College Basketball Handicapping: Biggest Home/Road Differentials
by Aaron Smith - 2/18/2010
In the world of college basketball betting, following the key trends and being able to stay ahead of the oddsmakers is absolutely crucial to profiting. Mental toughness is essential in basketball, and there are huge variations in the amount of mental toughness different teams have, especially when the players are only 20 years old, on average. In the NBA, it is typically difficult to find single teams that are far better against the spread at home or away, but that is definitely not the case in college basketball. While teams that perform much better at home are easier to find, it certainly is possible to find teams that are on impressive streaks away from their home court.
If we simply evaluate wins straight up, we will almost always find that the team has performed better at home, but that really isn’t a very accurate picture if you are a sports bettor. The oddsmakers are fully aware of the importance of the home court advantage, and the lines are always tilted quite heavily toward the home team in a college basketball contest. While it may be eye-popping to see teams that have a great record at home SU and terrible on the road, it is far less useful to your betting than a wide disparity in the home/away ATS trend.
First of all, we’re going to take a look at those teams that play inspired basketball at home and flounder in a big way on the road. There are plenty of them out there, but I’ve put together a sampling of the best examples in college basketball this year because if you are like me, you’ll probably want to see the hard data. Here are eight great examples, with the first being the most drastic of all:
- Denver Pioneers- The Pioneers are 13-1 SU at the friendly confines of Magness Arena and 1-10 away from home. They are 5-5 ATS at home and a pathetic 0-10 ATS on the road. It would be difficult to find a team more dependent on their home court advantage than this squad.
- Georgia Bulldogs- The Bulldogs are 11-3 SU at home and 0-9 on the road. ATS they are 9-4 at home and 3-6 away from home.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys- The Cowboys are 15-1 at home and 3-6 away. They are 7-1 ATS at home and 4-6 away.
- Georgia Southern Eagles- The Eagles are 6-5 overall at home and an abysmal 0-15 on the road. ATS they are 5-3 at home and 5-8 on the road. Clearly, the Eagles are far from a quality team, but they do show up and compete at home.
- Louisiana Monroe Warhawks- The Warhawks are 8-4 SU at home and 3-11 away from home. They are 6-2 ATS at home and 4-8 away.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders- The Red Raiders are 13-2 overall at home and 3-7 on the road. ATS they are 8-3 at home and 3-5 away from home.
- VCU Rams- The Rams are 13-1 SU at home and 5-6 away from home. The team is 8-5 ATS at home and 3-6 on the road.
- Miami Hurricanes- The Hurricanes are 15-1 overall at home and just 2-7 on the road. ATS they are 6-2 at home and 4-5 on the road.
Since college basketball has a strong home court advantage built-in, it is more difficult to find teams that are stellar on the road and bad at home, especially SU. While it is tough to find these teams that are better on the road, if you are able to you’ll profit nicely on such a trend. Let’s take a look at five solid examples of road warriors this year!
- Loyola Maryland Greyhounds- The Greyhounds are easily the best example of a team that performs great away from home. The team is 5-4 SU at home and 7-9 away from home. ATS they are a dismal 0-6 at home and a terrific 10-2 on the road!
- Rider Broncs- The Broncs, from the same conference as the Greyhounds, are 6-6 at home overall and 9-7 on the road. This is a very rare example of a team with a better SU record on the road than at home. ATS they are 3-8 at home and 7-6 on the road.
- UNC Wilmington Seahawks- The Seahawks are 4-9 SU at home and 4-10 away from home. They are 3-9 ATS at home and 8-5 ATS on the road.
- Syracuse Orange- Syracuse is a great road team this year. They are 16-2 SU at home and 8-0 on the road. ATS they are 7-6 at home and 8-1 on the road
- Hofstra Pride- Hofstra is 10-6 SU at home and 5-7 away from home. ATS they are 4-10 at home and 9-3 on the road.
As you can see the home/road differentials can be quite drastic. It is interesting to note that the Sun Belt Conference shows up twice in the great home teams and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Colonial Athletic Association both show up twice in the road examples. Conference by conference the home/away splits are very different so a wise bettor will study a conference closely before betting his or her money.
Stay on top of trends like these and you’ll be ahead of the game and ahead of the Las Vegas oddsmakers. After all, that is what we are trying to do isn’t it?
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