College Football and Betting Against the Public (2003-2009)

The College Football Season is about to get under way. College Football has been one of SportsInsights most consistent sports in terms of contrarian methods and “betting against the public.” With an extra year’s worth of data, how do the numbers look? In this article, we update our “betting against the public” results for college football — and break the results down for home and visiting teams that the public hates.

SportsInsights Database and College Football Data

SportsInsights(SIs) has collected betting data for every major U.S. sport since the 2003.  We collect the opening and closing lines (and “line movement,” for various sportsbooks) as well as final scores — and perhaps most importantly, SIs’ proprietary “betting trends,”

Our research team also “cleans” our data with various systematic techniques — as well as “by hand” — to ensure our historical data is useful for our research articles and our Members. SIs’ historical database for each sport is an important part of our research and value-added for our Members.It is the backbone for our contrarian sports investing  methods and you can’t find this kind of data and information anywhere else!

SportsInsights’ database for College Football now includes about 5,000 games over the past 7 seasons. For the purposes of this article, we include the Bowl Games. Our database and contrarian methods are backed by tens of thousands of games across every major U.S. sport.

College Football Dogs and Home Dogs

Below are college football results for “betting against the public” over the past several years. We broke the results down for home teams and visiting teams.

Table 1: Betting Against the Public (2003-2009)

Betting Percentage Home Team Visiting Team
< 40% 50.5% 49.2%
<30% 52.0% 49.6%
< 25% 53.4% 50.1%
< 23% 55.3% 50.8%
< 20% 57.0% 45.9%

Using theTable

  • In addition to overall “Bet Against” results, we have broken down how Betting Against the Public performs for Home teams or a Visitors. 
  • For example, if a Home team has less than 23% of the public betting on them (Visitor has more than 77% of the public), this scenario resulted in a 55.3% winning percentage.
  • On the other hand, Visitors with less than 23% of the bets (more than 77% of bets on Home team), resulted in a 50.8% winning percentage.
  • Some members may try using Home teams at the 23% level and Visiting teams at the 23% level, focusing on Home teams in college football.

Number of Bets and Big Games

Over the years, College Football Square Playshave done reasonably well compared to the “Bet Against” results shown above.  Our industry contacts and analytical tools allowed us to focus on “bigger games” with national focus — leading to more contrarian value.  One indicator that our SportsInsights researchers use as a proxy for “bigger games” is the Number of Bets that we compile for every game.  If the game is one of the more heavily-bet games of the day, you know that the Public is betting that game big.

The games with the larger Number of Bets tend to have more contrarian value as we mentioned in this previous article.  If you like the information in our articles, please check out our series of Sports Investing books’s Square Plays and Other Tools

Using SportsInsight’s “betting percentages” in conjunction with other indicators to obtain value can be a powerful addition to your sports handicapping.  In 2009, “betting against the Public” — and SportsInsight’s Square Plays enjoyed its seventh consecutive profitable year in College Football.  In addition to Square Plays, Premium Pro Members have access toSportsInsight’s innovative sports investing tools such our Best Bet summary, our Smart Money Analysis by sportsbook, and Steam Play triggers.

The information on this site is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited. We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself. We do not guarantee our data is error-free. However, we’ve tried our best to make sure every score and percentage is correct.