College Football Betting By the Numbers: Bowl Games BCS Edition

College Football Betting By the Numbers: Bowl Games BCS EditionWhen you bet on NCAA Football, you should know all about the numbers. Numbers for stats, numbers for trends, numbers for betting lines, numbers for ‘totals’ – You should know it all. Here at Bang the Book, we are set to talk about the NCAA football betting lines for the biggest batch of bowl games for the bowl season. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for all of the BCS bowl games!

0 – The number of first half touchdowns which the Florida State Seminoles have conceded on the ground this season. In fact, the Noles’ first team defense only allowed two rushing touchdowns all year long, and the team as a whole only allowed five scores on the ground. That’s what happens when you’re always playing from ahead, and it’s what happens when you’re forced to play so many games involving so much garbage time. The Seminoles though, have their toughest test for sure ahead in the Auburn Tigers, who have the best rushing game in the nation and have a lot to prove in the BCS National Championship Game.

0 – The number of BCS bowl games which Head Coach Urban Meyer has lost in his career. The Ohio State Buckeyes are playing in a bowl game for the first time under Meyer, but he went a perfect 4-0 in BCS games with the Florida Gators and won the Fiesta Bowl with the Utah Utes over the Pittsburgh Panthers back in the first time a team “busted” the BCS. However, these Buckeyes have to feel let down by the idea of playing in the Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers, and there has to be a bit of concern as to whether the men leaving Columbus are really going to have it in them to play this game full bore after losing the Big Ten Championship Game to the Michigan State Spartans, causing them to miss out on the BCS National Championship Game against the Florida State Seminoles.

0 – The number of BCS bowl games which the UCF Knights and the Baylor Bears have played combined in their history. The Bears have at least played in some respectable bowl games over the years, while UCF is really playing in its first major bowl game in its history. The previous biggest game which the Knights have ever played in was the New Year’s Eve bowl game against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Liberty Bowl, which also amounted to the team’s first win in a bowl game. It’s going to be an interesting situation for sure for both of these teams in the Fiesta Bowl, where both teams have had to return a huge allotment of their tickets.

1 – The number of teams which averaged over 600 yards of offense this year. Of course, we’re talking about the Baylor Bears, who really only had one game this whole season in which they struggled mightily. They had all sorts of issues with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, though the argument could be made that this is one of the best defenses they have run up against when they take on the UCF Knights in the Fiesta Bowl. QB Bryce Petty, statistically speaking, was one of the best quarterbacks in the land this year, but he is overmatched here against QB Blake Bortles, who is quickly rising up draft boards as perhaps the best overall player in the country available for the NFL this year.

1 – The number of covers which the Oklahoma Sooners have had in their last six BCS bowl games. The one cover came against the lame Connecticut Huskies, who won a poor Big East and weren’t even ranked when the game was played. Aside from that though, the Sooners have been horrid, including getting blasted by the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Fiesta Bowl when they were huge favorites and getting whacked by the USC Trojans in the National Championship Game. This task is difficult though, so we wouldn’t blame OU if it was to get destroyed in this one by the Alabama Crimson Tide, who have to be irked about the way they lost out on their National Championship hopes for a third straight season.

1 – The number of games in which Stanford Cardinal RB Tyler Gaffney didn’t score at least one rushing touchdown this season. The Cardinal have themselves a great running game once again this year led by Gaffney, but he is going to have his work cut out for him against the Michigan State Spartans, who have arguably the best defense in the country, in the Rose Bowl. Gaffney had at least 72 rushing yards in all but one game this year, and if that’s how this is going to continue, Michigan State is probably going to be in some trouble.

9 – The number of consecutive bowl games which the Florida State Seminoles have covered. They’re perfect both from an SU and an ATS perspective under Head Coach Jimbo Fisher, and they have gone 7-2 SU in the last nine bowl games, some of which they were completely overmatched and outgunned in. Now though, is the time for FSU to get back to its glory days of the 90s when ACC Championships were a given and National Championships were the expectation, not the exception. The Seminoles are heavy favorites to claim their fourth National Championship and their second in three tries in the BCS era.

