In the recently released 2022 VSiN College Bowl Guide, I went into depth explaining the different motivational factors that can play a role in how a team plays in its bowl game. These factors can range from personnel disruptions to head coaching experience to how they over- or underachieved in the regular season, and several other reasons.
One of the factors I described was called the “Excitement Level of the Game,” and this can be impacted greatly by the opponent. For instance, lower-level leagues may get more motivation from playing a power conference opponent. Alternatively, they may be simply overmatched in talent, and the bigger the bowl game, the most this point is magnified. I believe how a team perceives its respect level—not only for itself but for the conference it is representing in its bowl—plays a big role in how that game eventually plays out.
Many bowl games have pre-designated conference tie-ins, and handicapping this aspect should be a key factor for bettors, as certain conferences match up well with others in certain types of games and line scenarios.
I’ve separated the various conferences in college football and determined their performance records in varied situations in bowl games. Among these situations are line and total ranges, level of bowl game, where the game is being played, and perhaps most importantly, how they fare against the other conferences.
The SEC again leads the way in 2022, as 11 of the 14 teams from that league find themselves in bowl games over the next few weeks. You’ll want to pay special attention to the most definitive of trends for the SEC, as there will be multiple qualifying games for most or all those angles. The ACC and Big Ten are close seconds with nine bowl representatives each.
Prior to the release of the 2019 VSiN Bowl Guide, I was asked by a reader, “Do oddsmakers consider how conferences fare in their bowl games when setting lines, or are the numbers purely reflective of strength ratings?” From my perspective, I don’t believe anything else goes into setting these bowl game numbers than the current year factors. It is 100% a numbers game, with perhaps personnel situations and regional/home-field advantage being the only adjustments made. To me, this is to our advantage as bettors. Looking at recent matchup history by conference is one of the many edges we can uncover.
If you’re used to this article being a massive, almost overwhelming library of trend information, I have trimmed it down a bit this season to focus on the angles that continue to thrive consistently. In the past, I overshadowed some of my favorite trends by listing too many others. At one point, I believe I had around 15-16 ACC trends alone, and too much information became conflicting. I encourage you to pick what you feel strongest about, and what might have the greatest foundation for success. Or simply take the best records. Recent bowl history has shown that either method works.
So, here’s the 2022-23 bowl game outlook for each conference. The first thing you’ll want to note is the chart showing the records for the last five bowl seasons by conference, overall, as favorites, and as underdogs. The lines utilized for this article were taken as of Tuesday, December 13th and may differ from actual closing lines or others used in this publication.
Atlantic Coast Conference
The ACC has only gone 2-14 SU and 4-12 ATS in its last 16 bowl games overall, so this is obviously a very important year for getting that declining trend turned around. There are nine teams from the conference in play for 2022, with four of them being favored.
CLEMSON vs. TENNESSEE (SEC), -6.5 / 63.5 - Orange
DUKE vs. UCF (AMERICAN ATHLETIC), -1 / 62.5 - Military
FLORIDA ST vs. OKLAHOMA (BIG 12), -7.5 / 65.5 - Cheez-It
LOUISVILLE vs. CINCINNATI (AMERICAN ATHLETIC), +0 / 43.5 - Fenway
NC STATE vs. MARYLAND (BIG TEN), +1.5 / 48 - Duke's Mayo
NORTH CAROLINA vs. OREGON (PAC 12), +13.5 / 70.5 - Holiday
PITTSBURGH vs. UCLA (PAC 12), +6.5 / 58 - Sun
SYRACUSE vs. MINNESOTA (BIG TEN), +7 / 42 - Pinstripe
WAKE FOREST vs. MISSOURI (SEC), -1 / 61 – Gasparilla
Key ACC Bowl Game Trends:
- ACC teams are 9-1-1 OVER the total in their last 11 bowl games versus American Athletic teams, games producing 68.9 PPG.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER in LOU-CIN
- ACC teams are 12-6 UNDER the total in their last 18 bowl games versus Big 12 teams.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: UNDER in FSU-OKL
- ACC & Big Ten bowl games have been fairly decisive lately too, with OUTRIGHT winners on a 23-0-1 ATS streak.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Winners in NCST-MAR, SYR-MIN
- ACC teams have struggled versus Pac-12 opponents in bowl games going just 2-13 SU and 6-9 ATS in the last 15.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against Pittsburgh
- In bowl games featuring ACC versus SEC, the favored conference has had a big impact on the total result. In the last 15 where the SEC has been favored, OVER is 10-5. In the last 29 where the ACC has been favored, UNDER is 20-9.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: UNDER in the CLM-TEN, WF-MIS
- ACC teams are 12-3-1 OVER the total in their last 16 bowl games versus Group of 5/Independent opponents.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER in Duke-UCF, LOU-CIN
- Regarding overall totals, in the last 28 ACC bowl games with totals of 62.5 or higher, OVER the total is 19-9-1.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER in CLM-TEN, Duke-UCF, FSU-OKL, UNC-ORE
American Athletic Conference
After three of the games involving the teams were canceled, the American Athletic Conference won three of four bowl games a year ago, going UNDER the total in all four while allowing just 18.5 PPG. Seven teams will give it a run this season, and four are expected to win.
