College Football: Home Dogs and Betting Against the Public (2003-2006)

Sports Insights is pleased to present this year’s update on the College Football marketplace.  Like last year, we’ll look at how college football dogs — and home dogs — fared over the recent past.  We also updated our charts to show how Betting Against the Public can be used to improve “Home Dog” performance.  Our research is based on over 5,500 college football games.  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.

College Football Dogs and Home Dogs

Bettors often talk about underdogs.  How have dogs done over the past few years in college football?  And what about “home dogs?”  Table 1 shows the results contained in our database since 1998.  We purposely show results over individual years to highlight how performance can jump around — even over entire seasons.

Table 1 – College Football Dogs and Home Dogs

Period Dogs Home Dogs
1998-2006 50.1% 51.8%
2001 52.4% 49.3%
2002 50.2% 50.0%
2003 48.3% 51.4%
2004 52.1% 60.2%
2005 51.4% 50.7%
2006 51.0% 48.7%
Last 4 Years (2003-2006) 50.1% 52.5%

Here are some key “takeaways” from the chart:

  • The results continue to validate previous academic research — that there is a bias towards underdogs, and in particular, home dogs.
  • The results show that although there is a bias, the sports marketplace is relatively efficient, so that the vig is difficult to overcome.
  • Performance can fluctuate dramatically.  Similar to the investment world, past performance is not necessarily an indication of future results.
  • In this article, we highlighted all 2003-2006 periods in yellow to make comparison more convenient among the various approaches and tables.

Home Dogs Getting Points

Table 2 shows the performance of Home Dogs receiving a given amount of points.  The past two years have been mediocre for this strategy.

Table 2: College Football Home Dogs Receiving X Points

Period 0.5 or More Pts 3 or More 7 or More 14 or More
2003-2006 52.5% 52.4% 52.4% 52.9%
2003 51.4% 52.7% 52.8% 51.0%
2004 60.2% 58.0% 61.2% 57.4%
2005 50.7% 49.1% 45.9% 46.2%
2006 48.7% 50.0% 49.6% 56.8%


Betting Against the Public — on Home Dogs

Last year, we saw that combining “Betting Against the Public” with betting on “Home Dogs” — was a profitable betting strategy.  We updated this information to include the 2006 season and present the results in Table 2’s format for comparison purposes.

Table 3: College Football Home Dogs and Betting Against the Public (30% Level)

Period 0.5 or More Pts 3 or More 7 or More 14 or More
2003-2006 54.7% 53.4% 53.4% 54.7%
2003 60.0% 58.7% 58.5% 53.1%
2004 60.6% 58.8% 59.3% 56.8%
2005 51.0% 48.3% 47.6% 53.1%
2006 50.0% 50.0% 50.6% 56.8%

For the purposes of this chart, we selected games where the Public was 30% or lower on the Home Dog.  Note how Betting Against the Public consistently adds value over Table 2 (Home Dogs, as a standalone system).  Indeed, our series of articles has show that Betting Against the Public can add value to just about any handicapping approach.  We hope that you will use Sports Insights’s numerous sports investing tools and data to improve your handicapping!

Previous NCAA Football “Bet Against” Articles:
9-07-2006    Article #11  NCAA Football “Bet Against” Results for 2003, 2004, + 2005 Seasons
10-20-2005  Article #6   NCAA Football “Bet Against” Results for 2003 and 2004 Seasons

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.