If you gauge the best home bet in college football by ATS winning percentage, then the Texas State Bobcats are the most profitable home play in the land. They’ve covered the spread at an 83.3 percent rate inside Bobcat Stadium.
But, before you go sizing up TSU’s home schedule, you should probably know that the Bobcats have only played six games at home since jumping up to FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference last year. We’re going to need a larger sample size before we place Texas State with these five home-field breadwinners:
Home records 2008-2012.
North Carolina State Wolfpack (25-10 SU, 23-10-2 ATS)
A weak home sked left the Wolfpack to go 4-3 ATS at home in 2012, tabbed as big faves in all but one of those games. This season, North Carolina State has a more challenging home calendar with Central Michigan, Clemson, Syracuse, and rival UNC on the dance card. The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas is giving NC State 11 points vs. Clemson and 2.5 points hosting the Tar Heels.
Stanford Cardinal (31-3 SU, 23-11 ATS)
No matter where the Cardinal play they usually come away with the coin. Stanford, which is 22-10-1 ATS away from Palo Alto since 2008, is just as bountiful when playing the role of host. The Cardinal went 3-4 ATS at home last season but welcome their toughest opponents of 2013 to Stanford Stadium – Arizona State (-9), Washington (-11.5), UCLA (-10), Oregon (+3) and Notre Dame (-5.5) - meaning some favorable lines for Stanford backers.
Arkansas Razorbacks (24-9 SU, 22-11 ATS)
The coaching circus in Arkansas left the Hogs to go an uncharacteristic 2-4 ATS at home last season. The Razorbacks were 5-1 ATS at home in each of Bobby Petrino’s last two seasons before his joy ride scandal. Arkansas is hoping to recapture that ATS magic under Bret Bielema, who was 46-6 SU and 29-20-1 ATS at home in his time at Wisconsin. The Hogs host Texas A&M (+15), South Carolina (+11), Auburn (-3.5), and Mississippi State in SEC play.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (19-10 SU, 18-10-1 ATS)
Louisiana Tech makes the jump from the WAC to the depleted C-USA in 2013 and Bulldogs backers are hoping the home profits carry over. La Tech was only 2-3-1 ATS inside Joe Aillet Stadium last year but had a few cupcakes – Rice, Idaho, UNLV – on the slate which garnered some big chalk. New head coach Skip Holtz was a dismal 9-11 SU and 5-14-1 ATS at home during his tenure at South Florida.
Houston Cougars (24-9 SU, 21-12 ATS)
Houston is another school switching leagues this season, leaving the C-USA for the mutant AAC. The Cougars were surefire home winners when Case Keenum was slinging the pigskin but suffered an ATS letdown in 2012, going just 3-4 ATS inside Robertson Stadium. Houston’s home sked throws the likes of BYU, South Florida, and Cincinnati at the Cougars along with old foes Memphis and SMU.