CINCINNATI vs. LOUISVILLE (ACC), +0 / 43.5 - Fenway
EAST CAROLINA vs. COASTAL CAROLINA (SUN BELT), -10.5 / 59.5 - Birmingham
HOUSTON vs. LA LAFAYETTE (SUN BELT), -6.5 / 61 - Independence
MEMPHIS vs. UTAH ST (MOUNTAIN WEST), -7 / 61.5 - First Responder
SMU vs. BYU (INDEPENDENT), -3.5 / 66 - New Mexico
TULANE vs. USC (PAC 12), +1.5 / 61.5 - Cotton
UCF vs. DUKE (ACC), +1 / 62.5 – Military
Key AAC Bowl Game Trends:
- In the last 11 bowl games between AAC and ACC opponents, OVER the total is 9-1-1.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER is LOU-CIN, UCF-Duke
- In the last 30 bowl games featuring a team from the AAC, FAVORITES are 20-10 ATS.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against ECU, HOU, MEM, SMU - On TUL, UCF
- In the 17 past bowl games that American Athletic Conference teams have played as underdogs of +7 or less, they are just 2-15 SU and ATS! However, UCF did beat Florida in 2021.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against TUL, UCF
- In AAC bowl games against the Group of 5 or Independent opponents, favorites are on an 11-2 ATS surge.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: On ECU, HOU, MEM, SMU
- In the last 25 bowl games featuring an AAC team and a total in the “average range” (52-60), FAVORITES are on 23-3 SU and 21-5 ATS run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: On East Carolina
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference was impacted immensely in the 2020 bowl season, with only four teams playing in games. Last year, the number of teams earning bids jumped back up to 10 after Rutgers received a bid late in the process, with the collective group going 6-4. Of note in those games, favorites were 9-1 outright and 7-3 ATS, with oddsmakers demonstrating a good feel for this conference. For 2022, there are nine teams playing in bowl games, including two CFP semifinalists: Michigan and Ohio State.
