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College Football Betting Trends: 50 Trends, Stats, Notes for 2022 Bowl Season

College Football Betting Trends: 50 Trends, Stats, Notes for 2022 Bowl Season article feature image

Welcome to the most beautiful time of the year: Bowl Season!

With 9 bowl games left from now through the National Championship, it’s time to dive into some stats, notes, trends and much more to get you ready for the madness.

All bowl-wide data, stats and trends are as of pre-bowl season. Article updated as of Saturday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m. ET 

Click on a topic to skip ahead
Notes For All Bowls
Top-Level Trends for Every Bowl Game
Conference Trends
SEC, Pac-12, ACC, MAC, AAC & More
Individual Bowl Notes
Service Academies, Low Totals & Green Wave
Rapid Fire
Bowl-by-Bowl Notes


Notes For All Bowls

1. Dog Eat Dog World 

• How has blindly betting underdogs in bowl season performed?

Last decade, dogs on the ML have gone 124-217 (36.4%). A $100 bettor would be up $2,453 (But .. since 2019, 28-78. Down $2,182).

Where to bet: CFB Bowl Odds


2. Transfer The Cash

• Following the steam has performed well.

Betting teams where the line moves 3+ points in their direction (ex. -3 to -6) is 30-14-1 ATS since 2017 and 19-5-1 ATS since 2020, all against the closing line.


3. Coaching Matters

• In bowl season, sometimes it’s all about coaching. Best and worst ATS records since 2005 via Bet Labs.


» Return to the table of contents «


4. Out Of Control

• Pay attention to opt-outs, transfer portal, injuries, suspensions and more.

Collin Wilson and Stuckey have you covered on all 41 bowls with all player movement and the impact.


5. Just Stepping In

• Interim coaches during bowl season are a common occurrence.

Interim coaches are 32-34 straight-up and 30-35-1 ATS in bowl games since 2005 (Data up to 2018 found here; stat updated to today).

2022 Bowl Interim Coaches (…so far):

Team(s)
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/17
11 a.m. ET
UL 24, Cincinnati 7
12/17
9:15 p.m. ET
Boise St 35, N. Texas 32
12/20
7:30 p.m. ET
Toledo 21, Liberty 19
12/27
6:45 p.m. ET
East Carolina 53, Coastal Carolina 29
1/2
12:00 p.m. ET
Illinois
1/2
1:00 p.m. ET
LSU
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

6. Should You Buy The Bad?

• Is there any advantage to under .500 teams straight up in bowl games? In short, no, mainly noise.

When they face teams who are above .500 SU, they are 10-10 SU and 11-9 ATS since 2005.


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7. Double Your Fun

• How have double-digit dogs done in bowl season?

Blindly betting all 87 double-digit bowl underdogs against the spread since 2005 would have earned you a 9.3% ROI. On the moneyline? A 25.7% ROI.

Which teams are double-digit dogs this bowl season? CFB Bowl Odds


8. Caution For The Trend

• Beware of trendy cover machines.

Teams with an ATS win pct of 75% or more are 25-36 ATS (41%) over the last decade.

Matches
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/16
3 p.m. ET
Troy 18, UTSA 12
12/17
2:30 p.m. ET
Oreg. St 30, UF 3
12/30
4:30 p.m. ET
Ohio 30, Wyoming 27
12/31
12:00 p.m. ET
Alabama
1/2
1:00 p.m. ET
USC
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

When those teams face a team under .500 ATS, they are just 4-9 ATS, including 1-6 ATS since 2015.

  • Teams: Kansas State

Teams with a SU and ATS win pct of 75% or more are 14-21 ATS (40%) over the last decade.

  • Teams: Troy, Kansas St, Tulane

9. Watch The Weather

• How has wind impacted totals in bowl games?

Shockingly enough, in the small sample size of just 62 games, the over is 37-24-1 (61%) in games with 10+ MPH winds over the last decade.

In 22 games with 15+ MPH winds, the over is actually 15-7, going over by 5.6 PPG since 2005.


10. Swiss Cheese

• Beware of bad defensive teams as favorites.

In bowl season, teams that allow 24 PPG or more as favorites are 94-125-3 ATS (42.9%) since 2005 for a -16.3% ROI.



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11. Fireworks Don’t Work Either

• Also beware of offensive juggernauts.

