Wayne Root: Will Bowl Upsets Continue Now that Big Boys are Playing
We're 14 games into the 2017-18 college football bowl campaign. And, underdogs have a better straight up record than favorites! Dogs have won eight bowls, including Christmas Eve out in Hawaii when Fresno State dominated Houston (despite the close final score). Favorites have only won six games. And, one of those was 22-point favorite Florida Atlantic that shouldn't even count. Akron had no shot to win that game, though the Zips shouldn't have lost by almost 50 points.
What's causing all of these upsets? WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is THE KING OF UPSETS! Of course I have the answer.
The key factor has been turnovers. The caliber of teams playing in these early bowls are down at a level where inconsistency is the norm. They can look good one week, lousy the next. Stick that in a mid-major conference and you can win enough games to reach a bowl. But, you can't really be trusted to win ON COMMAND because these teams aren't capable of that.
Secondly, oddsmakers really didn't know these lesser conferences very well this season. If you look at total yardage and yards-per-play, the wrong team was favored a few times.
And, those two keys are why handicappers should be careful assuming that the upsets will continue. Now, I'm not saying that favorites are about to go on a tear (though they might). What I'm saying is that the reasons behind these early upsets won't be in play as dramatically.
*Over the next few days we'll step up in class from what we've been seeing. Over New Year's weekend, we'll step up in class a lot more. Favored quarterbacks are much less likely to throw horrible passes that get picked off. Favored running backs are much less likely to be careless with the ball. There will still be turnovers. There won't be so much inept-ness that you can't believe the teams were invited to bowls!
*Oddsmakers follow the major conferences, so these lines are going to be much sharper. Of course, professional wagerers follow those conferences closely too...meaning some of the value has already been taken out with early betting. Part of the 8-6 straight up record involves bad lines. There will be fewer bad lines moving forward, so you have to pick your spots.
We're dealing with better favorites and better lines. Ergo, don't assume underdogs will have the superior straight up record all the way through the postseason.
I do have my eye on a few underdogs the next few days. You'll have to sign up for service to find out who they are! I can tell you the key factors backing those dogs.
*Quarterbacks I can trust
*Defenses that will have a meaningful impact
*Battled tested teams who won't blink against good opponents
*Head coaches who have a decent track record as regular season dogs and in bowls overall
You longtime readers know that I always emphasize scoring points to you when we talk about upset calls. Let's see what the winning dogs have scored so far:
Georgia State scored 27 vs. Western Kentucky
Boise State scored 38 vs. Oregon
Marshall scored 31 vs. Colorado State
Middle Tennessee scored 35 vs. Arkansas State
Louisiana Tech scored 51 vs. SMU
Army scored 42 vs. San Diego State
Appalachian State scored 34 vs. Toledo
Fresno State scored 33 vs. Houston
Sure, there have been some defensive, or otherwise cheap points in there. But, 27 is the LOW point for outright dog winners. As you think about underdog bets with the points or on the moneyline moving forward...try to find underdogs capable of getting to the mid 20's on their own, and into the 30's if they catch some breaks. I won't ever take a dog "only" because of defense. I need to be comfortable on both sides of the ball.
I'm really looking forward to this second week of bowl action. You regulars know I own the Pac 12.
Utah faces West Virginia Tuesday afternoon
UCLA battles Kansas State Tuesday night (but without Josh Rosen)
Arizona plays Purdue Wednesday
Stanford takes on TCU Thursday
Washington State vs. Michigan State Thursday night is another blockbuster
Arizona State is matched up against NC State in a game you shouldn't overlook
USC against Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl will be one of the most watched bowl games ever!
Washington vs. Penn State will also be can't-miss football
The major conference that plays in my backyard didn't get any teams into the Final Four. I believe a few of those will make headlines with surprisingly easy covers. A few others will disappoint the way Oregon did in the Las Vegas Bowl (which was REALLY in my backyard!)
I'm telling you now...this is going to be one of the most memorable weeks in college football history. WAYNE ALLYN ROOT'S upset calls will be a big reason why! I hope you'll join the only man in the sports betting industry to have earned a star on the "Walk of Fame" here in Las Vegas. If you have any questions about which of my services best suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Be sure to ask about combination packages with basketball.
The appetizers are over. The main course of my annual BOWL FEAST is about to begin. It's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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