Do you know what makes this magical time of year, where we spend weekends guzzling holiday cheer, exchanging presents and enjoying memorable times with loved ones even more fun? The awesome gauntlet that is COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL GAME BETTING!!! There are 35 matchups on the board and they all have betting lines already! Some games are stocking stuffers, and others have giant, shiny bows on them so I spent my entire night ranking them in order, saving the Top-5 College Football Bowl Game Bets for last. Happy Holidays!
Ranking the 2013 College Football Bowl Games with Odds
35. GODADDY Bowl – Arkansas State vs. Ball State -9.0 (1/5)
Ball State looked like it was about to compete for their conference championship before being stream rolled by Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch, but they also scored 40.1 points per game against similar competition. If you like blowouts and boredom, then the GoDaddy.com Bowl is for you!
34. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (12/21)
Louisana-Lafeyette was one of the best upstart bets in 2012, but they ended and started this season with a pair of two-game losing skids. Meanwhile, Tulane finished the year 7-5 SU and 9-3 ATS. They call them the Green Wave, and you can guess what the “green” stands for in this case. Ok fine I’ll just say it: crack out your surf boards because the cash wave is about to crest!
33. Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Washington State -3.5 vs. Colorado State (12/21)
Mike Leach and the Cougars kick off bowl season with an easy matchup against Colorado State, but Connor Halliday – who has 1,572 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns – could spoil the party. I still prefer Washington State, and I’m willing to bet the shirt off my back that they cover this number. Get it? Because Gildan makes shirts? This whole thing is pun-tastic so you might want to brace yourselves…for more comedy!
32. Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – Middle Tennessee vs. Navy -6.0 (12/30)
Despite being sponsored by Bell Helicopter, this is going to be a rushing game through and through. Middle Tennessee uses a weird rotation of tail backs to beat you up on the ground, while all Navy ever does is hit the shores running. Bell Helicopter might want a refund.
31. Heart of Dallas Bowl – UNLV vs. North Texas -6.5 (1/1)
Kick off your New Year by betting on the team from the hometown state here, instead of the school that’s a skip and jump away from the Vegas strip.
30. BEEF ‘O’ BRADY’S BOWL – East Carolina -12.5 vs. Ohio (12/23)
East Carolina is always a darling bet in the sportsbook, and this will be no exception. They’ll be stewing for a victory here as they bring Ohio’s defense to a rolling boil.
29. Military Bowl – Marshall vs. Maryland (12/27)
Marshall was outgunned by Rice in the Conference-USA Championship Game, but should be just fine against a team who should be deported for sporting the nation’s ugliest uniforms. Nobody wants to protect a house filled with vomit inducing color patterns.
28. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Buffalo -3.0 vs. San Diego State (12/21)
The Spartans could peel off yet another upset to end the year, but they’ll have to keep their eye on the prize against a Buffalo team that was a baking threat in the over of the MAC until they had their hashes browned by Bowling Green. I like the Spartans to mash Buffalo here by gratin’ them through the air with David Fales French frying passes to a fully loaded receiver set. There are eight potato jokes in this blurb. See if you can find them all.
27. New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Rutgers vs. Notre Dame -15.5 (12/28)
Rutgers hosted the first, ever college football game. Notre Dame is one of the most storied and celebrated programs in the history of the game. And nobody will care about this matchup because the Irish are going to behead the Knights.
26. BBVA Compass Bowl – Vanderbilt -3.0 vs. Houston (1/4)
You know what? I didn’t even know what BBVA Compass was (it’s a bank) until I bothered to Google it for this write-up. That’s how much I care about the BBVA Compass Bowl. If the seven game set that ends the college bowl betting season was Star Wars, this would be “The Phantom Menace”. And Houston would be Jar Jar Binks.
25. Little Caesars Bowl – Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green -6.0 (12/26)
The Falcons put themselves on the map with a huge win over strongly ranked Northern Illinois, and should be able to keep their momentum going unless quarterback Tom Savage wants to use this as a showcase for the upcoming NFL Draft.
24. BELK Bowl – Cincinnati vs. North Carolina -3.0 (12/28)
If this was a basketball game, I might care about the BELK Bowl matchup.
23. TAXSLAYER.com Gator Bowl – Nebraska vs. #22 Georgia
“Taxslayer” sounds like a fun and blood thirsty way to do your taxes…but no matter what, you can’t make the yearly chore that is your taxes an entertaining process. The Bulldogs have lost Aaron Murray for the year and watching Nebraska is like filing your Form 1040 anyways. So this might be one of the most appropriately named bowl games because watching the Gator Bowl is going to be as fun as sorting your receipts.
22. Advocare V100 Bowl – Arizona -7.5 vs. Boston College (12/31)
Tell me you knew that “Advocare V100” is a chewable, tropical flavored multi-vitamin without setting your own pants on fire. Why is that fitting in this matchup? Because this game features two of the best running backs in the country with Ka’Deem Carey and Andre Williams who will be CHEWING UP THE FIELD all day long. I didn’t need to type yell there. I just FELT LIKE IT.
21. Poinsettia Bowl – Utah State vs. #23 Northern Illinois -1.5 (12/26)
This probably should be called the “The Mid-Level Conference Championship Losers Bowl”. Utah State barely missed their chance to derail Fresno in their own conference final, while NIU fell flat on their faces against Bowling Green with a chance to (maybe) break in to the BCS picture on the line. Honestly, your Christmas hangover could be spent on a dead pile of worse things than watching Jordan Lynch running around like a maniac.
20. AutoZone Liberty Bell – Rice vs. Mississippi State -7.0 (12/31)
Crazy rushing teams in a bowl game always pique my interest, and Rice used their insane ground game to demolish Marshall and win its first ever MAC Championship. Sounds like a great, nightly primer for the bigger New Year’s Eve game.
19. Hyundai Sun Bowl – Virginia Tech vs. #17 UCLA
People love touting Brent Hundley as a future pro, but I love Myles Jack Of All Trades, and not just because it’s fun to write “Myles Jack Of All Trades”. If you don’t know him, watch this game.
18. Texas Bowl – Syracuse vs. Minnesota (12/27)
The appropriately named Texas Bowl features two teams from the north and the midwest, and if you don’t back Minnesota in this one than you haven’t been paying attention to this season.
17. Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Boise State vs. Oregon State -2.5 (12/24)
Aren’t you just glad that we don’t have to deal with Boise State whining ALL THE TIME anymore? This should be a great Christmas Eve present to us all because they could not possibly set the TOTAL high enough to account for these two offenses.
16. Music City Bowl – Ole Miss -3.0 vs. Georgia Tech (12/30)
The Jackets have a stupid triple read option that was effective enough to win seven games. Give someone nearly a month to figure out how to stop it and they’re doomed.
15. Chick-fil-A Bowl – #24 Duke vs. #21 Texas A&M -11.5 (12/31)
Ring in the new year with Johnny Football?! Against a school I hate with every fiber of my being?!!?! CAN I PLEASE?!!?!? YES I CAN!!!!
14. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – Michigan vs. Kansas State University -3.5 (12/28)
This could actually be a fantastic football game. KSU has a weird habit of bringing the best out of opposing teams while giving them a solid challenge, and very few quarterbacks are as fun to watch with momentum as Michigan’s Devin Gardner.
13. Outback Bowl – Iowa vs. #16 Louisiana State University -7.0 (1/1)
This is a beefy matchup, and not just because of the name on the marquee. Iowa and LSU are two of the strongest defensive teams in the country, and with quarterback Zach Mettenberger out for the Tigers, there’s a huge chance here for an upset. Of course, you’d be delusional if you didn’t believe that Les Miles had an heir apparent in the wings. His name is Anthony Jennings and you’re about to get real familiar with him.
12. National University Holiday Bowl – #14 Arizona State -13.5 vs. Texas Tech (12/30)
Texas Tech couldn’t beat this Sun Devils’ defense if their coaches stuffed them in to a closet to inspire them.
11. Russell Athletic Bowl – Miami vs. #18 Louisville -3.0 (12/28)
Three straight losses to FSU, Virginia Tech and Duke – along with a horrifying six game non-cover streak – completely dimmed the spotlight on the Hurricanes. Luckily, this game features one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Teddy Bridgewater who might find out first hand why he should count all lucky stars that he didn’t play in the ACC this year.
