Betting on college football road games is an entirely different monster than anything we have discussed to this point. A personal theory that I try to remember when considering wagering on an away team is that there must be a “higher burden of proof” before I consider the wager.
More specifically, I am more likely to take a chance and wager on a mediocre team at home than I am on the road. A team’s weaknesses and personnel issues (players and coaches) seem to get exposed on the road more so than they do at home.
As we have pointed out on several occasions throughout this 7-part series, there are no hard and fast rules when betting on college football and this information should only be used as a guide. However, for the remainder of this article, I want to get into some specific do’s and don’ts when considering wagering on an away team.
A few general guidelines I like to follow when considering wagering on an away team include:
Experience is an important handicapping factor that you need to take into account when analyzing any college football game. And as we have been emphasizing throughout the current subject matter, these factors are increased when dealing with teams on the road.
A good example of this from the 2011 season was Oregon coach Chip Kelly discussing how his team benefits more (playing at home) than, the 2010 team and its senior-laden offensive line. “I think so,” Kelly said. “Obviously, we’ve played better at home than we have on the road.”
Oregon was actually 5-1 on the road in 2011 and 4-1-1 ATS, but Kelly made these comments earlier in the season and his point is well taken. More experienced teams tend to play better on the road than less experienced teams.
Stanford was also a good example of this from 2011. The Cardinal had an experienced QB (Andrew Luck), OL, receivers and anywhere from 7 to 8 upperclassmen in the defensive starting lineup throughout the season. They went 6-0 SU & ATS, covering double digit spreads on 4 occasions.
We’ve pointed out some do’s and don’ts to consider when looking at road teams to wager on. I believe a good general rule to follow is to look to wager on good fundamental teams with few personnel issues, experienced players and coaches. A team should be really sound before you consider wagering on them on the road, especially if you are giving points.
Look to wager against away teams that appear to have team issues in personnel and experience and coaches who do not have a good track record on the road.
As always there are going to be exceptions to any of these guidelines, but if you adhere to a “higher burden of proof” when analyzing road teams, you will be better off for it.
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