The College Football regular season has come to an end and Bowl Season kicks off shorty. Lets go bowling as run down each of the NCAAF bowl games with a short preview and best bet:
NCAAF Bowl Games 2020
Buffalo Bulls vs Charlotte 49ers
Friday, December 20th at 2:00 PM ET at Thomas Robinson Stadium
Each of these two squads has won five of their previous six games to gain their bowl eligibility, with Buffalo making their first appearance in a postseason game. Charlotte will rely heavily on RB Ben LeMay who will be looking for his fourth straight game with 100-yards. He will have issues with the Bulls fielding a Top-10 rushing defense and a Top-10 rushing attack. Jaret Patterson & Kevin Marks each ran for more than 1,000 and will be all over the 49ers in this NCAAF bowl game.
Best Bet: Buffalo Bulls -6.5 (-105)
Utah State Aggies vs Kent State Golden Flashes
Friday, December 20th at 7:30 PM ET at Toyota Stadium
Kent State looks to make history with its first bowl win in history. The Aggies will look for Jordan Love to close out his Junior year with a big game and the Golden Flashes don’t have the defense to stop him. Under first-year HC Gary Anderson, Love has thrown for 3,085 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year. He is also playing for a draft spot next season which is a huge motivator for the possible first-rounder.
Best Bet: Utah State Aggies -7 (-110)
New Mexico Bowl
Central Michigan Chippewas vs San Diego State Aztecs
Saturday, December 21st at 2:00 PM ET at Dreamstyle Stadium
This line has already seen significant movement since the opening odds. The Aztecs were 6.5 favorites at one point but sharp money has sent the spread to just 3.5 at the time of this writing. The Aztecs have a legitimately elite defense and their entire game plan is based around constructing opposing offenses. They should have enough the slow Central Michigan down but their complete lack of offense will end up being their downfall here. Betting on the offense with so many weeks to prepare is the right call here and I like the Chippewas to win this game outright.
Best Bet: Central Michigan Chippewas ML +160
Liberty Flames vs Georgia Southern Eagles
Saturday, December 21st at 2:30 PM ET at Exploria Stadium
This year’s Cure Bowl features two of the more potent NCAAF offenses in the nation, which is reason enough to watch this game. Liberty has a legit NFL talent in receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden and with Buckshot Calvert at quarterback, things could get dicey for the Eagles. Look for the Flames to come out slinging and rely on their 3rd down defense to give them the upset win here.
Best Bet: Liberty Flames ML +170
Boca Raton Bowl
SMU Mustangs vs Florida Atlantic Owls
Saturday, December 21st at 3:30 PM ET at FAU Stadium
The Boca Raton Bowl will be highlighted by Sonny Dykes red-hot SMU offense. A squad that ranks sixth in the FBS in points with 43.0 per game on average. The Owls are no slouches on offense either, covering 9 of 13 games this year so far. It’s on the defensive side where we see a strong separation between these two teams. SMU’s offense is better sure, but their defense is far worse than FAU, ranking 93rd in PPG (31) while the Owls rank 33rd (22.3). I think the Mustangs still win this game but I like the Owls to get away with a cover.
Best Bet: Florida Atlantic Owls +3.5 (-112)
FIU Panthers vs Arkansas State Red Wolves
Saturday, December 21st at 5:30 PM ET at Crampton Bowl
The Red Wolves are back for their ninth bowl appearance in a row to face off against Butch Davis and FIU. The Panthers QB, James Morgan, has been incredible all season, ceding just a trio of interceptions in 2019. The big story here though will be in the run game, with each team fielding sup-par rushing defenses. This makes the ‘over’ 60 a strong play along with the Panthers.
Best Bet: Florida International Panthers +120 & OVER 60 (-111)
Las Vegas Bowl
(19) Boise State Broncos vs Washington Huskies
Saturday, December 21st at 7:30 PM ET at Sam Boyd Stadium
The Broncos can win this game, even with all the emotions from Chris Peterson’s departure falling on the Huskies side. Both fans will be applauding the long-time coach but that motivation won’t be enough for Washington in this one. Boise State moves the ball too effectively and mixes things up with different formation and motions. Add this to Washington’s issues with defensive communication and audibles, and this makes for a great underdog play on Boise State.
