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Old 12-13-2008, 11:24 AM
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Backslider Backslider is offline
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Default Neutral Site games?

If we assume that playing a game at a neutral site has some effect on the outcome of the game (and/or some effect on your prediction of the outcome of the game)...

I have a question about when to consider a game a "neutral site" game, for purposes of handicapping. For example, in NCAA basketball today we have the following games:
1. UMass v. Kansas @ Kansas City, MO
2. St. Marys v San Diego St @ Anaheim, CA
3. Depaul v UCLA @ Anaheim, CA
4. Georgia Southern v. North Dakota St @ Des Moines, IA
5. San Diego v Oregon @ Portland, OR
6. Montana v. Washington St @ Seattle, WA

So.. #4 I think is the most obvious - it is the "standard" neutral site situation.

#1, #5, #6 are all similar situations - one team travelling to play on a court near the other team, but not that team's normal court. So, it seems like the fans will be heavily in favor of the "home" team, but the gym, court, rims, etc. are not their own. In all cases, I think they are bigger (NBA size) arenas, which could affect, for example, the o/u if the kids aren't used to shooting in that environment.

#2 you have two teams from CA. San Diego has less distance to travel, but the "crowd factor" is diminshed because..
#3 is at the same place. So you've got the crowd split in four. In this game, clearly Depaul has to travel a lot further, but again the UCLA home team factor is somewhat diluted by San Diego/St. Mary's fans.

Anyway.. which of these games should be considered neutral site? I am leaning towards just calling all of them neutral site, for the purposes of handicapping the game. Mainly because of my theory that the unfamiliar gym, court, rims, acoustics, backgrounds, etc. can affect the scoring rate (which will also affect that odds of covering).

Also, OJ Mayo sucks.
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