2021 Sun Bowl Betting

2021 Sun Bowl Betting
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The Sun Bowl has been running since 1935, making it second-oldest college football bowl game, behind the Rose Bowl. It takes place at Sun Bowl Stadium at the University of Texas El Paso. This bowl normally pits an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) team against a Pac-12 school.

Announced on Dec. 5, the 2021 Sun Bowl originally featured the Washington State Cougars (Pac-12) and Miami Hurricanes (ACC). However, Miami pulled out of this game due to COVID issues. Organizers scrambled and got the Central Michigan Chippewas (MAC) to participate in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl instead. If you’re interested in betting on this game, then you should check out the following guide.

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2021 Sun Bowl

📅 Date: Friday, December 31, 2021
⏲️Time: Noon ET
🏟️Venue: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas
📺 Watch: CBS
🏈 Teams: Washington State (Pac-12) vs. Central Michigan (MAC)

Betting on Washington State at the Sun Bowl

Washington State (7–5) had a tough start to the season that included losing three of its first four games. However, it rebounded to win three straight contests over Pac-12 opponents.

The team suffered a jolt, though, when head coach Nick Rolovich got fired for refusing to take a COVID vaccination. Jake Dickert is currently serving as the Cougars’ interim head coach. Following Rolovich’s dismissal, WSU won three out of its final five games to become eligible for bowl games. It also finished second place behind No. 14 Oregon in the Pac-12 North with a 6–3 conference record.

The Cougars don’t stand out on either side of the ball. They average 27.0 points and 384.2 yards per game. Defensively, they give up 24.3 points and 375.5 yards per contest.

Quarterback Jayden de Laura has thrown for 2,751 yards, 23 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Calvin Jackson Jr. has been Laura’s favorite target, catching 63 passes for 955 yards and seven TD’s. Max Borghi leads the team’s rushing attack with 880 yards and 12 TD’s.

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Betting on Central Michigan at the Sun Bowl

Like Washington State, Central Michigan (8–4) also had a slow start to the season. It lost three of its first five games and didn’t really hit its stride until MAC play began. The Chippewas won six of their last seven contests and finished 6–2 in the conference, good for second in the West Division.

Led by third-year head coach Jim McElwain, Central Michigan is playing in its second bowl game in three years. It initially received an invitation to the Arizona Bowl, only to have this opportunity vanish after Boise State pulled out. However, CMU quickly became an attractive prospect to Sun Bowl organizers after Miami dropped out on short notice.

Moving to stats, the Chippewas average 31.9 points (31st nationally) and 446.2 yards (18th) per game. It has nice balance between the pass (273.9 yards) and run (172.3 yards). Defensively, this team gives up 28.5 points and 420.4 yards per game.

Running back Lew Nichols III headlines the offense with 1,710 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Just a redshirt freshman, Nichols still has plenty of time left to play for CMU after this year. QB Daniel Richardson has passed for 2,424 yards, 23 touchdowns, and just five interceptions.

2021 Sun Bowl Odds

The original Sun Bowl betting lines went awry when Miami opted out of the game. That said, FanDuel Online Sportsbook is the only operator that’s showing the latest odds at the time of this writing. It opened with Washington State as a large favorite (-280 on moneyline). As you’ll see below, though, Central Michigan has narrowed the odds gap.

Sun Bowl Moneyline Odds

A moneyline refers to a straight-up bet where you try to predict a game’s winner. Both sides are handicapped to help even out the betting action. You can see FanDuel’s current Central Michigan vs Washington State moneyline below:

  • Central Michigan +172 (bet $100 to win $172)
  • Washington State -215 (bet $215 to win $100)

Again, WSU opened as a -280 favorite. It’s 6–2 straight up (SU) over its last eight games. However, Central Michigan has drawn many bettors as we’re writing this. CMU is 6–1 SU in its last seven outings.

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Sun Bowl Point Spread Odds

The point spread refers to each team needing to cover their assigned spread. The favorite starts with negative points (minus sign), while the underdog is spotted points (plus sign). Here is FanDuel’s latest 2021 Sun Bowl point spread:

  • Central Michigan +6 (-115)
  • Washington State -6 (-105)

The Cougars opened as a -7.5 favorite on the spread. They’ve fallen to -6, though, with the Chippewas gaining steam among sports bettors. However, you will face higher juice (-115) when wagering on CMU.