ILLINOIS vs. MISSISSIPPI ST (SEC), -2 / 46 - ReliaQuest
IOWA vs. KENTUCKY (SEC), -2.5 / 31 - Music City
MARYLAND vs. NC STATE (ACC), -1.5 / 48 - Duke's Mayo
MICHIGAN vs. TCU (BIG 12), -8 / 58.5 - Fiesta
MINNESOTA vs. SYRACUSE (ACC), -7 / 42 - Pinstripe
OHIO ST vs. GEORGIA (SEC), +6.5 / 62.5 - Peach
PENN ST vs. UTAH (PAC 12), +2.5 / 52.5 - Rose
PURDUE vs. LSU (SEC), +10.5 / 58.5 - Citrus
WISCONSIN vs. OKLAHOMA ST (BIG 12), -3 / 43 - Guaranteed Rate
Key Big Ten Bowl Game Trends:
- Big Ten teams are not the good large underdogs they are perceived to be in bowl games lately, 2-18 SU and 6-14 ATS when catching 9-points or more since ‘08.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against Purdue
- Big Ten teams are on a 9-2 SU and ATS surge in bowl games versus teams from the ACC.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Maryland, Minnesota
- In 27 bowl games against the Big 12 since 2000, some interesting trends have emerged for Big Ten teams who’ve been underdogs in 23 of the 27 matchups. Big Ten teams are on a 14-4 ATS run in bowl games when the spread is in the +7 to -7 range. Incredibly, 13 of the 18 games also went UNDER the total as Big Ten defenses have allowed just 19.1 PPG while holding 11 of the opponents to 17 points or less.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Wisconsin, UNDER in WIS-OSU
- Big Ten teams are on a run of 14-8 SU and 15-7 ATS versus Pac-12 teams in bowl games but have lost four straight ATS. This is a huge turnaround considering they were 5-19-1 ATS prior to that.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Penn St
- Since Ohio State was crushed by Florida 41-14 in the 2007 BCS Championship game, Big Ten schools have consistently struggled against SEC schools in bowl games, going 15-32 SU and 18-28-1 ATS, including 1-3 SU and 1-2-1 ATS a year ago.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against ILL, OSU, Iowa, PUR
- Oddsmakers have set the table for totals bettors in Big Ten games. On lofty totals of 58.5 or higher, Big Ten teams are on a 30-14-1 OVER run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in MIC-TCU, OSU-GEO, PUR-LSU
Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 has enjoyed two banner bowl seasons in a row, going 10-2 SU and 9-3 ATS, including a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS in the New Year’s 6-level contests. For 2022, eight teams from this league will be playing in bowl games, highlighted by TCU competing in the Fiesta Bowl, one of the two CFP semifinals games, and Kansas State, who earned a Sugar Bowl bid with its win in the league title game. Only two of eight teams are favored.
BAYLOR vs. AIR FORCE (MOUNTAIN WEST), -6.5 / 50 - Armed Forces
KANSAS vs. ARKANSAS (SEC), +3 / 69 - Liberty
KANSAS ST vs. ALABAMA (SEC), +3.5 / 54 - Sugar
OKLAHOMA vs. FLORIDA ST (ACC), +7.5 / 65.5 - Cheez-It
OKLAHOMA ST vs. WISCONSIN (BIG TEN), +3 / 43 - Guaranteed Rate
TCU vs. MICHIGAN (BIG TEN), +8 / 58.5 - Fiesta
TEXAS vs. WASHINGTON (PAC 12), -5.5 / 69 - Alamo
TEXAS TECH vs. OLE MISS (SEC), +3 / 69.5 – Texas
Key Big 12 Bowl Game Trends:
- Favorites are on a current run of 14-3 SU and 13-4 ATS in the last 17 bowl games featuring a Big 12 team.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on BAY, TEX – Play Against KAN, KSU, OKL, OSU, TCU, TT
- Fans and bettors typically identify the Big 12 as a high-scoring league. Bowls have not proven that at all lately, as they are 25-14 UNDER the total since 2016.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: UNDER the total in all Big 12
- In the bowl games between Christmas and New Year’s, those featuring Big 12 teams have been surprisingly low scoring, going UNDER the total at a 43-21 clip, good for 67.2%.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: UNDER in all Big 12 bowl games except BAY-AF
- There is a long-running trend of FADING Big 12 teams in games with +3.5 to -3.5 line ranges. They are just 28-47-1 ATS in these contests since ’96, including 11-19 ATS in the last 30.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against KAN, KSU, OSU, TT
- Since the end of the 2005 bowl season, Big 12 teams are a brutal 15-31 SU and 17-29 ATS as an underdog of 9-points or less. Alternatively, Big 12 dogs catching more than 9 points in bowl games are on a 13-5 ATS run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against KAN, KSU, OKL, OSU, TCU, TT
- Big 12 teams are on a 6-game ATS bowl winning streak versus Pac-12 teams and haven’t lost back-to-back ATS bowl games in that matchup since ’02, going 25-11 SU and 23-13 ATS since.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Texas
- As proof of how much stronger the SEC has been than the Big 12 recently, in bowl games with single-digit points spreads either way since ’02, Big 12 teams are just 10-25 SU and 10-24-1 ATS in the matchup.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against KAN, KSU, TT
- Big 12 teams are on a 6-game ATS bowl winning streak versus Pac-12 teams and haven’t lost back-to-back ATS bowl games in that matchup since ’02, going 25-11 SU and 23-13 ATS since.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Winners in KAN-ARK, KSU-ALA, TT-MIS
- In bowl games matching the Big 12 versus Group of 5 conference programs or Independents, Big 12 schools are just 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10, although Oklahoma State did edge Notre Dame in ‘21.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against Baylor
- Beware of backing Big 12 teams in games with lower totals, as they are just 7-15 SU and 5-17 ATS since ’93 in bowl games with totals of 46 or less, scoring a paltry 18.2 PPG.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against Oklahoma St
- Big 12 teams playing as favorites of 7 points or more in bowl games have gone 33-13 OVER the total since '93.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Watch line (-6.5 currently) in BAY-AF
Over the last three years, Conference USA has proven to be a bowl doormat for opponents, as this league is just 6-16 SU and 8-13-1 ATS in that span. Only three of those 22 teams allowed fewer than 24 points in their respective bowl contests, including none last year. Six CUSA teams will try and get it turned around this year, but only UAB is favored.
