College Bowl Handicapping
College bowl handicapping is a different beast, the games are completely than the regular season so a sharp handicapper needs to account for a few additional variables. .
Due to the time between a team’s last game and the bowl game, coaches can have a greater influence on the outcome. A good coach with two-and-a-half or three weeks to prepare his team for a particular opponent is a huge advantage, while a poor coach will not be able to use the extra time to help his team. When you crunch the numbers and for your college bowl handicapping you will want to consider the coaching staff, and the amount of time they have had to prepare.
College Bowl Handicapping - Public Perception
Public perception of the teams plays a bigger role in the spreads, as more people wager on the bowl games than bet in the regular season. Those of us who bet every day have a tendency to forget that there are plenty of bettors who will only bet the NFL or will just bet the NBA and not college basketball. These types of bettors will often come out of the woodwork when it’s time for the bowl games or the college basketball tournament and they do influence the spreads to a degree.
College Bowl Handicapping - Coaching Changes
Another important consideration when doing your College Bowl Handicapping is to factor in the coaching changes. A number of teams have seen their regular season coaches leave for one reason or another. Florida, Houston, Michigan and Nebraska essentially ousted their head coaches, while Wisconsin and Colorado State saw their coaches voluntarily step down to take other positions. Teams with interim head coaches leading them in bowl games are just 20-25-1 (43.4%) since 2003, so you may want to use a bit of caution on those teams, although it seems the mindset would be entirely different for teams such as Florida or Nebraska, whose players loved their coaches, as opposed to Wisconsin or Colorado State, whose coaches left on their own to head up other programs.
College Bowl Handicapping - Motivation
When looking at college sports, it’s always important to remember that you’re talking about 18 to 23 year old kids, who tend to be more emotional than their counterparts in professional sports. College players have higher highs and lower lows and that often can show up on the field. When handicapping college football bowl games, always remember, some teams are just thrilled to be playing a bowl game, while others are pretty disappointed about which game they’re playing in.
Teams like TCU or Baylor can enter their games on a mission and set out to prove the playoff committee wrong or they can just go through the motions, knowing that they’re not playing in the game they feel they deserve to be in. As Alabama showed last year when they were solidly trounced by an inferior Oklahoma team, a team that isn’t completely into the game is in trouble against a team that is looking for a statement win of their own.
College Bowl Handicapping - Strength of Conference
While college football fans can debate which conference is the strongest all they want, bettors tend to look at things a little bit differently and are more interested in how particular conferences do in bowl games. As some would expect, Southeastern Conference teams have been decent bets, going 46-34 (57.5%) dating back to 2005, while the Sun Belt surprisingly has fared above average, going 23-18 (56.1%) over the same time span.
Big Ten teams have been a slight disappointment, going 32-35 against the spread, while the Big 12 is a bigger disappointment, going a dismal 30-41 (42.2%) against the spread. The worse culprits, however, has been Mid-American Conference teams, as they have posted an atrocious 11-26 (29.7%) record over the years.
There are 38 bowl games on the schedule and all of them will be televised, but don’t feel the need to wager on each and every one. Be selective and look for those games in which you feel you have a decent edge. Your bankroll will be much happier at the end of the bowl season if you do so.
College Bowl Handicapping - Free Pick
12/22/2014 2:00 PM Reduced Football 212 Memphis* -2 -105 vs BYU
Risking 2.00 To Win 1.90
12/22/2014 2:00 PM Reduced Football 211 BYU/Memphis* Under 56 -102
Risking 1.00 To Win 0.98
We have an early bowl game on today, starting at 2PM EST. I am taking the Memphis Tigers over BYU. For me this one comes down to who has the healthier team, and its clearly Memphis.
BYU has been just decimated with injuries this year, losing their starting QB Taysom Hill back in October and their starting running back Jamaal Williams in November. They managed to recover and end the season on a 4 game win streak as replacement QB Christian Stewart did a solid backup job to close out the season.
Looking at Memphis, they come into this game on a 6 game win streak. QB Paxton Lynch has been a consistent dual-threat, throwing for 18 TDs and adding another 10 rushing. To complement the offense, the D has been very solid down the stretch, they area allowing only 17.1 points per game and they only allowed 20 points to USF and Tulsa over their final 6 games of the season, the rest were stuck at 13 or less.
This game should feature some strong defense, BYU will match up well against the Memphis run, so I expect a few big plays to be the deciding factor in this one. Memphis just has more options on offense and I think it will make the difference and lead them to a 27-16 type win in this one. Play Memphis and lean on the under.
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Author: Rob Holiday
My background is in business, consulting, finance and entrepreneurship