I mentioned yesterday that 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 edges in the magazine ranged from 2 to 5.5.
The last two blogs I gave 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 Today I bring in 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. Yesterday I showed 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 St, 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 11-9 55% ATS at home the last 3 years.
Let’s look at the last three years ATS records for each team at home.
Remember the last three years does not consider 2020 when games were played in empty stadiums. Oregon State is at the top of the chart with a super 15-3 ATS mark the last 3 years. I mentioned grading on a curve. 15-3 in the Straight Up category would have been worth a 5.0 grade but in the ATS category they are the only team to top a 6 grade at 6.0. Tulane has an impressive 3 year mark of 15-5 75% 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 team are just 1260-1258 ATS the last 3 years. As I mentioned above Vegas’s goal is a 50% margin and they basically hit it!
There are some Power 5 teams at the bottom of the chart like Georgia Tech (3-15 ATS), Northwestern (4-15 ATS), Stanford (5-14 ATS) and Vanderbilt (6-15 ATS). Vegas factors in the fact that Georgia is a strong team and is #3 over the last 3 years at 18-1 Straight up but the Bulldogs are just 7-12 ATS at home the last 3 years.
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Wednesday I will have the ATS records for each team over the last five years at home.