MIDDLE TENN ST vs. SAN DIEGO ST (MOUNTAIN WEST), +7 / 49.5 - Hawai'i
NORTH TEXAS vs. BOISE ST (MOUNTAIN WEST), +10 / 56.5 - Frisco
RICE vs. SOUTHERN MISS (SUN BELT), +7 / 46.5 - LendingTree
TX-SAN ANTONIO vs. TROY (SUN BELT), +1.5 / 54.5 - Cure
UAB vs. MIAMI OHIO (MAC), -11 / 45 - Bahamas
W KENTUCKY vs. S ALABAMA (SUN BELT), +8 / 53.5 - New Orleans
Key Conference USA Bowl Game Trends:
- Favorites are on a strong run of 52-13 SU and 42-22-1 ATS in the last 65 CUSA bowl games.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against MTSU, UNT, Rice, UTSA, WKU - On UAB
- Playing in the small underdog role of fewer than 7 points has not been kind to CUSA teams, with a record of 10-27 SU and 11-26 ATS since ’01.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against UTSA
- Posted totals have been very defining in Conference USA bowl games of late, as teams are 22-7 OVER in games with totals higher than 65.5 since ’98. On totals 64 or less, UNDER has hit at a 38-24-1 rate.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: UNDER the total in ALL CUSA
- Favorites are on an amazing 24-3 SU and 21-5-1 ATS run in bowl games between CUSA and MAC opponents.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on UAB
- Bowl games between CUSA and MAC foes are on a 16-7 UNDER the total run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: UNDER the total in UAB-MOH
- C-USA/Sun Belt bowl games have trended OVER lately, 16-5-1 resulting on that side of the total.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in Rice-USM, UTSA-Troy, WKU-USA
Independent teams are on a solid five-year run in bowl games, having gone 10-5 SU and ATS in 15 games during that span. Last year’s teams were 2-2 SU but 1-3 ATS with only Liberty beating the Vegas number in its win over Eastern Michigan. The Flames, as well as four other Independents will line up for contests this season, with Notre Dame playing as the only favored team.
BYU vs. SMU (AMERICAN ATHLETIC), +3.5 / 66 - New Mexico
CONNECTICUT vs. MARSHALL (SUN BELT), +10 / 41 - Myrtle Beach
LIBERTY vs. TOLEDO (MAC), +5 / 54 - Boca Raton
NEW MEXICO ST vs. BOWLING GREEN (MAC), +3 / 48 - Quick Lane
NOTRE DAME vs. SOUTH CAROLINA (SEC), -2.5 / 52 – Gator
Key Independent Bowl Game Trends:
- In December bowl games, Independent teams are 25-13 SU and 23-15 ATS since ’04.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on ALL Independent
- Against Group of 5 conference opponents, Independents are on an 18-7 SU and 16-9 ATS run in bowl games.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on BYU, UConn, LIB, NMSU
- Alternatively, against Power 5 conference schools, these Independent teams are just 5-18 SU and 7-16 ATS in bowl games since ’97.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against Notre Dame
- Independent teams are a respectable 15-2 SU and 10-7 ATS as a bowl game favorite since ’94.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Notre Dame
- Independent teams have struggled in the short underdog role in bowl games, going 6-13 SU and ATS as dogs of 6-points or less since ’99.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against BYU, LIB, NMSU
Several MAC teams opted out of the 2020 bowl season, leaving just two remaining teams on that year’s schedule. It turned out to be a banner season for the league, as both teams won and covered their respective games. Take away that season, however, and it’s been a brutal struggle for this league in bowl games recently, as they are collectively just 17-41 SU and 25-33 ATS over the last decade. For this winter, we’ll see six teams from this league over the next few weeks, with three of them playing in the favorite role.