Teams averaging at least 35 PPG on the season are 101-126 ATS (44.5%) in bowl season over the last decade.



12. Public Problems

• The public doesn’t perform well in bowl season.

Teams with 66%+ tickets are 73-97-2 ATS (42.9%) since 2005. Teams with 60%+ tickets are 133-181-4 ATS (42.4%), too.

Teams with 60%+ tickets that have won three consecutive games SU are 34-63-3 ATS (35.1%) in bowl season since 2005.

Track public action on every bowl game: CFB Bowl Odds


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13. Track Meet

• Bet the over with high totals?

Totals of 70 or more in bowl season are just 2-6-2 to the over in the last 10 games dating back to 2016.

Beware of high-rising totals, too. Totals that close at 60 or higher and that move at least three points up from open are just 26-32 (44.8%) to the over since 2005.

Teams: Georgia Southern vs. Buffalo, Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss, FSU vs. Oklahoma

Matches
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/27
12 p.m. ET
Buffalo 23, Georgia Southern 21
(Under 66.5)
12/28
9 p.m. ET
Texas Tech 42, Ole Miss 25
(Under 72.5)
12/29
5:30 p.m. ET
Florida State 35, Oklahoma 32
(Push 67)

14. Not What You Expect

• Taking a step back is not necessarily a bad thing.

Teams to win 11+ games the previous season have actually performed well playing in December bowls the following year vs. January bowls.

  • In December: 34-26 ATS
  • In January: 31-36-1 ATS

Teams: UTSA, Cincinnati, Louisiana, Alabama, Michigan, Georgia


15. We’re Going Streaking

• Entering the 2022 regular season, here are the longest active against-the-spread winning and losing streaks in college football.

Winning Streaks:

  • 6: Oregon State
  • 4: Kansas State
  • 3: Troy, Fresno State, Southern Miss, Duke, Texas Tech, Washington, Tulane

Losing Streaks:

  • 6: San Jose State
  • 5: Syracuse
  • 4: Buffalo
  • 3: North Texas, Liberty, Wisconsin, Coastal Carolina, Kansas, UNC, UCF, Alabama

Check out the current regular season ATS standings.


» Return to the table of contents «


16. Fading Fast

• Teams that trail by double-digits at the half in bowl games: Fade or Follow?

Since 2016, teams that trail by double-digits at the half in bowl games are 40-58-2 (40.8%) against the second half spread

Get second half line alerts in the Action App.


17. The Ranking Conspiracy

• Should you fade or follow unranked teams vs. ranked teams in bowl games?

Since 2014, unranked teams are actually just 22-31 ATS vs. ranked teams in bowl season, failing to cover the spread by 2.2 points per game.


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Conference Trends 

18. The Pac Struggle

• Pac-12 hasn’t been too fond of bowl season.

The Pac-12 is 27-37 ATS last decade in bowl season, the least profitable conference in FBS.

Since 2016, the Pac-12 is 11-25 SU and ATS in bowl season, including 2-15 SU as underdogs.

The conference hasn’t won a bowl game since Oregon vs. Wisconsin on Jan. 1, 2020. It has lost seven straight bowl games SU.

PAC-12 Conference



19. The MAC Struggle?

• Are the MAC woes behind us?

Between 2005 and 2018, the MAC was 18-51 SU and 25-41-3 ATS in bowl season — the worst conference in FBS. Since 2019, the MAC is a respectable 8-9 SU and 10-6-1 ATS in bowl games, including 5-1 SU as favorites.

As underdogs, the MAC is 11-49 SU and 23-34-3 ATS in bowl season since 2005 — both worst in CFB.

MAC Conference



20. Oh, How The Turntables…

• SEC underdogs in bowl season: What to do?

SEC underdogs are 3-5 ATS in bowl games since 2020. Between 2005-19, they were 28-17 ATS.

As underdogs of four points or more, the SEC is 11-11 SU and 15-7 ATS in bowl games since 2005.

Only four times in the last 20 years has an SEC team been listed as a double-digit underdog in a bowl game. Those teams are 2-2 SU and 4-0 ATS.

  • SC +13 vs. UNC (SC 38-21) in 2021
  • AUB +12 vs FSU (FSU 34-31) in 2013
  • UK +11.5 vs. CLEM (UK 28-20) in 2006
  • SC +10 vs. USF (USF 46-39) in 2016

SEC Conference



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21. Toss It Out

• The AAC has really struggled in toss-up games.

