College Football Betting: Banking on Last Year’s Trends to Cost You Big Early in the Season

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, July 2, 2015 6:02 PM GMT

Thursday, Jul. 2, 2015 6:02 PM GMT

Do you want to know how early season conference home favorites do? Is there a rhyme or reason for these results from one year to the next? Find out here before placing your college football picks.

Early Season Conference Home Favorites
I annually like to explore some college football betting angles from one year to the next. The partaking of such a project, leads me to find out which ones in particular had seesaw results during recent years. One that I’ll specifically be keeping an eye on in 2015 involves conference home favorites with a winning record during the first half of the season. I’ve narrowed that search down to conference home favorites of 13.0 or less, possessing a winning record, and playing in games two through six of the season.

 

2013 Positive Results
Conference home favorites of 13.0 or less with a winning record, and playing in games two through six of the season, went 19-13 (59.4%) against the spread during the 2013 college football campaign. Those home teams in that exact scenario also went 26-6 (81.3%) straight up in those games. Tightening that query up even more, shows that  if those teams were a home favorite of between 7.0 and 13.0, they improved to 11-7 (61.1%) against the spread, and 15-3 (83.3%) straight up.

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2014 Huge Turnaround
Staying with the theme of conference home favorites of 13.0 or less, possessing a winning record, and playing in games two through six of the season. Last year produced a dramatic disparity compared to the results we witnessed in 2013. Those teams went a dismal 9-29 (32.1%) against the spread, and were just 19-19 (50%) straight up. As a matter of fact, if those teams were a favorite of between 7.0 and 13.0, they fell to 2-16 ATS (11.1%) in addition to 7-13 (35%) straight up.

 

College Football Handicapping Theory
My experience over the years has shown more times than not, betting angles such as the one I just discussed, tend to flip flop on an annual basis. It’s especially the case when we’re isolating such small sample sizes. Granted the volume of college football conference games far outweigh those of the non-conference variety. However, the bulk of conference games which take place occur in the second half of the season. Once a team reaches game 7 of their schedule, 90% or more of those contests for the remainder of the regular season come versus conference opponents.

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Conclusion
I fully expect conference home favorites with a winning record in the first half of the season to produce contrarily different results this season compared to those in 2014. My prediction is they will equal, or surpass, the numbers produced in 2013. I’m going to be honing in on these exact situations this upcoming season, while also incorporating betting value to the equation when making my college football picks.

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