BOWLING GREEN vs. NEW MEXICO ST (INDEPENDENT), -3 / 48 - Quick Lane
BUFFALO vs. GA SOUTHERN (SUN BELT), +3.5 / 66.5 - Camellia
E MICHIGAN vs. SAN JOSE ST (MOUNTAIN WEST), +3.5 / 54.5 - Potato
MIAMI OHIO vs. UAB (CONFERENCE USA), +11 / 45 - Bahamas
OHIO U vs. WYOMING (MOUNTAIN WEST), -1.5 / 43 - Arizona
TOLEDO vs. LIBERTY (INDEPENDENT), -5 / 54 - Boca Raton
Key MAC Bowl Game Trends:
- As favorites, teams from the MAC have gone OVER the total in 14 of their last 22 bowl games.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in BGSU-NMSU, Ohio-WYO, TOL-LIB
- As bowl game underdogs, MAC teams are just 10-51 SU in their last 61 tries, while going 21-38-2 ATS.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Against BUF, EMU, MOH
- MAC bowl teams have lost all 16 times outright while going 5-11 against the spread when playing as underdogs of 8 points or more, beaten by an average of 23.4 PPG.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against Miami Ohio
- Underdogs have ruled in bowl games between MAC and Sun Belt teams, going 9-9 SU and 14-4 ATS over the last 11 bowl seasons.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Buffalo
- Beware of MAC teams in bowl games with lower totals, as they are just 3-19 SU and 6-16 ATS when totals are 50 or less.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against BGSU, MOH, Ohio
Mountain West Conference
Mountain West teams have really stepped up in recent bowl seasons, going 11-5 SU and ATS in the last three years combined. Five of last year’s six MWC teams won their games, and the league will up the qualifying roster by one for this season. Air Force and Fresno State will carry the biggest responsibilities, taking on Power 5 conference foes in the Armed Forces and LA Bowl games.
AIR FORCE vs. BAYLOR (BIG 12), +6.5 / 50 - Armed Forces
BOISE ST vs. NORTH TEXAS (CONFERENCE USA), -10 / 56.5 - Frisco
FRESNO ST vs. WASHINGTON ST (PAC 12), -3 / 54.5 - LA
SAN DIEGO ST vs. MIDDLE TENN ST (CONFERENCE USA), -7 / 49.5 - Hawai'i
SAN JOSE ST vs. E MICHIGAN (MAC), -3.5 / 54.5 - Potato
UTAH ST vs. MEMPHIS (AMERICAN ATHLETIC), +7 / 61.5 - First Responder
WYOMING vs. OHIO U (MAC), +1.5 / 43 – Arizona
Key Mountain West Bowl Game Trends:
- Outright winners are on a 29-2 ATS surge in MWC bowl games.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: All SU Winners ATS
- Mountain West teams have thrived in bowl games with double-digit point spreads, 17-7 ATS since ’05.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Boise St
- As mid-range favorites of -3.5 to -9.5 points, Mountain West teams are 6-16 ATS in the last 22.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against San Diego St
- Mountain West teams have proven to be very competitive in the large underdog role, 13-2 ATS in their last 15 when catching 7-points or more.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Utah St
- As small favorites of 4-points or less versus fellow Group of 5/Independent teams, MWC reps are on a 12-3 SU and 11-4 ATS surge in bowl action.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on SJSU
- Mountain West teams are on a 9-5 ATS bowl surge against opponents from the MAC.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on SJSU, WYO
- Mountain West teams are on an 11-6 ATS bowl game run versus its bigger rivals to the west, the Pac-12.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Fresno St
The Pac-12’s recent struggles in bowl games have been well-documented, and the league may have hit rock bottom in the 2021 bowl season, losing all five games they played in. Dating back to the start of the 2016 bowl season, Pac-12 teams own a brutal 11-25 SU and 9-27 ATS record. Yes, you are reading that correctly. They have only covered the point spread in 25% of their games during that span. Despite all of that, five of this year’s seven bid-earning teams have been installed as favorites, including USC, who grabs the league’s New Year’s 6-level slot with a date versus Tulane in the Cotton Bowl.
