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2005 Arkansas State Indians Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


On a straight up basis, few teams in college football have been as bad as Arkansas State through the years. As one of college football’s perennial straight up losers, and as a member of the Sun Belt conference, the sports betting reputation of the Indians is that of a “go against” team. A deeper sports handicapping look, however, reveals that Arkansas State, as at times been an excellent value.

In 1999, despite a 4-7 straight up record, the Indians finished 7-3 against the odds. In 2001, despite a 2-9 straight up record, Arkansas State got the cash in five out of nine games. In 2002, after failing to beat the sports betting line in three of their first four games, Arkansas State beat the sports betting line in six of their final seven games to finish 7-4 against the number. After covering their 2003 season opener in an 11-26 loss at Texas A&M as 29-point dogs, the Indians had developed a quiet but growing reputation amongst some sports betting bloggers as a “value” and “sleeper” team. As their appeal slowly grew their sports handicapping value quickly plummeted and the Indians dropped their next five consecutive games against the odds. Having lost nearly all appeal to appear on anyone’s lists of football picks, the Indians did cover their next two games before dropping their final two contests against the odds, finishing 3-7 against the pointspread and entering the 2004 season on nobody’s “A” list of candidates for football picks.

Arkansas State was installed as a whopping 33-point dog at highly touted but unproven Missouri in their 2004 season opener and eked out a 20-52 cover while handing out a very bad beat to the sports bettors that reached on Ol Mizzou. There was a bit of overreaction to this game as Arkansas State was touted by many sports betting bloggers to be an outstanding value as 40.5-point dogs in their next game at LSU, who barely escaped defeat in their opener. Sure enough, the Indians were clobbered 3-53 by the defending national champs.

With their general sports betting appeal totally shattered, Arkansas State became the value that nobody believed they could be after the LSU game and went on to beat the sports betting odds in five of their next six games, all as an underdog. When the sports betting odds makers finally installed them as a 3-point chalks at Idaho, their value was depleted in a 24-27 loss as the Indians dropped 2 of their final three against the odds.









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