No. 1 Alabama started the season away from home playing Florida State in Atlanta. Second ranked Ohio State had a true road game playing the Hoosiers in Indiana Week 1. Thirteen ranked teams kicked off the season on the road or in neutral site games. Combined they went 6-7 against-the-spread. Not great but perhaps the teams will have better success covering for bettors in Week 2 when many will have their home opener.
Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan, Florida, LSU, West Virginia and Virginia Tech all play their second game of the season in friendly confines. Are ranked teams good bets in Week 2 home openers?
No. Since 2005, ranked teams that started the season on the road or played neutral site games went 32-42 (43.2%) ATS in the first game back on campus.
In the last ten years, ranked teams playing their first game at home after starting the year on the road have gone 23-39 (37.1%) ATS, -17.1 units.
Fading ranked teams in Week 2 home openers the last ten years has gone 39-23 ATS, +13.6 units. Why does this system work? Casual bettors overvalue Top 25 teams and home field advantage, which inflates the line.
If you are going to watch college football this weekend, there is value betting against ranked teams playing their home opener.
Want Pro System picks for College Football?
Get the Bet Labs Football Special