Bowl Games Betting Recap: Picking SU Winner Has Made Mountain of Cash

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 1:25 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 1:25 PM UTC

Even when I told my members and friends about this just halfway through the bowl season, they all said the same thing, "No Way!" However, it has been true and it will likely be the same for the title tilt.

Remember betting adages - find the winner and collect the cash - or another favorite, 'Winners cover 80 percent of the time.' That has certainly been the case for making college football picks this season.

The SU winner is a hard to imagine 36-2-1 ATS on the closing line. (No, you read that correctly.) However, getting there has been no easy route.

I mean seriously, who would ever that though that underdogs would have won 17 of the 39 bowls outright, yet went just 17-22-1 ATS in the process. Those numbers are insane both ways.

The wackiness has not been relegated to just the sides, but the totals as well. I'll be honest, I missed this one element until looking it up. Nothing out of the ordinary about the OVER at 21-18 against the college football odds, with one game to go. However, with the championship game total at 45, all totals that closed in the 40's this bowl season are a perfect 10-0 OVER!

Besides these fun facts, let's dive into some conference numbers.

Big Ten

When it comes to below average or worse bowl showing, the conference that always comes to mind first is the Big Ten. However, this year this league had more favorable matchups for the first time in years (seven of eight as favorites) and they were 7-1 and 6-2 ATS. They would have swept, expect for Michigan blowing 19-3 to South Carolina.

Sun Belt Conference

Next in line the SBC who was 4-1 SU and ATS. There stellar showing was highlighted by the conference co-champs, Troy and Appalachian State winning by score of 50-30 and 34-0 respectively. They also got a surprise win from New Mexico State, who they had already booted out of the league. This conference's speed shows up against comparable competition.

Big 12

The Big 12 was 5-3 and 4-4 ATS. Oklahoma losing in double OT hurt the Sooners and conference pride, but once you get past regulation anything can happen. Arguably, the most impressive triumph for this conference was Iowa State at Memphis in the Liberty Bowl, where its defense held the No. 2 scoring offense to 20 points.


With only four independents, it was a strong effort from Notre Dame and Army. Both squads came from behind late for outright upset wins.

American Athletic Conference

The AAC was 4-3 SU and ATS. Obviously, there most impressive win was Central Florida upsetting Auburn and really outplaying them as closing 11.5-point underdogs. The other end of the spectrum was SMU, a no-show in being throttled by Louisiana Tech 40-7 as four-point favorite. However, everyone will remember UCF!

Mountain West Conference

Boise State and Fresno State played for MWC title and were ready to play as underdogs in their bowls and won outright. Wyoming was tied for second in the nation in turnover margin and had a +8 edge in humbling Central Michigan 37-14 as 2.5-point favorites.


No matter what, the SEC will not have a winning record, because they are 4-5 (4-4-1 ATS) and they have both participants in the championship clash. Because of this, only SEC-haters will remember this record.

Conference USA

Florida Atlantic did its best to carry torch as league champs for a conference that finished 4-5 SU and ATS. FAU, Louisiana Tech, and Middle Tennessee State were the most impressive winners and the losers were forgettable.


With Clemson, Miami-Fl. and Virginia Tech all falling, the ACC took it on the chin at 4-6 and 3-6-1 ATS. The top teams were all underdogs and played to what oddsmakers expected.


Once again, the MAC had another losing bowl campaign at 1-4 SU and ATS. Conference champs Toledo were a complete embarrassment in being ambushed 34-0 by Appalachian State as favorites. Thankfully, Ohio U saved the league from being wiped out with Bahamas Bowl triumph.


There is a school of thought that bowl results do not matter unless there are extreme results. At 1-7 and 2-6 ATS, the Pac-12 certainly qualifies to that way of thinking. #ouch #stomped

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