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Bet Early on the Underdogs in Bowl Games
by Joe Saumarez-Smith
21 December, 2007


SOURCE: Bloomberg

College football's Bowl game season is starting and for bettors and bookies alike it is a critical three weeks.

In the past two seasons the Las Vegas bookies have had the upper hand.

People like to bet on favorites in pretty much any sport, but the skew toward wagering on big-name teams is even greater in college football than it is in the National Football League, National Basketball Association or Major League Baseball.

Last year the underdogs went 18-14 against the point spread in the post-season games. That added up to a very profitable result for most sportsbooks and a tough run for those who bet on the favorites.

So should we be betting on the same performance this year? Yes, but only up to a point. Chris David, sports editorial director for, says the key to betting the Bowl season is to bet the underdogs before Jan. 1 and then switch to betting the favorites.

``The best handicappers have always told me to bet the dogs early and the favorites late,'' says David.

``It makes sense, really. With 64 schools out of 119 qualified to play in a Bowl game it doesn't take much to make a Bowl game.''

Smaller schools are likely to be much more focused and to appreciate the fact they have made it to a Bowl game, and they'll play their hearts out.

By contrast, for the bigger schools that haven't made it to one of the prominent Bowl matchups it can all be a bit of a letdown, David said.


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