Red-Hot College Football Capper Sticking With Early St. Petersburg Bowl Pick

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, December 22, 2016 5:15 PM GMT

SBR contributor Ross Benjamin brings us up to speed on the odds movement for the 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl game between Miami-Ohio and Mississippi State. Ross discusses the line movement compared to when he did his original preview.

Ross Benjamin’s SBR 2016 College Football Record: 48-24 (66.7%) ATS

 

St. Petersburg Bowl Odds Update:  Miami-Ohio vs Mississippi State

Let’s discuss college football point spreads and totals regarding the St. Petersburg Bowl, and equate them to when I did an earlier betting preview on this game. That original article at SBRpicks.com was published on 12/8, and at that time, Mississippi State was a 12.0-point favorite. Furthermore, there was a total of 58.0 on that specific date. The point spread and total were courtesy of Bookmaker. Currently (12/21) at Bookmaker, Mississippi State has moved to a 13.5-point favorite, and the total is now 58.5.

 

Betting Patterns

As of 12/21, 94% of individual point spread bets for this upcoming bowl game (12/26) have been made on Mississippi State, and 91% of totals wagers sided with the over.

Despite the Southeastern Conference not being a dominant force this year as it’s been over the past decade, college football bettors still hold SEC teams in high regard. Obviously, the St. Petersburg Bowl betting pattern to this point supports that claim. Counting Mississippi State, there are 10 SEC teams participating in this present bowl season. When surveying betting trends on those 10 bowl games, 9 have seen 52% or more bets go on SEC teams. The lone exception is in the Sugar Bowl game between Auburn and Oklahoma. We’ve witnessed 59.4% of wagers going the way of Oklahoma thus far.

Always keep this in mind, don’t misconstrue the number of individual bets made, and draw direct parallels to an actual amount of money wagered on a specific team. A small percentage of sharp money wagers can at times exceed, the total amount of money being wagered on a team with the higher percentage of individual bets.

 

Losing Record and Double-Digit Favorite

Due to the increase in a number of bowl games during recent years, the NCAA has encountered a shortage of teams which have recorded the once magic number of 6 wins required to qualify for one of these postseason extravaganzas. As a matter of fact, current NCAA rules have allowed for teams sporting losing records to qualify for a bowl game under specific guidelines. Mississippi State (5-7) met that requirement in 2016. There were 5 bowl games involving teams with losing records during the bowl season last year, and they went 5-0 against the spread, while also going an impressive 4-1 straight up.

The other betting factor worth mentioning pertains to double-digit favorites in bowl games. Since 1981, bowl favorites of 10.0 or more have been a losing proposition, and have gone 42-61 ATS (40.8%). However, double-digit bowl favorites with a win percentage of .600 or less went a profitable 11-8 ATS (57.9%) and were 17-1 straight up. This St. Petersburg Bowl game will mark the first time throughout modern bowl game history, in which a team (Mississippi State) with a losing record is a double-digit favorite.

 

Final Thoughts and Updated Pick

We’ve already witnessed a recent bowl double-digit favorite. On Monday 12/19, Tulsa closed as an 11.5-point favorite against Central Michigan in the Miami Beach Bowl. Tulsa routed Central Michigan in that contest by a score of 55-10, hence easily covering the large number. Couple that result with Toledo’s 3-point Camelia Bowl loss as a 1.0-point underdog against Appalachian State on 12/17, and MAC teams are 0-2 SU&ATS thus far in this bowl season. Miami-Ohio and Western Michigan are left to carry the conference flag. All 4 MAC teams either closed as a bowl game underdog or are currently installed as one.

Although I like one my original college football predictions on Mississippi State -12.0 much more, I’d still have a small lean on the Bulldogs as -13.5-point chalk.

Free College Football Pick: Mississippi State -13.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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