College Bowl Game Betting Odds

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For most sports, when the regular season is over, most of the teams are done playing. But that is not the case for college football. Over half of the FBS teams will move on to the college bowl season for one last game (or two if you make the national title game) in a typical season. That means a whole round of college bowl game betting and odds on top games after the official season ends. 

Bowl games usually pair teams from different conferences or parts of the country that rarely (if ever) play. That can make setting the bowl games lines a bit more challenging, but sportsbooks just set the opening bowl game lines. 

Lines move according to how people are betting.

But there is one thing fans can count on when it comes to college bowl season. With the plethora of sportsbooks available in the US, the college bowl game odds you see will be competitive. 

Current College Bowl Game Odds – 2021-2022 Season

In 1971, there were only ten bowl games that meant just the best of the best would go to one. But, over the years, the number of games has steadily grown to include over 40. 

Consequently, the requirements for eligibility have diminished. Teams can now have a losing record (5-6 or 5-7) and still be eligible. However, the need to invite such teams varies in accordance with the number of bowl games, which often varies from one season to the next. 

Fans can count on six games not going anywhere anytime soon—those tied to the College Football Playoffs (CFP). 

Featuring the best teams in college football, the bowl odds for those games are closely watched. This is especially true for the two that will host the CFP semifinal games. 

The goal of every team is to qualify for one of those four spots. That way, they have a shot at winning the national championship. Although it’s hard to set the current bowl game odds so far in advance, many sportsbooks do have odds for 2021-2022 season even though the bowl games won’t be played until 2022. 

In recent years, it seems like fans can count on certain teams qualifying:

Alabama Crimson Tide

In the short history of the CFP (2014-20), Alabama has qualified for the semifinals in six of seven seasons, played in five championship games, and have won three titles. It does not seem to matter how much talent they lose to the NFL and graduation; Alabama reloads every year and is often the favorite. 

Clemson Tigers

Like Alabama, Clemson has become a team fans can count on showing up in the semifinals every year. After missing out on the first year, the Tigers have qualified for the last six, have played in four championship games, and won two titles.  

Again, like Alabama, fans can count on them reloading and being ready to compete no matter how many guys move on to the NFL.

Oklahoma Sooners

With the offense the Sooners seem to have year-in and year-out, they are often in the running for one of the four semifinal spots each year. So far, they have made it to four. But while competitive, they have yet to win a semifinal game.

Whether they will make it in 2021 remains to be seen, but they should be among the more competitive teams in the country.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Like Oklahoma, Ohio State is in the playoff conversation every year. Since the start of the playoff system, they have qualified for the semifinals four times, made it to two championship games, and have won one.

Despite losing several guys to the NFL every season, they always manage to reload and remain in the forefront of championship conversations. 

2022 Championship Odds For Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Ohio State

2021-22 National Championship Odds     
DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMWilliam HillPointsBet
Alabama+300+250+300+300+275
Clemson+350+400+350+400+400
Oklahoma+800+800+700+800+800
Ohio State+400+600+500+700+500

Sportsbooks With The Best College Bowl Odds 

If you are looking for a sportsbook that carries college football bowl odds, you can rest assured that books like BetRivers, BetMGM, William Hill, FanDuel, and DraftKings will have you covered. 

Who you bet with will depend on who is licensed to operate online in your state legally:

  • BetRivers: Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and New Jersey (PlaySugarHouse.com)
  • William Hill: Virginia, New Jersey, West Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan
  • BetMGM: Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Colorado, Iowa, and Pennsylvania
  • FanDuel: Illinois, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Michigan
  • DraftKings: New Jersey, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, and Michigan

University Of Colorado And PointsBet

Going with the sportsbook that backs your favorite team is not an option yet for college football like it is in the NFL. The NCAA has been reluctant to embrace sports betting as the NFL has. 

But with the need for increased revenue ever-present in college sports, it would not be shocking if that were to change. Whether or not it does could depend on how the deal between Colorado and PointsBet works out. 

Towards the end of 2020, the University of Colorado became the first Division I program to sign a sponsorship deal with a sportsbook. This could be a trend in the future. 

What App Should You Bet With? 

For most, it is merely a matter of who has the best college bowl game lines. As for who that will be, it depends on how many bets they take on a given game. Odds typically do not vary much when they open, but more so after sportsbooks start taking bets. 

If one team is getting a disproportionate amount of the action, sportsbooks will adjust the odds to encourage users to bet on the other team. That is why many users will go with whoever is offering the better bonus.

Sportsbooks will offer everything from risk-free bets to deposit bonuses to get people to sign up. With bowl season a popular time for sports bettors, they may even offer deposit match bonuses to existing users as well. 

NCAA College Football Schedule

At one time, to qualify for a bowl game, teams had to have a winning record at least. As the number of games has grown, the restrictions have loosened. Now, teams with losing records can be eligible (5-6 or 5-7).  

Bowl game season usually starts around mid-December and will conclude with the national championship game in early January. The lesser-known games will announce who is playing as soon as early December. 

Major games, i.e., the New Years Six, are not announced until after the final regular-season rankings are revealed.

There were only 26 bowl games during the 2020 season, but in the two prior seasons, there were 41. Assuming no games are canceled in 2021, there could be as many as 43 bowl games.

Most Popular College Bowl Games For Betting  

It stands to reason that the most popular college bowl games for betting are the New Year’s Six– the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl. Along with the four CFP semifinalists, the games feature the best teams in college football.

They are usually the most-watched bowl games of the season and are likely among the more popular games with bettors. Finding competitive bowl game lines for these games is not hard since every sportsbook will carry the New Year’s Six bowl lines.

Along with betting the spread, moneyline, and over/under, sportsbooks will often carry quite a few prop bets related to each game as well.

College Football Playoffs

The College Football Playoff system was created with the idea that a true national champion could be crowned via a playoff system. It was deemed necessary after years of controversy surrounding BCS champions.

Teams are chosen by a 13-person committee. Since the system’s inception in 2014, two teams have dominated the playoffs—Alabama and Clemson. Both have qualified for the playoffs in six of the CFP’s seven seasons. 

Between them, they have won the title game five times. One, if not both of them, has made it to the title game every year but the first. Because of this dominance, Alabama and Clemson usually open with the shortest odds to win the national championship every year. 

Odds adjust as the season goes on, of course. Alabama began the 2020 season with +300 odds. While they increased to +500 for a few weeks early on, they were +300 or better from Week Six on.

As the final and hopefully the best games of the college season, sportsbooks tend to see a lot of action on these games. With competitive lines on bowl games like these, sportsbooks can end the season with a bang. 

How To Bet On College Bowl Games 

There are various ways in which fans can bet on college football bowl games. The most common, of course, is the point spread. Bowl game spreads often open at a number that gives each team a real chance to win. 

For more competitive bowl game point spreads, it can be beneficial to wait and see how the public bets first. As sportsbooks adjust odds to protect themselves, opportunities for savvy bettors are often created.

Moneylines are also common. Rather than pick one team to win or lose by a specific number, bettors can win more by picking underdogs but less if they go with the favorites. 

Totals, also known as over/under are common and used by any betting market. Along with the total score, over/under bets are often offered on player production for the whole game, specific quarters, or a half. 

Along with the final score, over/under bets are often offered for the score of certain quarters or the half.

Bettors who want to win more will string several bets together (from one game or multiple) into a parlay. However, while the reward can be great, parlays also come with significant risk since you lose if you miss on just one leg.    

What Affects College Football Predictions And Odds  

Sportsbooks will often have their own formula for setting the odds on bowl games for NCAAF betting. The odds are not generated until the matchups are set following the end of the regular season. So, game odds do not change throughout the year, but they can change leading up to the game. 

Oddsmakers will adjust them according to how the public is betting to make sure the sportsbook is protected. Inclement weather can have an impact, as can injuries and critical players opting out of the game.

NCAA Football Game Odds

College football odds and NCAAF betting, in general, can vary throughout the season depending on the perception of teams. Complete betting lines (point spread, moneyline, and totals) are typically posted about a week ahead of time for games

Several things can impact odds for each game. Injuries to crucial players, guys opting out or entering the transfer portal, legal or disciplinary issues that result in suspensions of key players, inclement weather, etc. 

If the availability of players or their ability to perform can be impacted by something, then the game’s odds can be affected. For example, when the pandemic caused teams to play in empty stadiums, the home-field advantage disappeared. But as fans were allowed back in, it returned.

Throughout the season, fans will be able to bet on several aspects of college football. There will be the outcome of games, of course (point spread, moneyline, totals). Sportsbooks will often carry prop bets of various types for every game. 

Then there are also things like who will win the Heisman, conference championships, who will make the playoffs, and who will win the national title.  

Restrictions On College Betting Online

While college football and college football bowl games are insanely popular, some states have had concerns over the integrity of the game and athletes when it comes to sports betting. As a result, some states have imposed restrictions on betting on college sports:

  • New Jersey: Betting is prohibited on college teams from New Jersey or on college sports events held in New Jersey.
  • Illinois: Betting is prohibited on games involving teams from in-state colleges and universities. 
  • Indiana: Betting on games involving teams from Indiana is legal, but bets on player performance are not (player prop bets). So, no college bowl prop bets for Notre Dame or Indiana next season.
  • Colorado: Betting on games involving teams from Colorado is legal, but bets on player performance are not (player prop bets). Sorry, Buffalo fans– no college bowl props the next time C.U. makes a bowl game.
  • Tennessee: Betting on games involving teams from Tennessee is legal, but bets on player performance (player prop bets) and live betting are not. That means no college bowl live betting on the Volunteers.
  • Virginia: Betting is prohibited on games involving teams from in-state colleges and universities.
  • New Hampshire: Betting is prohibited on games involving teams from in-state colleges and universities.
  • New York: Betting is prohibited on collegiate sports events held in-state and on games/events involving teams from New York.
  • Oregon: Betting on college sports via the state-run app is prohibited, but you can bet on them at a tribal casino that offers sports betting.
  • Rhode Island: Betting is prohibited on college teams from New Jersey or on college sports events held in Rhode Island.
  • Washington DC: Betting is prohibited on games involving teams from in-state colleges and universities.

FAQs – NCAA Football & College Bowl Game Odds

Is It Legal To Bet On College Bowl Games Online? 

Yes, it is legal to bet on college bowl games online, but only in states where online sports betting is legal, and there are no restrictions regarding college sports. In some states, there are restrictions on betting on in-state college teams. This is the case, for example, in New Jersey and Virginia. 

Who Sets College Bowl Lines?

The opening lines for college bowl games are set by the oddsmakers for each respective sportsbook and then adjusted leading up to the game as oddsmakers deem necessary.  

Where Can I Find Bowl Game Vegas Odds?

To find the odds posted by sportsbooks in Vegas, you can find them on aggregate sites like VegasInsider.com and VSIN.com. You can also check out some of the sportsbook apps that are licensed in Nevada.

Where Can I Find The Best Bowl Game Picks?

It is hard to specify a single sportsbook as having the best bowl game odds. Opening odds usually do not vary much, but once bets start coming in, each respective book will adjust their odds as they deem necessary.

Your best bet at finding the most competitive ones for your game of interest is to check out the odds posted at several sportsbooks (at least the major ones like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, William Hill, etc.) before betting.

Do Sportsbooks Offer Live, In-game Betting For College Bowl Games?

Yes, sportsbooks will offer live, in-game betting for college bowl games as long as state law does not prohibit them.

Does DraftKings Offer College Bowl Odds?

Yes, DraftKings does offer college bowl odds in states where they operate and college betting is legal. 

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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