As I've mentioned before, I enter a friendly little college football bowl game betting pool every year. In my best finish in about 10 years, I managed to place third this year. I finished with an overall record of 26-6. I lost a 6 on UCLA and a 5 on Connecticut, two of my upset picks. My other four loses were on some relatively heavy favorites, a 28 on Boise State, a 16 on South Florida, a 26 on Florida and an 18 on Oklahoma. Still, that was good enough for 429 points overall, which actually put me in tie for second place that I lost due to the tiebreaker. I drastically underestimated the total number of points scored in the Rose Bowl. I actually computer my tiebreaker incorrectly, which I realized shortly after submitting my bracket. I thought that it was supposed to be the total points scored in the BCS championship game, not the Rose Bowl. As it turns out, my number (48) was way off the final scores of both games. Still, I think I would have put in a higher number had I read the instructions correctly. I figured it wouldn't matter since it had been so long since I finished in the money and I put very little effort into my picks this year that I was sure they couldn't be very good.
I'd spent the past few years trying to create some kind of formula that I could use to easily and accurately predict the outcomes of the bowl games. This year, I decided that I didn't want to put much effort into my picks, so I just went through the list of games and picked which team I thought would win based on my gut feeling. I then took that list and compared it to the current betting lines and adjusted some of my upset picks based on what the oddsmakers and ESPN had to say. I then put each pick into one of four groups based on my confidence and divided up the numbers. It probably took me an hour start to finish. I'll try the same thing next year and probably finish nowhere near the top 10, but for now, I can say it's a winning strategy.