Best Bet: Boise State Broncos ML +150
New Orleans Bowl
UAB Blazers vs (20) Appalachian State Mountaineers
Saturday, December 21st at 9:00 PM ET at Mercedes-Benz Superdome
App State has really made a name for themselves over the last decade in the FBS. They have had six consecutive winning seasons since returning to the D-IA level and are gunning for their 13th win of the year. I expect Zac Thomas to lead the Mountaineers to a fifth straight bowl win and a double-digit cover.
Best Bet: Appalachian State Mountaineers -16.5 (-110)
UCF Knights vs Marshall Thundering Herd
Monday, December 23rd at 2:30 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium
Marshall is just one of those teams that always seems to win come NCAAF Bowl Season. They have won their last seven bowl games, a streak dating back to 2009. While they are not playing in a New Year’s Day game for the first time since 2015, they do have a good matchup against Marshall. The spread is a little too high for my taste at 17.5, but the total at 61 does present some betting value. The UCF offense can easily do most of the work and we will just need Marshall to score around 20 points for this over to cash.
Best Bet: UCF & Marshall OVER 61 (-110)
BYU Cougars vs Hawaii Rainbow Runners
Tuesday, December 24th at 8:00 PM ET at Aloha Stadium
The Rainbow Warriors play in the safety of their own stadium for the third time in four years of bowl games in the NCAAF. Sure, the BYU smoked Hawaii 49-23 last season, but these two teams have changed a lot since that game. Hawaii has a healthy Cole McDonald and he has performed very well with four separate receivers with more than 800 yards on the season and two who see 1,000 with a good game vs BYU. This game will come down to the Cougar’s defense and their ability to slow McDonald and force turnovers. Especially against backup Chevan Cordeiro when he rotates under center. I don’t see them putting enough pressure on either QB however and predict Hawaii enjoys a win at home in this one.
Best Bet: Hawaii Rainbow Runners ML +115
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs Miami Hurricanes
Thursday, December 26th at 4:00 PM ET at Independence Stadium
In Manny Diaz’s first season, the Miami Hurricanes have seen a lot of up-and-down play. They are just 3-6 against the spread when favored as a result of this inconsistency. The spread on this game opened at 10.5 in favor of the Canes but has since seen sharp money knock that number down to 6. That number feels right, as does a bet on Miami to cover here.
Quick Lane Bowl
Pittsburgh Panthers vs Eastern Michigan Eagles
Thursday, December 26th at 8:00 PM ET at Ford Field
The Eagles just scraped into this NCAAF bowl game with a .500 overall record, but they just aren’t the same caliber of team that the Panthers are. EMU quarterback Mike Glass III will be under constant pressure from DT Jaylen Twyman, who had 10.5 sacks this season. It’s unlikely the Eagles keep this game within double digits and this might be the biggest mismatch of Bowl Season.
Best Bet: Pittsburgh Panthers -10 (-110)
North Carolina Tar Heels vs Temple Owls
Friday, December 27th at 12:00 PM ET at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Bookmakers set the opening spread in this game at six-points in favor of the Tar Heels. But big money on Temple has shifted the spread to 4.5. A stat that is impossible to ignore is that Temple’s Head Coach, Rod Carey, is 0-6 SU & ATS in bowl games with five of those games being lost by 20 points or more. I’ll stick with UNC and Sam Howel, who set a freshman record of 35 touchdown passes this year for Mack Buck’s squad in Chapel Hill.
Best Bet: North Carolina Tar Heels -4.5 (-110)
Michigan State Spartans vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Friday, December 27th at 3:20 PM ET at Yankee Stadium
Both of these teams have had issues covering spreads this year, but there is not much else similar about them. Wake Forest fields a pair of strong quarterbacks who will be able to grind down the Spartans over the course of four quarters. The ‘under’ is a strong consideration here as well, considering the slow pacing of this NCAAF bowl game we are likely to see.
Best Bet: Wake Forest Demon Deacons +3.5 (-110) & Under 50 (-110)
(25) Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Texas A&M Aggies
Friday, December 27th at 6:45 PM ET at NRG Stadium
Texas A&M has dropped five games to ranked teams this season and while this game won’t be number six, it won’t be a runaway win either. The name is this game will be Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher, who will enjoy a strong game against the Aggies. Hubbard, combined with a strong defense, will keep the Cowboys in this game long enough to secure a cover.
Best Bet: Oklahoma State Cowboys +7 (-105)
(22) USC Spartans vs (16) Iowa Hawkeyes
Friday, December 27th at 8:00 PM ET at SDCCU Stadium
The Spartans are a difficult team to trust with their season-long inconsistency. While the matchup with Iowa is a favorable one and one the Spartans have done well against, I think Iowa has what it takes to buck that trend. The Hawkeyes are a far more physical team than the Trojans and that will be the difference make come kickoff.
Best Bet: Iowa Hawkeyes ML -125
Air Force Falcons vs Washington State Cougars
Friday, December 27th at 10:00 PM ET at Chase Field
The Cheez-It Bowl will have a lot to live up to after last year’s defensive show by California & TCU. Washington state has gone just 4-8 against the spread on the year and that just doesn’t cut it in this business. The Falcons finished the year on a seven-game winning streak and I think they make it eight to end the season.
Best Bet: Air Force Falcons ML -138
Camping World Bowl
(15) Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, December 28th at 12:00 PM ET at Camping World Stadium
Notre Dame went a very strong 7-3 against the spread as a NCAAF betting favorite this season and ended the year on a four-game ATS win streak. The Cyclones are 19-8 ATS as underdogs under coach Matt Campbell, but it won’t be enough for them to cover against this ND squad.
Best Bet: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -3.5 (-105)
Cotton Bowl Classic
(17) Memphis Tigers vs (10) Penn State Nittany Lions
Saturday, December 28th at 12:00 PM ET at AT&T Stadium
This game will guarantee one thing… a lot of work for the scoreboard operator. Each program brings in a truly electric offense and will be well prepared to test the other’s defense. This is where Memphis will struggle a bit more than Penn State and will be where the Tigers come up short.
Best Bet: Penn State -7 (-105) & OVER 60 (-110)
(1) LSU Tigers vs (4) Oklahoma Sooners
Saturday, December 28th at 4:00 PM ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
This line has seen some early movement, with the spread jumping almost three points from 11.5 to 14. Likely due to everyone’s faith that Joe Burrow and LSU are a good bet to blowout the Sooners in the first game of the College Football Playoffs. This shift does make me second guess LSU. two touchdowns is a lot of wiggle room in a game featuring two great teams. With the Tigers just 2-2 ATS when favored by 10 or more points, things get even murkier. The Tigers are a much better team, but such a big NCAAF bowl game, I’m willing to bet that they aren’t two touchdowns better.
Best Bet: Oklahoma Sooners +14 (-110)
(2) Ohio State Buckeyes vs (3) Clemson Tigers
Saturday, December 28th at 8:00 PM ET at State Farm Stadium
Many are saying whoever wins the Fiesta Bowl will be the eventual National Champion. I am not so quick to overlook LSU, but I do believe the best team in the country is in this game. That team is the Ohio State Buckeyes, who might have the best squad they have ever fielded, and that’s saying a lot. Clemson, to their credit, is undefeated and has covered seven of their final eight games. Those games saw spreads ranging from 24.5 to 49 points. Despite this, I fell Clemson will struggle with the best team they have seen this year and ultimately fail to defend their title.
Best Bet: Ohio State Buckeyes ML +115
First Responder Bowl
Western Kentucky Broncos vs Western Michigan Hilltoppers
Monday, December 30th at 12:30 PM ET at Camping World Stadium
Western Michigan has a shot at nine wins in Tyson Helton’s first season as head coach. Running back phenom LaVante Bellamy, who scampered for 1,412 yards and 23 touchdowns, will be the horse that gets them there. This is a tasty underdog at 3/2 odds.
Best Bet: Western Michigan Hilltoppers ML +155
Music City Bowl
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Louisville Cardinals
Monday, December 30th at 4:00 PM ET at Nissan Stadium
The Louisville Cardinals have played like a new team under rookie coach Scott Satterfield. Even better, he is 3-0 in bowl games from his time at the helm of Appalachian State. Look for the Cards to get revenge for their loss to the Bulldogs in the Tax Slayer Bowl in 2016.
