College Football Picks: Betting Picks Against the Spread for Every Bowl Game
College Football Picks: Betting Picks Against the Spread for Every Bowl Game
The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and no, we aren’t talking about the holidays. Well, we kind of are, because college football bowl mania is quite literally a staple of the holiday season. Beginning on December 17th and running all the way through the fourth day of the New Year, college football bettors will have a 41-game bowl menu to sink their teeth into. There’s nothing better than tracking all of the scores and seeing which conferences dominate during the bowl season. All of the action only gets amplified by placing some college football betting picks on the games!
It was certainly a wonderful regular season after a chaotic campaign a year ago. Schools all across the country returned to the typical 12-game schedule. We had massive college football betting upsets and several preseason favorites falling short of expectations. The College Football Playoff has a very different look to it this year, headlined by Cincinnati, the first-ever Group of 5 participant. A total of 84 FBS teams won the six games required to qualify for a bowl. That was enough for an additional game to be added to the bowl season schedule to ensure that every eligible school will compete in a postseason matchup.
The following article looks at each of the 41 college football bowl games on the schedule. Along with a brief matchup overview, readers will find a betting prediction against the spread included for every bowl game.
College Football Betting Picks for Every Bowl Game
Bahamas Bowl — December 17 @ 12 PM EST
Toledo (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS) vs. Middle Tennessee (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS)
The Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee ended the regular season winning four of six games in order to qualify for a bowl. MTSU is able to hit opponents with a wrinkle offensively by virtue of having two quarterbacks who see regular playing time. Speaking of multiple QBs, Toledo switched starters down the stretch of the season and won four of their final five games. The MAC was one of the most unpredictable leagues all season and many felt that the Rockets underachieved. They should kick off bowl season with a comfortable win down in the Bahamas.
Bahamas Bowl Pick: Toledo -10.5 (-110)
Cure Bowl — December 17 @ 6 PM EST
Coastal Carolina (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Northern Illinois (9-4 SU, 8-4-1 ATS)
Head coach Thomas Hammock led a remarkable turnaround at Northern Illinois. The Huskies went from finishing last in the MAC a year ago to winning the West Division and capturing the conference championship over Kent State. While Coastal Carolina failed to replicate their dream season of a year ago, they came very close. The Chanticleers’ two losses came by a combined total of five points. The fact that CCU has been bet up to a double-digit favorite over a conference champ is very telling.
Cure Bowl Pick: Coastal Carolina -10 (-110)
Boca Raton Bowl — December 18 @ 11 AM EST
Appalachian State (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS) vs. Western Kentucky (8-5 SU, 9-4 ATS)
One of the few bowls without direct conference affiliations, the Boca Raton Bowl presents a C-USA vs. Sun Belt matchup this year. Both teams reached their respective conference title games only to fall short in hostile road environments. While the Sun Belt was easily the better league in terms of talent and depth this season, Bailey Zappe and the WKU offense are plenty capable of making this game competitive and even pulling the outright upset.
Boca Raton Bowl Pick: Western Kentucky +3 (-110)
New Mexico Bowl — December 18 @ 2:15 PM EST
UTEP (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Fresno State (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS)
This will be UTEP’s first bowl appearance since 2014. While the Miners deserve a ton of credit for getting a struggling program back above water, they will be stepping up in class to face Fresno State. The Bulldogs beat Pac-12 foe UCLA and the two teams that finished ahead of them in the Mountain West West Division but failed to reach the conference title game by virtue of an upset loss to Hawaii. While the talent disparity is real, UTEP does have a nasty defense that is strong enough to keep the Miners within the number.
New Mexico Bowl Pick: UTEP +11 (-110)
Independence Bowl — December 18 @ 3:30 PM EST
UAB (8-4 SU, 8-3-1 ATS) vs. BYU (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS)
UAB came oh, so close to reaching the Conference USA title game again this season, falling in a thriller to UTSA. The Blazers did allow a C-USA-low 104.1 rushing yards per game though. Can that same defense find a way to slow down star BYU running back Tyler Allgeier? Even if they do, trusting the mediocre UAB offense to keep pace is difficult.
Independence Bowl Pick: BYU -7 (-110)
LendingTree Bowl — December 18 @ 5:45 PM EST
Eastern Michigan (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Liberty (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS)
The college football betting odds list Liberty as an eight-point favorite ahead of the LendingTree Bowl. While the FBS Independent Flames did face a much tougher schedule than their MAC opponent, Eastern Michigan, Hugh Freeze’s team does come in on a three-game losing skid. In what will be the final college game for quarterback Malik Willis, look for him and Liberty to put on a show.
