Snow, Christmas music, never-ending lines at the mall. All of these are signs that the holiday season is upon us. But for sports bettors, it really doesn’t start to feel like December until the college football bowl matchups are on the board at all the sportsbooks on our betting sites list.
Well, ring in the holiday cheer because bowl season is back, baby. Games were announced Sunday afternoon, starting with the big CFP Semifinal matchups on New Year’s Day and then trickling down to the January 1 bowls and subsequent postseason showdowns – all the way down to the Celebration Bowl which will officially kick off bowl season on December 16.
Now, if you plan on getting action down just about every day during bowl season, you’re going to need a plan of attack. Here are some handy tips to help you wager on the bowls like a wiseguy and hopefully put you in the black by the time 2018 rolls around.
This is true for all sports betting – not just bowl season. However, you can never talk money management enough. Set aside a chunk of your bankroll for bowl games, especially if you are looking to have action down almost every day. And from that bankroll, you are going to determine a bet size.
Most handicappers suggest never going bigger than 5 percent of your total bankroll on one bet, so if you’ve got $5,000 stashed away for betting bowls, you don’t want to go bigger than $250 per wager. Now, you won’t be betting that max on each one of your bowl picks. Instead, you will want to grade your plays in terms of confidence. The bets you feel best about, wager more. The ones you’re not so sure of, wager less.
There’s nothing worse than running out of bowl bankroll before the New Year’s Day slate rolls around, so be cautious and manage your money wisely.
Red light/Green light
The unique thing about bowl season is that you have as much as a month to wait before some games kickoff. That is a long time for the bookmakers to take action. You’ll want to pay attention to the early adjustments, recognizing any sharp steam moves as bookies scramble to correct weak lines. If you can jump on board and get a good number before the value is gone, do so.
Besides those steam moves, bowl bettors will want to monitor matchups on game day, as more than 90 percent of the total action on these games will come in during the 24 hours before kickoff. Bowl games draw a ton on public money – even the bad ones – because they’re often standalone contests and many people are off work and watching from home over the holidays.
Keep a close ear to the public money and try to find opportunities to snag added points on the other side as books juggle the lines to offset liability. This is especially true with totals, as the public tends to gravitate toward the Over in hopes of a high-scoring game. Reverse line moves – lines moving against the betting consensus – is a great tool to track where the sharp action is landing during bowl season.
There are 40 bowl games on the board – 41 if you count the National Championship. You do not have to bet each and every game. I repeat: You do not have to bet each and every game. It’s easy to carried away on a busy bowl schedule, especially if you end up chasing your wins and losses.
Before December 16, know which bowl games you definitely want action on. And then from there, pick and choose which games you jump into at the last minute. But be picky. That’s the one advantage we have over the books: we can choose what we want to bet.
Live wagering is also a great way to bet on bowl games, especially if a big favorite goes down early or a projected high-scoring game opens flat. Betting against those in-game anomalies is a great way to maximize your value and get a much better line than the ones offered before the game.