The 2017 bowl season got underway Saturday with a five-game slate. After a short break, teams are back in action starting Tuesday with the Boca Raton Bowl between Florida Atlantic and Akron. In all, college football bettors will be treated to five additional bowl games from Monday through Friday.
We’ve already reviewed some smart betting strategies for bowl season but here are a few more specific to each game this week. Looking for additional analysis? The Action Network’s college football analyst Collin Wilson previewed the Boca Raton, Frisco and Bad Boy Mowers bowls.
Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl: Akron vs. Florida Atlantic (Tuesday)
Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic (10-3) are massive 22-point favorites over Akron (7-6). The biggest bowl game spread in our database (since 2005) is Oklahoma State -18 vs. Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2012.
Nearly 70% of spread tickets have been placed on the chalk, but large favorites don’t perform well for bettors in bowl games.
Big favorites in bowl games since 2005:
- 7 or more points: 69-83-1 (45.4%) ATS
- 10 or more points: 26-32 (44.8%) ATS
- 17 or more points: 1-3 ATS
In his career, Kiffin as a favorite of 20 or more points is 12-0 straight-up but 5-7 ATS. The polarizing coach already trolled bettors once this year after failing to cover.
DXL Frisco Bowl: SMU vs Louisiana Tech (Wednesday)
SMU-Louisiana Tech isn’t the sexiest bowl game on the slate but with a total at 70 it could be the most fun. If points are your thing, this is a game you want to watch. A majority of bets are on the over but is that the right side?
In games with a total of 50 or more points and both teams covering the ‘over’ at .500 or better during the season, the Under has gone 62-47 (56.9%) since 2005. Recreational bettors like cheering for points and if a game features two teams that have been good over bets during the season, oddsmakers know it will attract even more over money and shade the line. A majority of bets and money are expecting the teams to combine for more than 70 points but the under is going overlooked.
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: Temple vs. Florida International (Thursday)
Does bowl experience matter? Temple went bowling last year while Florida International lost twice as many games as it won. Do teams that have experience staying focused with an extended layoff play better against programs that didn’t play past the regular season the year before?
Teams that made a bowl game last year are 68-68-1 ATS against teams that didn’t. There is no evidence that bowl experience matters. In fact, if the team with bowl experience is favored, like Temple -7, they have gone 42-48-1 ATS.
Bahamas Bowl: Ohio vs. UAB (Friday)
Ohio is a 7.5-point favorite over UAB. The Bobcats are getting little public support, which is unusual for favorites. In the most lopsided weekday game, 70% of spread tickets are on the Blazers who were 8-3-1 ATS in the regular season. Casual bettors clearly hope the trend continues but fading the public is a profitable strategy in bowl season.
Teams getting 30% or less of spread bets: 42-23-1 ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of +$1,682 following this trend.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Wyoming vs. Central Michigan (Friday)
Contrarian bettors often favor underdogs and that pays dividends in bowl games where it is hard to assess a team’s motivation. Underdogs in all bowl games since 2005 have gone 223-199-6 (52.8%) ATS. However, dogs stop barking when they become the popular play.
Trendy underdogs, teams getting more than 50% of spread bets, have gone 42-48-2 ATS. If the team gets 60% of more of bets: 6-15 ATS. At the time of publication 65% of bets are on Central Michigan +3.
All of these trends are interesting but not nearly as profitable as Bet Labs bowl game Pro Systems. Combined our four bowl game systems are 178-90-4 (66.4%) ATS since 2005, +$7,925. Don’t miss out on a single play, try Bet Labs today.