Bowl Betting Bonanza III 

December, 30, 2010

Two weeks into bowl season and our second annual Bowl Betting Bonanza series (check out BBBI and BBBII) and here's what we know: The first week was all chalk, with six games being won by the six favorites. It defied the expectations of wiseguys, who have spent years literally banking on underdogs to cover those early bowl games. Primarily, they have always believed that those games match up favorites who have been denied access to bigger bowls with 'dogs who are just happy to be there. That leads to one side (the 'dogs) being motivated and the other (the faves) being bummed they're playing before Jan. 1.

"Historically, playing that philosophy pans out for bettors," Orleans bookmaker Bob Scucci told me in my podcast this week. But history took a backseat to reality in 2010, as Boise State, Louisville, Troy, BYU, Northern Illinois and San Diego State all covered the spreads as favorites.

The second week of bowl season saw things return to form. Tulsa, FIU, NC State and Iowa all won their games as outright underdogs. In fact, of the five games between Dec. 24 and Dec. 28, the only favorite to cover was Air Force, which was minus-3 over Georgia Tech and won 14-7.

Now, we head into Week 3 of bowl season. (Seriously, three weeks of bowl season that takes place when most schools are on vacation. Anyone think that maybe we could fit a stinkin' playoff into this scenario?) That brings us a couple of more factors wiseguys consider when betting on postseason games.