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The Top-10 Best College Football Coaches Against the Spread

Who are the best college football coaches against-the-spread? There is no such thing as a college football journalist (or fan) without an opinion on which coaches are the best, in general. What criteria those journalists use for determining the best coaches are certainly subjects for criticism and debate. In the sports betting world, however, we have the benefit of using a single criterion: the coach with the highest against-the-spread (ATS) winning rate is the best. In other words, how frequently does a coach beat the spread? Of course, the underlying unvoiced question is, “Which coach makes us (at CollegeFootballWinning.com) the most money?”

Without splitting too many hairs about which betting lines were used (opening or closing, which bookmakers, etc.), let it suffice to say that we used consensus closing lines from a combination of offshore and Nevada bookmakers. It is essential to note that we only considered those who had at least 100 “lined” games as head coaches. So, without further ado, have a look at 2014’s top-10 best (active) college football coaches for your money:

 

#10) Oregon State’s Mike Riley

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Riley has beaten the spread at the rate of 55.56%. This makes him the second-best coach in the Pac-12, narrowly beating out the Pac-12’s third best, Arizona State’s Todd Graham (who is the 11th best overall, by the way). In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Riley’s “side” for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $1,020.

 

#9) Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Johnson has beaten the spread at the rate of 55.94%. This makes him the second-best coach in the ACC (despite the fact that he is coming off of a 5-8 ATS season in 2013). In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Johnson’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $1,070.

 

#8) Washington’s Chris Petersen

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Petersen has beaten the spread at the rate of 56%. This makes him the best coach in the Pac-12, even though he has yet to coach a Pac-12 game. In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Petersen’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $760. (As an aside, Petersen just qualified- having coached exactly 100 lined games.)

 

#7) Maryland’s Randy Edsall

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Edsall has beaten the spread at the rate of 56.13%. This makes him the best coach in the ACC. In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Edsall’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $1,220.

 

#6) BYU’s Bronco Mendenhall

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Mendenhall has beaten the spread at the rate of 56.25%. This makes him the best conference-less (independent) coach in the FBS (despite the fact that he is coming off of a 5-7-1 ATS season in 2013). In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Mendenhall’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $910.

 

#5) South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier

Over the course of his lengthy college football head-coaching career, the ‘Head Ball Coach’ has beaten the spread at the rate of 56.79%. This is especially impressive, given that he has coached more games than anyone else in our top-10. In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Spurrier’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $2,660.

 

#4) Alabama’s Nick Saban

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Saban has beaten the spread at the rate of 57.87%. This makes him the best coach in the SEC. This is almost amazing, since Alabama’s betting lines are often inflated and Saban’s teams have had targets on their backs for years. In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Saban’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $2,490.

 

#3) Kansas State’s Bill Snyder

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Snyder has beaten the spread at the rate of 59.51%. Even though Snyder is the third-best coach in the nation, he is still just the second-best coach in the Big 12! In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Snyder’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited a whopping $3,700- more raw dollars than any other coach on this list.

 

#2) Ohio State’s Urban Meyer

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Meyer has beaten the spread at the rate of 61.81%. This makes him the best coach in the Big Ten. (Try to guess the second best coach in the Big Ten.) In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Meyer’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $2,850.

 

#1) Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy

Over the course of his college football head-coaching career, Gundy has beaten the spread at the unbelievable rate of 63.73%. Our top coach has had profitable seasons for the last four years. In fact, over the last four seasons, Gundy’s Pokes have beaten the spread at an even greater rate of 66.67%! (Instead of shouting, “I’m a man!”, Gundy should be screaming, “I’m THE man!”) In real money terms, had you bet $110 (to win $100) on Coach Gundy’s side for every college game that he head-coached, then you would have profited $2,430.

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If you have learned anything here, then it is that teams referred to as “OSU” have great ATS head coaches. (Of course, that is coincidental.) Please continue to return to CollegeFootballWinning.com to gain more college football insight, and stay tuned for our upcoming article, The Top-10 Worst College Football Coaches Against the Spread.

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