Rest plays a factor in all sports, and it’s one of my favorite¬†situational factors in handicapping. Having more rest than your opponent coming into a game in any sport is usually an advantage. That is especially the case in professional basketball when teams do not have huge layoffs in between games. It’s also the case in the NFL and in college football when one team is coming off their bye week, while the other is playing on a week of less or rest.

However, there can be some instances where too much rest can work against you. A college basketball team that has 10 or more days off in between games could be rusty. A college football team that has had a ton of rest in between its final regular season game and its bowl game could be rusty, too. Since the bowl season is just around the corner, that is the angle I’m going to focus on.

I have reviewed how bowl teams have done in the past against the spread depending on how many days of rest they have had in between their bowl games. Some teams in a bowl game will be coming in on the same amount of rest, while others will be coming in on more or less rest. Knowing the history of these rest scenarios could give you an advantage heading into the bowl season.

The table below shows the historical records against the spread for teams with the corresponding amount of rest, along with their return on investment (ROI) based on standard -110 odds.

Winning Bowl Betting Strategy: Fade Teams With More Rest Than Their Opponents

In our research over the years we’ve found that teams with more rest than their opponents are actually bad against the spread (46.2% to be exact). The final column represents teams in this year’s bowl games with that amount of rest who also have more days of rest than their opponents. ¬†These may be good teams to fade this bowl season, particularly if the historical ROI for that number of rest days is significantly low.

Records Against the Spread by Days of Rest Prior to a Bowl Appearance

RestGamesATS WinsATS LossesATS Win %ROITeam to Fade
111010.00%-100.00%
22123827.27%-43.94%
2129121741.38%-21.00%Eastern Michigan
31100425742.42%-18.82%Washington, TCU, Boston College
17146842.86%-18.18%Northern Illinois
4357253243.86%-16.27%
27125556844.72%-14.40%Wake Forest, Troy, Toledo, NC A&T
3767293644.62%-14.38%Oregon, Missouri, LSU, Cincinnati
3867293644.62%-14.38%
32114506145.05%-13.64%
26101455246.39%-10.98%South Florida
36104495547.12%-10.05%Texas A&M
3970343648.57%-7.27%Mississippi State
33129616448.80%-6.62%
34116555749.11%-6.03%West Virginia, Washington State
1021150.00%-4.55%
16105550.00%-4.55%
2844222250.00%-4.55%Houston
4069343450.00%-4.48%
3550252451.02%-2.55%Virginia
1327141351.85%-1.01%
2340211952.50%0.23%
19168753.33%1.70%
2067342854.84%4.34%Tulane, Arizona State
2460342656.67%8.18%
2986503558.82%12.16%
4150281959.57%12.91%
30101604060.00%14.40%Western Michigan, Utah
2570422860.00%14.55%Ohio
4285362.50%19.32%
182214863.64%21.49%
1474266.67%23.38%
1554180.00%52.73%
6110100.00%90.91%
9220100.00%90.91%
12110100.00%90.91%