This is a multi-part series of how I grade the home field edges. On the right-hand pages of the magazine for all 133 teams, I list the home field advantage. I think college football crowds are the best in sports and some teams have larger home field edges than others. In Las Vegas the standard is to give 3 points to the home team. I believe there is a large difference in home field edges in college football. Traveling to face Mississippi St and having to face the cowbell noise is a daunting task. Some stadiums that may not be 100,000 but are very loud like Oregon and Washington are a lot tougher venue than traveling to Akron or Connecticut. Last year my home field edge’s in the magazine ranged from 2 to 5.5.
I have given you the straight up records of all 133 teams for the last three and five years excluding 2020. I excluded 2020 as most games did not have any crowd at all so there really was no home field edge. Yesterday I introduced the great equalizer: the Las Vegas Spread. In a perfect world Vegas gets 50% of its bets on one side and 50% on the other side and they collect the juice (10%) with no risk. Earlier I showed you that home teams win roughly 64% of their games straight up and some teams had a perfect record over 3 years. I gave a 6.0 only for 100% but in the ATS world I had to grade on a curve as not team could accomplish 100% as Vegas would adjust the lines each week to balance the action until they were overpriced. You will notice the Graded on a curve column has been added.
Last year 3 teams managed a perfect ATS record at home despite the 3 teams combining for a 4 straight up losses. In the straight up records, the teams at the top are almost always the powerhouses. Vegas evens things out so the undefeated spread teams were far from your normal blue bloods in Oregon State, Duke and Louisiana Tech.
I include the spread in my calculations, not to figure out which are the best teams to wager on but those teams that lived up to or beat Vegas’s expectations on a weekly basis. Naturally a team like Alabama will win almost every home game straight up but the Tide is only 18-15 55% ATS at home the last five years.
Let’s look at the last five years ATS records for each team at home.
Remember the last three years does not consider 2020 when games were played in empty stadiums. UAB is at the top of the chart with a super 21-6 78% ATS mark the last 5 years. I mentioned grading on a curve. 21-6 in the Straight Up category would have been worth a 4.67 grade but in the ATS category since they are at the top of the chart and I am grading on a curve they get a perfect 6.0. Tulane has an impressive 5-year mark of 23-9 72% and that qualifies for a 5.96 grade in this graded on a curve basis. While home teams win 65% of their home games straight up, the home teams are just 2030-2112 ATS the last 5 years which is below .500 at 49.0%!. As I mentioned above Vegas’s goal is a 50% margin and they basically hit it!
Unlike the Straight up records chart, the blue bloods that were at the top of that are more towards the middle here. I think the best value against the spread is playing the teams that not everyone follows. That is why my magazine is such a huge plus as I give the same amount of coverage to a team like Buffalo or Middle Tennessee St that I do to Alabama. The general public knows about the Top 15 or Top 25 teams but knows very little about the rest of the 133. That value is reflected here as the top 14 home field records feature EIGHT Group of Five teams. Marshall went 13-5-1 ATS at home from 2013-15 but Vegas raised the prices on them at home and the last 5 years they are just 9-22 ATS at home. Nebraska always has a full stadium but showing the disaster of the Scott Frost era they were just 12-22 ATS the last 5 years of records (remember does not include 2020). Stanford was 13-7 ATS at home from 2013-15 but is just 12-19 ATS the last 5 years. The top Power 5 team over the last 5 years is Utah at 22-10 69% and the weakest is Georgia Tech at 10-20 33%. Georgia is 31-1 Straight up the last 5 years but the Bulldogs are just 14-18 ATS at home the last 5 years.
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Monday 3/6/23 I will have yet another category that goes into my home field edge calculations.