How Home Field Advantage Impacts College Football Games and Affects the Betting Market

Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye with fans. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

College football is back and the schoolboys are just getting started for another thrilling season of big plays and titanic matchups culminating in the College Football Playoff. Let’s discuss the importance of home-field advantage when it comes to the betting markets at all of the best online sportsbooks.

School Spirit

Although the caliber of play at the college ranks does not match the athleticism and skill you will find at the pro level, there is much to be said for the intense rivalries that make the college game not only worth watching but some believe even more exciting than their professional counterparts.

The legacies of those players and teams that have come before them echo throughout the ages and the players quickly learn that some games are much bigger than others.

The student body at many of these schools comes out in droves to watch their teams. Moreover, the allegiance of their fans is not predicated on how good they are in a particular season but that they are representing the entirety of the school, its students, and the alumni.

Therefore, it isn’t a leap of faith to determine that playing in front of a home crowd can give an enormous psychological boost to the kids on the field, most of whom will never get the opportunity to take the next step to fame and fortune of the NFL.

This is the best it will get for most of them but that’s so much more than many of the high school stars who didn’t have the necessary skillset to make it to the college ranks and are sitting in the stands, cheering on their college or university.

Playing a big game on national, or even local TV, is an opportunity many of us will never get and the kids suiting up realize every game they play is one more than the average kid will enjoy who spent their youth tossing a football or playing in a Thanksgiving game against their high school rival.

LSU Tiger fans during the game against the Florida Gators at Tiger Stadium. The atmosphere at this venue on game day is considered one of the best in the US. Marianna Massey/Getty Images/AFP

What’s the Home Field Worth?

There are several influences aside from the throngs of partisan fans in the stands cheering the home team. The travel involved for the visitors, the unfamiliarity with the field, and the crowd’s influence affecting officials’ calls to name but a few. There is even a rumor that former Iowa head coach, Hayden Fry, painted the visiting locker room pink as a psychological ploy.

Winning, and covering the college football odds, on the road is not as easy as doing so in the familiar confines of one’s home stadium teeming with fan support. But when the oddsmakers are assessing the importance of home-field advantage and trying to quantify it for the betting markets, the general rule of thumb is a three-point advantage for the home team.

But that discounts some of the historical data that can be found from gauging teams’ home records as some teams are simply more equipped to play better on their home turf than others.

With the OddsTrader app you get the ATS for every team split into Home and Away games so you have a better idea of how they fare on the road. Parlay that with tools like the differential and the weather section for every game to get the ultimate edge when it comes to Home Field advantage.

For instance, it had been rumored that Northwestern used to grow the grass on their field long at Ryan Field before they moved to Astroturf. That would benefit the defense and would slow down the speed burners who would routinely torch the secondaries. This is simply anecdotal evidence but there are all kinds of tricks of the trade by the groundskeepers of these schools that are sometimes visited by the coaching staff to offer their “advice”.

The bottom line is to do your research and find out how the home team fares in terms of their ATS (Against the Spread) records. This will immediately tell you how much if any, the advantage is held by a particular home team.

Lastly, make sure that the online sportsbook you are using gives you the betting options you need and is listed as a trustworthy, A or A+ rated sportsbook.

Doing your due diligence will make you money over the long haul but you need to know that when it is time to get paid, there will be no hiccups, delays, or flat-out refusals. Because it is one thing to sweat the game but never the payout!

Would the line be as high if Hawaii didn’t have to travel to Continental US? Long distances can be a type of home-field advantage…when you’re the host. is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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