10 NCAAF Home Field Advantages That Aren’t Cozy For Bettors

10 NCAAF Home Field Advantages That Aren’t Cozy For Bettors

Home field advantage is a huge deal in college football. When it comes to betting it‘s not always as it seems, especially when it comes to big name programs. When a novice bettor looks at the slate of games more often than not they go for brand name schools that dominate headlines and are always on ESPN. When these teams are at home the thought is an automatic win on the field. But can they cover the spread?  Well these schools will usually be in the hunt for the 4 team playoff at the end of the season partly because of their impeccable records at home. However Betting on brand name favorites at home, can and will destroy your bankroll. Here is a list of ten big name schools with great atmosphere, great home field advantage, where the visiting teams walk out with a loss along along with the squares who back the home team.

 

#1.  OHIO STATE

Ohio Stadium aka “The Horseshoe” is a daunting place to play for visitors. The Shoe is the 3rd biggest stadium in the country. The place has 105,000 scarlet and grey clad fans raining boos down on visitors, 90 years of history, one of the best bands around and oh yeah a pretty damn good football team. When Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus before the 2012 season Ohio St. immediately became elite again going undefeated that first season. In the last 2 seasons the Buckeyes have gone 26-3 and the first champs of the playoff era. At home The Buckeyes have gone an amazing 13-1 but during that time they have only gone 7-7 against the spread. In 2013 they failed to cover 4 games were they were favored by 35, 33, 18, and 7.5 despite winning all. Look for the Buckeyes to have a ton of games where they are 30 point favorites in 2015 and not cover. Worst Non Cover– In 2014 Lost outright to Virginia Tech 35-21 as 10 point favorites that many thought ended their playoff dreams.

 

#2.  FLORIDA STATE

With it’s single level bowl seating and exterior that was built with 3 million bricks, Doak Campbell Stadium has one of the best atmospheres in sports. The pregame war chant is so loud that you can hear it for what seems like miles away and the 82,000 fans chanting the whole game drives FSU haters nuts. The tradition of Chief Osceola riding out to midfield and planting the spear into the middle of the field gets the crowd even more jacked. These last 2 seasons have proved when Florida St. is on top of their game like under the Bobby Bowden glory days, college football is better for it. From the start of 2013 until getting crushed in 2014 playoffs to Oregon, FSU rattled off 27 straight wins. They went 14-0 at home during that span. But at the betting window FSU had a losing record only cashing 6 times in 14 games. In 2014 The Seminoles went 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games including the last 3 against weak competition and manageable lines. Worst Non Cover– In 2013 FSU was favored by 35 against NC State and won the game 49-17. That doesn’t look bad but if you bet on The Noles it felt like a bad beat. Bobby Bowden planted the spear in pregame and FSU raced to a 35-0 1st quarter lead only for FSU backers to see Jimbo Fisher take his foot off the gas with Jameis Winston basically watching the 2nd half.

 

#3.  OREGON

Starting six hours before game time the fans take the mile walk through Alton Baker Park to get to 54,000 seat Autzen Stadium. The excitement builds and builds with the team’s “Victory Walk” down The Mo Center central boulevard to the locker room. When the world famous Duck rides into the stadium on a Harley the stadium is in full frenzy mode and already deafening. Then the track meet starts and for the next 3.5 hours the fans stand the whole game screaming at the other teams offense while Oregon rings up the scoreboard and the Duck does pushups for every point scored. The Ducks have been crushing teams at home the last 2 seasons. They have gone 13-1, winning by an average score of 48-19. In that time despite winning home games by an average of 29 points Oregon is only 7-7 against the spread. Despite outrageous lines of 40 and 50 points money still pours in on Oregon. 6 of those games they failed to cover while favored anywhere between 24-53.5 points. Worst Non Cover– In 2014 Oregon lost to Arizona 31-24 while favored by 21.5. They later avenged that loss in Pac 12 championship winning 51-13.

 

#4.  ALABAMA

 

The best program in America the last 6 years has played their games at Bryant Denny Stadium for over 80 years. Now under Nick Saban the atmosphere is like no other when you combine the passion of the fans with unprecedented winning. The tailgating goes on all week in Tuscaloosa with fans even able to rent motor homes to join the party festivities. 2 hours before kickoff the team walk up to the stadium in what’s known as “The Walk Of Champions” through a tunnel of fans and past the statues of the champion coaches. Over 100,000 people pack the stadium and when Alabama is lighting some poor team up and the song Dixieland Delight by Alabama starts blaring (the song is banned at games starting in ‘15) The stadium literally shakes. Alabama is 14-0 at home the last 2 seasons and held opponents to an incredible average of 10.5 points a game. Despite that crazy defense at home and the belief by squares that Bama at home is a lock they are only 8-6 ATS in that span. Worst Non Cover– Alabama was favored by 42 against Florida Atlantic and tried to score late in the fourth quarter only to be stopped near the goal line on 3rd down and let the clock run out on 4th to win 41-0.

 

#5.  NOTRE DAME

Notre Dame Stadium built in 1930 has been home to 11 national champion teams and 7 Heisman Trophy winners. The weekend festivities at Notre Dame for home games are an experience all to it’s own. Starting Friday with The Marching of the band and pep rally. At midnight the Fighting Irish Drum Line performs on the steps of The Golden Dome. Game Day traditions include the player walk to the stadium and more band performances before kickoff.  Despite their history The Irish have only had three 10 win seasons in the last 20 years. Saturday afternoons in South Bend is still a tough place to win for visiting teams the last few years. Since 2012 The Irish are 15-3 at home. They went 5-1 in 2013 and 4-2 in 2014. Despite going 9-3 at home the last 2 seasons The Irish are an awful 4-8 against the spread. Worst ATS loss– If your favored by 17.5 at home against against a 3-6 Northwestern team you can’t lose 43-40 as Notre Dame did last year… Just can’t happen.

 

#6.  NEBRASKA

Nebraska currently holds the college football record for consecutive home sellouts with 341 that dates back to 1962. Memorial Stadium home to the Cornhuskers since 1923 is also known as “The Sea of Red” as nearly all the 91,000 fans will be dressed in red. Starting with The Tunnel Walk where a camera follows the team from their locker room to the field, the crowd starts to build. When “Sirius” by Alan Parsons Project plays the players storm the field and the crowd erupts. Since joining The Big 10 in 2011 Nebraska is 24-5 at home including 11-4 in the last 2 seasons. At the betting window though Nebraska has not been cashing as well going just 6-9 in the last 2 years against the spread. Both seasons they failed to cover in their last 3 home games. Worst ATS loss– In 2013 Nebraska was smoked by their border rival Iowa 38-17 as 3 point favorites at home.

 

#7.  OKLAHOMA

The Oklahoma Sooners, a team rich in tradition with over 800 wins has a deep tradition in game day festivities and home field advantage. Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has been home to The Sooners since 1923 and now seats over 82,000 fans. On gameday Asp Avenue turns into a full blown party with tailgating, food/beer vendors, and carnival style games. Inside the stadium the Band starts to work the crowd up by playing the fight song Boomer Sooner and even taunts opposing fans by playing their fight song. The Boomer Schooner is driven on the field to deafening roars as the players come out. When the game is over Oklahoma is almost always all top. Since Bob Stoops came to Norman in 1999 Oklahoma has lost 8 home games. Losing one home game every 2 years is the definition of home field advantage. In the last 2 seasons they went 9-3 at home which for them is a disappointment. It’s been an even bigger disappointment for bettors who’ve backed the Sooners as they’ve gone only 5-7 in that span. Worst ATS Lost- 2014 Baylor. Line: OU -6. Final Score Baylor 48, OU 14.  Never mind that Baylor was really good last year. Oklahoma can’t lose by 34 at home.

 

#8.  GEORGIA

Georgia football under coach Mark Richt has become one of the premier SEC programs. The Bulldogs home is Sanford Stadium and it has become one of the tougher places to play in the country. The bar scene close to campus is off the charts with dozens of bars within walking distance that helps the fans get nice and lubed up on game day. Georgia has the Dawg Walk into the stadium, the lone trumpeter who starts Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation, The Redcoat Marching band, Uga the bulldog mascot and don’t forget about the hedges that line the field. The team is also tough to beat at home going 11-2 the last 2 seasons. Betting on Georgia at home is a whole different ball game. They are 5-8 against the spread the last 2 seasons including a 4 game home ATS losing streak in ‘13.  Worst ATS loss- 2014 Georgia Tech. Line UGA -10.5 Final Score: Georgia Tech 30 Georgia 24.

 

#9. LOUISVILLE

Compared to the other stadiums on this list Papa John’s Stadium, Home to the Louisville Cardinals is brand new (opened in 1998) and tiny (55,000) seats. It also differs from other schools on this list because it’s stadium is in the middle of a large city. They do a great job of giving their fans the gameday experience that other places do with plenty of tailgating and bar options around the stadium. The people partying around the stadium never have to worry about when the game starts. The Cardinals Mascot parachutes into the stadium letting everyone know kickoff is near. Louisville has been great at home for the last few years but are putrid against the spread. In the last 2 seasons Louisville is 11-2 at Papa John’s Stadium but is a bank busting 4-9 against the spread not covering in their last 4 home games both years. Worst ATS Loss- 2013 Central Florida. Line Louisville -14. Final Score: UCF 38 Louisville 35. Louisville was hoping for an undefeated season and a BCS Bowl berth in 2013 until UCF clipped them for The Cardinals only loss of the season.

 

#10. BOISE STATE

Boise St. has owned The WAC and Mountain West the last 16 seasons failing to win double digit games only 3 times in that span and failing to win the conference only 4 times. Since 1999 Boise St has gone an incredible 99-4 on The Blue Turf of Albertsons Stadium. Despite only holding 36,000 people The Broncos have loud passionate fans that help make it a miserable experience for opposing teams. Recently the school finally gained permission to sell alcohol at games and allow drinking in the lots which has led to an even crazier Bronco Nation on gameday. In the last 2 seasons The Broncos have gone 12-0 at home, Despite such dominance they are only 6-6 against the spread due to being double digit favorites so often. Worst ATS Loss- 2013 Air Force. Line Boise St. -24. Final Score Boise St. 42 Air Force 20. Air Force was awful in 2013 and this game seemed like a slam dunk for Bronco backers only to fall 3 pts short.