The first six college football bowl games on Saturday may have given bettors early signs for the other 34 games that will follow. There were a couple of trends that will be of interest to those putting wagers on teams that they might not know that much about.
The first was that four of the six teams that were favored covered, all of them rather easily.
The biggest margin was Utah State’s 52-13 pounding of North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl. The Aggies, who were favored by seven, scored 38 first-half points to the Mean Green’s seven, eventually winning by 32.
The next highest spread covered was Appalachian State defeating Middle Tennessee 45-13 in the New Orleans Bowl. The Mountaineers were 6.5-point picks and won by 24.5.
Tulane won the battle of the Louisiana schools by 14 points. The Green Wave were favored by three over Louisiana- Lafayette, and ended up cruising to a 14-point victory, 41-21, in the AutoNation Cure Bowl.
Arizona State was a six-point underdog to Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl, and kept it close for a half. The Bulldogs, though, scored 14 points in the final two quarters to win by 11.
Two Fall Short
Georgia Southern was favored by 2.5 against Eastern Michigan, and almost lost outright. They were trailing 21-20 in the Camellia Bowl, and were facing fourth and 10 with under four minutes remaining. Eagles quarterback Shai Werts scrambled for 29 yards to keep the drive alive.
Georgia Southern kicker Tyler Bass, who had drilled a 50-yard field goal earlier in the game, kicked the game winner from 40 yards with three seconds left to give the Eagles the victory.
The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl was the other underdog that covered. North Carolina AT&T was laying seven points to Alcorn State and couldn’t cover the seven points, winning 24-22.
Under Big Winner
The other stat was that four of the six games hit the under, but not by much. North Carolina AT&T and Alcorn State was under by a half-point, Georgia Southern and Eastern Michigan was 1.5 points.
The other two games that hit the under, Fresno State-Arizona State, and Utah State-North Texas, were decided by three points.
The two games that reached the over, did so by four or more points. Tulane- Louisiana- Lafayette was decided by 4.5 points, and Appalachian State-Middle Tennessee the over was achieved by nine points.
Nine Games This Week
The next set of contests begin Tuesday with the Boca Raton Bowl, featuring University of Alabama-Birmingham against Northern Illinois. UAB is a 2.5-point favorite.
The Frisco Bowl follows on Wednesday with San Diego State facing Ohio, who is a three-point pick.
Thursday is the Gasparilla Bowl with Marshall a 2.5-pick over South Florida.
There are two games on Friday. The Bahamas Bowl has Florida International a 5.5-point selection over Toledo. BYU is favored by 12 against Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Saturday there are four games. In the Birmingham Bowl, Memphis is expected to defeat Wake Forest by 4.5 points. In the Armed Forces Bowl Army is favored by three over Houston. In the Dollar General Bowl Buffalo is a 2.5-point pick over Troy. The finale for the week is the Hawai’i Bowl, where Hawaii is a 1-point pick over Louisiana Tech.