The college football bowl is the epic culmination of the NCAAF season. Did you know you can now follow your favorite teams while betting on college football bowl games? Back moneyline bets or the point spread and put your handicapping knowledge to the test.
Want to dip into the Sugar Bowl or take a bite from the Orange Bowl? We’ll guide you through the complexities of the playoffs system and show you how to bet. We will even share a few of our own tips on the 2021-22 college football bowl season.
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The college football bowl season brings the NCAAF year to a fitting end. Teams face off in a series of bowl games depending on a predetermined ranking. The top college football teams get to compete in the semifinals and final. By January, we’ll know who has won the College Football National Championship for 2021-22.
December 17-January 10
The annual college football bowls mark the culmination of the NCAA Division 1 football season. Bowl teams are decided by a ranking system and are divided into two separate strands: College Football Playoffs and Non-College Football Playoffs. The Playoffs end with the National Championship, which takes place on January 10 in Indianapolis.
12 teams compete in six bowls, each with its own unique name. The collection of games is known as the New Year’s Six (NY6) and take place on or around December 31.
January 10 (Indianapolis)
The semifinals of the CFP Playoffs have already been determined. As the four top seeds, the semis will be contested between Alabama, Cincinnati, Michigan and Georgia.
Alabama (Ranking 1) v Cincinnati (Ranking 4)
Michigan (Ranking 2) v Georgia (Ranking 3)
The winners of each semifinal in bowl season will then play in the National Championship game on January 10, 2022. The game will be played at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
December 17-January 4
Lower-ranked college football teams compete in a series of individual bowls. Games are determined by college football playoff committee rankings and run concurrent with the semifinals and final.
The highlight of the college football bowl season is the New Year’s Six. These are the games played between the top 12 teams according to the college football playoff committee rankings. Conference champions from the ‘Power Five’ all feature, plus high-ranked teams from other ‘Group of Five’ conferences.
Two of the bowls are semifinals which lead to the National Championship. The other four New Year’s Six games are classed as non-playoff games.
US sportsbooks will carry odds and markets on all New Year’s Six games, including moneyline and totals options. You’ll also be able to bet in-play as each game takes place and follow the action live on TV or via the match tracker.
WHEN: December 30
WHO (with ranking): Michigan State Spartans (10) vs Pittsburgh Panthers (12)
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Chick-fil-A may not be the most exotic sponsor, but the eaterie is lending its name to this season’s Peach Bowl. Michigan State will be licking their lips at a meetup with Pittsburgh after their recent results.
Michigan have been dominant at home during the 2021-22 season but may struggle in the unfamiliar surroundings of Atlanta. The +100 odds on underdogs Pittsburgh may be too good to pass up.
Read more about betting on the 2021 Peach Bowl now
WHEN: December 31
WHO (with ranking): Michigan Wolverines (2) vs Georgia Bulldogs (3)
WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
It’s the winner of Big Ten vs the ACC champs in this season’s Orange Bowl. The last three Orange Bowl games have been won by southern teams, but winning margins rarely exceed 10 points. In fact, you have to go back to 2015 when Clemson beat Oklahoma to find a 20-point advantage.
The bookmakers seem to favor the team from the South too. Georgia are firm -320 favorites to take down the game and the Orange Bowl. The -110 on Over 44.5 points may be the preferred college football bet.
Read more about betting on the 2021 Orange Bowl now
WHEN: December 31
WHO (with ranking): Alabama Crimson Tide (1) vs Cincinnati Bearcats (4)
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
The Goodyear Cotton Bowl is one of this season’s college football playoff semis. Alabama are huge favorites and can be found at a best -500 with many online sportsbooks. You can also get odds-on by taking a -13.5 point spread against Cincinnati.
Cincinnati will need all their skills to take down an impervious Alabama college football team who ended the 2020-21 season 10-0 in the conference.
Read more about betting on the 2021 Cotton Bowl now
WHEN: January 1
WHO (with ranking): Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5) vs Oklahoma State Cowboys (9)
WHERE: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
It will be the 51st Fiesta Bowl when Notre Dame take on Oklahoma on New Year’s Day. It’s one of the newer bowls to grace the NCAAF, and is held annually outside Phoenix, AZ. The State Farm Stadium has hosted the Fiesta Bowl every year since 2007. It also hosts one of the college football playoff games every three years.
College football bowl odds on this season’s Fiesta Bowl are tighter than some other NY6 games. Notre Dame are slight favorites at -140.
Read more about betting on the 2022 Fiesta Bowl now
WHEN: January 1
WHO (with ranking): Utah Utes (11) vs Ohio State Buckeyes (6)
WHERE: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
The Rose Bowl game is played between the winner of the Big Ten and the Pac-12, as long as either team isn’t competing in the playoff semifinals. In recent years, the winner of the Rose Bowl has emerged a close winner. In 2019, Oregon just edged Wisconsin 28-27, while a year earlier, Ohio State beat Washington 28-23.
Looking for a decent bet for this season’s Rose Bowl? With another close score expected, we advise a bet on the point spread for Utah. You can get odds of -110 on the +6.5 point spread for Utah.
