From Friday, Dec. 20, through Jan. 13, 2020, you can look forward to betting on 39 bowl games, including the College Football National Championship.
To be eligible to play in a bowl game, Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams must reach the magic number of six wins. Many of the established bowls have existing relationships with specific conferences, so teams with the best records in those conferences are given priority.
The College Football Playoffs (CFP) throw a wrinkle into things. Established after the 2014 season, the playoffs were installed to settle the top college football program on the field rather than in the polls.
The top four teams make the cut as determined by the selection committee, and they square off in semifinal contests at two of the more prestigious bowl games. The venues rotate yearly.
This year, it’s the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and Playstation Fiesta Bowl, which will host the two semifinal matchups.
Oklahoma and LSU will square off in the former on Saturday, Dec. 28; Ohio State and Clemson meet later in the day at the latter. The winners of each game will then meet on Jan. 13 for the National Championship game at the Superdome in New Orleans.
No Pennsylvania teams made it to the playoffs, but there are three squads with postseason bowl games. We’ve got the rundown on all of those games and the other major bowls for the 2019-2020 college bowl season.
For three straight days during a long holiday week, programs from the Keystone State will be in the spotlight in the following bowl games:
Pennsylvania’s three major programs went three-for-three on bowl game eligibility this season. They each have appealing matchups on tap for the postseason. Even better, the three games will take place on successive days during the holiday season.
The Nittany Lions spent much of the regular season in AP’s Top 10 and captured several signature victories along the way. They got out to an 8-0 start, a span which included wins over Big Ten rivals’ Iowa and Michigan. The club closed out the season by going 2-2 over the Final Four, losing road games to Minnesota and Ohio State. In the final set of CFP rankings, the program checked in at 10th place.
The Nittany Lions may have missed out on a Big Ten title and a spot in the CFP, but they are invited to one of the signature bowl games on the docket. They’ll be squaring off with the tough Memphis Tigers at the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers are this year’s champions of the AAC and regarded as the top Group of Five program for 2019.
While Penn State is favored for this game, it’s far from a given. Memphis has a potent offense with lots of talent at the skill positions so that they can put up points in a hurry. The Nittany Lions are loaded on both sides of the ball as well, so we should be in line for an entertaining game.
There’s plenty of star power to watch out for this one, including:
A season ago, the Panthers took down the ACC Coastal Division, and they entered the 2019 campaign with the same goal. They didn’t quite get there, but the team was a factor in how it played out.
Among the highlights of the season was a road game at Penn State in which they played their rivals in a tough 17-10 loss. A mark of 4-4 in conference play left them in the middle of the pack in the ACC, but a seven-win season was good enough for a bowl game invite.
The Quick Lane Bowl traces its roots back to 2014. Generally, it’s a squad from the Big Ten versus one from the ACC, but the Mid-American Conference is on standby as needed. That’s the case this year, as Pitt will represent the ACC and go into battle against the Eastern Michigan Eagles of the MAC.
While Pitt is a solid favorite for this one, the matchup is intriguing. The Eagles get the edge on offense, while the Panthers get the nod on defense. The two squads closed out the year in a similar fashion with records of 2-3 over their last five games, so we’ll see which side can turn it around at the Quick Lane.
For individual performances, here are the top players on both sides to keep in mind:
The Temple Owls didn’t have enough to compete for the American Athletic Conference East division this season, but they made life miserable for opponents.
Temple was the only squad to get the better of Memphis, a team which is regarded as the best Group of Five program in the land for 2019. After dropping two straight to SMU and UCF, the Owls bounced back to win three of their final four to secure Bowl eligibility.
The Military Bowl first made its debut in 2008. Current deals call for the game to be contested between a team from the AAC and one from the ACC. Temple gets the nod on the AAC side this season, and they’ll be facing off with the North Carolina Tar Heels team from the ACC, which had a knack for exciting games in 2019.
While the records may suggest a matchup advantage for Temple, don’t let that fool you. Two of North Carolina’s losses came in overtime, and a third came at the hands of defending national champion Clemson.
The Tar Heels can also hang their hats on giving Clemson their toughest test of the season to date, as they fell by just a single point in a 21-20 decision.
There’s plenty of talent on both sides of the ball for this one, including:
Three stand out as the best of the best:
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) giant DraftKings has become a major player in sports betting as well. The website and app have proven to be a big hit with PA bettors.
New users who sign up via our exclusive links are eligible for a free $25 just for signing up. Odds for all of the bowl games are live in the lobby right now. DraftKings also has a parlay insurance promotion going on for users who miss one leg on a five-plus leg parlay bet.
FanDuel is another DFS giant that has taken the sports betting world by storm. New PA users who sign up via our exclusive links are entitled to a risk-free bet of up to $500.
If the first bet is a loser, FanDuel will refund the player, up to $500, in site credits. Bowl game odds are live in the lobby, and FanDuel is offering a Same Game Parlay Insurance of up to $25 if one leg misses.
Media giant FOX has joined forces with PokerStars to jump in the sports betting ring. The result is FOX Bet, a new platform that is up and running in PA.
For users who sign up via our exclusive links, FOX Bet is offering $20 free and a deposit match of up to $100. All of the bowl games are available; so players should keep an eye on the site’s Bet Boost promotions tab as game time draws near.
Bowl season is jam-packed with games and several appealing matchups, but several of them stand head and shoulders above the rest. Those games are typically for the most iconic bowl games and venues, which are chock full of history.
