NCAA Football Betting Statistics and Results for 2003 and 2004 Seasons

INTRODUCTION
In previous articles, we emphasized some of the themes and premises that SportsInsights is built upon (Betting Statistics). We showed that sports bettors could gain an edge by “Betting Against the Public.” SportsInsights has shown this to be true in the major US sports markets, ranging from college and pro basketball – to baseball – and more recently, pro football. Several weeks into the 2005 football season – we have seen that Betting Against the Public is yielding profitable results yet again – both in the NFL and NCAA Football.

In the past, we ALSO highlighted other trends that bettors could use to help them get an edge. For example, we have shown that betting underdogs and “unders” (for “Totals”) – on average – is the way to lean in your handicapping. In this article, we apply some of these tools to show that we can improve results by combining methods and ideas. 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 Betting Statistics Results for Betting Against the Public
Table 1 shows the results for Betting Against the Public over the past two college football seasons. As with other sports, we can see that results are favorable. At the 25% level, going against the public yields a 55% winning percentage. This is similar to what we achieve in other major sports.

On the other hand, the results are not as “robust” as we have seen for other sports. We would be happier to see higher winning percentages at more extreme Public percentages. We would also be happier to see winning percentages more consistently in the 55% (and higher) range.

In previous articles, as well as our forums (and indeed, in some literature) – there have been discussions about how sportsbooks work. In general, sportsbooks seek to balance their business in games to some degree. However, their profit margin can be improved by leaning the lines to exploit the “general public’s” tendencies. By “Betting Against the Public,” we are taking advantage of the “crowd/herd mentality” to help our bottom line. In some ways, college sports are an interesting, and slightly different, animal. Many games, from many towns, are played in a relatively small amount of time (Saturdays for college football). This factor could influence our results, so we decided to take a look at “Betting Against the Public” – combined with another factor on our side.
Table 1: NCAAF Betting Against the Public

Public Bet % # of Games Record (W-L-P) Winning %
50% 1155 584-552-19 51.4%
45% 998 507-474-17 51.7%
40% 798 406-377-15 51.9%
35% 620 317-290-13 52.2%
30% 472 249-214-9 53.8%
25% 312 170-139-3 55.0%
23% 247 131-113-3 53.7%
20% 183 94-87-2 51.9%
15% 76 36-40-0 47.4%
10% 23 12-11-0 52.2%

COMBINING HOME DOGS and BETTING AGAINST THE PUBLIC
Over the years, “Home Dogs” have proven to be a good way to go. However, trends and inefficiencies have a way of dissipating over time. In fact, our NFL Article showed that Home Dogs haven’t done as well over the recent years as they have in the past. Here, we take “home dogs” a step further and show that using “home dogs” – combined with SportsInsight’s public betting percentages – can improve results significantly.

For example, Table 2 shows that betting on an NCAAF Home Dog of 3 points – AND – at the 50% Public Bet % threshold (Bet Against the Public) resulted in a 58.2% winning percentage. For games that were at the 25% Public Bet % threshold (most people liking the favorite), the winning percentage climbs to 62.9%. That’s a very nice result!

Table 2:  Home Dogs and Public Betting Percentages

Dog Spread Public Bet % # of Games Record (W-L-P) Winning %
3 50% 354 203-146-5 58.2%
45% 318 185-129-4 58.9%
40% 280 164-112-4 59.4%
35% 232 135-93-4 59.2%
30% 183 112-69-2 61.9%
25% 116 73-43-0 62.9%
23% 92 60-32-0 65.2%
20% 69 44-25-0 63.8%
15% 28 18-10-0 64.3%
10% 8 5-3-0 62.5%

 

Dog Spread Public Bet % # of Games Record (W-L-P) Winning %
5 50% 285 165-118-2 58.3%
45% 258 151-106-1 58.8%
40% 235 139-95-1 59.4%
35% 201 120-80-1 60.0%
30% 158 100-58-0 63.3%
25% 99 66-33-0 66.7%
23% 80 55-25-0 68.8%
20% 61 41-20-0 67.2%
15% 25 17-8-0 68.0%
10% 8 5-3-0 62.5%

 

Dog Spread Public Bet % # of Games Record (W-L-P) Winning %
7 50% 252 144-106-2 57.6%
45% 228 132-95-1 58.1%
40% 209 122-86-1 58.7%
35% 180 105-74-1 58.7%
30% 143 87-56-0 60.8%
25% 90 59-31-0 65.6%
23% 73 49-24-0 67.1%
20% 57 38-19-0 66.7%
15% 24 16-8-0 66.7%
10% 7 4-3-0 57.1%

 

Dog Spread Public Bet % # of Games Record (W-L-P) Winning %
9 50% 192 108-84-0 56.3%
45% 172 98-74-0 57.0%
40% 155 89-66-0 57.4%
35% 133 76-57-0 57.1%
30% 109 65-44-0 59.6%
25% 70 44-26-0 62.9%
23% 58 38-20-0 65.5%
20% 45 30-15-0 66.7%
15% 17 10-7-0 58.8%
10% 5 2-3-0 40.0%

Table 2 shows similar results at other Home Dog point spreads. On average, home dogs at the 50% Public Fade threshold average 57-58% winning percentages. However, at the 25% Public Bet threshold, the winning percentages jump to 63-65%. Not bad for data that our members can access at SportsInsights.com.
Disclaimer
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 or fade over time.  Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself.