed by their struggle to beat a Georgia State team that has only two wins in their last 32 games.

Troy is a team that is easy to misread, especially for novice handicappers. The unwitting bettor will look at the Troy schedule, see that they played Georgia (losing 66-0) and assume that they were in tough early on and should play better once they drop in class. To be fair, that happens a lot in football and basketball but the mistake as it relates to Troy is that with the lone exception of SEC powerhouse Georgia they didn’t have a particularly tough non-conference slate. Duke is certainly an improving program but Abilene Christian and UAB not so much. Troy is #109 in total defense and #122 in scoring defense.

So we’ve established that Troy isn’t a very good team but is South Alabama good enough to drop a margin on them sufficient to cover this number? Not to shirk my responsibility as a sports handicapper, but it’s hard to say. Both teams are right around break even in most pointspread categories which in theory at least suggests that the market has priced them correctly more often than not. The two situational records that stand out: South Alabama is on a 4-10 ATS run at home while Troy is on a 6-1 ATS run as +10′ to +21 point favorites.

Bottom line–Troy is a lousy team but it’s not like they’re in against Ole Miss here. South Alabama is a tough team to trust laying double digits and particularly with a game against Louisiana-Lafayette–one of the two remaining Sun Belt teams that are undefeated in conference–on deck.