The only reason people are watching games is one purpose only: GAMBLING
Let's start a game show. We're only 10 days or so into this and is there anyone out there who could give me the teams and the exact scores (without Google help) of the Poinsettia, Camellia and Famous Potato Bowl? How about just identifying what these things are? FYI, a poinsettia is one of those popular red Christmas plants, a camellia is some sort of Asian flower and I'll give you a free space for a potato.
The point I'm making here is, "Let's be honest NCAA". The only reason people are watching these meaningless games is for one purpose and one purpose only: GAMBLING. Unless you have a really boring life, I couldn't find reason for investing three hours in Appalachian State-Toledo during your holiday week without at least a few bucks invested. Bonus if you knew where Appalachian State was located while covering your -1.5 bet.
NOT the NCAA Basketball Tournament
In somewhat defending the NCAA we cannot compare the ridiculous expansion to 41 bowl games in comparison to March Madness and the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. In their elimination round bracket-style event there is true hoops suspense for every game regardless whether anyone has any money wagered on any game.
Also, every team large or small like an Appalachian State or any Division I school that plays in 39 of these 41 bowls have a chance at winning a championship. If that were a reality in college football the average fan would have interest watching the Foster Farms Bowl or the Belk Bowl. Plus endure 179 television commercials for Foster Farms and Belk on the way to covering the spread or Over/Under.
Another interesting comparison is the television coverage itself. In the NCAA basketball tournament, all games feature sold-out arenas packed with fervent fans from both schools. In these gambling bowls, ESPN does not like to show the stadium crowd. Filled with locals purchasing $10 seats they bought that morning on StubHub. They count on the player's families and boosters for noise until we get at least to the Orange Bowl and onward on New Year's weekend.
To enhance my reputation and integrity I'm going to admit to my past record in bowl game wagering results. It stinks!! Here's why:
Because college football bowls are FOR GAMBLING PURPOSES ONLY we as humans make critical judgement errors. Like betting every NFL Monday Night Football game simply because it is on television, we often wager all bowl games because they exist to be wagered upon. All the major offshore sportsbooks prominently feature them on their menu during times that many NFL games do not exist.
That means open Wednesday afternoons, Friday evenings, etc. for action concentrating on only one to perhaps two wagering choices. Again, in comparison the NCAA Basketball Tournament, you may have several choices to focus upon with serious championship elimination on the line.
Also, forgotten by bettors are the many player and coaches "incentives" involving the wagering lines during these games. Except for the "Final Four" involving Washington, Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama, it's difficult charting who will be playing and which head coaches have left or been fired within these universities.
As an example, Temple University was a commanding -12 to -12.5 favorite at popular offshore sportsbooks BetOnline, Bovada and Diamond Sports over Wake Forest in last Tuesday's Military Bowl. Perhaps losing their popular head coach Matt Rhule deflated Temple's incentive while losing outright to Wake Forest 34-26. Then again, the Demon Deacons have a major cloud over them facing likely NCAA athletic sanctions, having their radio announcer leak out game plans this year.
A smart strategy I've overlooked in the past has nothing to do with yardage, turnovers or which team performed well as a favorite or underdog whatsoever. Simply check the rosters for teams loaded with SENIORS. This likely is their last game and many won't likely be headed toward the NFL. The added incentive is special and their play reinforces extra effort. With the continuing trend of talented juniors headed early to the NFL draft, it has become even more of a noticeable factor.
"Watch a Race"
Among the hundreds of popular clichés in horse racing betting is to "watch a race". That simply means is to avoid betting a horse's first race or not take a chance wagering a horse's first race off a long layoff. In comparison, it might be wise to learn something from charting the previous results from the first 20 college bowl games that have been played this year. How many favorites have covered? How many games have gone Over or Under the Total?
It would depend on which top online sportsbook you would have secured your wager but per statistics and information source Vegas Insider, thus far favorites are a sad 5-15 against the spread. Interesting, on the Totals side, Over and Under are at a 10-10 dead heat.
From previous experience, I have learned defying logic that things often even out. Therefore, I would carefully watch for select opportunities to wager on favorites in upcoming bowl games. Another advantage will be bettors tired of losing on favorites making a pilgrimage to betting underdogs. Upcoming, keep an eye on South Florida and Michigan as solid favorites to begin reversing this trend.
This is from an AP news report:
In this year's first college bowl game, Grambling State DB Joseph McWilliams blocked a 35-yard extra point attempt to preserve a 10-9 lead after NC Central WR Quentin Atkinson was penalized for "excessive celebration" in the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.
Yup, you read that right. The guy hurt his team celebrating in The Celebration Bowl!!
Here's hoping you do not believe there's some special award for watching and betting ALL 41 college bowl games. But if you could name the teams and the scores on January 10th of all of them you should enter the NASA program.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.