Think travel isn't a significant factor in how a team performs? Just ask a struggling mid-major program how it feels to be away from home for three straight weeks.
Last season, six Group of 5 teams that finished with losing records were tasked with three straight road games. And in the final game of each road stand, only one of those six teams covered the spread, while they collectively allowed an average of 49.3(!) points per game.
Beyond consecutive road games, there are plenty of other ways that travel can trip a team up. Movement through different time zones, a road tilt across the country before a rivalry game, and the dreaded Hawaii trip where it feels like 2 a.m. in a player's body clock but the sun hasn't even set - all of those are challenges for teams but money-making opportunities for bettors.
Here, we dive into five traveling situations during the 2019 college football season that should be extremely difficult for one of the teams involved.
Liberty might want a word with the scheduling committee. Week 9 starts a four-game road stand for the Flames, who will begin with a convenient two-game trip in the Northeast against Rutgers and UMass, before heading out to Utah to play BYU ... before coming back to the East Coast to play Virginia. That's four games and 30 days away from home for the Flames, capped off with a game they're projected to lose by 24.2 points.
Good luck with that.
This is a tough spot all around for Stanford. The Cardinal will get an afternoon kickoff across the country against a mid-major powerhouse sandwiched between two tough conference games against USC and Oregon. S&P+ already gives Stanford just a 40 percent chance of winning in Week 3, which makes this an obstacle course for head coach David Shaw.
Air Force won't be traveling much during the first month of the season, as the team will be at home twice while playing a pair of road games in the same time zone. But Week 6 against Navy will be the program's first test - and it's a big one.
For that contest, Air Force will make the 1,668-mile trek to Navy-Marine Corps Stadium with arguably its biggest game of the season - a home matchup against Fresno State - on deck.
In Week 9, New Mexico State will begin a dreaded three-game-road-trip scenario, which starts at Central Michigan and ends in Ole Miss. To make matters worse, the road stand appears to get progressively more difficult from beginning to end. The Aggies are projected to be 1.9-point underdogs against the Chippewas and 18.9-point 'dogs at Georgia Southern before closing out the trip against an SEC team.
Don't be surprised if New Mexico State is running on fumes come mid-November.
Beyond its travel schedule, the more disadvantages that bettors can find for a program, the better. In this case, UNLV playing a road game against a middle-of-the-pack Big 10 team wouldn't make most lists, but there's more here to consider than meets the eye.
For starters, it'll be a semi-early kickoff for a West Coast team playing its first road game of the season before heading back west for two conference games. Second, Northwestern will have a major rest advantage, as the program will be coming off a 14-day layoff after facing Stanford in the opener.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.