Nothing makes adrenaline pump more than a raucous home crowd cheering a play. But which teams enjoy the biggest home field advantage & can we use this to cash in our college football picks?
Which Team has the Edge?
Playing at home is always a boon to any college football squad where the crowd consists not just of ordinary fans but fellow students, faculty, alumni and boosters. Unlike professional teams who sign mercenaries to wear their laundry and whose fans are predicated solely on geography, college football’s bonds run deeper. These athletes walk the same halls, share the same facilities and are joined by the common denominator that is their college education, however brief it may be for the superstar athletes who move on quickly to the professional ranks. School pride runs deep and generations of families can be seen wearing the school colors while cheering on the latest edition of their college or university's football squad.
Below are the most dominating home field advantages in college football over the last three seasons.
Ohio State Buckeyes (21-1 SU, 11-10 ATS)
The 2014 national champions are beasts at home and lost their first game at Ohio Stadium since 2011 last season when Virginia Tech stunned the Buckeyes in Week 2 by the score of 35-21 as 10 point underdogs in college football odds. However, that dominance has not translated into winning college football picks as the Buckeyes are routinely saddled with big spreads and some of that fourth quarter garbage time can be the difference between cashing a ticket and tearing it up. Ohio State is 11-10-1 against the spread over the past three seasons at home and were a pedestrian 4-3 ATS in 2014.
Alabama Crimson Tide (20-1 SU, 10-10 ATS)
Head coach Nick Saban has restored the iconic football program at Alabama to its rightful place amongst dominant college athletic programs. The Tide faithful turn out in droves to support their team and Saban is very much aware of their support and how important it is to the success of his program. So much so in fact that he publically excoriated those fans who were leaving early in blowout games to get a head start on traffic and back to their martini bars. Bryant -Denny Stadium is one place you don't want to be if you are looking to add a W to your season's record. The Crimson Tide went 7-0 last season at home but were a mere 3-3 ATS as they are, like all the powerhouses, routinely handicapped as double digit favorites.
Baylor Bears (18-1 SU, 15-4 ATS)
If you want a real home field advantage to add to your NCAAF picks then look n o further than the Baylor Bears. Sure they went undefeated last season at home (6-0) and went 4-2 ATS but if you look back over their past three seasons they are not only amongst the toughest team to beat at home as their 18-1 mark attests they are also a veritable ATM at the windows cashing in 15 of 19 opportunities when playing in front of their rabid fans. It wasn't always like this as Baylor was for many years among the dregs of college football which is undoubtedly why their ATS record is so impressive.
The oddsmakers hadn't quite caught onto the fact that they were going from zero to hero in the college football ranks but they have clearly arrived which means in 2015 the smart handicappers will be aware that the college football odds will be shaded heavily against the Bears, especially when they are playing at home!