Bowl betting strategies: How to profit in NCAA bowl season

Bowl game handicapping involves a lot of hard work if you want to make a smart wager, especially given that the teams in question may have never met.

Often overlooked in the quest for statistical accuracy and the search for the right college football betting trends is the motivation factor. After all, some teams are primed for bowl season, while others are simply playing out the string.

During a 10-year stretch before the 2010 bowl games, 41 games saw double-digit spreads with the underdogs prevailing at a 26-14-1 ATS clip, according to the college football database here at In half of those underdog ATS wins however, they also won outright!

As ridiculous as it sounds to those of us sitting in our favorite armchair, some schools feel ‘snubbed’ by the bowl game in which they’re selected to play. Of course, that type of situation can cause a team to gain motivation, but typically, those teams are poised for a letdown if they’re not where they think they should be. The bowl betting is affected.

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Handicapping motivation is important in games where oddsmakers have a tight spread, and it’s as simple as evaluating the two schools’ current situation. Is one of the teams jacked to be at the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl? Do they have something to prove?

A perfect example is the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma. Everyone remembers the overtime, the trick plays, and the marriage proposal, but it was not supposed to be a close game. The Sooners were double-digit chalk, but the pumped-up Broncos laid it all on the line to upset the faves SU and ATS.

Oklahoma, for all intents and purposes, was playing out the string in a season where it had BCS title aspirations. Boise State was looking to prove it belonged with the big boys after dominating the WAC.

Speaking of motivation, lean towards senior-heavy teams. For most of those players, the bowl game is the last of their careers – and for some, the biggest. Seniors tend to lay it all on the line in an attempt to get a win in their last kick at the can.

Winning NCAA football bowl bets is a month`s worth of unique handicapping each December. And it takes patience to avoid the pitfalls that can damage your bankroll. Read more bowl betting 101 tutorials by clicking here.