The college football season is so grueling that some often argue that every single week is a playoff game for schools as one loss can mean the difference between playing for the national title or not.
Before this year, the BCS determined the outcome of who would play in the championship game and teams were forced to not only win, but win in style.
This led to many favorites being able to cover such gigantic spreads more frequently because they were playing to impress.
When the bowl games are announced, the lines are set as early as possible so that us bettors can look over the mass amount of games and try to dissect which game might be best. Since they are so spread out, we bettors have an inclination to play as many as we can because each night gives us some sort of action.
This is a horrible approach as we would have to hit at over 55% just to make a profit! Instead, we should look at some key stats to go by.
Looking at strength of schedule can be a favorable first step as teams who might be .500 but from a strong conference may be pitted against a school with only a few losses but who plays in a mid-major conference. This is important because the schedule that the school from the power conference plays has prepared them for such a difficult game that the records should not even matter. L
ast bowl season, the Pitt Panthers were 6-6 on the year and were taking on the MAC champion Bowling Green who entered the game at 10—3. On paper, this seemed like an easy win for Bowling green because of their record and with them being the champions, but Pittsburgh went on to win the game.
This should always lead us to check the strength of schedule before placing a wager on the smaller schools.
Another thing to remember when betting a bowl game as compared to a regular season game is to look at the totals. With 3 weeks of preparation time, teams have a vast amount of time and resources to study what the opponent may do. Also, with the break in-between games, the offenses tend to get a bit sluggish and the upper hand goes to the defense.
Last year, the high powered offense of Oregon faced the Texas Longhorns in what many considered to be a high scoring game.
The total was set at 67 points and the public continued to bet the over expecting a high scoring game. The direct opposite happened as both teams combined to only score 37 points. The defense made the most out of the extra time.
Betting a college football season game vs. a bowl game is a big difference. We must handicap these games differently and as long as we start off with the strategies we discussed, we can come out on the winning end.