Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM
We’ve reached the point in the college football season where home field advantage is worth ZERO for a handful of teams. Soon, that’s going to be two handfuls…and by mid-November, there are going to be teams all over the schedule who will literally gain NO benefit from playing on their home field.
Now, I want to be clear here that I’m not talking about neutral site games, or what have been called “home-neutral” like when Syracuse plays at the Meadowlands or California takes the field Friday Night vs. Oregon at the San Francisco 49ers new stadium. I’m talking about teams who are playing on their traditional home field, but gain NO benefit. I’ve spotted at least a few this week…and perhaps one of my big releases will involve that scenario.
Here’s what you look for:
PLAYERS WHO HAVE THROWN IN THE TOWEL
Yes, this has already happened in a few spots. Teams know they have no real chance of going to a bowl game, and are resigned to enduring a losing, meaningless season. You don’t get any effort or enthusiasm from these guys except maybe in the one rivalry game on the schedule that means something to them. Versus anyone else, the game could be played on Mars for all it matters. They’re going to get dominated and have little chance of covering a spread against an opponent that needs a result.
FANS WHO HAVE STOPPED ATTENDING GAMES
College football attendance is declining all over the country. And, that’s most obvious with LOSING programs. The superpowers down South are still selling out. Bad teams in the Northeast and Midwest, not so much. One of the main factors behind home field advantage is that the crowd can influence officiating and intimidate quarterbacks. If the stadium is mostly empty, nobody gets intimidated! The superior visitor goes about its business and gets the job done.
COACHES WHO HAVE LOST SUPPORT OF THE COMMUNITY
Head coaches can’t make any adjustments that matter if the administration and fan base has given up on them. And, that’s not even accounting for the fact that most of the players have given up on him too. Also, any coach in this situation in the first place was probably a poor recruiter. Who’s he going to put on the field to change momentum? Somebody who wasn’t good enough to play when the losing skid started?
For your homework today, I want you to study the won-lost records of ALL board teams with an eye towards who is already out of bowl contention, or virtually eliminated barring a miracle. Then, with THAT list, look over results from the past few weeks to see if there are already signs that the players have thrown in the towel. Or, indications from last Saturday that the team may have just thrown in the towel before the market has had any chance to respond. Next, look at the head coaches to see who’s on the chopping block. Brand new head coaches are usually given a few years to turn things around. But, coaches who have been there awhile and established that nothing good is going to happen…those are FADE nominees from this point forward in 2014.
If you have time, it probably wouldn’t hurt to look at paid attendance in the most recent home game for these programs if you can find it. Though, sometimes those numbers are inflated. It’s best to see the empty seats with your own eyes on game telecasts.
Oddsmakers tend to allot three points for home field advantage in college football. For bad teams, they may knock it down to two points. You rarely see an oddsmaker admit that home field is worth ZERO for anyone. But, KELSO STURGEON is here to tell you that it’s going to be worth ZERO at many stadiums from this point forward. And, I’ll further tell you that it’s going to seem like NEGATIVE value because motivated visitors are going to run up the score with their PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS in the right situations.
I’m not going to get any more specific than that. I’ve given you all the clues you need to find and exploit the advantages I’ve talked about today.
If you’d like some additional help finding the best bets on the board each and every football day (and in the NBA beginning next week!)…my BEST BETS can always be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about full season packages can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages that include football and basketball. We’ll also include these last few days of the MLB World Series if you’re interested.
See you again early next week for our next get-together. The Dean of Sports Handicapping is honored and humbled by your continued enthusiasm and support for this educational project.
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