In bowl games with a spread of 6.5 or less, the AAC is 10-23 SU over the last decade, the least profitable conference on the moneyline in this spot.

AAC Conference



22. Mountain Love

• All hail the Mountain West.

The conference has been .500 ATS or above during bowl season in seven consecutive seasons dating back to 2015 (26-16 ATS, best in CFB). In that span, it’s 11-4 ATS as underdogs.

Mountain West Conference


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23. A Cover Relationship

• Just pick the winner.

ACC vs. Big Ten bowl games have been pretty decisive, with the outright winners going 20-0 ATS over the last decade.

Games: Syracuse vs. Minnesota and Maryland vs. NC State


24. A Sour Relationship

• ACC teams have struggled vs. Pac-12 opponents in bowl games, going 3-15 SU but an even 9-9 ATS in the last 20 years. Including the regular season, the ACC is 6-28 SU and 15-18-1 ATS in the last 20 years vs. the Pac-12.

Games: UNC vs. Oregon and Pittsburgh vs. UCLA


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25. How To Bet The Big 12

  • Since 2016, unders are 25-14 in bowl games involving the Big 12.
  • Between 2004 and 2019, the Big 12 went 12-26 ATS in January bowl games. Since 2020, it’s 4-0 ATS.

26. Mr. Independence

• Independent teams have excelled in bowl season recently, going 13-3 SU and 9-7 ATS since 2005. The three losses have come by three, four and seven points.


27. That’s Some Spread

• Has the point spread mattered in the College Football Playoff?

The outright winners in College Football Playoff games are 20-4 ATS. Alabama has accounted for all four ATS losses. Excluding the Crimson Tide, outright winners are 15-0 ATS in College Football Playoff history (8-0 ATS as a favorite).

College Football Playoff

Games
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/31
4 p.m. ET
TCU
Michigan
12/31
8 p.m. ET
Ohio State
Georgia

28. Two For The Money

• Can underdogs win in the College Football Playoff?

Of the 24 games in CFP history, favorites are 17-7 SU.

The only two teams to pull an upset in the CFP? Clemson four times and Ohio State three times.


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29. The Long Road

• Longest Preseason Title Odds — Teams to Reach College Football Playoff

  • 200-1, TCU 2022
  • 150-1, Cincinnati 2021 (L Semis)
  • 100-1, Michigan 2021 (L Semis)
  • 50-1, Michigan 2022
  • 40-1, Ohio State 2014 (won title)
  • 30-1, Notre Dame 2018 (L Semis)
  • 30-1, Clemson 2017 (L Semis)
  • 30-1, Washington 2016 (L Semis)
  • 30-1, Oklahoma 2015 (L Semis)

Track college football futures across sportsbooks for the final four teams.


30. The Public Time

Biggest Public Side in College Football Playoff History

  • 81%: Georgia (-6.5) over OSU
  • 67%: Clemson (-7) over OSU, ’20-’21 Sugar — OSU 49-28
  • 63%: Alabama (-3.5) over UGA, ’17-’18 Title — ALA 26-23
  • 63%: Alabama (-12.5) over WAS, ’16-’17 Peach — ALA 24-7

31. Chalky Times

• Recently, it’s been profitable to back the favorites to get through the College Football Playoff.

Six of the last seven national champs were listed below +1000 entering the regular season. The lone exception? LSU in 2019, which won at 25-1.


32. History On The Line

• Can Michigan and TCU join the list? Over the last 20 years, only three teams have won a national title with preseason odds of 40-1 or higher.

Longest Odds to win CFB National Title — Last 20 Years

  • +5000: Auburn, 2010
  • +4000: Ohio State, 2014
  • +4000: LSU, 2003


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Individual Notes 

33. All Discipline

• When it comes to the postseason, Service Academies have been cover machines.

Service academies have covered 22 of their past 30 bowl appearances (since 2004), including a 13-3 ATS mark over the last decade.

The over is 19-11 in the 30 bowl appearances for Service Academies since 2005.

Game
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/22
7:30 p.m. ET
Air Force 30, Baylor 15

34. Low, Low, Low

• Iowa makes history.

The total for Iowa vs. Kentucky in the Music City Bowl is currently set at 31.5…

If the total stands pat, 2022 Iowa would be involved in the two lowest totals in college football history.


