When it comes to handicapping bowl games, there’s a lot of different things we need to consider. Most of the time we focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams playing.

That’s a good start, but I want to take a different approach with this article. I took the time to gather up the data to see how each conference as whole performs in postseason play.

I’m not saying base your bowl picks strictly off the data presented. I just want to give you another tool to help you beat the bowl betting lines this year.

Conference Performance Against the Spread in Postseason Play

Experts and media members often debate which league is on top of their power rankings each year. How strong or weak you perceive a conference to be often impacts what team you bet.

Those who follow NCAAF closely, typically have a good idea of where to rank each conference.

The problem for a lot of people is the bias they create based on their favorite team. They can have a hard time admitting that their team plays in a weak league, as that takes away from what they have accomplished.

NCAA Football Conference ATS Betting Results in Bowl Games

I decided it would be a lot easier to just look at the results and see what the data has to say. I’ve compiled the SU and ATS results for each FBS conference since 1989, as well as a more recent look at just the past 5 seasons.

Conference ATS Records in Bowl Games Since 1989

ConferenceGamesSU WinsSU LossesSU Win %ATS WinsATS LossesATS Win %
AAC51183335.3%203139.2%
ACC2129911346.7%10610250.0%
B1021710111646.5%10910650.2%
B121951019451.8%9010446.2%
BE98564257.1%504751.0%
BW128466.7%6450.0%
IND73423157.5%443060.3%
MAC101366535.6%415340.6%
MEAC43175.0%2150.0%
MWC103574655.3%554853.4%
P10113585551.3%555848.7%
P1271343747.9%294140.8%
SBC58332556.9%282748.3%
SEC2431469760.1%13110953.9%
SWAC41325.0%1225.0%
SWC1961331.6%71136.8%
USA130616946.9%646449.2%
WAC82334940.2%414150.0%

As you can see, the SEC has dominated in a lot of ways. They have played in 243 bowl games. The next best is the Big 10 with 217.

The SEC also makes the most of their postseason appearances. They have won 60.1% of their games. The next best Power 5 conference is the Big 12 at 51.8%.

Not only does the SEC win the majority of the time, they are also one of the best at covering the betting line.

There are two “Power 5” leagues that have covered at less than a 50% rate. That would be the Big 12 at 46.2% and the Pac-12 at 47.9%.

Conference ATS Records in Bowl Games: Last 5 Years

ConferenceGamesSU WinsSU LossesSU Win %ATS WinsATS LossesATS Win %
AAC42152735.7%162638.1%
ACC49212842.9%232546.9%
B1046262056.5%261856.5%
B1235221362.9%211460.0%
IND1410471.4%9564.3%
MAC33102330.3%151445.5%
MEAC43175.0%2150.0%
MWC36201655.6%211558.3%
P1240172342.5%132632.5%
SBC30201066.7%141446.7%
SEC52302257.7%262550.0%
SWAC41325.0%1225.0%
USA41182343.9%192146.3%

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