In college football, the home team on average wins 60% of the time. Part of that is due to scheduling. For example, Florida State will not travel very often if ever to play at Western Michigan.
However, enough studies have been done in the past that show there is a very real advantage to playing at home in all sports.
One researcher says that in college football the home teams won 63% of the time between 1869 and 2009.
A study carried out by two psychologists in 2002 found the levels of testosterone were higher in players prior to the start of a home game than prior to away games.
A Harvard University 2007 study examined more than 5,000 matches in the Barclay’s Premier League in England.
That study found that the home teams scored a half goal more on average than the visitors did.
The number of people attending the match also played a role. For every 10,000 additional fans, the scoring advantage for the home team increased by roughly 0.1 goals. Researchers also found that visiting teams were called more times for penalties than the home team.
Whatever the real reasons are, bookmakers like Bovada and sportsbook.com have nearly perfected the art of determining the value of college football’s home field advantage.
Even though the home team won over 60% of their games straight up, the home team only covered the number 50.2% of the time the past three seasons, according to data from topbet and betonline.
Across college football, the home field advantage is much higher at some stadiums than at others.
The best home field advantage is currently at Floyd Casey Stadium the home of the Baylor Bears. Baylor is 11-0 SU and ATS over their past 11 home games.
The Bears under Art Briles their head coach have a record of 22-10 ATS at home over the last five seasons. That is the best ATS home mark in college football over that period.
Not only do they cover the spread, but also the Bears have done so by an average of nearly 8 points, which also leads the nation.
Over the past five seasons, the Bears have been a home ‘dog on four occasions and have won each of the four SU and covered the spread by over 20 points in each one.
Oklahoma State is 20-12 ATS over the last five seasons playing at home. The Cowboys are 33-21 against the number at home under Mike Gundy their head coach.
Not all teams fare so well at home. Air Force, which is 9-22 ATS over its past five seasons and South Florida, which is 8-23 against the number over the same period, are two such teams.
Over the past three seasons, home teams that were ‘dogs covered less than 50%.
However, there are exceptions to that rule. Connecticut over the last five seasons at home is 10-2-1 ATS when a ‘dog.
SMU is 10-4 against the number when give the role of home dog under June Jones their head coach.
Home field usually has its advantages, but odds makers have been able to find formulas that with the spread, have evened out that advantage.