Blindly betting underdogs has been a profitable venture through the first two days of bowl season.
Six underdogs covered through the first eight bowl games on Thursday and Friday. Underdogs covered in the first five bowl games of the season before Liberty — a 9.5-point favorite — blew out Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl on Saturday evening. Louisiana beat Marshall 36-21 on Saturday night as a 5.5-point favorite to give favorites their second cover of the weekend.
The underdogs that have covered so far
Middle Tennessee beat Toledo 31-24 in the Bahamas Bowl on Friday. The Blue Raiders were 10.5-point underdogs entering the game.
Northern Illinois almost won outright as a double-digit underdog in the Cure Bowl. The Huskies were denied a final play from inside Coastal Carolina’s 5-yard line in a 47-41 loss on Friday night. NIU entered the game as a 12-point underdog but more than held its own against a Coastal team that’s won 10 games in each of the past two seasons.
Western Kentucky was a slight underdog to Appalachian State ahead of the Boca Raton Bowl and beat the Mountaineers 59-38. WKU QB Bailey Zappe set the FBS single-season records for passing yards (5,967) and passing touchdowns (62) in the win.
With news that QB Jake Haener would start after briefly entering the transfer portal after the regular season, Fresno State ballooned to a 13.5-point favorite over UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl. The Bulldogs won 31-24 and UTEP covered, though the Miners are still without a bowl win since 1967.
The biggest upset of the bowl season — in terms of ranking and not point spread — has been UAB over BYU. The Blazers beat the No. 13 Cougars 31-28 on Saturday in the Independence Bowl. BYU was a 6-point favorite over UAB.
The other underdog to cover on Saturday was Utah State. The Mountain West champions beat Oregon State 24-13 in the LA Bowl. Oregon State was a 6.5-point favorite.
Looking ahead to early this week
If you think the underdog trend is going to continue, here are the teams you need to focus on early this week.
Old Dominion is a 9.5-point favorite against Tulsa in the Myrtle Beach Bowl on Monday. On Tuesday, Kent State is a 3-point favorite against Wyoming in the Potato Bowl and San Diego State is a 2.5-point favorite against UTSA in the Frisco Bowl. Wednesday, Missouri is a 4-point underdog against Army in the Armed Forces Bowl.