Best Bet: Louisville Cardinals -4 (-105)
California Golden Bears vs Illinois Fighting Illini
Monday, December 30th at 4:00 PM ET at Levi Stadium
This game is a tough one as both teams are a lot closer matched than the College Football spreads would indicate. This creates a great spot for Lovie Smith’s Fighting Illini to continue what has been a fantastic year with a strong performance here, covering their last six games in a row. While I’m not sold on an outright upset, I do feel strongly about Illinois’ chance to keep it close and cover at Levi Stadium.
Best Bet: Illinois Fighting Illini +7 (-115)
Capital One Orange Bowl
(9) Florida Gators vs (24) Virginia Cavaliers
Monday, December 30th at 8:00 PM ET at Hard Rock Stadium
The Gators come into this NCAAF bowl game as heavy favorites against a Cavaliers team that has four losses on the year. Florida will also be traveling only a few hours to get to the stadium in Miami, which will likely be packed with Gator fans. They come into this bowl having won four of their last five with the loss being a forgivable one, at the hands of Georgia. Gator bettors have enjoyed six straight covers after the last game’s 40-17 blowout vs FSU.
Best Bet: Florida Gators -14.5 (-110)
Virginia Tech Hokies vs Kentucky Wildcats
Tuesday, December 31st at 12:00 PM ET at Bank Of America Stadium
Virginia Tech is in a tough spot after dropping a big rivalry game to Virginia their last time out. Kentuck is a very strong 9-3 ATS team and closed their season on a high note with a win over Louisville. I like the slight underdog here on the moneyline and hoping for a nice upset win from the Wildcats.
Best Bet: Kentucky Wildcats +128
Florida State Seminoles vs Arizona State Sun Devils
Tuesday, December 31st at 2:00 PM ET at The Sun Bowl
Coaching legend Herm Edwards leads the Sun Devils into their second straight bowl game. This is a great matchup for Arizona State as the Seminoles are 1-3 ATS as an underdog this and are clearly not quite up to the task of beating the Sun Devils.
Best Bet: Arizona State Sun Devils -4 (-110)
(23) Navy Midshipmen vs Kansas State Wildcats
Tuesday, December 31st at 3:45 PM ET at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
The Wildcats are doing quite well in their first season with new coach Chris Klieman but their luck will run out when they face Navy in the NCAAF at the Liberty Bowl. The Midshipmen have gone 5-2 ATS when favored by less than 10 points and K-State will have no answer for Malcolm Perry.
Best Bet: Navy Midshipmen -2.5 (-110)
Wyoming Cowboys vs Georgia State Panthers
Tuesday, December 31st at 4:30 PM ET at Arizona Stadium
This might be a letdown game as both teams are coming in with 1-3 records to end the season and might just be ready to get to work on 2020. The Panthers are 5-5 ATS as underdogs on the year and the Cowboys are touchdown favorites in this game. The Cowboys offense has sputtered the last month, scoring 21 points or less in each of their last four games. I like Wyoming to win this game but fail to secure a cover.
Best Bet: Georgia State Panthers +7 (-105)
Utah Utes vs Texas Longhorns
Tuesday, December 31st at 7:30 PM ET at Alamodome
In what is essentially a home game for the Texas Longhorns, they head 80 miles Southwest to San Antonio as 7-point underdogs against Utah. The number to remember in this game is zero. That is the number of games Texas won as an underdog this season in five chances. This NCAAF bowl game appears no different, and I believe Utah is a much better team than just a TD favorite against the Longhorns.
Best Bet: Utah Utes +7 (-110)
(14) Michigan Wolverines vs (13) Alabama Crimson Tide
Wednesday, January 1st at 1:00 PM ET at Camping World Stadium
This has been a long-awaited coaching showdown between Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban. Most expected it to happen in a more relevant bowl, but we take what we can get. The Crimson Tide are seven-point favorites in this matchup as the odds have not budged since opening lines were announced. Michigan is a tempting play with the way their offense, specifically Shea Patterson, has improved throughout the season. A Michigan loss would be yet another dark spot on Harbaugh’s resume and his third straight loss in a bowl game to an SEC team. I don’t have a lot of faith in this line and will be fading the defenses here and making a wager on the total to go over.
