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Home Dogs that Crash and Burn

   by Tom Stryker - 09/20/2006

Emotion plays a big part in college football. It seems that when a team has that specific edge they have a tendency to play so much better. Michigan proved this theory last Saturday when they calmly strolled into South Bend and whipped the pants off Notre Dame.

This week's College System of the Week doesn’t have anything to do with the Wolverines or Fighting Irish. Instead, the result of that contest made me focus on how a team responds coming off a straight up home loss in which they were favored. Would our host respond with a convincing home win in their next game or would they fall flat on their face for a second time? You might be surprised with what I found. Take a look:

Play AGAINST any sub. 500 college football home underdog provided they lost straight up as a home favorite of -3.5 or more last.

27 Year Record – 55-27 ATS for 67.0 percent.

As simple as that system reads, it has produced a tremendous amount of profit. Losing home dogs have a heckuva time bouncing back from home losses in which they were favored. If our host carries a won/loss percentage of less than .500 and they're installed a home dog, they're obviously taking a step up in class this week. Coming off a loss in a game in which they were supposed to win, this home pup fails to rise to the occasion. Fortunately for us, there is one team playing in their own backyard that is locked into this play against set: Illinois.

There are a couple of tighteners within this general system that work really well. If our host is battling a conference opponent, this technical situation dips to a woeful 17-42 ATS. That was surprising. One would think that coming off that home blemish a team would bounce back especially in conference play. That doesn't happen.

Even worse, with our 17-42 ATS in hand, home teams crash to an ugly 7-27-1 ATS provided they are matched up against a foe that enters with a won/loss percentage of .625 or better. The cream of the crop usually rises to the top and that's the case again here. Our host struggles even more if they're matched up against a team that is considerably better than them.

The Fighting Illini fit both tighteners on Saturday and head coach Ron Zook's troops will be in for another long afternoon. This week's College System of the Week backs Iowa on their visit to Champaign-Urbana. Good luck with the Hawkeyes men.

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