Wayne Root: Picking BOWL SHOCKERS



The college football bowl slate gets underway this Saturday. That makes this the perfect time to outline my handicapping strategies for picking SHOCK THE SYSTEM upsets.

I'll probably touch on the topic again once we see some of the action take place. We may learn something in the early games that will trigger upset calls in the later action. For now, here are some general principals.

  • Go against favorites who aren't fired up about the game. This is very common in the early bowls particularly. A big name program that's used to playing in higher profile bowls suddenly finds itself in an unheralded bowl that doesn't get the juices flowing. They don't bring any intensity. The underdog is THRILLED to be in any bowl at all. BOOM, you've got an upset on your hands.

Be aware that this can happen in marquee bowls too. Alabama was very flat against Utah in a Sugar Bowl not too long ago, and they got embarrassed. Oklahoma can tell you what happened when they didn't prepare properly for Boise State in a Fiesta Bowl too. Sit down now with a bowl schedule RIGHT NOW and gauge the motivation of EVERY favorite. This will help you immensely in the selection process.

  • Go against favorites who just finished the regular season with a big win. TV announcers always talk about "momentum" and "confidence" that comes from a great result in the season finale. More often than not, that big result triggers a letdown performance in the bowl. The team spent too much time celebrating a win over a rival, and not enough time preparing for an opponent they're not familiar with.

Also, the public likes to bet on "hot" teams. That will drive the line up higher than it should be for many squads who won their season finales in impressive fashion.

  • Take underdogs who have a chance to make a name for their program. They don't get many spots on national television, and they want to make the most of it. More than anything, bowl upsets are triggered by motivation. If you get an inspired underdog playing a flat favorite, the pointstpread doesn't matter. Underdogs of ANY size can win outright if they're well prepared and the favorite is sleepwalking.

I really want you to focus on this element right now because we have many bowl newcomers on the schedule...or programs who are bouncing back from down periods. I can tell you right now that I will have at least two GAME OF THE YEAR caliber selections during the bowl slate that will feature this type of breakout underdog.

  • Take underdogs who know how to score points! Motivation saddled with bad quarterback can only take you so far. Motivation and some scoring threats can really do some damage. SMU is a great example of this from last year. That June Jones offense just smashed heavily favored Nevada out in the Hawaii Bowl. You had the first underdog factor I talked about in play...with a motivated dog trying to make a name for the program. But, you also had an offense that could score points. By the time Nevada knew what hit them, they were too far behind to get back in the game.

So, be sure you've properly evaluated underdog offenses and quarterbacks before finalizing your picks. You want your money on teams who can score points for you if you're trying to win outright and score those high moneyline payoffs.

I'm not going to talk specifically about this weekend's games here in my web articles. I may have a major underdog release in the works. But...I do take favorites too...and, by kickoff, two of the three games may be sitting on pick-em anyway!

I will say that I've historically started out VERY hot in the bowls...and then my clients and I just keep multiplying those initial profits over and over again all the way through the full schedule. The more you make early, the more you end up with after the BCS Championship is in the books!

You can purchase my full bowl packages online with your credit card here at the website. A combined college and pro football package is value priced so you can keep pyramiding your profits through the Super Bowl. If you'd prefer to talk to a person rather than do business online, call my office at 1-877-766-8946 to get on board. Don't forget to check on basketball too. This Saturday's college basketball card is huge. And, we have great NBA schedules on a nightly basis.

The layoff is over. THE BOWLS ARE HERE! This is arguably the single most important legal wagering stretch in the entire calendar year. Be sure you spend it with THE KING OF LAS VEGAS! It's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!


Today’s Hot Plays