For hardcore college football fans national signing day is like Christmas in early February. A potentially cruel Christmas if your favorite school doesn’t land the high profile football prospects you crave. Or a truly fantastic Christmas if your NCAA teams reloads with blue chip talent. For sports bettors national signing day is an important day to keep an eye on, too – though it can easily be overvalued by bettors if they allow themselves to get swept up in the hype and excitement. Here are six factors for college football bettors to consider when looking at the significance of events on national signing day, and the impact that can have on betting when the next season rolls around.
What teams have addressed depth issues? – Depth is absolutely crucial in college football. When players get hurt or just don’t work out for some reason it is the team that has quality replacement players that is going to shine. Because of the challenges of graduation, early departures, attrition, and the limits on the number of players that can be recruited each year it is easy for a team to encounter depth issues in certain positions. the degree to which those teams with real issues has been able to address them should be of key interest to bettors. It’s important to remember here that it’s not just about bodies, either. You need to be sure that football players that are coming in in the position of need have the skill level to compete and are physically strong enough to avoid a redshirt year. If they are redshirted in order to be ready for the next level then they do nothing in the short term to address depth issues.
What teams have gained instant impact stars? – There are always far fewer instant impact players in a class than people seem to expect that there will be. Still, every year there are college freshmen who step into the starting lineup immediately and make a big impact for their teams. It takes a very special football player to be able to do this effectively right away. If sports bettors can have a sense of who those players may be then they will have an edge. It’s important to remember that it is easier for youngsters to shine in some positions than others. For examples, a running back can be far more effective in his first games in most cases than a receiver. Similarly, a pass rushing defensive lineman might find the transition a little easier than an offensive tackle.
What programs will have momentum? – A strong recruiting season is a very effective way to boost the morale of a football program and the momentum they have going forward. If they have recruited well above expectations then not only will they have a high caliber of player available to them, but they will have confidence from being deemed worthy by the young stars. Teams that always have success likely won’t see much of a boost from continued success, but a breakout year by an unexpected team can have a huge impact. A college team that starts the season unexpectedly strong is quite often a program that gained a confidence boost at signing day. That why college football handicappers need to pay attention.
Which teams are overhyped? – The hype builds around signing day every year. The problem is, though, that fans look at the big name players, and fail to look at the whole class and the impact of every player that did or didn’t sign. A team could easily get a lot of attention from signing a few key stars. If they didn’t sign a full class, or if they still have holes at key positions, such as QB, running back or offensive line, then the hype could easily exceed the real impact of the class, and what can reasonably be expected from them out of the gate.
Which programs outperformed expectations? – If you follow college football closely then you probably have a sense of about how schools typically recruit, and how they should be able to recruit based on their location. league, tradition, coaching, and so on. Every year there are a few colleges that far exceed what you would expect of them. For bettors these NCAA teams should set off alarms. It’s crucial that you figure out why they were able to do so well, and if that is going to have an impact on the team in other ways as well. If a team really exceeds expectations then they could get more national attention than normal, and that could draw bettors to them early on. It’s important, then, as a college football handicapper to get a good sense of whether the value is likely to lie in betting with them or against them.
Which programs fell below expectations? – It’s also important to look at the NCAA football teams that had very bad signing day. If a team is unable to live up to expectations – and especially if a class that looked like it was going to be good fell apart late – then it can be a sign of problems within the program that go far beyond just the events of signing day. It could be that there is instability in the coaching staff, that the atmosphere around the team isn’t positive, or that for some other reason opposing coaches were able to downplay the team and make themselves look better in comparison. Quite often these struggles are first signs of bigger problems with a program, and college football bettors can be well served by taking notice and acting with pessimism.