Read more about betting on the 2022 Rose Bowl now
WHEN: January 1
WHO (with ranking): Baylor Bears (7) vs Ole Miss Rebels (8)
WHERE: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
The 2022 Allstate Sugar Bowl will be played between the winners of the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference (SEC). It’s one of the oldest college football bowl games and has been held every year since 1935.
Underdogs and favorites tend to share the honors in the Sugar Bowl. Ohio (3) were comfortable winners last time out versus Clemson, as were Georgia a year earlier. #14-ran ked Texas upset the odds in 2019, however, when they won the bowl against Georgia. The online bookmakers are also in two minds for the 2022 meeting. Baylor and Mississippi are close in odds, but a high-scoring game could be on the cards.
Read more about betting on the 2022 Sugar Bowl now
WHEN: January 10
WHO (with ranking): Cotton Bowl Winner vs Orange Bowl Winner
WHERE: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
The college football National Championship game takes place on January 10 next year, with the winners of the Cotton Bowl game and Orange Bowl fighting it out for top honors.
It’s too early to know who will be playing in the final but that won’t stop you from betting on futures at the biggest online bookmakers. You can back all four teams right now in the markets, where Alabama are currently the hot favorites.
In fact, Alabama have been featured in five of the last six CFB National Championships, most recently winning 52-24 against Ohio in January 2021. It’s no surprise to find Alabama the bookmakers’ college bowl favorite before a ball has been kicked in anger.
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Looking for the best tips for betting on NCAAF bowl games for this year’s finale? Here are a few tips to follow to get ahead of the pack.
Parlay betting is a great way to increase your overall payout by backing several outcomes. All bookmakers allow parlays where multiple legs must win for your whole bet to win. In addition, some online sports betting sites will offer parlay profit boosts or parlay insurance if one leg loses.
The College Football Championship is the pinnacle of the NCAAF season for the best teams. For gamblers, it can oftentimes be a case of just choosing the first or second-ranked teams.
In fact, in the past seven years, the winners have been either ranked #1 or #2. Only in 2015 and 2017, where Ohio and Alabama were ranked #4, has that trend been bucked.
In four of the past seven CFB Championships, the winning margin has been 17 or more points. That can make point spread betting a tricky prospect, especially if you want to back the underdog.
Casual bettors will always bet on the favorites, and it’s true that in the semis and National Championship final, you should do so too.
However, there is often value to be found in the other college football bowl games. In fact, since the mid-2000s, underdogs have enjoyed a win ratio just slightly higher than 51%. That could mean value, especially if a team has relied all season on their home form.
The best online bookmakers who offer special deals on the playoffs and individual bowls. You may enjoy free bets as a new signup or get money back on losing bets. Some bookmakers will also offer enhanced odds on selected teams.
You can bet on a college football bowl at all of the top online bookmakers. However, odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, so it’s good to keep your options open.
We always recommend opening accounts with different betting sites. You don’t have to make huge deposits when setting up accounts, but you have the chance of earning a welcome bonus every time.
Who’s your money on in the showpiece of the college football season? The college football bowl odds are out for the National Championship and they make for painful reading if you’re a fan of Georgia, Michigan or Cincinnati.
You’ll favor a safe bet on Alabama if you’ve been studying past form, but there may be better markets out there on props and by betting the point spread.
You can bet on college football at all of the top US sportsbooks. Best of all, you won’t be restricted from betting on home teams as all bowl games are played in different states. Here’s what our brand review experts look for in the best online sportsbooks in 2021.
Whether you’re backing the moneyline on a college football bowl or betting in-play, good bookmakers will offer a range of gambling markets. Each bowl game should offer totals, point spreads and moneyline as standard.
College football odds can vary hugely from betting site to betting site. Always compare and contrast several bookmakers before making your bet.
Some of the college bowl games will have live betting markets available. These can be a great way of getting favorable odds as the game changes. Lock in a profit by backing the opposing team or bet on the moneyline as the score is updated in real time.
All of the best sports betting sites will offer a welcome bonus including free bets or a deposit match. You may also find enhanced odds on selected college football games.
You should be able to get your money in and out easily. You can deposit via your Visa or MasterCard, or send money instantly from your PayPal e-Wallet. Withdrawals will also be possible, and you won’t have to wait weeks to enjoy your winnings.
Betting on smartphones is the way to go in 2021. All the best sportsbooks now offer full mobile support so you can place college football bowl game bets wherever you are.
Great customer support is essential if you run into problems. Speak via live chat to a trained help member or contact the sportsbook by phone or email. The best online sportsbooks will also provide a Help Center listing answers to all the usual queries.
Yes. College football betting is legal in regulated US states. You can back moneyline, totals or point spreads for real money online or via smartphone.
Many US states have land-based casinos which offer retail sports betting. However, around 30+ states now have legalized online sportsbooks where you can bet online or by mobile.
Yes. In general, you must be aged 21 or over to bet on college football in the USA. Some states impose restrictions on college football games so it’s important to check before you bet.
The New Year’s Six is the unofficial name for the major NCAAF bowl games. These include the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. These bowl games are normally played on or around New Year’s Day.
"Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos."