By Jordan Horrobin | | 7 mins
New Year’s Six Bowls: Odds, Picks, Predictions For All 6 Games
Bowl season officially begins on Dec. 18, but if you want to see the top teams in action, you’ll have to wait a bit longer than that. The vaunted New Year’s Six bowls, which include the two College Football Playoff semifinal games, begin (predictably) right around the start of the new year.
New Year’s Six Bowl Odds
College Football Playoff Bowl Games
Cotton Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs No. 4 Cincinnati
If Alabama can beat Georgia by more than 14 points, surely the Crimson Tide can do the same to Cincinnati, right? Hence the big spread at betting sites, right? Maybe, although it’s not quite that simple.
The Bearcats are the only 13-win team in the country this season — and that comes with a road win over Notre Dame. Much of Cincinnati’s schedule is suspect, mind you, but so are some of the results on Alabama’s side. Since its Oct. 9 loss at Texas A&M, Alabama has won three of seven games by a touchdown or less. The Crimson Tide, the favorites in CFP title odds, are also a pedestrian 4-3 against the spread in that span.
The Bearcats have covered in three straight games, and while we don’t expect them to win this one outright, we believe Desmond Ridder and Co. can fight to keep things relatively close.
Our best bet: Cincinnati +13.5 over at BetMGM Sportsbook
Orange Bowl: No. 2 Michigan vs No. 3 Georgia
Similarities abound in this matchup: strong rushing offenses facing strong overall defenses, with both schools hunting for their first CFP championship.
Georgia crumbled in its toughest test, losing by 17 in the SEC championship to Alabama. Michigan rose to glory in its toughest test, besting Ohio State by 15 in their annual rivalry game. We’ve seen Michigan respond from a loss, which was to rattle off five straight wins by an average of 24.2 points. We haven’t seen how Georgia handles the same adversity.
Even if the Bulldogs are the better team, a 7.5-point cushion on betting apps makes us bullish for the Wolverines. After all, Michigan is 11-2 against the spread this season.
Our best bet: Michigan +7.5 over at Caesars Sportsbook, where you can get a first-bet match up to $1,001 using this Caesars Sportsbook promo code
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Other New Year’s 6 Bowls
Peach Bowl: No. 10 Michigan State vs No. 12 Pittsburgh
You know the term “running angry”? It’s quite possible that Kenneth Walker III will bring that expression to life in Atlanta. Despite being named the Walter Camp Player Of The Year, Walker was not a finalist for the more prestigious Heisman Trophy. He ranked second in rushing yards (1,636), seventh in rushing touchdowns (18) and first in yards per rush (6.22) among players with 200-plus carries.
On the other side, Pittsburgh had a Heisman finalist in quarterback Kenny Pickett, who ranked in the top five in passing yards, completions and touchdowns. Those two players give this game the potential for explosive scoring. Keep in mind that five of Pitt’s past six games have cleared 60 points, as have four of Michigan State’s past five.
Our best bet: Over 60 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Fiesta Bowl: No. 5 Notre Dame vs No. 9 Oklahoma State
An alternate title for this game could be the “Conga Line of Coaches Bowl,” given what we’ve seen unfold in recent weeks. Notre Dame lost its head man, Brian Kelly, who jetted for LSU. Days later, Oklahoma State lost Jim Knowles, the architect of their eighth-ranked scoring defense, for greener pastures in Columbus.
At least the coaching departures even out. But we’ll give a continuity edge to Notre Dame, since defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman has already stepped in as head coach (and his ninth-ranked scoring defense was a major factor in the Fighting Irish’s season).
Both teams won nine games against the spread and 11 games overall this season. We’ll lean on Notre Dame, a team that hasn’t lost since early October (to playoff-bound Cincinnati, no less).
Our best bet: Notre Dame moneyline at BetMGM, where you can get a risk-free first-bet up to $1,000 using the BetMGM bonus code
Rose Bowl: No. 6 Ohio State vs No. 11 Utah
Ohio State left an awful impression at the close of its regular season, taking a 42-27 beatdown against Michigan that cost the Buckeyes a shot at the Big Ten title and the CFP. Utah, meanwhile, has won six in a row, including two dominant wins over Oregon by a combined score of 76-17.
Oregon, of course, beat Ohio State in the “Horseshoe” back in September. Ohio State has been a much better team since then, save for the Michigan defeat, and they still wield the nation’s top offense in points and yards.
The status of NFL-ready receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson would change things considerably at sportsbooks. So, keep an eye out for news on that front. Until then, we like the Buckeyes.
Our best bet: Ohio State -6.5 at Caesars Sportsbook
Sugar Bowl: No. 7 Baylor vs No. 8 Ole Miss
We’ve saved our tightest college football betting odds for last, with a virtual pick ‘em between the Rebels and the Bears. Baylor’s four-down, goal-line stand at the end of the Big 12 championship game is the only reason they appear here.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was in Heisman consideration all season, but now he’ll face a top-20 scoring defense in Baylor. We like that the Bears possess a top-20 rush attack, too, which is something that can and should gash the Rebels. Both teams enter with four-game win streaks, but we think it’ll be Baylor that extends that streak to five in the season finale.
Our best bet: Baylor moneyline at DraftKings, which is offering a bet $1, get $100 special plus a deposit bonus with the DraftKings promo code