Breaking news: delta point margins are a handicapper’s lesser-known weapon, particularly when it comes to forecasting totals. And now the self-evident question, what are delta points? It’s the implied number of points a team will score and allow based on the point spread. Using rounded numbers for streamlining, let’s state a team is favorite by 10 points and the posted total is 30. This means the implied projected points scored by the favorite is 20 and implied points allowed would be 10.
If they scored 27 points, they’d have a plus-7 delta points scored. When applied as season-to-date averages, we can measure overachieving and underachieving offenses and defenses and yet again, use the oddsmakers wisdom against them.
Not shockingly—here we go again—teams regress to the mean. Heavily overachieving offenses are usually good wagers for an under, underachieving offenses a good antes for the over.
Of course, this is especially true when corroborated by both units on both teams or at least when equally compelling numbers aren’t conflicting.
Let’s talk college football for instance. Teams that have a delta points scored of seven or better go under 1083-913-48, a nice 54.3 percent. When their opponent also has a DPS of +6, it goes under nearly 60 percent at 192-131-9.
Sure enough, disappointing offenses incline to be good over plays. A team with a delta points scored of -14 or less goes over 161-135-5-5 for 54.4.
Underachieving defenses? Teams that allow an average of at least 9.5 points per game more than the oddsmakers expected go under 544-460-15. Great defenses…of course go over. Defenses allowing at least 12 fewer points per game than expected go over 243-205-8 for 54.2 percent.
This is another hypothesis that crosses sports. It should as it’s based on a primordial, but ingenious truth. Oddsmakers are not wrong often. That’s bad news for the square player. But delta points scored/allowed essentially disarms them. What the oddsmakers tell us can and will be used against them.
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