One of the most popular angles that handicappers use in giving their reasons for liking a game is revenge.  In college football this typically means one team beat another the previous year, but every once in a while you get two teams that play each other a second time during the same season.  What I wanted to know is how these teams did in the second game?

History

Dating back to 1982 I found 49 instances of this occurring.  With conference championship games becoming popular in recent years the same season revenge is coming up more and more.  So let’s take a look at a breakdown of how the second game turns out.

DateSeasonTeamOppFinalLineTotalATS
1/1/831982MICHUCLA14-243L
11/10/841984USDWYO29-45
1/1/881987USCMCST17-20-3L
12/15/941994UNLVCMCH52-24-5W
12/14/951995NEVTOL37-400L
1/2/971996FLAFLST52-206.5W
12/28/971997LSUNOTD27-9-6.5W
12/3/991999WMCHMRSH30-3420W
12/4/991999FLAALA7-34-6.5L
12/4/991999NEBTEX22-6-8W
12/2/002000AUBFLA6-289.5L
12/2/002000MRSHWMCH19-146.5W
12/2/002000KASTOKLA24-273P
12/1/012001COLOTEX39-377.5W
12/8/012001LSUTEN31-207W
12/7/022002COLOOKLA7-297.5L
12/4/032003BOWLMIAO27-497L
12/6/032003GEOLSU13-343L
1/1/042003FLSTMIAF14-161.5L
1/1/042003WVAMARY7-413.5L
12/2/042004TOLMIAO35-271.5W
12/4/042004TENAUB28-3814.5W
12/1/052005NILAKRON30-31-13L
12/3/052005COLOTEX3-7025L
12/1/062006HOUSMIS34-20-554W
12/1/072007VTCHBCOL30-16-4.546.5W
12/1/072007TLSCFL25-447.574.5L
12/1/072007MIZOKLA17-38365.5L
12/22/072007BYUUCLA17-16-5.546.5L
12/26/072007CMCHPUR48-517.573W
12/6/082008VTCHBCOL30-12038W
12/20/082008WAKENAVY29-19-343.5W
12/31/082008HOUAIR34-28-564W
12/5/092009CLEMGTCH34-39057L
12/4/102010SCARAUB17-56562.5L
12/30/102010WASNEB19-713.553W
12/3/112011VTCHCLEM10-38-753.5L
12/3/112011WISMCST42-39-9.556L
1/9/122011ALALSU21-0-240.5W
11/30/122012UCLASTAN24-278.547.5W
12/1/122012CFLTLS27-332.554L
12/1/122012WISNEB70-31350.5W
12/31/122012TLSIWST31-17-1.551W
12/7/132013AZSTSTAN14-38-3.553.5L
12/5/142014OREARZ51-13-14.573W
12/6/142014FRESBOIS14-282269W
12/5/152015USCSTAN22-414.559L
12/3/162016WKYLTCH58-44-11.580.5W
12/3/162016SDSTWYO27-24-5.557.5L

The team that LOST the first game is 24-23 in the second game of the year.  As you can see, nothing special comes out of the generic same season revenge.

The team that won against the spread the first time was 22-23 in the second game.  The straight up winner was then 23-24 at the betting window in the follow up game.  It’s not like having a matchup edge the first time the teams played has translated into having a significant edge the second go around.

One thing I found that might have an impact is the turnover margin.  I thought maybe a team who lost the turnover battle would have just been unlucky and would have had a better chance in game two.  However, that wasn’t the case.  If a team received more interceptions and fumbles than they gave up that team ended up going 10-7 ATS with a margin of victory of 8.47 per game.

Conclusion

Don’t take a team that lost the first game just because you think there will be some extra motivation to get revenge.  I don’t see any edge to be had out of these situations so I wouldn’t factor that into your handicapping.