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College Bowl Games

Football Betting – Betting on College Bowl Games

Many bettors make the mistake of trying to handicap college football bowl games exactly the same way they do the regular season, which doesn’t always work out quite as planned. While there are many similarities between handicapping regular season contests and bowl games, there are several other factors bettors should consider. We will look at several of these factors here.

How Do the Conferences Stack Up?

One factor to look at is how each conference fares in non-conference games. Naturally, some conferences are fairly weak, making a 9-2 team coming from that conference probably look better than it really is.
For the 2007 season, the Big East Conference fared extremely well, going 16-5 against the point spread in non-conference games, including 7-3 in games against teams playing in a bowl game. On the other side of the equation, Conference USA was just 4-7 against the point spread against non-conference teams, including a 4-7 record against bowl teams.

Looking at the Experience Factor

A college bowl game isn’t just a football game for the people putting the event, which means it isn’t just a game for the players, either. Instead, a bowl game becomes just one aspect, albeit the most important aspect, of an event.
There are usually banquets to attend, amusement parks to visit, and plenty of other distractions leading up to the game, which gives a slight edge to the teams, and players, who have gone through the routine before.

Looking at Emotional Factors

Some teams are thrilled just to be playing in a bowl game and have already accomplished their primary objective for the season. Whether they win or lose in the bowl game is almost secondary. These types of teams can be risky wagering propositions.
Closely related to the above situation are those teams playing in a bowl game that is beneath their stature. Some teams had visions of playing for a national championship at the beginning of the season and will have a tough time getting up emotionally for what they are likely to consider a second-rate bowl game. While these teams may have the ability to win on talent alone, their lack of true motivation can make them risky propositions.

How Do the Teams Fare on the Road?

Bowl games are technically neutral contests, although some teams will have a decisive advantage by playing close to home. But for the most part, the site of a bowl game doesn’t favor either team and a team’s ability to win away from home should be given extra consideration. In some of the minor bowl games, where teams may get in with 6-5 or 7-4 records, a team with a winning road record should get a serious look.

Looking at the Naming Game

Because the bowl season will bring out new bettors, or at least some bettors who may only wager on the NFL during the season, the point spread is affected by public opinion a bit more than a regular season game.
A number of non-bettors, or casual fans, are probably familiar with the big name schools from the major conferences, but probably don’t know much about Florida Atlantic, South Florida, or Central Michigan. When an unknown team faces one of the big name schools, bettors usually get the best of the line when wagering on the lesser known of the two.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to easy analyze all of the bowl games or a quick system that will give you 75 percent winners. Instead, it takes plenty of work using traditional handicapping methods, along with a few wrinkles and new ideas thrown into the mix.

Remember, if you don’t have an opinion on a particular game, you don’t have to make a wager on it.

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