35. Prime Fade?

• Double-digit favorites in bowl season are 38-49 ATS (43.7%) since 2005. The best spot to fade these favorites? Double-digit favorites in bowl season that are over .500 ATS for the season are 21-32 ATS in bowl season.

Game
Date
Team to Bet
12/17
12 p.m. ET
NCC 41, Jackson St 34

36. History Coming?

• Biggest Bowl Season Upsets Since 2005

  • Oklahoma +17 over Alabama (2013-14)
  • UCF +17 over Baylor (2013-14)
  • Texas Tech +17 over Arizona St (2013-14)
  • Idaho +16 over Colorado St (2016-17)
  • Louisville +14 over Florida (2012-13)

37. Stay Sharp.

• If you want to make betting decisions for yourself but don’t have the time to collect all the data, check out our College Football PRO Report.

This analysis highlights five key bettings signals: big money, sharp action, expert projections, expert picks and historical betting systems.


» Return to the table of contents «


38. Easy Picks

• On this page, you’ll see every game for each college football slate displayed, along with the number of picks from our Action experts for each market.

For example, you might see that eight of our Action experts are on the Penn State spread for a game. From there, you can dive into which experts are on that bet, see their betting records and more.


39. Who’s In, Who’s Out.

• It’s always a good idea to review a team’s injury report before placing a wager on a game.

Missing players can significantly impact a team’s ability to win games or cover a spread. Key injuries can also be a signal to bettors to wager against that particular team on a given day.

Be sure to keep a close eye on the Action Network’s NCAAF Injury Report with daily updates.


40. Volume Up.

The podcast authority for college sports bettors everywhere, the Big Bets on Campus podcast is home to the Action Network’s top-of-its-class college sports audio content.

Leading the way are veteran analysts and podcast teammates Stuckey and Collin Wilson, two of the most seasoned and successful college handicappers in the betting world today.


41. All About Pace

Three over/under bets to target for bowl season using pace data by BJ Cunningham.

“If you’re new to this piece, we’ll take an in-depth look at the totals market using yards per play, Success RateFinishing Drives, plays per minute, seconds per play and more.

Using those metrics, along with a look at the weather and key injuries, the goal is to hopefully help bettors beat the market.”


» Return to the table of contents «


Rapid Fire 

42. James Franklin (Penn State) has coached in 10 bowl games. The over is 8-2, going over the total by 11.1 PPG.

Game
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
1/2
5 p.m. ET
Over

43. The game has gone over in all six of Duke’s bowl games in the last 25 years. Duke is also 5-0 ATS in bowl games over the last decade.

44. Gus Malzahn has coached in eight bowl games with the under going 6-2, including 1-0 last year in his first bowl appearance with UCF after coaching at Auburn.

Game
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/28
2 p.m. ET
Duke 30, UCF 13

45. Looking for a second-half over this bowl season? NC State coach Dave Doeren is 6-0 to the second-half over in bowl season with the Wolfpack.

Game
Date
Bet Now in Action App
12/30
12 p.m. ET
Maryland 16, NC State 12
(Maryland 6-3 2H)

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46. Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill has coached in nine bowl games. The over is 7-2, with the over cashing in five straight games dating back to 2015.

Game
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/24
8 p.m. ET
Middle Tenn. State 25, San Diego St 23
(Over 47)

47. During bowl season, nobody dominates first halves like Nick Saban, who is 14-7 against the first-half spread since 2005, the most profitable coach 1H ATS in that span.

Game
Date
Bet to Make
12/31
12 p.m. ET
Alabama 1H

48. Between 2004 and 2017, Utah was 11-1 SU and 9-3 ATS in bowl games under Kyle Whittingham. Since 2018, it’s 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS.

Game
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
1/2
5 p.m. ET
Penn State

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49. When trailing at the half of bowl games, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is 7-1 against the second-half spread.

 

Game
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/31
12 p.m. ET
Iowa

50. Florida State hasn’t won a bowl game since beating Southern Mississippi in the Independence Bowl back in December 2017.

The four-year drought without a bowl win is the longest for the Seminoles since 1978-81 under Bobby Bowden.

Game
Date
Bet Now at FanDuel
12/29
5:30 p.m. ET
Florida State 35, Oklahoma 32
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