The World's Smartest Bowl Pool Picks

Only TeamRankings uses customized computer analysis to give you the best chance to win your college bowl pick'em contest.

How It Works

STEP 1: Enter Pool Details

If you want to maximize your expected winnings from a bowl pick'em pool, your optimal strategy depends on several different factors. For example, the payout structure of your pool, the number of entries in the pool, and whether your opponents are biased toward certain teams or conferences all play a key role in determining the picks that give you the best chance to win.

Our unique custom picks process gathers data about your specific pool and tailors its recommendations to your exact situation. Whether you're competing in a winner-take-all contest against 500 opponents or playing against 20 close friends in a pool that pays out five places, our computer algorithms identify the optimal level of risk you should take with your picks given the rewards at stake. No one else offers a system so sophisticated, comprehensive, or objective.

Next Step: Choose Games »

STEP 2: Choose Games

After years of providing data-driven picks and strategy for office pools, we've learned firsthand about the amazing variety of contest rules and formats out there. As a result, we've evolved our bowl pick'em analytics to be highly flexible, to make sure we deliver the most precise recommendations to our customers.

Most bowl pick'em pools involve picking all 35 bowl games, but variations exist. Some pools skip the earliest bowl games; others only cover the BCS bowls and maybe a few others. Whatever the format, we let you compose a customized games list for the matchups included in your 2013-14 bowl pool.

If you're competing in multiple bowl pick'ems this year, that's great too. You can set up as many custom pools as you want, and each pool can contain a unique set of games.

Next Step: Adjust Spreads »

STEP 3: Adjust Spreads

One of our most popular customer requests in years past was to cover point spread based bowl pick'em contests. We're happy to announce that we've added support for spread based pools to our 2013-14 bowl pick'em product.

Best of all, if you are in a spread pool, we now allow you to customize the point spread of every game to exactly match the spreads in your pool. If the current point spread of a bowl game is different from your pool's spread, we will adjust our latest predictions accordingly when we optimize your picks. (Note: If you're in a game winner based pool, you'll skip this screen.)

In addition, we support both confidence pools, where you assign a point value to each pick, and non-confidence pools, where each correct pick is worth the same number of points.

Next Step: Set Pick Percentages »

STEP 4: Set Pick Percentages

Along with accurate game predictions, anticipating opponent picks is one of the foundations of optimal bowl pool strategy. This information is critical to identify calculated risks (e.g., picking a slight underdog that is being significantly underrated by the rest of your pool) that can spell the difference between winning and losing. Most pool players don't even consider it, so it's a big source of our edge.

We do all the hard work for you, first gathering data on public picking trends from popular national bowl contests, then using that data to project how your opponents will pick every game. Starting this year, we even let you adjust our projections to reflect an expected bias in your pool. For example, if your pool is full of Auburn grads, the percentage of people picking Auburn over Florida State will likely be higher than the national average. That's powerful information we can use to your advantage.

Next Step: Generate Picks »

STEP 5: Generate Picks

Finally, we take all the information you provided about your pool, and mash it up with two other data sets: algorithmic predictions for every bowl game (derived from our proprietary math models and Vegas betting odds), and a database of pool strategy logic based on millions of computer simulations of bowl pools.

The complexity of all this may sound mind-boggling, but what we present back to you is simple: three sets of ready-to-play bowl pool picks, each of which offers a different risk/reward profile. You can compare them and choose the pick set that best suits your goal. If you can play multiple entries in your pool, we also generate additional pick sets designed to be used together when playing two or three entries in a single pool.

Ready to take your bowl pool picks to the next level?

Our picks and analysis for college football bowl pick'em pools have established a strong foundation of performance since we launched them in 2010. You can read about our performance for the last two bowl seasons in these two blog posts:

2012-2013 TeamRankings Bowl Picks Recap

2011-2012 TeamRankings Bowl Picks Recap

This year, we're making more exciting upgrades to our Bowl Pick'em package, including:

  • Integrating the "Custom Picks" process and analytics we released for season-long football pick'em pools early this year. This means that our system will optimize picks for your specific bowl pick'em pool, based on the size of your pool, the payout structure, and your specific goals.
  • Adding support for spread-based bowl pools, probably our #1 request from last year
  • Generating "Portfolio picks" for users who are willing to enter two or three different entries into a bowl pick'em pool, in order to boost their odds of winning a prize
  • Offering the option to customize the expected picking trends of your pool opponents, so you can adjust our advice to incorporate any team specific biases that may be a factor in your specific pool