College Bowl Season is upon us, and that means you will soon be contacted by that guy in your office or that casual friend you only hear from once a year to join his bowl pool. We are hoping we can help give you an edge this season with some recommendations for bowl confidence pools based on the current money line odds and the win probability that they imply.
The first step in a confidence pool is picking the team you think will win the matchup outright. Once you have done that for each matchup, as the name implies, you rank each team based on how much confidence you have in them winning. With 40 bowl games on the schedule, a confidence rank of 40 would be given to the team that has the best chance of winning, with the team you feel least confident about given a confidence rank of 1.
It is really that easy! Most casual participants will run down the list of games and pick the team with the better record, or the school with more prestige. More savvy players will include the point spread to make some of their picks, but not many are going to use it down the line, which is where we think we can help. The table below ranks every bowl matchup based on the implied probability that each team will win. The moneyline is the ultimate tool in this situation because it is the closest thing we have to an accurate probability for each team to win. Is it perfect? Of course not! Once the probability starts to fall, there will no doubt be upsets. Our hope is that you can use this information to make more informed picks in your pool.
You can also use this information for so-called Pick ‘Em contests, where you just need to pick the winner of the game outright. As with any pool, you’ll want to shake things up by taking a few upsets here and there, however, don’t go overboard. You want to stick with smaller underdogs and not waste points on a team like Western Michigan, who is very unlikely to pull out an upset.
Odds are accurate as of the date this article was last updated. The spreads are bound to change leading up to these games, meaning the probabilities will shift as well. I would recommend waiting as long as you can to submit your picks. We will keep this table updated as lines move so that the recommendations are as accurate as possible all the way until the first game kicks off. Good luck!
|Confidence||Favorite||Money Line||Underdog||Bowl||Win Prob.|
|40||BYU||-455||Western Michigan||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||81.98%|
|37||Clemson||-425||Notre Dame||Orange Bowl||80.95%|
|36||Utah State||-315||North Texas||New Mexico Bowl||75.90%|
|34||Missouri||-313||Oklahoma State||Liberty Bowl||75.79%|
|33||NC A&T||-300||Alcorn State||Air Force Reserve Bowl||75.00%|
|30||Mississippi State||-285||Iowa||Outback Bowl||74.03%|
|29||Appalachian State||-259||Middle Tennessee State||New Orleans Bowl||72.14%|
|28||Ohio State||-253||Washington||Rose Bowl||71.67%|
|26||Penn State||-241||Kentucky||Citrus Bowl||70.67%|
|25||Toledo||-222||Florida Intl||Bahamas Bowl||68.94%|
|24||Texas A&M||-218||NC State||Gator Bowl||68.55%|
|23||Cincinnati||-205||Virginia Tech||Military Bowl||67.21%|
|22||Memphis||-205||Wake Forest||Birmingham Bowl||67.21%|
|21||Fresno State||-186||Arizona State||Las Vegas Bowl||65.03%|
|19||South Carolina||-181||Virginia||Belk Bowl||64.41%|
|18||Auburn||-172||Purdue||Music City Bowl||63.24%|
|16||Georgia Tech||-172||Minnesota||Quick Lane Bowl||63.24%|
|14||Tulane||-165||UL Lafayette||Cure Bowl||62.26%|
|13||Washington State||-162||Iowa State||Alamo Bowl||61.83%|
|12||Army||-156||Houston||Armed Forces Bowl||60.94%|
|11||Buffalo||-152||Troy||Dollar General Bowl||60.32%|
|10||Ohio||-150||San Diego State||Frisco Bowl||60.00%|
|9||Oregon||-147||Michigan State||Redbox Bowl||59.51%|
|8||Marshall||-145||South Florida||Gasparilla Bowl||59.18%|
|7||West Virginia||-142||Syracuse||Camping World Bowl||58.68%|
|6||Boise State||-141||Boston College||First Responder Bowl||58.51%|
|5||UAB||-135||Northern Illinois||Boca Raton Bowl||57.45%|
|4||Hawaii||-120||LA Tech||Hawaii Bowl||54.55%|
|3||Arkansas State||-120||Nevada||Arizona Bowl||54.55%|
|2||Eastern Michigan||-120||Georgia Southern||Camellia Bowl||54.55%|