OREGON vs. NORTH CAROLINA (ACC), -13.5 / 70.5 - Holiday
OREGON ST vs. FLORIDA (SEC), -10 / 52 - Las Vegas
UCLA vs. PITTSBURGH (ACC), -6.5 / 58 - Sun
USC vs. TULANE (AMERICAN ATHLETIC), -1.5 / 61.5 - Cotton
UTAH vs. PENN ST (BIG TEN), -2.5 / 52.5 - Rose
WASHINGTON vs. TEXAS (BIG 12), +5.5 / 69 - Alamo
WASHINGTON ST vs. FRESNO ST (MOUNTAIN WEST), +3 / 54.5 – LA
Key Pac-12 Bowl Game Trends:
- Prior to the 2015 bowl season, Pac-12 teams playing as underdogs in bowl games was very rare. Lately, and for good reason, the regularity has ramped up. That hasn’t been good news for the league, as Pac-12 teams are on a slide of 2-17 SU and 6-13 ATS as dogs.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against WAS, WASU
- As favorites of 6.5 points or more in bowl games, Pac-12 teams are just 28-20 SU and 16-32 ATS since ‘92.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against ORE, OSU, UCLA
- Since 2000, Pac-12 teams have fared well in January bowl games, 21-11 ATS in the last 32.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on USC, Utah
- When favored by a TD or more, Pac-12 teams have gone OVER the total in 12 of their last 15 bowl games, scoring 36.8 PPG.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total on RE-UNC, OSU-FLO
- Underdogs in the Pac-12-Big Ten bowl game series are on a 15-7 ATS run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against Utah
- Pac-12 teams are 17-27 SU and 14-30 ATS in their last 44 bowl games versus Power 5 conference foes.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play against ORE, OSU, UCLA, Utah, WAS
- In a rare winning angle, Pac-12 teams are 12-5 SU and ATS in their last 17 bowl games as favorites of 6-points or less versus non-Power 5 conference foes.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on USC
- High-totaled Pac-12 bowl games have produced several definitive angles over the years. In bowl games with totals of 59 or more, 17 of the last 23 involving Pac-12 teams went OVER the total. Pac-12 teams are also just 6-17 ATS in those games.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in ORE-UNC, USC-TUL, WAS-TEX – Against Oregon, USC, Washington
As I detailed earlier, the SEC holds the honors for 2022 with 11 of its league members playing in bowl games. Unusually, however, more of them (6) are established as underdogs as of press time, a rarity for the country’s most widely-respected conference. Last year’s bowl season was not a very good one for the SEC, as despite playing in a whopping 14 games, they were collectively just 6-8 SU and 6-7-1 ATS. They also went UNDER the total in 11 of the games while scoring just 23.2 PPG offensively. Recall, however, that both of the combatants in the national title game were from this league. This year’s 11-team group will be looking for a better showing overall, with Georgia seeking a second straight championship.