Best Bet: Alabama & Michigan OVER 59 (-107)
(18) Minnesota Golden Gophers vs (12) Auburn Tigers
Wednesday, January 1st at 1:00 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium
Don’t let the lower ranking fool you into thinking this will be a cakewalk for the Tigers against a lesser ranked team. First off, we have witnessed many higher-ranked teams in the NCAAF with more talent get taken out in these types of bowl games. I don’t see that being an issue for Auburn this time around however as the Tigers are a much more dynamic team all around. This is the game in which Bo Nix gets his 2020 hype train started with a big performance en route to a big win for Auburn.
Best Bet: Auburn Tigers -7 (-107)
(6) Oregon Ducks vs (8) Wisconsin Badgers
Wednesday, January 1st at 5:00 PM ET at The Rose Bowl
This will prove to be one of the more thrilling games of the playoffs with a pair of powerful offenses going toe to toe. Both the Ducks and Justin Herbert, and the Badgers with Jonathan Taylor, will see their offensive stars shine at the Rose Bowl. There will be no blowout in this one as I expect that Oregon grinds out a close victory over Wisconsin.
Best Bet: Wisconsin Badgers ML -135
(5) Georgia Bulldogs vs (7) Baylor Bears
Wednesday, January 1st at 8:45 PM ET at Mercedes-Benz Superdome
The Georgia Bulldogs will look to avoid the same fate they suffered last year in the Sugar Bowl, losing to Texas after an epic implosion. The Bears do bring a 3-0 ATS record as an underdog, but they haven’t faced the likes of Jake Fromm yet. Fromm will make short work of this Baylor secondary and boss his draft hype along the way.
Best Bet: Georgia Bulldogs -6 (-110)
Boston College Eagles vs (21) Cincinnati Bearcats
Thursday, January 2nd at 3:00 PM ET at Legion Field
Cincinnati is looking to win 11 games in back to back season under coach Luke Fickell. They can, and will, do just that in at Legion Field on the 2nd. Bearcat RB Michael Warren II should be in for a lot of work and a strong NCAAF stat line once the bowl game is over.
Best Bet: Cincinnati Bearcats -6.5 (-110)
Indiana Hoosiers vs Tennessee Volunteers
Thursday, January 2nd at 7:00 PM ET at TIAA Bank Field
At first glance, the value is clearly with Indiana in this year’s Gator Bowl. This appears to be another case of books overvaluing SEC teams in bowl games. The Hoosiers have a true NFL prospect under center in Peyton Ramsey and a great mind in Tom Allen calling the shots. Tennessee will not just lay down in this game, but the value is on the underdogs to earn an upset win.
Best Bet: Indiana Hoosiers ML +108
Ohio Bobcats vs Nevada Wolf Pack
Friday, January 3rd at 3:30 PM ET at Albertsons Stadium
Ohio comes into this year’s Potato Bowl with one very important advantage over Nevada, NCAAF experience. This marks the Bobcats 11th bowl appearance under head coach Frank Solich including a win in their last appearance in the Potato Bowl back in 2011.
Best Bet: Ohio Bobcats -6 (-110)
Armed Forces Bowl
Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs Tulane Green Wave
Saturday, January 4th at 11:30 AM ET at Amon G. Carter Stadium
Tulane is a tough team to trust right now with The Green Wave having dropped five of their last six games of the season. still managed to slip into this bowl game to face the Golden Eagles who are no powerhouses themselves. Southern Miss will come up short and fail to cover their fourth game in a row.
Best Bet: Tulane Green Wave -7 (-105)
Lending Tree Bowl
Louisiana Rajun’ Cajuns vs Miami RedHawks
Monday, January 6th at 7:30 PM ET at Ladd–Peebles Stadium
The final NCAAF bowl game of the season takes us down to good ole Mobile Alabama for this year’s Lending Tree Bowl. Inexplicably taking place almost a week after most other bows, we will enjoy Louisiana and Miami (Ohio) going head to head. The Redhawks took top spot in the MAC this year but are in for a tough evening against the Rajun’ Cajuns who came in second in the Sun Belt. While I don’t see a world where the Hawks have a shot at winning this bowl game, 14 points is a bit too much to lay here so I’ll be hoping that Miami can at least keep it close.
Best Bet: Miami (Ohio) +14 (-105)