Betting Strategies And Tips For College Football Bowls

Strategies and Tips For Handicapping and Betting College Football Bowl Games

College bowl season has arrived with 40 bowl games to watch and wager on nearly every day from Dec. 20 through Jan. 6. That includes the college football playoff semi-final games Dec. 28 and the National Championship game Jan. 13, 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Will Clemson advance and win a second straight national championship?

The Tigers were terrific to us as an outright underdog winner in the 2019 National Championship game win over Alabama to complete one of my best ever bowl seasons providing a rated play or opinion on every bowl game. Last seasons bowl games 18-5 ATS on rated plays, 14-4 ATS opinions for a 32-9 ATS (78%) mark on all plays and opinions with selected game analysis.

Betting the bowls brings out more bettors and college football bowl pools are also popular. Many big bets are posted through social media and Twitter. Recreational bettors may feel like the college bowls are a great time to be betting more when reality is that it’s a time to be selective and understand the factors involved of handicapping the bowl games and the extra time between games from the end of the regular season.

You’re going to see market and lines moves at the sportsbooks¬†as both lines and totals move, including the opening Bahamas Bowl where 20-30 MPH winds and higher gusts have seen a sharp downward move on the total between Buffalo and Charlotte.

While fundamental match-ups and statistical profiles are still part of the handicapping process, other factors including motivation play a significant role in your point spread prognosis and evaluation of the games and betting lines.

Additional factors are in play in handicapping the bowl games:

  • ¬†Motivation and excitement of selected bowl
  • ¬†Point spreads, adjustments and major market moves
  • ¬†ATS situations and profiles
  • ¬†Injuries, suspension, distractions, players sitting out for draft
  • ¬†Under-performing and Over-performing teams and season expectations
  • ¬†Coaching success, changes, preparation
  • ¬†Location of bowl, regional or home field advantage

Look for coordinator changes, not just head coaching changes. First time play callers, offense or defense, are not in as good a situation to have success. For example, Mike Norvell will not coach Memphis in the Dec. 28 Cotton Bowl against Penn State. Norvell took the head coaching job at Florida State, and his longest tenured assistant coach Ryan Silverfield will coach Memphis is the Cotton Bowl. Norvell was exclusively the Tigers’ playcaller for the past three seasons, but Silverfield is most familiar with the offense as assistant coach and run game coordinator.

External factors can affect bowl games and betting. Travel difficulties, discipline and suspensions, key players skipping bowl game for NFL draft prep, and coaching changes as mentioned (see Boston College for a number of these external factors).

Recognize that betting every bowl game is not an optimal strategy. It’s difficult to do it successfully. Even with my strong bowl season a year ago rating plays for betting on nearly half the bowl games, it’s a pretty rare occurrence to hit winners at such a high rate.

You are going to read and hear hundreds of mostly meaningless trends related to college bowls and match-ups. While they may sound good or offer some Against the Spread (ATS) support, understand that following trends is not the way to cashing more tickets over time.

Read the rest of the article and trends at

Twenty five years ago, there were just 18 bowl games. Now there are more than twice that and the product on the field for bowl games has become diluted. But betting continues to be big business at the sportsbooks, and the games generate much interest during college bowl season, despite more distractions including for the players with exams, bowl festivities, holiday season and New Year.

Regardless of the results or your pursuit of profit and some extra cash over the holiday and New Year, enjoy all the games including the College Football Playoff and National Championship.

Fairway’s Forecast and 2018-19 College Football Bowl results with documentation and analysis.

18-5 ATS (78%) – Rated Plays
7-2 ATS – Top Plays
14-4 – Opinions
32-9 ATS (78%) – All Rated Plays and Opinions
11-1 ATS – last 12 rated bowl games including the biggest games and National Championship outright winner on Clemson (+6) over Alabama.

Author: FairwayJay is a leading national sports betting analyst, writer, handicapper and sports betting insider providing insight and information you can bet on for nearly two decades from Las Vegas. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events for leading media and sports betting sites and companies. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay