If there’s any bowl game data I look forward to studying each year, it’s trends by conference. It’s the most thought-provoking piece of handicapping material I put together for the VSiN Bowl Guide. Most of the bowl games have pre-designated conference tie-ins, and this should be a key factor for bettors, as certain conferences generally match up well with others in certain types of games and line scenarios. For instance, lower-level leagues may get more motivation from playing a power conference opponent. Or they may simply be overmatched. I believe that however a team perceives its respect level, not only for itself but for the conference it represents in a bowl, plays a big role in the outcome.
I’ve separated all of the conferences and determined their performance records in all kinds of situations in bowl games. Among these situations are line and total ranges, level of bowl game, site of the bowl game, and perhaps most importantly, how they fare against the other conferences.
Unfortunately, because of the late release of this year’s matchups, I was unable to dive as deeply as usual into the games, but the important point, the trends, are still spelled out along with the qualifying plays for 2020-21.