College Football Betting: Hitting Big Underdogs

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College Football Betting: Hitting Big Underdogs
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Most amateur sports bettors focus on betting favorites in the college football rankings each season. 

But we want to discuss here that many significant underdogs not only cover the spread, but win the game straight up (SU). 

Since 1989, 310 underdogs of 17.5 or more points have won the game outright. 

In each of the past 10 seasons, at least one underdog of 17.5 points identified by my predictive models won the game outright. So, let us examine these situations now to get you ready for your college football betting.

Here Are 67 Games Won By Big Underdog

The frequency that these underdogs have won the game SU has increased dramatically over the past three full seasons, eliminating the COVID-19 shortened season. 

Between 1989 and 201, 236 of the 310 or 76% of the underdogs of at least 17.5 points won the game SU. 

There were 10,635 games played between 1989 and 2017. So, these underdogs accounted for 2.21% of those. 

However, since the start of the 2018 season, the underdogs account for 24% of the 310 that were 17.5 or more points that won the game outright. There were 22 occurrences in 2021, seven in the COVID-19 season of 2020, 24 in 2019, and 21 in 2018.

Before 2018, the highest number of these 17.5 or more points dogs that pulled off the upset in a single season was 17 in 2016 and 12 in 2008 — no other season since 1989 reached double digits.

Drilling Deeper into the Database

Since 1995, there were 18 games in which a 17.5 or more-point underdog went on the road and won the game over a ranked opponent.

In Week 8 of last season, the Illinois Fighting Illini went into Happy Valley and took down Penn State 20-18, priced as a 24-point underdog. 

In 2020, there were two games. In Week 4, the Kansas State Wildcats went into Norman and beat the Oklahoma Sooners 38-35 as 27.5 point-underdogs. Then in Week 15, the LSU Tigers took down the Florida Gators 37-34 in Gainesville, priced as 23-point underdogs. 

All 18 games took place with at least one of the competitors being a member of the Power 5 conferences.

Can We Determine When These Dogs Will Win?

The simple answer is no. Not even my predictive models can accurately predict when these underdogs will not just cover the spread but pull off the monumental upset. 

However, if you sprinkle a little extra on the moneyline with every 17.5 or more-point underdog you bet, the probability increases that you will nail one of these. 

I have had at least one of these monster dogs win in each of the past 10 seasons, so I will keep you posted during the regular season when I have gone to the window to bet one.

How to Sprinkle the Moneyline

A sprinkle represents no more than a 1% or one unit amount of money bet on the moneyline. 

So, if your top bet for my strongest 5% of 10-Unit Best Bets is $1,000, then a sprinkle would not exceed $100 on any moneyline underdog. 

My moneyline sprinkles always involve significant underdogs priced at +150 and higher.

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