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Bowl Season is here! It will officially get under way on Friday, December 16th but we are already at work. In past articles, we have discussed how bowl season can be tricky if you don’t have all of the information. Some games you can get value on early but others you will have to wait on until all of the information is clear. Here are some of the situations that I look for when trying to find an early edge on bowl games:
- Head Coach takes another job
- Big conference team that is disappointed about their bowl position taking on a team that is motivated to finish their season strong and show they belong
- Top talent sitting out for the NFL Draft
- Top talent sitting out for the transfer portal
- Programs on the upswing building momentum for next season
BOWL SEASON STAT YOU MUST KNOW!
If you bet an underdog, it’s worth it to sprinkle on the moneyline as well. According to the Action Network, in bowl games since 1980, the underdog has won straight up 36.33% of the time, while the underdog has covered and lost only 14.93% of the time. The favorite has also won and covered 48.74% of the time, but you’ll have higher juice which can kill the value depending on the game. If you blindly bet underdogs on the moneyline in every bowl game since 2005, you would have yielded a 4.3% ROI and +24 units. The most successful range is from a point spread of 3-7. Since 2005, that range has churned out a 15.7% ROI for +34.9 units. Just a trend to think about when taking dogs during this bowl season.
Below are a couple early plays that I'm on this bowl season. I will have weekly articles throughout the bowl season with my best bets for that week, as well, so stay tuned!
MICHIGAN (-7) vs TCU - SATURDAY DECEMBER 31st 4PM ET
This one is simple for me. Michigan is a much better football team and the market dropped this line just enough for me to grab my number. Let’s be honest here, TCU is not even the best team in the Big 12. Kansas State without injuries beats this team twice this year. TCU is a great story but I have a feeling that they let out a collective sigh after making the College Football Playoff after a tough loss to Kansas State. Sure, they'll play hard, but do they really stack up to a loaded Michigan team. In my opinion, TCU has accomplished their goal, while Michigan has been on a mission to win it all after last year's thrashing at the hands of Georgia. Michigan wants more than just getting to the playoffs this time. Harbaugh will have this team focused and with so much on the line, I just don’t see TCU being able to make enough stops and go toe to toe with Michigan’s talent. Michigan has been one of the best defenses all year especially in the second half. I can see TCU keeping it close in the first half but Michigan will ultimately wear them down and pull away to secure their first trip to the National Championship game. Give me Michigan -7.
SOUTHERN MISS (-6.5) vs RICE - SATURDAY DECEMBER 17th 5:45PM ET
Southern Miss vs Rice will most likely go down as one of the worst matchups of the bowl season. Southern Miss had to grab a regular season finale win just to get bowl eligible while Rice, at 5-7, is technically not bowl eligible at 5-7 but they were invited because of a lack of teams. Southern Miss has the better team and the much better defense here. Southern Miss has played the better schedule and are more tested. I believe they will be motivated to finish their season strong with a convincing win. I have Southern Miss -6.5 here as Rice is just not a good football team.
By Brandon Kenyon
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