College Football Betting Tips: 3 Profitable Strategies for 2019 Bowl Season

College Football Betting Tips: 3 Profitable Strategies for 2019 Bowl Season article feature image
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v. pictured: Oklahoma Sooners fullback Jeremiah Hall (27)

  • The 2019 bowl season kicks off on Friday and runs through the New Year.
  • Using Bet Labs, we share three profitable strategies for wagering on college football bowl games.

The college football bowl season kicks off Friday with two games and continues through the New Year.

You’re probably excited at the opportunity to wager on a month’s worth of games, but handicapping 39 matchups that feature teams with varying levels of motivation is difficult.

Don’t worry, we’ve done all the hard work for you using the Bet Labs database. Whether you’re betting on the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl or the College Football Playoff, here are the betting strategies you need to know before making your picks.

Fade Ranked Teams

What do recreational bettors know about the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl between No. 20 Appalachian State and UAB? Not much, other than the Mountaineers being ranked.

Top 25 teams will receive a disproportionate number of bets from the public just because they are ranked. In early betting (see live odds) a majority of spread tickets are on App State. Oddsmakers know casual bettors will wager on Top 25 teams and thus inflate their lines.

In bowl games, betting against ranked teams has gone 178-168-3 (51.4%) against the spread (ATS) since 2005 according to Bet Labs.

It has been more profitable to fade ranked team when they face an unranked opponent: 52-42-1 (55.3%) ATS.

Game Matches

  • Washington -3.5 vs. No. 19 Boise State (Dec. 21)
  • UAB +17 vs. No. 20 App State (Dec. 21)
  • Texas A&M -7 vs. No. 25 Oklahoma State (Dec. 27)
  • Iowa State +3.5 vs. No. 15 Notre Dame (Dec. 28)
  • Kansas State +2.5 vs. No. 23 Navy (Dec. 31)
  • Texas +7.5 vs. No. 11 Utah (Dec. 31)
  • Boston College +7 vs. No. 21 Cincinnati (Jan. 2)

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Bad ATS Teams Are Good Bets

Clemson (10-3 ATS), Auburn (9-3 ATS) and Kansas State (9-3 ATS), were three of 14 teams to cover the spread in nine or more games this season. Each is receiving a majority of spread tickets in their respective bowl games.

Casual bettors remember the teams that consistently covered and chase those results. Unfortunately, teams that have covered the spread in 70% or more of their games have gone 59-68-2 (46.5%) ATS in the postseason.

Instead of wagering on teams that have covered, bettors should target bad ATS teams. Teams that have struggled to cash tickets during the regular season usually receive little public support, and that is a mistake.

In bowl games, it has been profitable to bet on teams with a bad ATS record in the regular season.

This system is more profitable when the opponent has a .500 or better ATS record. Since 2005, bad ATS teams have gone 24-15-1 (61.5%) ATS when facing a team that has covered the spread in at least 50% of their games.

Game Matches

  • North Carolina A&T -3 vs. Alcorn State (Dec. 21)
  • Marshall +17 vs. UCF (Dec. 23)
  • Michigan State -4.5 vs. Wake Forest (Dec. 27)
  • Ohio -7.5 vs. Nevada (Jan. 3)

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Unpopular Dogs

Casual fans like wagering on favorites. In bowls games, the chalk has received a majority of spread tickets in 379 of 502 (75.5%) games since 2005, so favorites are usually inflated. That leads to value on the underdog.

All underdogs have gone 262-234-6 (52.8%) ATS in bowl games since 2005. Dogs receiving less than 50% of bets have gone 203-172-4 (54.1%) ATS.

In lopsided bet games, when the public loads up on a favorite, it has been even more profitable to wager on the underdog:

Since 2005, underdogs receiving less than 30% of spread tickets have gone 37-21-1 (63.8%) ATS.

Seven dogs are currently receiving less than 30% of bets this bowl season.

Game Matches

  • FAU +7 vs. SMU (Dec. 21)
  • Hawaii +1.5 vs. BYU (Dec. 24)
  • Oklahoma +13 vs. LSU (Dec. 28)
  • Iowa State +4 vs. Notre Dame (Dec. 28)
  • Virginia +14 vs. Florida (Dec. 30)
  • Florida State +5 vs. Arizona State (Dec. 31)
  • Indiana +2 vs. Tennessee (Jan. 2)

[In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at DraftKings]

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