The beginning of the college football season is one of the most exciting times of the year for a lot of people. For many fans, this is a time filled with joy or even heartbreak depending on how your team performs.

For sports bettors, it is a similar story. Finding an early season edge can be crucial to getting off to a great start with your NCAAF bets.

I’m constantly working to find new angles and systems to help keep the profits coming. Today I wanted to share with you the results I found when looking at early season action.

Handicapping NCAAF Teams With Extra Game Played Early in Season

The focus was on teams who were playing their first game of the season against an opponent that had already played their first game. Unlike the NFL, where every team plays in Week 1, the college schedule is all over the place.

Let’s look at the 2019 Week 1 schedule for an example. There are 2 games featuring FBS teams playing on Saturday, August 24th. No other games are played until the following Thursday, August 29st. A lot of the teams playing on that first Saturday, turn around and play another game the following week. Not to be confused with betting NCAAF bye weeks during the regular season. This is only teams who haven’t played playing teams that have.

Betting Results: Season Opener vs. Teams Playing Second Game

I looked at this situation from a number of different angles. I first focused on whether or not home field made a difference. I combined that by looking at the performance of teams based on if they were a favorite or underdog. The last thing I checked dealt strictly with how the opponent did in their first game. I looked at whether they won or lost and whether or not they covered the spread.

*Data is only for games that feature two FBS teams.

SituationSUATS
Home187-92-5 (67.0%)134-118-2 (53.2%)
Away93-248-10 (27.3%)118-128-2 (48.0%)
Neutral5-4 (55.6%)5-3 (62.5%)
Home Favorite144-37-5 (79.5%)94-90-2 (51.1%)
Home Dog23-43 (34.8%)39-27 (59.1%)
Away Favorite47-13-2 (78.3%)33-29 (53.2%)
Away Dog22-158-6 (12.2%)85-99-2 (46.2%)
Opp off Win128-192-9 (40.0%)139-149-3 (48.3%)
Opp off Loss153-150-5 (50.5%)115-98-1 (54.0%)
Opp Off Cover87-148-7 (37.0%)99-107-2 (48.1%)
Opp Off No Cover132-162-5 (44.9%)116-115-2 (50.2%)
Overall285-344-15 (45.3%)257-249-4 (50.8%)

The first thing I want to touch on is the overall results. It turns out that having an extra game under your belt is an advantage when it comes to winning or losing. The team playing their opener against an opponent that has already played have won just 45.3% of the time.

That’s great, but it’s not what we are worried about. Our focus is on the spread. Those waiting around for their first action covered the number 50.8% of the time. That’s nowhere close to good enough to bet blindly. But it does tell us that we should be leaning in that direction.

The reason to look at all these different scenarios is to try and find the sweet spots for this situation. The numbers tell us that we are better off turning our focus towards the home team. They are right on the verge of guaranteed long-term profit at 53.2%. No surprise here given what we know about home field advantage.

We quickly learn that you don’t want to take every home team. You instead want to be focusing on home dogs, who are cashing at a sensational 59.1% clip.

As far as handicapping the opponent and what they did in their first game. The ideal situations are when a team loses their first contest and/or fails to cover the spread.

Ultimate System Sweet Spot:

Given what we found, it would be safe to anticipate home dogs playing a team off a loss where they failed to cover would be a very profitable proposition. That’s exactly the case. While there’s not a ton of games, teams in this spot are an outstanding 13-3 (81.2%) against the number.

If you are looking for more NCAA football handicapping articles, be sure to click on the previous link. For those of you tired of losing on your own and want to start profiting against the CFB odds, now is the time to get signed up for a premium package with an expert handicapper.