LendingTree Bowl Pick: Liberty -8 (-110)
LA Bowl — December 18 @ 7:30 PM EST
Oregon State (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Utah State (10-3 SU, 9-4 ATS)
How the hell did Jimmy Kimmel become the tidal sponsor of a bowl game? Good grief! At any rate, the first edition of the “Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl” actually presents an intriguing matchup. Oregon State was alive to win the Pac-12 North Division going into the final weekend of the regular season. The Beavers will have their hands full against Blake Anderson and Utah State. The line is probably accurate given the stunning renaissance year that the Aggies have had, but dangling a touchdown plus the hook on an experienced and motivated group is too much to pass up.
LA Bowl Pick: Utah State +7.5 (-109)
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New Orleans Bowl — December 18 @ 9:15 PM EST
Marshall (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Louisiana (12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Louisiana sent head coach Billy Napier out with a Sun Belt Conference Championship. As he prepares to lead the Florida Gators program starting next season, Levi Lewis and the Ragin’ Cajuns take aim at what might as well be considered a de facto home game in the New Orleans Bowl. Marshall fell short of preseason expectations that they would win the C-USA East Division. In fact, the Thundering Herd took three losses on the chin in arguably the weakest FBS conference. Reports out of Lafayette, Louisiana, seem to suggest that any turmoil or disdain in the wake of Napier’s departure is purely speculative.
New Orleans Bowl Pick: Louisiana -5 (-110)
Myrtle Beach Bowl — December 20 @ 2:30 PM EST
Tulsa (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Old Dominion (6-6 SU, 9-3 ATS)
Only three of Tulsa’s games this season were decided by a margin greater than one score. The Golden Hurricanes almost knocked off Oklahoma State early in the year and also made life difficult on Ohio State one week later. After losing by only eight to Cincinnati, Tulsa ended the year on a three-game winning streak to gain bowl eligibility. They’ll face an Old Dominion program that drastically overachieved this season relative to college football betting power ratings. The Monarchs are nowhere near as battle-tested as the Golden Hurricane.
Myrtle Beach Bowl Pick: Tulsa -9.5 (-110)
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl — December 21 @ 3:30 PM EST
Wyoming (6-6 SU, 4-7-1 ATS) vs. Kent State (7-6 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Who doesn’t love the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl? It is appointment viewing in this house each and every year! We have a fun Mountain West-MAC clash again this season. Good luck to bettors with figuring out a Wyoming team that ended the season by blowing out eventual MWC champion Utah State on the road before losing to a sub-.500 Hawaii team by 24 in Laramie following week. Kent State emerged as winners of the hectic MAC East Division but got routed in the conference championship game. With the Potato Bowl being played in Boise, proximity to home certainly favors the Pokes in this one.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Pick: Wyoming -3 (-110)
Frisco Bowl — December 21 @ 7:30 PM EST
San Diego State (11-2 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) vs. UTSA (12-1 SU, 9-4-1 ATS)
Both Frisco Bowl participants were also involved in their respective conference title games. San Diego State got blown out in a disappointing end to a strong Mountain West season. Meanwhile, Jeff Tretter and UTSA capped off a dream season by winning the C-USA Championship. This college football betting matchup pits two contrasting styles against one another. The Roadrunners’ offense against the Aztecs’ defense will be something to watch. It’s hard to pick against the 10-year-old UTSA football program given the incredible season they have had.
Frisco Bowl Pick: UTSA -2.5 (-105)
Armed Forces Bowl — December 22 @ 8 PM EST
Missouri (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Army (8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Jeff Monken and Army are headed back to the postseason after the debacle that was last season’s bowl selection process. While taking on even a middle-of-the-road SEC program is never easy, the X’s and O’s of this matchup heavily favor the Black Knights. Army’s patented triple-option will match up against a Missouri run defense that allows a whopping 229.3 rushing yards per game. Along with questions surrounding the QB position for the Tigers, Army is a deserving favorite.
Armed Forces Bowl Pick: Army -3.5 (-110)
Frisco Football Classic — December 23 @ 3:30 PM EST
Miami (Ohio) (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. North Texas (6-6 SU, 9-3 ATS)
Momentum is a fickle thing in sports betting, particularly in the college football realm. While Miami (Ohio) lost out on a trip to the MAC title game by a single point in their regular-season finale, North Texas comes into bowl season with more momentum than nearly any other program. The Mean Green won their final five games including a blowout of Conference USA Champion UTSA to clinch bowl eligibility. Finally healthy and clicking at the right time, one has to love the boys from Denton catching a full field goal or more.
Frisco Football Classic Pick: North Texas +3 (-110)
Gasparilla Bowl — December 23 @ 7 PM EST
UCF (8-4 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Florida (6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS)
College football fans in the Tampa area get an in-state contest as this year’s Gasparilla Bowl matchup. UCF had all it could do to hold on against a bad South Florida team two weeks ago in the War on I-4. Meanwhile, Florida rather surprisingly won its regular-season finale in the wake of the program firing head coach Dan Mullen to clinch bowl eligibility. If the Gators’ offense avoids making mistakes, they should have a decisive edge over what is an awful Knights defense.
Gasparilla Bowl Pick: Florida -7.5 (-105)
Hawai’i Bowl — December 24 @ 8 PM EST
Memphis (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Hawai’i (6-7 SU, 5-7-1 ATS)
Both Memphis and Hawai’i won their respective regular-season finales to land bowl eligibility. The Rainbow Warriors are certainly no strangers to the Hawai’i Bowl or Aloha Stadium. Todd Graham’s team was very strong at home throughout the season, picking up surprise wins over Fresno State and Colorado State while playing San Deigo State to a one-score game. The islands are Hawaii’s playground, and Memphis just isn’t particularly good.
Hawai’i Bowl Pick: Hawai’i +6.5 (-104)
Camellia Bowl — December 25 @ 2:30 PM EST
Ball State (7-5 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Georgia State (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS)
It doesn’t happen that often that we get college football betting action on Christmas Day itself. Thanks to the MAC vs Sun Belt matchup in the Camellia Bowl, we have some under the tree this year. We are looking at two teams in Ball State and Georgia State that had very different seasons relative to betting power ratings. The Panthers have been the undervalued team all season and should find Ball State easier to handle than the majority of their Sun Belt Conference opponents.
Camellia Bowl Pick: Georgia State -4 (-110)
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Quick Lane Bowl — December 27 @ 11 AM EST
Western Michigan (7-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) vs. Nevada (8-4 SU, 8-3-1 ATS)
Nevada was clearly the better team during the regular season and opened as nearly a touchdown favorite for the Quick Lane Bowl. Now, the college football betting odds are already projecting the inevitable announcement that QB Carson Strong will skip out on this bowl game. That is the primary reason behind Western Michigan laying a field goal at this stage. While Strong gets ready for the NFL Draft, the Wolf Pack will likely struggle in Detroit without him.
Quick Lane Bowl Pick: Western Michigan -3 (-110)
Military Bowl — December 27 @ 2:30 PM EST
East Carolina (7-5 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs. Boston College (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS)
East Carolina will return to the Naval Academy for this year’s Military Bowl after edging out the Midshipmen on the same field to notch their seventh win of the season. In Mike Houston, the Pirates have one of the most underrated coaches in all of FBS. Boston College counters with a pretty darn good coach of their own in Jeff Hafley. The Eagles deserve to be the favorite, but the college football betting value lies with ECU as it has for much of the season.
Military Bowl Pick: East Carolina +3 (-105)
Birmingham Bowl — December 28 @ 12 PM EST
Houston (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. Auburn (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS)
The American Athletic Conference will send its runner-up to Birmingham to face an Auburn team that closed its season on a four-game losing streak. Houston has playmakers on both sides of the ball and will be a force to be reckoned with beyond this season in the AAC. Meanwhile, after suffering a heartbreaking loss in the Iron Bowl and remaining without quarterback Bo Nix, one has to wonder where the Tigers’ heads are at ahead of a lackluster bowl game by the program’s lofty standards.
Birmingham Bowl Pick: Houston +3 (-110)
First Responder Bowl — December 28 @ 3:15 PM EST
Louisville (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Air Force (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
While they didn’t play a Power 5 opponent all season, Air Force might be one of the best-kept secrets in college football coming into bowl season. While the Falcons still deploy the standard service academy triple-option attack, quarterback Haaziq Daniels is actually a competent passer when called upon. AFA can trade scores with anyone, and Louisville’s defense certainly left a bit to be desired this season. Expect a shootout between Daniels and Malik Cunningham in this one.
First Responder Bowl Pick: Air Force +1 (-110)
Liberty Bowl — December 28 @ 6:45 PM EST
Texas Tech (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) vs. Mississippi State (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Mississippi State might very well be the best 7-5 team in the history of college football. The Bulldogs have tons of talent on both sides of the ball, particularly in the trenches. If not for playing in the juggernaut division that is the SEC West, Mike Leach’s crew could have won 10 games this season. Good luck to a Texas Tech defense that surrendered over 32 points per game with stopping Will Rogers and the Air Raid offense.
Liberty Bowl Pick: Mississippi State -9.5 (-110)
Holiday Bowl — December 28 @ 8 PM EST
North Carolina State (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. UCLA (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS)
After a midseason swoon, Chip Kelly and UCLA found their stride down the stretch by winning their final three games. Whether or not Kelly is still coaching the Bruins by the time the Holiday Bowl rolls around is another story after reports that Oregon is trying to lure him back to Eugene. Regardless, one has to lean towards backing Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins against an NC State team that had its record inflated by virtue of playing in a bad ACC.
Holiday Bowl Pick: UCLA +1 (-110)
Guaranteed Rate Bowl — December 28 @ 10:15 PM EST
West Virginia (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Minnesota (8-4 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
Despite losing Mohamid Ibrahim to a season-ending injury right out of the gates, P.J. Fleck and Minnesota still managed to put together an eight-win season. They come into bowl season with momentum after upsetting Wisconsin in their finale. On the other side, West Virginia is simply too inconsistent to trust when making college football betting picks.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl Pick: Minnesota -3.5 (-110)
Fenway Bowl — December 29 @ 11 AM EST
Virginia (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. SMU (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)
After starting the year 7-0, SMU wound up losing four of its final five games down the stretch. The departure of head coach Sonny Dykes to TCU left the Mustangs ripe for an eventual upset loss to Tulsa in the season finale. A shootout between talented quarterbacks Brennan Armstrong and Shane Buechele seems imminent.
Fenway Bowl Pick: Virginia -1 (-110)
Pinstripe Bowl — December 29 @ 2:15 PM EST
Maryland (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS)
Despite the program upheaval in the wake of firing head coach Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech managed to knock off Virginia in the Commonwealth Cup to claim bowl eligibility. Maryland also had to win their season-finale over Rutgers to earn a spot in the postseason. The Terps defense could be in for a long afternoon against the Hokies’ rushing attack.
Pinstripe Bowl Pick: Virginia Tech +1 (-110)
Cheez-It Bowl — December 29 @ 5:45 PM EST
Iowa State (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Clemson (9-3 SU, 4-8 ATS)
This year’s Cheez-It Bowl features two programs that began the season with national championship aspirations. Things didn’t exactly pan out as Iowa State and Clemson had hoped this season. However, the Tigers did improve as the year went on. Along with winning each of their last five contests, Clemson’s offense scored 30 points or more in every game. Even with defensive coordinator Brent Venables on his way to Oklahoma, the Tigers should flex their muscles against a very disappointing Cyclones group.
Cheez-It Bowl Pick: Clemson +1.5 (-110)
Alamo Bowl Bowl — December 29 @ 9:15 PM EST
Oregon (10-3 SU, 5-8 ATS) vs. Oklahoma (10-2 SU, 5-6-1 ATS)
With Mario Cristobal accepting the head coaching job at Miami and star pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux opting out of the Alamo Bowl to prep for the NFL Draft, Oregon will be a shell of itself. Of course, Oklahoma’s program has endured plenty of upheaval of its own in recent weeks with Lincoln Riley bolting for USC. Still, the Sooners will have a full complement of players and should have the majority of the crowd in their favor down in San Antonio.
Alamo Bowl Pick: Oklahoma -4.5 (-109)
Duke’s Mayo Bowl — December 30 @ 11:30 AM EST
South Carolina (6-6 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) vs. North Carolina (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS)
The Duke’s Mayo Bowl ranks right up there with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl as one of my personal favorites. This year’s matchup is a fun one as South Carolina and North Carolina clash in a border war. Underneath the rivalry aspect, this game could serve as a great indicator when it comes to assessing the gap between the ACC and SEC conferences this season. The Gamecocks’ defense faces a tough task in trying to slow down Sam Howell and the dynamic UNC offense. Assuming they hold their own, taking the Palmetto State catching a full touchdown feels like the way to go.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl Pick: South Carolina +7 (-105)
Music City Bowl — December 30 @ 3 PM EST
Purdue (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Tennessee (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS)
If NFL-bound wide receiver David Bell actually suits up for the Music City Bowl, Purdue will be a very appealing underdog. Unfortunately, that prospect seems unlikely. There is also a chance that star linebacker George Kalaftis sits this one out to focus on prepping for the draft. Josh Heupel’s offense has been fun to watch as he has gotten the Tennessee program headed in the right direction. No Kalaftis will leave the Boilermakers up against it trying to slow down Hendon Hooker and the Volunteers’ warp-speed attack.
Music City Bowl Pick: Tennessee -4 (-105)
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Peach Bowl — December 30 @ 7 PM EST
Pittsburgh (11-2 SU, 10-3 ATS) vs. Michigan State (10-2 SU, 8-3-1 ATS)
The first New Year’s Six game to be contested will feature a surprising ACC Conference Champion against one of the Big Ten’s surprising teams. With Heisman Trophy finalist Kenny Pickett uncertain on whether he will play in the Peach Bowl, the college football betting odds could move heavily between now and the game. For now, we’ll operate under the assumption that the Panthers will have their NFL-caliber quarterback, at which point they have to be the pick here. Pitt allowed an ACC-low 91.2 rushing yards per contest. The Panthers are well-equipped defensively to slow down Kenneth Walker III and the Michigan State ground game.
Peach Bowl Pick: Pittsburgh -0.5 (-112)
Las Vegas Bowl — December 30 @ 10:30 PM EST
Arizona State (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Wisconsin (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)
After waiting all season for the real Arizona State and Wisconsin to stand up, perhaps we will finally see that happen in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Badgers squandered away a Big Ten title game appearance by losing to Minnesota in the final week of the season. The Sun Devils did likewise in the Pac-12 with a horrible effort at Oregon State one week earlier. Despite getting a bad rap from the media and numerous college football betting “experts”, Graham Mertz is not the problem in Madison. That said, ASU has a pretty darn good QB of their own in Jayden Daniels and should hang within the number.
Las Vegas Bowl Pick: Arizona State +7 (-110)
Gator Bowl — December 31 @ 11 AM EST
Texas A&M (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Wake Forest (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Texas A&M is another example of a team that might have won 10 or 11 games this season if not for the fact that they reside in the SEC West Division. Even so, the Aggies turned plenty of heads when they beat Alabama back in October. Sam Hartman leads a lethal Wake Forest offense, but they have yet to face any defense close to the caliber of A&M.
Gator Bowl Pick: Texas A&M -7 (-110)
Sun Bowl — December 31 @ 2 PM EST
Washington State (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS) vs. Miami (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Despite leading Miami to wins in four of the final five games and a bowl berth, Manny Diaz was still canned after the regular season. Washington State also lost its head coach earlier in the season, albeit for very different reasons. The fact that the Cougars nearly won the Pac-12 North Division despite state lawmakers essentially creating the unfortunate situation says a lot about their resilience. It’s hard to put “resilience” and “Miami” together in the same sentence.
Sun Bowl Pick: Washington State +2.5 (-105)
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl — December 31 @ 2 PM EST
Boise State (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Central Michigan (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS)
One has to laugh at the fact that Central Michigan faculty are “expressing concern about the team playing in a bowl game sponsored by controversial Barstool”. You seriously cannot make up some people’s ideologies and reasons for complaining. As far as the game on the field itself, both CMU and Boise State finished in the middle of the pack in their respective conferences this season. A decisive advantage goes to the Mountain West over the MAC in terms of power rating. While it was a down year for the Broncos, they do have a win over BYU on their resume.
Arizona Bowl Pick: Boise State -8 (-110)
CFP Semifinal: Cotton Bowl Classic — December 31 @ 3:30 PM EST
Cincinnati (13-0 SU, 8-5 ATS) vs. Alabama (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS)
Despite 82% of bets being on top-seeded Alabama in this College Football Playoff Semifinal, the spread has inched down from 14 to 13.5. Sharp action on Cincinnati at the key number perhaps? The lovable underdog has already made history simply by making the CFP. The Bearcats’ defense is legit and should be able to contain Bryce Young well enough to keep the final margin within two touchdowns.
Cotton Bowl Pick: Cincinnati +13.5 (-109)
CFP Semifinal: Orange Bowl — December 31 @ 7:30 PM EST
Georgia (12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS) vs. Michigan (12-1 SU, 11-2 ATS)
As many college football betting experts expected, Michigan is shaping up to be a massive public underdog. Despite over 70% of bets currently riding on Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines, oddsmakers are holding firm with Georgia -7.5. For astute bettors, this is the most obvious spot to align oneself with the house. On top of that, Georgia and the SEC are simply a different breed than any “quality” Big Ten opponents Michigan beat on their way to the Playoff. The Bulldogs’ defensive front should be able to dictate the line of scrimmage and force the Wolverines offense away from its trademark ground game.
Orange Bowl Pick: Georgia -7.5 (-110)
Outback Bowl — January 1 @ 12 PM EST
Arkansas (8-4 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs. Penn State (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Sam Pittman has successfully put Arkansas football back on the map. Meanwhile, Penn State had an up-and-down year that saw them only wind up fourth in the Big Ten East Division. The Razorbacks have a great opportunity on New Year’s Day to show the college football betting world that they are for real.
Outback Bowl Pick: Arkansas +2.5 (-108)
Citrus Bowl — January 1 @ 1 PM EST
Kentucky (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS) vs. Iowa (10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS)
In all honesty, the total of 44 for this SEC - Big Ten clash almost feels too high given the playing style of Kentucky and Iowa. that being said, the Wildcats are much more competent offensively this season than in years prior with Penn State transfer Will Levis managing the offense. It won’t be easy moving the ball against Iowa, but one has to believe Hawkeyes QB Spencer Petras is good for at least three Citrus Bowl interceptions. Kentucky should see a few short fields over the course of this game.
Citrus Bowl Pick: Kentucky -2.5 (-110)
Fiesta Bowl — January 1 @ 1 PM EST
Oklahoma State (11-2 SU, 9-3-1 ATS) vs. Notre Dame (11-1 SU, 9-3 ATS)
Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State blew a chance to play in the College Football Playoff by losing to a backup quarterback in the Big 12 title game. While the Pokes will look to take out some frustrations, Notre Dame will be playing its first game without head coach Brian Kelly. Marcus Freeman was a great choice as his successor, but the Irish are the inferior team in this Fiesta Bowl matchup.
Fiesta Bowl Pick: Oklahoma State +2.5 (-105)
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Rose Bowl Game — January 1 @ 5 PM EST
Utah (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS) vs. Ohio State (10-2 SU, 6-5-1 ATS)
While the majority of bettors are predictably on Ohio State in this Rose Bowl showdown, stepping in front of the freight train that is the Utah Runnin’ Utes is not easy to do. Kyle Whittingham’s team ended what began as a 1-2 season with a six-game winning streak. After dominating Oregon for the second time to win the school’s first Pac-12 Championship, the Utes will get their shot at glory on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. Recall also that Oregon beat the Buckeyes on their home turf earlier in the year. If the Utes routed the team that beat Ohio State not once but twice, surely we have to take them catching nearly a full touchdown.
Rose Bowl Pick: Utah +6.5 (-105)
Sugar Bowl — January 1 @ 8:45 PM EST
Baylor (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS) vs. Ole Miss (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
Major props to Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral for putting his foot down right away on his bowl game availability. He has millions of dollars waiting for him in the NFL, but Corral remains all in on finishing off the best season in Ole Miss program history. The Rebels also extended head coach Lane Kiffin as rumors swirled that he may depart for another gig. With those key factors squared away, it’s insane that Mississippi is a small underdog to Baylor. Dave Aranda led the Bears to the Big 12 title in upset fashion, but the Big 12 is a far cry from the SEC West. Hotty Toddy for the win!
Sugar Bowl Pick: Ole Miss +0.5 (-112)
Texas Bowl — January 4 @ 9 PM EST
LSU (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) vs. Kansas State (7-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS)
The Texas Bowl presents a similar SEC vs Big 12 matchup, albeit between two teams who finished lower in the standings than their Sugar Bowl counterparts. Ed Orgeron will not be on the sidelines for LSU in the new year. After sending out Coach O with a win over Texas A&M to clinch bowl eligibility, it will be curious to see where the Tigers are at mentally for this game. Meanwhile, Kansas State lost their final two games of the season and was no better than average in the conference. It’s impossible not to side with the SEC team in what should be a great precursor to the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Texas Bowl Pick: LSU +1 (-105)
Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.