One of the fundamental beliefs many successful bowl game handicappers share is that in many games, one team shows up and the other team doesn’t. In these contests, the point spread is generally rendered meaningless, as the game is sometimes so decisive that the favorite bettor never has to worry or the underdog bettor is left wishing he would have chanced it on the moneyline instead.
In bowl games, outright winners are far more successful on point spreads than they are in the regular season. For instance, outright winners covered the spread in 22 of 26 games last bowl season. Six winners were underdogs. The previous season, the winners’ ATS record was 34-6-1. Of those 34 ATS victors, 12 were underdogs.
What I’m hinting at is that moneyline underdogs are typically strong wagers at bowl time. The unfamiliarity of opponents combined with the varying excitement and motivational levels for the teams involved sometimes means these lines are just flat misses. Be sure to take advantage of that aspect in the next few weeks.
Let’s look at some of the more definitive trends of outright winners affecting this bowl season. The first group deals with previous bowl performances, the next details unusual angles in specific bowl series and the third shows which teams displayed the most decisive point-spread performances in 2021.
If you picked up the VSiN 2021-22 Bowl Guide, you’ll recognize some of these trends from that library of pertinent bowl betting information. If you didn’t get yours, what are you waiting for? The bowls start Friday night!
NOTABLE OUTRIGHT WINNER BOWL TRENDS
Outright winners are …
— On an 11-game ATS winning streak in Kansas State bowl games.
Since the line for the Texas Bowl was pick-’em, this trend will gain another win, and the game against LSU will be decisive one way or the other.
— 18-1 ATS in Louisville’s last 19 bowl games.
Five of Louisville’s last seven bowl games have been decided by double-digit margins. The Cardinals lost one as 7-point favorites, and they pulled an upset in another as 14-point dogs. Results can be that drastic in bowl games when one team doesn’t come to play. The Cardinals will face Marshall in the New Orleans Bowl.