Washington State is 8–1 against the spread (ATS) in its last nine games. Central Michigan, meanwhile, is 5–1 ATS in its last six outings. It’ll be tough to call a spread winner with these trends.

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Sun Bowl Over/Under Odds

An over/under (a.k.a. totals) line represents a point total that you can either bet over or under. FanDuel’s over/under on Central Michigan vs Washington State is as follows:

  • Over 55 (-110)
  • Under 55 (-110)

Both Washington State and Central Michigan have seen the under in seven out of their 12 games. However, WSU has seen the over in four of its last six contests. CMU has witnessed the over in three of its last five games.

Sun Bowl Prop Bets

Prop bets deal with outcomes not associated with the final score. They’re highly popular in College Football Playoff contests and any major bowls, such as the Rose and Orange Bowl. No prop bets are currently available for the 2021 Sun Bowl due to Central Michigan just entering the equation. However, FanDuel and other sportsbooks, such as DraftKings Online Sportsbook and BetMGM online sportsbook, might offer prop wagers before the game.

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Sun Bowl Past Results

Arizona State and Stanford have fared well in recent years, winning two Sun Bowls within the past decade. Washington State is looking to win this bowl for the second time in the past five years:

Year Winner (Score) Loser (Score)
2020 Cancelled Cancelled
2019 Arizona State 20 Florida State 14
2018 Stanford 14 Pittsburgh 13
2017 NC State 52 Arizona State 31
2016 Stanford 25 North Carolina 23
2015 Washington State 20 Miami (FL) 14
2014 Arizona State 36 Duke 31
2013 UCLA 42 Virginia Tech 12
2012 Georgia Tech 21 USC 7
2011 Utah 30 Georgia Tech 27
2011 Notre Dame 33 Miami (FL) 17

Who won the most Sun Bowls?

Arizona State has the most victories in Sun Bowl history with five. Stanford and Texas Western rank just behind ASU with four wins apiece:

Team Sun Bowl WinsYears Won
Arizona State51940, 1997, 2004, 2014, 2019
Stanford41977, 1996, 2016, 2018
Texas Western41950, 1954, 1955, 1865
Oklahoma31981, 1993, 2009
Oregon31963, 1999, 2007

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Sun Bowl Betting Tips

You may have trouble properly researching this postseason game due to how the Chippewas are a last-second entry. If so, you can visit the top US betting sites and look for our betting tips on the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl below.

Washington State -6

The Cougars have played really well down the stretch, going 6–2 in their last eight games. Their only losses include a 2-point loss to BYU and 14-point loss to then-No. 3 Oregon. Central Michigan, meanwhile, hasn’t played great against Power 5 teams. It lost to Missouri 34–24 and LSU 49–21.

Washington State -200

We weren’t sure about WSU’s opening -280 moneyline and find them much more appealing at -200. The Cougars have the advantage in this game and have played tougher competition throughout the season.

Avoid the Over/Under

The 55 over/under is tricky. These teams combine for 58.9 points collectively and give up 52.8 points. The totals line is smack dab in the middle of these averages. We’re not ready to bet on either side with such razor-thin value.


This year's bowl will play out at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso Texas. Located on the UTEP c’us, Sun Bowl Stadium seats 51,500 fans.

The 2021 Sun Bowl takes place on Friday, December 31st (New Year's Eve). You can watch this game live on CBS.

The Washington State Cougars and Central Michigan Chippewas are competing in this bowl game. The Miami Hurricanes were originally supposed to play Washington State, but they dropped out due to COVID infections. Central Michigan was going to be in the Arizona Bowl, but the game got canceled.

Arizona State has won the most Sun Bowls with five victories. Texas Western and Maryland are tied for second place with four wins each.

Many states in the US offer legal and regulated sports betting. If you live in or around one of these states, then you can legally bet on the Sun Bowl. You just need to be within the respective state's borders when placing a wager.

FanDuel is currently the only online sportsbook that's offering 2021 Sun Bowl Odds. Most betting sites haven't released new odds after Central Michigan was swapped in for Miami.

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