23 – The number of consecutive non-conference wins for the Alabama Crimson Tide. We’re sure that you remember the last time they lost a game outside of conference play. That was back in the 2009 Sugar Bowl when the undefeated Utah Utes closed out the former #1 team in the land in a huge game right here on this same field which the Tide will take on the Oklahoma Sooners. What you probably don’t recall? The team before that outside of the SEC which beat the Tide was the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks, who did so in 2007 at Bryant Denny Stadium. To say that Oklahoma has its work cut out for it would be a huge understatement.

30.9 – The number of points per game which the Michigan State Spartans scored with QB Connor Cook starting at quarterback. The Spartans were a train wreck with QB Andrew Maxwell under center, and the switch by Head Coach Mark Dantonio was a brilliant one. Though Cook was no QB Braxton Miller or any of the other great quarterbacks in the Big Ten, he was at least suitable, and he quietly managed to put 30.9 points per game on the board, including 34 against Miller’s Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Stanford Cardinal could have their work cut out for them in the Rose Bowl if they want to try to claim a second straight win in the Granddaddy of them All.

51 – The number of combined touchdowns for the Ohio State Buckeyes at the quarterback position this year. Head Coach Urban Meyer really has proven that his system can and will work in the Big Ten, and he proved that it can and will work in spite of the fact that QB Braxton Miller missed a few games early in the season. QB Kenny Guiton, Miller’s backup did his share of damage, but in the end, he and Miller had more than 50 TDs on offense, more than most teams scored in totality this year. The Buckeyes have the offense to keep up with any team in America, but the reason that they aren’t playing for the BCS National Championship is because they didn’t have the goods that day on the offensive side of the ball to keep up with the Michigan State Spartans.

70 – The number of points which the Clemson Tigers allowed in their one and only BCS bowl game in their history. They allowed that whopping 10 TDs to the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2012 Orange Bowl in a game which they were favored in, and it was a game which QB Tajh Boyd probably won’t forget. Boyd has a chance to finish out his career with some vengeance, which he could score against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl in what might be the most notable game in Clemson football in the last at least 30 years.

75.9 – The number representing the percentage of games which the Baylor Bears have covered in their last 29 games. Yes, they’re 22-7 ATS in their last 29 under Head Coach Art Briles, and they have consistently been amongst the best teams to bet on week in and week out for quite some time. This year though, their point spreads started to get a wee ridiculous, and we think we’re seeing that in the Fiesta Bowl as well against the UCF Knights. Still, until the “Air Bear” gets slowed down just a bit, we know that Baylor has one of the toughest teams to stop in America, and when things really get rolling, it never takes it foot off of the gas pedal.

91.3 – The number of rushing yards per game the Alabama Crimson Tide allowed this year – if you take out the game against the Auburn Tigers. Head Coach Bob Stoops has to think that his Oklahoma Sooners are going to have a shot at beating the Sugar Bowl betting lines if he can get his offense moving on the ground the same way that Auburn did in the Iron Bowl when the Tigers had nearly 300 yards of rushing. However, that’s a heck of a lot easier said than done against the Tide, who routinely have one of the best defenses in America, and they’ve had a great history of living up to their billing in bowl games under Head Coach Nick Saban.

172.2 – The number of combined rushing yards per game allowed by the Michigan State Spartans and the Stanford Cardinal thus far this year. That’s going to be tested quite a bit by both of these ground games, as these two teams both average more yards by themselves on the ground than both are combining to allow on the ground this year. The test of wills is going to be on the line of scrimmage, a test which both teams have managed to pass all season long, and it should be quite the interesting fight to see which one of these offensive lines, if either one, can really assert themselves against the opposing defensive line to free up some space for their elite level running backs.

609 – The number of rushing yards at minimum which four men have for the Auburn Tigers this year. We all know that RB Tre Mason was a stud, as he had 1,621 yards on the ground with 22 TDs. We also know that QB Nick Marshall was a beast when he optioned and didn’t put the ball in Mason’s gut. He had 1,023 yards and 11 TDs on the season. However, the real change of pace came from RB Corey Grant and RB Cameron Artis-Payne. These two men didn’t touch the ball all that often – only 155 times combined on the year – but they had 650 and 609 yards respectively, and each had six touchdowns. This wasn’t nearly the end of the Auburn offense this year in terms of rushing, but it was the majority of it, and it’s why Head Coach Gus Malzahn and the gang have to think they have a shot at finding some holes in the defense for the Florida State Seminoles, who have a defense which really gave up next to nothing all season long either on the ground or through the air.

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.