Also known as the New Year’s Six, these are the most highly coveted spots for FBS schools in the postseason.
Here are the matchups for 2019 for the most notable nonplayoff bowl games of 2019 (not including the Cotton Bowl as listed above).
The Sugar Bowl traces its roots to 1935. This year’s edition will feature two squads that finished out the year ranked in the Top 10. The Baylor Bears, the second-place team in the Big 12, will take on the Georgia Bulldogs, who fell to LSU in the Southeastern Conference title game.
Baylor lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game in overtime, so we’ll see if there’s any hangover effect. LSU shellacked Georgia in the SEC title game, but there’s still no denying that this was one of the top teams in the nation in 2019.
For players who could potentially light up the stat sheet, check out these options:
The first edition of the Orange Bowl also took place in 1935, and the annual game is still going strong. This year, the ACC runner-up Virginia Cavaliers will tangle with the Florida Gators, the team that was arguably third-best in the loaded SEC for 2019.
Virginia took down the ACC Coastal division with a thrilling victory over Virginia Tech, but Clemson proved to be too much for them to handle in the ACC title game. Florida’s lone losses came to Georgia and LSU, two of the top programs in the nation.
If you’re interested in individual matchups, keep these players on your radar:
Perhaps the most well-known of all the bowls, Rose Bowl history stretches back to 1902. The game has been played annually since 1916 and traditionally features the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12. The CFP has changed that, but we still have a top Big Ten team in the Wisconsin Badgers taking on the Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks.
During the season, both of these programs had sights set on conference crowns and a spot in the playoffs. Wisconsin came up short versus Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, but Oregon was able to get by Utah to claim the Pac-12.
For the biggest stage on New Year’s Day, there are several players to keep an eye on, including:
Originally known as the Tangerine Bowl, this game has been contested annually since 1947. The traditional tie-in calls for a meeting of top SEC and Big Ten squads, and this year’s edition doesn’t disappoint. Two of the most storied programs in college football will square off when the Alabama Crimson Tide battle with the Michigan Wolverines.
Entering the season, the goal for both of these teams was a national title. Alabama fell during the season to LSU and Auburn, while Michigan came up short three times. That’s a disappointment for both programs to be sure, but for us, it translates into one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the postseason.
These two programs are full of talent, so you won’t be lacking for individual players to focus on:
The College Football Playoff selection committee has had its say. For several weeks in advance of conference championship week, rankings were unveiled, which revealed clues as to which way they were leaning.
Three of the teams seemed like no-brainers if they won out: LSU, Ohio State, and Clemson lived up to their promise and did so.
The fourth spot was a source of intrigue, but that question has now been put to bed. We now have two stellar matchups to look forward to on the Saturday before New Year’s to decide which two programs will square off for the national title.
There’s just something special about the SEC champion LSU Tigers, and much of that can be traced to the stellar season of QB Joe Burrow. The Tigers offense has been prolific this season, but they’ll be facing another club that can bring it on that front. The Big 12 champion Oklahoma Sooners are led by QB Jalen Hurts, and they can put up points in buckets as well.
LSU is widely considered to be the stronger team here, and they’ll be pretty healthy favorites at kickoff as a result. That said, the Sooners will pose an exciting matchup. They’re one of the few teams that can match the Tigers on offense, so the chances of a shootout are certainly there.
If you like stars and points, this should be a great game to zero in on:
The nightcap for what shapes up as a stellar day of college football action has the potential to be the best game of the season. The Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes rolled over most in its path this season. They’ll be squaring off with the defending national champion Clemson Tigers, the champions of the ACC who found similar success in 2019.
As the tight spread indicates, this matchup is close to a toss-up. These are two of the most well-rounded programs in the nation; there aren’t weaknesses to be found on either side. The matchup is even across the board, so hopefully, it will be a game that lives up to its billing.
There’s a reason these two programs are consistently excellent. They attract a ton of talent, including these four players:
The holidays and bowl season will be in the rearview mirror when we get to this point, but that will only add to the anticipation. Any of the four entrants into the playoffs will make for a worthy participant in this year’s CFP National Championship game.
Based on current lines, LSU and Clemson are favored to win the semifinal matchups. That would set the stage for an excellent game, but the same can be said if an upset happens. Ohio State is right in line with these two powerhouses, while Oklahoma and its explosive offense can’t be completely ruled out from pulling out a stunner.
Live betting, also known as in-play betting, has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years, and it’s a feature offered by all of our recommended providers.
They all have dedicated links for live betting, which you’ll be able to access after the game kicks off.
Here are a few examples of typical live betting opportunities you’ll find:
Additionally, you can further enhance the enjoyment of bowl games with some side bets. On sportsbooks, it is called prop betting. For each of the games, there will be additional wagering opportunities that you can find by clicking through on the game of your choice from the main betting lobby.
Here are some of the types of bets you may find:
Both live betting and prop betting are extremely popular features at sportsbooks. As a result, you will have a whole host of opportunities to choose from for each game.
There will be plenty of chances to get in on the action during bowl season and the College Football Playoffs. From live betting to prop betting to parlays and all points in between, all of our recommended operators will have you covered.
While those types of bets are fun and can enhance the enjoyment, there’s also a lot to be said for keeping it simple and sticking to the basics.
Here’s a quick refresher on the basic sports bet types you’ll find for each of the games on the docket: