Saturday, 17 November 2018

Power To The Group Of Five

The College Football season is in the final weeks of its season, with another bumper crop of selections for the Small Road 'Dogs system likely today - 16 at the time of writing. 

The number of selections this season already comfortably exceeds the previous high (113 in 2004), confirmation perhaps that home advantage in this sport, as in others, is not what it was. As this informative 2016 article noted:

Coaches and analysts churn out the same old talking points about the rigors of winning road games. They're becoming harder to believe. College football is changing. Home-field advantage has nearly disappeared.
Well, not exactly, as I explain further below.

However, if you've been following this basic system this year, you're in a good position to record another profit.
If you're being a little selective and just playing the Conference games, you're even further ahead. 
It's a little late for this year, and by next August everyone will have forgotten, but it seems a few UK readers aren't too well informed about the structure of College Football. This article from the UK's Online Betting Guide does a good job in explaining how it all works. 

Be aware that not all conferences are the same. There are ten major conferences, in two groups of five. One is called the Power Five, and these are the Premier League equivalent, with the Championship comprised of the not very imaginatively named Group of Five.

Since I'm in a generous mood this morning, below are the overall records for home teams in these ten conferences since 2014, along with the results for the Small Road 'Dogs by Conference in that time.
Home teams won far more games in Group of Five matches, but the Road 'Dogs had a better return there than from Power Five matches where the home team won just 52.3% of games. With four of the Group of Five teams, and two of the Power Five with a double digit ROI, a little filtering can make a big difference.

As the article I referenced above explains about home advantage, nothing stays the same in sports. Here is how home advantage has changed in the last three seasons (2016-today):
While the overall home winning percentage has increased for the Power Five, it has decreased for the Group of Five, and every Road 'Dog in those conferences has a double digit ROI in that time. 
I first wrote about key numbers in football betting a little over six years ago, and Road 'Dogs getting exactly 3 points are another way to boost your ROI. 

Going back to 1996, (arbitrary starting points tend to distort statistics, but one has to start somewhere), and 39% of the profits have come from road teams receiving exactly 3 points, although the percentage drops to 16% when seasons are weighted (bottom three rows) to give more value to recent seasons.
The +3.5 line is the number where 47% of recent weighted returns are garnered, and backing just these two lines over the last five seasons has an ROI of 24%. Over the past five seasons the +3.5 line has a ridiculous 51-21 record. 

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