2013 Bowl Game Betting Keys
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - If you've had some success in the regular season in college, here are some tips for the bowl season which starts on Saturday.
One thing you have to remember is most of these games (35 bowl games) are played on neutral sites and teams have 3-5 weeks off so this is not like handicapping the regular season. There are several factors that are important in bowl games to handicap including experience, conferences, emotion/motivation and coaching changes.
Coaching changes are always a big factor when it comes to bowl games. For example, Washington lost head coach Steve Sarkisian to USC and interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo takes over. How will Washington react against BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 27? Former Boise State coach takes over so they already have a new coach in-waiting. When a coach leaves, he normally doesn't coach his old team and is too green or new to coach his new time. That's the same for USC, while Texas will face Oregon in the Alamo Bowl with their long-time head man Mack Brown coaching his last game.
Be aware of every factor when it comes to coaching moves, whether it's the head coach moving on or even a coordinator that is leaving for greener pastures. Will that coach stay just for the bowl game and take over his new program after the game?
Emotions are always factors in football, especially when it comes to 18-22 year olds involved. A team like Alabama could be in for an emotional letdown playing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Even though they made this prestigious bowl, they were hoping to play Florida State for the BCS national title. The last time Alabama played in the Sugar Bowl when they had just one loss and fell in the SEC Championship game (to Florida), they lost to Utah, 31-17 laying nine points.
Bowl games are not always about talent. Teams that are disrespected the the oddsmakers and media tend to play over their heads because they use that as motivation. Some teams that are heavily favored but are just looking to go out with a win, might not be as motivate to win big.
Location is key because there are some teams that are playing very close to home. Maryland is playing Marshall in the Military Bowl right in their own backyard in Annapolis, so they are likely to fill the 35,000-seat stadium with 75% Terps fans. Rutgers is facing Notre Dame from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, which isn't far away from Piscataway, New Jersey. But Notre Dame has fans everywhere so the crowd could be close to 50-50.
Cincinnati also visits Charlotte to take on North Carolina in the Belk Bowl. That gives the Tar Heels a distinct advantage and the same can be said about Texas playing in San Antonio in the Alamo Bowl.
Playing location, changes in the coaching staff and emotions play a big factor when it comes to handicapping. Research is the key and make sure no stone is unturned before you make your bowl pick.