LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When betting on college football, there is no greater gamble than betting on a public road favorite (defined as an away team who is favored in its matchup and is receiving a majority of the bets placed on the game). History shows that betting on public road favorites is a minefield that is very difficult to navigate toward a long-term profit.
However, those who have bet on public road favorites in the first three weeks of the season have to be counting their blessings, as public road favorites have gone 13-3 against the spread so far, including a perfect 10-0 mark last weekend. Those who make betting against public road favorites a cornerstone of their wagering strategy, like yours truly, got buried in Week 2.
So what has happened? Did books shade the lines away from the public road favorites to entice more action onto said public road favorites because they know these non-public home dogs historically do well? It's doubtful. Books had to love all the action being piled up on these public road favorites; they just don't like the fact that they are all covering.
Books are losing money on this trend that has started the season. Don’t expect any changes though; books know this is a marathon, not a sprint, and the law of averages say the pendulum will swing the other way eventually. Those of you who like to bet public road favorites, enjoy it while it lasts. This is not sustainable.
Looking at the early Week 3 board and wagering percentages, there are a lot of public road favorites on the board. Arizona, Notre Dame, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, UCLA, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Appalachian State, Southern Miss, Oregon, LSU, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Troy and Ole Miss all as of right now are public road favorites.
That's 16 teams just in Week 3, the same number of public road favorites from the first two weeks combined. While these 16 teams may end up covering more than they don't, I don't see another perfect weekend against the spread from this group. It's a minefield; bet accordingly.
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