When a team plays on its home court everyone recognizes the edge, and unless that edge is miscalculated, the bettor gains no advantage. The line-maker sets the line to split public opinion, and, in most cases, he can only do that by setting the line where the average bettor expects it to be. When a team plays at home, the line will account for the home advantage. The tournaments, however, often provide a home advantage that is generally unrecognized by the public, and therefore not accounted for in the line.
When the tournament court is listed as being neutral, the public handicaps the game without regard to a home-court edge, and the line is set without accounting for any home edge. If a hidden home advantage exists, it can provide one team with an edge as high as 15 points over the predicted result if the court were truly neutral.
Where Does the Hidden Home Edge Come From?
Now that most of the small campus ?pits? are gone, the fans alone are the biggest factor in creating a home advantage and a corresponding road disadvantage Some games, although played on a supposedly neutral court, are played so close to one team's campus that the fan advantage is little different from a true home game.
Even if the site of the game is several hundred miles away from the campus of both teams, a team playing in its home state can get the advantage of a natural fan base when matched against an out-of-state team. This latter situation is particularly effective against the spread in the NCAA Tournament.
Let's look at the games played yesterday, Monday, March 9, 2009 as an example:
Three hidden home court edges provided a 3-0 sweep against the spread. The same three teams played at the same locations in 9 games since the start of the conference tournaments, providing a 7-2 (78%) against-the-spread win record for those who recognized the hidden home edge in each game.
The hidden home advantage will have you winning, but there is more to March Madness handicapping that is just as powerful. To get all of my winning selections for the tournaments, including a huge Conference Crowne Jewel tipping off this afternoon, CLICK HERE
This concept is also valid during the NCAA tournament where teams are playing in their own city of VERY close to their home city. UNC usually gets a nice comfy location within 1 hour from Chapel Hill. This is something to keep in mind for the next month for sure!
Excellent point made here. Definitely valuable information for the next month of college hoops action.
Great concept: when the public does not value the edge, but it is there - that's free value.