As we approach college football season, you may wonder if some teams are inherently better against the spread year in and year out. Perhaps some teams are destined to underperform, too.
I’ve gone ahead and pulled the ATS records of every team in college football over the past five seasons and found the 10 best and worst teams against the spread over that period.
The teams are ranked by cover percentage, and I’ve excluded all of the very small schools that may have only played a handful of games with odds posted.
Taking the cake by a pretty substantial margin is Temple. If you exclude the 2016 season, the Owls are just eight games above .500 ATS-wise. But that wouldn’t quite be fair, because they were a crazy 12-1 ATS that season, while also winning the AAC championship.
Peter Jennings’ Colorado State Rams find themselves second on the list despite a poor 4-8 ATS showing last year. They’re also greatly aided by a stellar 2016 campaign in which they went 10-2 ATS.
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Surprisingly enough, Duke is third on the list. I often find myself making fun of Duke football, but apparently I should stop. The Blue Devils have been consistently solid ATS over the past few seasons, and their coach, David Cutcliffe, is the 11th-most profitable coach in our database dating back to ’05.
Now here’s a team that should really stick to basketball. UConn has just 17 wins overall and 20 wins against the spread over the past five seasons, essentially making the Huskies the Cleveland Browns of college football. We’re projecting them to get just two to three more wins this year, but perhaps they can at least start covering some of their 20+ point spreads.
It appears that Hawaii is having some trouble with all the travel and jet lag and whatnot. The Rainbow Warriors have been absolutely awful in two of the past three seasons, going 1-10-1 ATS last year and 3-10 ATS in 2015.
Like UConn, Kansas needs to just stick to basketball. In fact, the Huskies look like the Patriots compared to the Jayhawks, who have just 15 wins straight-up this decade. Coach David Beaty is 3-33 since taking over in 2015, managing to scrounge up 13 wins ATS over the past three seasons.
Be sure to check out all of Collin Wilson’s individual team previews for expected spreads for each game, win total estimates, strengths, weaknesses and more.