By Marc Lawrence
Our powerful database tells us that Game Four is a critical turning point for most College Football teams, especially if they're playing off their first loss of the season. From a handicapping perspective, the venue goes a long way in determining Game Four ATS results as well. Check out the situations of teams in Game Four, off their initial loss of the season, since 1980...
Teams playing at HOME in this role tend to perform poorly as evidenced by a 79-101-2 ATS overall mark. Home teams in that role this week include: Arizona State, Clemson, Houston, Iowa, Maryland and San Diego State, If these teams surrendered 28 or more points in last week's defeat they dip to 36-64-2 ATS. Houston, Iowa and Maryland qualify here. To top it off, if they are allowing 27.5 or more points per game on the season and allowed 28+ points last week they drop to 4-15 ATS, not good news for Houston. In addition, teams that allowed 28+ points last week and won four or less games last season are just 4-16-1 SU and 4-17 ATS as bummed-out hosts. Maryland finds themselves in this precarious role this week.
Teams playing AWAY in this role somehow find pointspread success, nearly reversing their home counterparts by going 94-72-1 ATS. This week finds Air Force, Baylor, California and Wake Forest taking to the road this week after having their dreams of a perfect season ruined last week. (Note: East Carolina and Texas Tech journey out in this role next week.) When these teams are also off an ATS loss they improve to 83-51-1 ATS in these ‘Game Four On The Floor' situations, those teams this week being Baylor, California and Wake Forest.And if the opponent is off a SU and ATS loss they ratchet up to 25-10 ATS, including 21-6 ATS if they allow 25 or fewer points per game on the season. That would put Baylor in this desirable role.
There you have it... a critical Game Four theory that will likely ‘floor' a team or two this week!