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Sportsbook.com Bowl Gambling Analysis

Recent Bowl Game Betting Happenings

For almost every one of the 34 bowl games, we’ve been given at least two weeks to prepare. In that sense, we might as well dig up as much as we can in search of that one golden nugget for each. In this piece, we’ll take a look at some general bowl game trends recent years, then dive into some more team specific trends for the ’09-10 bowl games. View the current lines for all the games on the LIVE ODDS page of  Sportsbook.com.


Here are some highlights of past bowl game action in terms of Home/Road,Favorite/Underdog, and Totals results.

– After being an UNDERDOG dominated event in the early part of the decade, FAVORITES have turned the tables in bowl games the last two years, going 17-15 ATS in ’08-09 & 18-14 ATS the prior season, good for 55% ATS. During that same span, UNDER has been the winning total wager in 36 of 66 games, also 55%.

– In BCS games of the last two years, FAVORITES hold a 6-4 SU edge but the ATS ledger is split 5/5.

– FAVORITES have held the biggest edge over the last two seasons in post-New Year’s non-BCS games, going 9-3 SU & 8-4 ATS.

– Prior to the ‘07-08 bowl season, a distinct pattern had been forming in which UNDERDOGS were dominating the bowl games between the two holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. However, in the last two seasons, that pattern has reversed itself, with FAVORITES going 16-13 ATS in those games.

– There were seven games in the ’08-09 bowl season that matched BCS-level conference schools against non-BCS opponents. In those games, the big boys took care of business with a 6-1 SU & ATS record. The only loss Utah’s Sugar Bowl upset of Alabama. Over the last two bowl seasons now, BCS schools own a 12-5 ATS mark in such matchups.

– Double-digit underdogs weren’t as effective as usual last season in bowl games but still managed to split four games against the spread. Overall, these heavy pups are 35-25-2 ATS, 58.3%, since 1992. The opening lines for the ‘09-10 bowl season show just three different games with pointspreads of 10-points or more.

– Concerning totals, 21 of last year’s 34 games went UNDER the total. In fact, in the games that were expected to be the most high scoring, or those with posted totals of 51 or higher, the UNDER was 16-6.

Here are some angles digging deeper into the “quality” of the bowl series. I have broken the database of past bowl games into five different categories.

BCS Bowl Games

– Dating back to ’04, UNDERDOGS own a sizeable 17-10 ATS edge in the last five bowl game seasons.

– The most likely FAVORITES to cover in BCS bowl games are those laying 5-points or less, 11-7 ATS in the

L18 – The SEC owns a 5-1 SU & ATS in its L6 BCS bowl games, best of any league

Post New Year’s Day Low Level Bowl Games

– FAVORITES dominate the late season lower tier bowl games, 9-2 SU & 8-3 ATS in the L11. Eight of the 11 games in this group were decided by 18-points or more.

– The bigger the FAVORITE in this category, the bigger the chance for a blowout. Chalk of 6-points or more from this set of games is 6-1 ATS in the L7.

– MAC teams are the most frequent victim in the post-New Year’s Day low level bowl games, 1-5 ATS.

Christmas thru New Year’s Eve Bowl Games

– In last year’s post-Christmas, pre-New Year’s bowl season, 11 of 15 games went UNDER the total.

– Dating back to ’98, UNDERDOGS own a huge 96-55-3 ATS (64%) edge in this grouping of bowl games. However, as noted earlier, FAVORITES have sliced the gap in the last two years.

– Double-digit UNDERDOGS are a near automatic play during this portion of the bowl season, 16-3 ATS since ’98. There could be two in place for ’09 if the lines in the Boston College & Stanford games climb a bit before kickoff.

Premium Post-New Year’s Bowl Games

– The Premium Post-New Year’s Bowl Games are those most likely to go UNDER the total, 35-23 (60%) since ’96. These games typically include the Outback, Gator, Capital One, and Cotton Bowl games.

– Interestingly, in these Premium Games with higher point spreads, or those 7-points or greater, the OVER is 14-10 since ’92.Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

– The OUTRIGHT winner is a nearly automatic pointspread winner in this category of bowl games, 58-7-2 ATS since ’92.

Pre-Christmas Games

– Dating back to ’02, FAVORITES own a significant edge of 33-7 SU & 25-15 ATS (60%) in the pre-Christmas Day bowl games.

– Small FAVORITES, or those of -3.5 or less, have been particularly dominant in pre-Christmas Day bowl games over the last seven years, 16-2 SU & 15-3 ATS. For ’09, there were four teams fitting that bill as of press time, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Oregon St, and California.

– Odds makers have done a fine job indicating the tempo of these pre-Christmas Day bowl games. In those with totals of 63.5 or higher, 12 of the L13 games have gone OVER the total, producing 82.1 PPG. The Nevada-SMU game could prove to be a shootout.

Does how a team is playing at the end of the regular season have any bearing on how they do in their bowl game. I’ve heard arguments on both sides and have seen completely varying results on this subject. In any case, here are the hottest and coldest of the 68 teams taking part in this year’s bowl game lineup. Keep track of how these teams do, and if you see a pattern forming either way, take advantage.

The HOT Teams Heading into the Bowl Games

* TEMPLE won eight of 11 games against the spread in ’09
* UCF was 9-2 ATS in ’09, including 4-0 ATS in its L4
* MIDDLE TENN ST comes into its bowl game on a 6-game SU & ATS winning streak
* OREGON ST closed the season on a 6-2 SU & 7-1 ATS surge
* NEVADA was 8-1 SU & 7-2 ATS down the stretch, scoring 49.6 PPG
* OHIO U, GEORGIA TECH, and TROY all won eight of their L10 games ATS
* VIRGINIA TECH swept its L4 opponents SU & ATS, yielding just 9.5 PPG
* OHIO ST was 9-2 ATS after its season opening narrow win over Navy, allowing just 10.8 PPG
* CONNECTICUT was the nation’s top spread covering team in ’09, 10-2 ATS
* TCU was 7-0 SU & 6-1 ATS down the stretch, winning by 36.6 PPG

The COLD Teams Heading into the Bowl Games

* UCLA was just 3-6 SU & ATS in its L9 games of the season
* BYU was just 3-7 ATS in its L10 regular season games
* Following its season opening rout win, USC went on to lose nine of its L11 ATS
* TEXAS A&M made a bowl game despite winning just three of its L9 games
* After starting 7-0 ATS, IDAHO finished the season on a 1-4 SU & 0-5 ATS skid
* MISSOURI was just 2-6 ATS in its L8 games
* AUBURN was just 1-5 SU & 2-4 ATS in its L6 lined games
* FLORIDA ST was just 3-9 ATS this season
* S FLORIDA received a bowl bid despite going 2-5 SU & ATS in its L7 games
* MICHIGAN ST was just 1-4-1 ATS in a season-ending swoon

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