We’ve been counting the days and it’s almost here. I’m talking about the Birmingham Bowl, of course! Christmas is on Monday but before jolly old Saint Nick comes down the chimney, there are four bowl games this weekend. Collin Wilson, the Action Network’s college football analyst, previewed the Birmingham, Armed Forces, Dollar General and Hawaii Bowls. Care for some trends with those advanced statistics? We got you covered with one interesting betting trend for each game.
Birmingham Bowl: South Florida (-3) vs. Texas Tech
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Date: December 23rd, 12:00 PM EST
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee might not see South Florida as one of the nation’s top 25 programs but USF ranks 23rd in the AP Poll. We’ve tracked the performance of every ranked team (according to the Associated Press) since 2005 in bowl games and the results have not been great.
Ranked teams in bowl games are 142-152-3 (48.3%) ATS. Oddsmakers know the public, with little knowledge of the participating teams, will be attracted to Top 25 squads and inflate the line. In most bowl games, ranked teams receive the majority of spread tickets, which has been even worse for bettors.
At the time of publication, 74% of spread tickets are on the Bulls -3. Ranked teams getting 60% or more of spread bets have gone 41-62-2 (39.8%) ATS since 2005.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. San Diego State (-6)
Location: Ft. Worth, Texas
Date: December 23rd, 3:30 PM EST
The Armed Forces Bowl pits two equally matched teams against each other. Army is scoring 29.8 points per game (53rd in the nation) while San Diego State has topped 30 points seven times this season and is averaging 30.4 points per game (50th). Defensively, the Black Knights have conceded 20.9 points per game (28th) and the Aztecs are giving up 18.4 points per game (15th).
Defense wins championships bowl games. In all bowl games since 2005, when a defense that is allowing 21 or fewer points faces an offense scoring 28 or more points per game, the defense has been profitable going 121-110-3 (52.4%) ATS. Since both teams qualify in this system, the tiebreaker is the points. Good defensive teams that are underdogs have gone 62-44-1 (58.5%) ATS.
Only 22% of spread bets are on Army. Good defensive teams that are underdogs and getting little public support (40% or less of bets) have gone 31-16-1 (66.0%) ATS since 2005.
Dollar General Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Toledo (-7)
Location: Mobile, Ala.
Date: December 23rd, 7:00 PM EST
MAC Champion Toledo opened as 8-point favorites over Sun Belt co-champions Appalachian State. The favorite, as they often do, has received a majority of spread tickets but heavy chalk often disappoints. Favorites of a touchdown or more in bowl games have gone 70-83-1 (45.8%) ATS since 2005. More than 80% of spread dollars have been placed on the Mountaineers, moving the line from -8 to -7.
Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Houston (-2.5)
Date: December 24th, 8:30 PM EST
The total is on the move in the Hawaii Bowl. Steam has pushed the total from 47 to 49. As a contrarian bettor, I theorized that a two-point line move would lead to value on the under but I was wrong. In all bowl games since 2005, when the total increases by 2 or more points the over is 54-41 (56.8%), +10.33 units. Most of the profit was generated in low-total games (<55 points) where the over went 14-5 – just like in the Hawaii Bowl. It’s a small sample of course and we wouldn’t recommend blindly betting games that match this trend but it is food for thought.
Looking for trends that you can bet? Bet Labs bowl game Pro Systems have combined to go 178-90-4 (66.4%) ATS since 2005, +$7,925. Don’t miss out on a single play, try Bet Labs today.