Betting Turf - Bowl Season Football II

Alabama College Football

Betting Turf - Bowl Season Football II

Gambling sharps (the best gamblers around) are right roughly 57% of the time. That figure sounds low to most. But, in fact, it is a high enough figure to make a living off of. The key to being a sharp is not only picking more winners than losers, but also finding the best lines and odds for your bets. An extra half point here, an extra point there makes a huge difference over the course of a season. Unfortunately, shopping for lines is a lengthy process that takes time all week right up until kickoffs in some cases. And probably more unfortunate is the fact that I'm no sharp.

With that in mind, here on The Betting Turf, I will be aiming for 53%. If I am right more than I am wrong, I should stay in the black. This should hopefully factor in the vig as well. Oddsmakers take a percentage of all bets, meaning nailing exactly half your bets (assuming equal money is laid down) will not result in the gambler breaking even. They must also cover the juice taken away from each wager. Without further ado...


Remaining picks from last week’s Bowl Season I:


December 27, Pinstripe Bowl

Boston College -2.5

Penn State +2.5


December 27, Holiday Bowl

Nebraska +6.5

USC -6.5



ATS picks for the second half of bowl season:


December 31, Fiesta Bowl

Boise State +3

Arizona -3

The Fiesta Bowl happens to be taking place in Glendale, Arizona. Boise State, owner of a prolific offense, happens to have zero impressive wins on the season. Although the Broncos are familiar with the big stage of past BCS bowls, this game happens to mean very little in the national conversation, and these aren’t your older brother’s Broncos. Unless Arizona falls victim to the unimportance of the Fiesta Bowl, a virtual home game for the Wildcats should be enough help to cover a three-point spread.


January 1, Cotton Bowl

Michigan State +2.5

Baylor -2.5

With this line sliding just under three, it seems like a perfect time to pounce on Baylor. While Michigan State has been tremendous this year, Sparty was clearly left out of the playoff conversation as the seventh or eighth team. The numbers are elite, but the performances have not been. MSU’s two biggest games and arguably only big games of the year both resulted in double-digit losses. It seemed to be just shy of the group that Baylor found itself in. It seems odd to credit Baylor for something schedule-related, but the Bears defeated two top-10 opponents to get themselves in the playoff discussion and finished the year with the best scoring offense in the country. Michigan State will not be able to keep up.


January 2, Taxslayer Bowl

Iowa +3.5

Tennessee -3.5

Stuffed in between some of the biggest bowl games of the year, Iowa versus Tennessee is a good ole fashioned contest of ‘which conference is better?’ Iowa got beat up by the rigors of the Big Ten schedule even while avoiding both Ohio State and Michigan State. Meanwhile, Tennessee fell to the power of the SEC, at one point losing four games to four top-12 teams in a span of six weeks. Call this one SEC -3.5 and I’m laying the points.


January 1, College Football Playoff National Semifinal Two-Team Teaser Special

Oregon -15.5

Florida State (+9) +15.5


Alabama -15.5

Ohio State (+9) +15.5

The first ever College Football Playoff seems like the perfect time to squander all my regular-season goodwill and break out another foolhardy two-team teaser. With these teases, both games have to hit, but because of the added difficulty, the spread can normally be shifted in either direction by 6, 6.5 or 7 points depending on the book and the odds. We will use the 6.5-point variety here to split the difference.

As mentioned, the trouble people get into with teases is both (all) games have to cover for you to win the single bet. With such high opening lines though for these national semifinal matches, receiving the teaser bump seems like a sure way to collect on both underdogs. It would be hard to imagine either playoff game being a blowout considering the circumstances.


2014 Record Against the Spread:  31-22