Bleacher Report's Jeff Glauser scribbled up a sexy post in October 2014, weighing in on Thursday night home underdogs in both college and professional football, attempting to dig up why they're so darn successful.
Betting on these home underdogs has provided a treasure trove for those that have caught on to the wave. The thing is, most have, they just haven't fully latched on to the magnitude of the trend.
Best bet is to take the underdog on Thursday night football. Didn't touch this game... didn't even care to see what the line is— Boston Baked Bean (@StuddALG) November 21, 2014
Unless you're the underdog at home RT @TeamSpeedKills: The lesson: Never, ever agree to play football on a Thursday night— Doc Harper (@doc_harper) September 19, 2014
Thursday night home underdog strikes again! Gotta love college football.— Daniel Jerkins (@danieljerkins) November 8, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed the read, but perhaps on the seemingly unending spectrum of sport analytics, the way a team performs on a certain day provides no answer. I, for one, would have no reliable answer to give, nor can I preach the happenings of this irregular masterpiece. It's not like Socrates and I exchange conversation over parfaits and dissect one another's mind.
While such variables as luck and the nationwide spotlight were intertwined with the success of underdogs playing, at home on Thursdays, I decided to feed off of this find and go inside the numbers via college football.
8-18 - the win-loss record of home underdogs playing on Thursday night since the start of 2013 (all equations exclude Thanksgiving)
Nothing too appealing here. Eight wins in 26 tries is nothing to write home about, but keep scrolling.
8.09 - the average amount of points home underdogs are receiving via the spread
Now that makes a bit more sense. Considering wagering on an underdog getting eight points pays out at roughly +240 ($100 to win $240), you'd actually be +$120 since the start of 2013 if you wagered $100 on every Thursday night home 'dog. Obviously that number remains skewed with the fluctuation of spreads in that sample.
17-9 - against the spread record of Thursday night home underdogs since 2013
You could literally blind bet every home team on Thursday getting points and hit at a 65.3% clip since 2013; but here's the magic numbers you're peeking for once 2015 rolls in.
14-2 - against the spread record of underdogs getting 6.5 points or more
It pretty much speaks for itself, but aside from games that could ultimately be decided by a coin flip (spreads ranging from 1-4 points), touchdown or more underdogs are hitting at a gaudy rate.
7-1 - against the spread record of double-digit underdogs
Double-digit home 'dogs on Thursday? Target locked, trigger pulled.
The trend applies in various outlets of 2015's schedule, but mesh this fad with a mixture of situational factors and it could equate to the aesthetics of college football handicapping.
Notable Spots in 2015
Texas Christian @ Minnesota (Week 1, Minnesota +14.5)
A recent piece touched on Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill and his capability of upending the cream of the crop, as he's won outright as an 8.5-point underdog four times since he took the reins in 2011. It'll be a rematch of 2014 where TCU controlled the game in its entirety, but with months to prepare for quarterback Trevone Boykin, perhaps the Big 12 favorite lines up first on Kill's hit list.
Auburn @ Kentucky (Week 7, Line TBD)
A dismal spot in my opinion here for War Eagle, as they measure up with the Kentucky Wildcats for a Week 7 showdown.
Given Arkansas will be on deck for Gus Malzahn's Tigers, it could very well be a look ahead slot for Auburn and prime opportunity for Big Blue Nation to keep things tight-knit.
Oregon @ Arizona State (Week 9, Line TBD)
Potentially one of the most intriguing Thursday night match ups in 2015 deals with the Oregon Ducks and Sun Devils in Week 9.
I'll be keeping a keen eye on Arizona State's contest versus Utah a week prior, primarily due head coach Todd Graham's responses to losses. While ASU may not fall to the hands of the Utes, they've historically lit it up following a loss under Graham's leadership: 41.6 points per game in this situation. Still, this is Oregon we're talking about.