Bowl Betting Strategies: How to Profit in NCAA Bowl Season
Every year when bowl season comes around college football bettors get excited at the chance to bet on a month's worth of games between teams that usually don't meet across various conferences.
While it is obviously important to handicap the statistics, it is equally important to consider motivation when it comes to college bowl games.
Finding Teams That are Motivated
In general, a team that is making its first bowl appearance ever or its first bowl appearance in a long while is going to be a very motivated side. In addition to wanting to represent their school well, these players will appreciate the fact that they are in a bowl game and work hard in the weeks leading up to it.
The same is also true of teams that have a lot of seniors. Top seniors at the big schools may be on their way to the NFL, but the majority of seniors will be playing their last football game ever in these bowl games. A team loaded with seniors at key positions is likely to play very motivated, from the seniors themselves to the teammates who want to send them off with a win.
Losing in a bowl game the previous year can be another strong motivator for bowl teams. After letting their fans and supporters down the year before, a team that gets another shot at a bowl game the following year should have a chip on its shoulder to earn the win this time around.
Looking For Letdown Spots
One of the most obvious letdown spots in college football is when an elite team had its sights set on a huge bowl game, only to fall short and end up in a smaller one.
The Alabama Crimson Tide saw their National Championship dreams come crashing down in 2014 on a shocking loss in the Iron Bowl after going 11-0 SU and 7-4 ATS in their previous 11 games. Uninterested in the Sugar Bowl that they landed in, the Crimson Tide lost 45-31 to Oklahoma as a 17-point favorite on the point spread.
Another letdown spot is one in which a team's head coach has taken another coaching job and has left the team before the bowl game. Many college teams are built like families, and having the coach abandon the team for another one can make it hard for some teams to get up for the bowl game to come.
In some bowl games, you can find both a team that is highly motivated and a team that could be poised for a letdown. In these types of matchups, bettors can usually throw the statistics out the window.