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Updated January 7th, 2012 - Tonight is the final bowl game - the National Championship Game between Notre Dame and Alabama. This is one of the largest spreads (9.5) I have ever seen and it's the first time I've seen the #1 seed an underdog by this much.
The 5Dimes contests have ended for this year. However, there are two new $10 and $25 pools that begins every day a bowl game is played, so remember that for next year. The last pool began before the January 1st games.
I've been running into a problem with these bowl game contests. Unlike the March Madness Contests, there are not too many different college bowl season contests anymore. This is for two reasons in my mind:
1) The bowl season starts too early - much earlier than most people realize. The start is literally only two weeks after the Conference Championships and a week after the Army/Navy game. People don't associate this with Bowl Season. Therefore, people who don't get started beforehand won't participate because there are already some games played (I'm looking at you New Mexico and Idaho Potota Bowls).
2) There are so many more meaningless bowl games than there were even 5 years ago. Who's going to win the vaunted matchup between Central Michigan (6-6) and Western Kentucky (7-5) in the Little Caesars Bowl? (Probably CMU because they are close to home, which is one way to determine a winner) And can someone tell me why there are 7 Mid-American and 4 Sun Belt Conference teams in bowl games this year? There used to be only 1 or 2 at most. Again, there are too many teams that are making bowl games.
There are now 35 bowl games. That is 70 teams that get to go to a bowl game. Because of 4 ineligible teams (Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina and Miami), there were only 72 bowl eligible teams. That means only two teams missed a bowl game (9-3 Louisiana Tech famously rejected a bowl bid only to get completely snubbed and 8-4 Middle Tennessee State). I know that it is all about money, but .500 (6-6) should not be good enough to make bowl game.
With all that being said, there isn't a whole lot going on in the contest world. I'm going to list the remaining contests below, but here is the short version: ESPN Bowl Mania, Yahoo Sports College Bowl Pick'em, Fox Sports College Bowl Pick'em, 5Dimes Sportsbook Office Pools, and search "collegefootball.upickem.net" (with the quotes) in Google for the local radio stations and newspapers that offer a Bowl Contest.
There aren't many, but you can view the Pay For Bowl Contests here.
There are two main types of College Football Bowl Game Contests: Straight Picks or Confidence
The Straight Picks are fairly self explanatory: you pick the team that you think will win the particular bowl game. There are 35 bowl games, so the person with the most correct winning picks is deemed the winner.
The Confidence Picks are a little more complicated, but not by much because you are still only picking the winner. Each of the 35 bowl games will have a confidence rank (from 1 to 35) based upon how confident you are that a team will win the bowl game. The most confident game will receive a rank of 35 points; the least confident game will receive a rank of 1 point. You cannot use the same confidence points twice. The winner of this contest will be the person who accumulates the most confidence points won.
There are a couple of more ways that these contests can work: Spread Picks or Pool Picks are examples that I have found.
The Spread Picks contest will have you again pick the winner of each bowl game. This time, the Spread for the game is taken into account. Let's take an example from this year: Utah State is a 10 1/2 point favorite to beat Toledo; that means in effect the starting score of the game is Toledo 0 - Utah State -10.5. In order for Utah State to be the winner of the spread pick, they must beat Toledo by at least 11 points. The winner of this contest is the person who picks the most correct winners based on the spread.
The Pool Picks can vary from place to place. These Pools will include some kind of entry fee (like $10). Some will include all of the 35 bowl games; others (like 5Dimes) will only include some of the bowl games. More on 5Dimes Pools below. These Pools can use Straight Picks, Confidence Picks or Spread Picks.
The following tournament has occured in past years but were not available this year. Please check again next year to see if the contest returns.
I received an email that notified me of a $50 contest (entry fee $52.50 paypal) at a sports betting forum. You can find out about this contest here. Entry and selections will close on 12/31 at 11PM ET. There are 10 New Years Day (or later) bowl games to choose. You will rank the games in order of strength.
There are several different college football bowl game pools that are hosted from different people you can find on Facebook. These are all relatively straight forward contests just like if you were playing in an office pool. Here is a link to show you how to find football pools on facebook.
Also, to find more Pay Contest, check the message boards or forums at the Contests listed above. Many times, people will set up $5, $10, $20 or $25 contests for a group that they have already set up.
More College Bowl and sports betting articles and resources
College Football Links & Bowl Pick'Em - Another good source for College football contests and news.
College Football Bowl Sportsbook Promotions - See all of the good sports betting bonuses for this upcoming bowl season.
Live Lines for College Football Bowl Games - Here are the current Live lines for all 35 bowl games this year. The first three games start this Saturday, December 18.
Live Sports betting lines - Looking for Live Lines on any sport like NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA?
Introduction to NCAA College Football Betting - Are you interested in betting on your favorite team? But you don't have the first clue about how to bet. Also, take a look at my Sportsbetting and Handicapping Review to guide you in the right direction.
Sports Betting Line Shopping - Line shopping is finding the best line available between the various sportsbooks. You will often find different lines for the same game. Also take a look at making a proper bet size and sports betting money management.
Sportsbook Bonuses - Did you know that you can get free money on your first deposit at some sports betting sites? Take a look at my favorite Sportsbooks that offer players a bonus.