ALABAMA vs. KANSAS ST (BIG 12), -3.5 / 54 - Sugar
ARKANSAS vs. KANSAS (BIG 12), -3 / 69 - Liberty
FLORIDA vs. OREGON ST (PAC 12), +10 / 52 - Las Vegas
GEORGIA vs. OHIO ST (BIG TEN), -6.5 / 62.5 - Peach
KENTUCKY vs. IOWA (BIG TEN), +2.5 / 31 - Music City
LSU vs. PURDUE (BIG TEN), -10.5 / 58.5 - Citrus
MISSISSIPPI ST vs. ILLINOIS (BIG TEN), +2 / 46 - ReliaQuest
MISSOURI vs. WAKE FOREST (ACC), +1 / 61 - Gasparilla
OLE MISS vs. TEXAS TECH (BIG 12), -3 / 69.5 - Texas
SOUTH CAROLINA vs. NOTRE DAME (INDEPENDENT), +2.5 / 52 - Gator
TENNESSEE vs. CLEMSON (ACC), +6.5 / 63.5 – Orange
Key SEC Bowl Game Trends:
- In non-New Year’s 6-level bowl games featuring the SEC, underdogs are on a run of 23-8 ATS.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on FLO, KEN, MSU, MIZ, SC – Play against ARK, LSU, Ole Miss
- SEC teams have been remarkably proficient when playing as small favorites in bowl games. As chalk of 3.5 points or less, SEC teams are 35-11 SU and 30-14-2 ATS since ’02.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on ALA, ARK, Ole Miss
- Although somewhat rare, SEC teams have been solid wagers as large dogs of 7-points or more in bowl games, 16-7 ATS in the last 23.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Florida, possibly Tennessee
- Totals trend UNDER in SEC bowl games typically, but there is a wild trend indicating to play OVER in SEC bowl games on totals of 46-51.5 lately. The record of that trend is 30-14 OVER since ’05.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in MSU-ILL
- SEC teams make for good wagers in high-totaled games, as they boast a record of 19-8 SU and 18-9 ATS in their last 27 bowl games with totals of 64 or higher.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Arkansas, Ole Miss
- In their last 13 bowl games versus non-Power 5 opponents, SEC teams are on a 10-3 UNDER the total run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: UNDER the total in SC-ND
Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt might be the nation’s most underrated conference when it comes to bowl games, as this group always puts up a good performance. Last year’s four teams were 3-1 SU and ATS, the sixth straight season in which the SBC posted a winning record in bowl action. Oddsmakers would seem to believe that yet another winning season is to come in 2022, with five of the seven bowl participants being favored in their games, including league newcomers Marshall and Southern Miss.
COASTAL CAROLINA vs. EAST CAROLINA (AMERICAN ATHLETIC), +10.5 / 59.5 - Birmingham
GA SOUTHERN vs. BUFFALO (MAC), -3.5 / 66.5 - Camellia
LA LAFAYETTE vs. HOUSTON (AMERICAN ATHLETIC), +6.5 / 61 - Independence
MARSHALL vs. CONNECTICUT (INDEPENDENT), -10 / 41 - Myrtle Beach
S ALABAMA vs. W KENTUCKY (CONFERENCE USA), -8 / 53.5 - New Orleans
SOUTHERN MISS vs. RICE (CONFERENCE USA), -7 / 46.5 - LendingTree
TROY vs. TX-SAN ANTONIO (CONFERENCE USA), -1.5 / 54.5 – Cure
Key Sun Belt Bowl Game Trends:
- In Sun Belt bowl games with point spreads of -4 or higher either way, underdogs are on a 23-12 ATS run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Coastal Carolina, LA Lafayette – Play against Marshall, South Alabama, Southern Miss
- Sun Belt teams are on a run of 25-12 OVER the total in pre-Christmas Day bowl games.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in ULL-HOU, MAR-CON, USA-WKU, USM, Rice, Troy-UTSA
- Sun Belt teams are on a 16-10 SU but 10-16 ATS bowl game skid when favored, but boast a 15-12 SU and 17-10 ATS record in the last 27 games as underdogs.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play ATS against GSU, MAR, USA, Rice, Troy -Play ATS on Coastal Carolina, ULL
- SBC underdogs of 5 points or more are on a 10-4 ATS bowl run.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play on Coastal Carolina, ULL
- Sun Belt bowl matchups against the Mountain West and Conference USA have been high scoring with OVER the total 19-9-1 in those games, including 7-1-1 in the L3 years.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in USA-WKU, USM-Rice, Troy-UTSA
- Although SBC teams have won 10 straight bowl games against the MAC, they have struggled against the Vegas number going 7-11-1 ATS in the last 18. Underdogs are 16-5-1 ATS in the last 22 of that series as well.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: Play ATS on Georgia Southern as underdog
- In bowl games with totals of 60 or higher, Sun Belt teams are on a 15-7 OVER the total surge.
Qualifying plays for 2022-23: OVER the total in GSU-BUF, ULL-HOU