College football “experts” can debate all they want to about which conference is the strongest. Sports bettors have a slightly different way of looking at things and for bettors, the best conference is the one that covers the spread most often, while the weaker conferences do not.
That’s especially true in the bowl games; bettors often play the well-known teams from the big conferences, particularly when they are playing one of the “little guys.” Sometimes that works out, while other times it doesn’t.
Looking at the past years’ worth of bowl games, which conference has done the best against the point spread? If you guessed Conference USA, you’re right. The little guys have gone an impressive 17-10-1 (63%) against the number in bowl games. Also interesting is that 18 of those games went under the total.
The conference with the second-best spread record is the much-maligned Atlantic Coast Conference, as those teams have gone 23-16-1 (59%) against the spread and also have a strong under tendency, as totals are 16-24 in bowl games involving ACC squads.
The big boys of the SEC are 24-21-1 against the spread, while Pac-12 teams are 16-14-1 against the number.
On the other side of the equation, the Mid-American Conference has been the worst in bowl games, going a dismal 7-18-1 (28%) against the spread, while the Big 12 also has been pretty bad, with its teams posting a 15-24-1 (38.4%) record against the spread. The Big 12 teams also continue the streak of playing to the under, also going 16-24 in totals.
The trends would point to East Carolina over Ohio and Pittsburgh over Bowling Green.
The tendency for teams to go under the total isn’t really surprising, as all games are 77-95-1 (44.8) in regards to totals. In games where the posted total is below 45, the tendency has been a bit more pronounced, as these games are 6-12. Games with a total of 50 or more were 51-69-1 (42.5%), slightly better than the overall results.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.
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