10. Las Vegas Bowl – #20 Fresno State vs. #25 USC -5.5 (12/21)
The best game on the first day of college bowl betting stars Derek Carr, a statistical giant of a quarterback, and a Trojans team that is lost in transition and will have their third head coach of the season for this game. It should be an electric contest. Fresno’s offence is virtually unstoppable, but their defense is an embarrassment, and USC should be too talented to fail. But we’ve said that about the Trojans so many times before…
9. Fight Hunger Bowl – Brigham Young vs. Washington (12/27)
BYU and Washington are two of the most efficient offensive teams in the country, and will feature two of the best offensive skill players with BYU’s Cody Hoffman and Washington’s star back Bishop Sankey. If they could feed starving countries with touchdowns, this matchup would solve world hunger.
8. Capital One Bowl – #19 Wisconsin vs. #9 South Carolina
If Jadeveon Clowney bothers to show up for this game, I’ll bother to care. Of course, he became a mainstream super hero in the Gamecocks’ bowl game last year. So there’s like a one in a million chance he actually stars in this game as well…sooooo, I’m saying there’s a chance.
7. Valero Alamo Bowl – #10 Oregon -13.0 vs. Texas (12/30)
If the Longhorns really wanted to rally for Mack Brown’s supposed farewell, they would’ve done so when the Big 12 Championship was within reach. The Ducks and Mariota need to end their season on a high note and beating up Texas seems like a forgone conclusion.
6. AT&T Cotton Bowl – #13 Oklahoma State -1.0 vs. #8 Missouri (1/3)
There wasn’t enough cotton in the world to stop Oklahoma State and Missouri from hemorrhaging touchdowns in their last pair of games, but this is a dream matchup featuring two, well balanced, juggernauts from the Big-12 and SEC.
5. Discover Orange Bowl – #12 Clemson vs. #7 Ohio State -2.5 (1/3)
Tajh Boyd against Ohio State’s completely unreliable defense? Braxton Miller going up against Clemson’s pathetic excuse for a defense? What did I do in a former life to deserve this?!
4. AllState Sugar Bowl – #11 Oklahoma vs. #3 Alabama
Oklahoma went on the road and handed Oklahoma State a huge upset loss under thrilling circumstances. Now they face one of the best teams in the country. The Crimson Tide have suffered against mobile quarterbacks and Bob Stoops has over a month to come up with a viable game plan utilizing Blake Bell and Trevor Knight, who both seem crazy enough to believe that they can crush Alabama. Nick Saban’s rumored departure also has to scare the boots off of any Bama Backers in the house. This. Is. Gonna. Be. Awesome.
3. Vizio Rose Bowl – #5 Stanford -3.5 vs. #4 Michigan State (1/1)
Expect this to be a thorny, defensive battle between two of the best defenses in the country. And the offences of both teams are very capable. Like the Cotton Bowl, the Rose Bowl is a football nerds dream so feel free to geek out. One of these teams is going to be smelling all the roses by the end of it. The loser? You guessed it – a bed of nails.
2. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – #15 Central Florida vs. #6 Baylor (1/1)
Baylor and Bryce Petty were one of the most fun betting teams in 2013, which is what happens when you lead the country in scoring. UCF wasn’t very far behind, though the oddsmakers caught up to them at the end of the season. The Knights hung tough with the Gamecocks and beat Louisville while averaging 33.2 points per game. This is going to be a shootout, and the only thing that’s not pumped about this game is my liver, which will barely have survived me ringing in the New Year with Johnny Football by the time this game starts on New Year’s Day Night (which I’m pretty sure is a thing). Expect all the barns to be burned down.
1. Vizio BCS National Championship – #1 Florida State -8.5 vs. #2 Auburn (1/4)
At the onset of the season, Florida State was ranked 11th in the preseason polls, and Jameis Winston had a four touchdown coming out party as his Seminoles demolished Pittsburgh, before barreling through Clemson, squashing Miami and then punishing Duke in the conference championship. Only one team has scored more than 17 points against this defense (Boston College in Week 4) and they benefited from an onslaught of upsets while avoiding any themselves.
But towards the end of the year, Winston’s sexual assault case overshadowed a banner season for Florida State, which returns to the national title game for the first time since the turn of the century. He’s since been acquitted and can end his season on a double high note. The Heisman looks locked down, but the national title is far from decided.
As FSU’s immediate future remained in doubt with Winston’s personal problems, Auburn stormed the country, the rankings, the SEC and their opponents just like they did when Cam Newton was their quarterback. This is a program that wasn’t even on the radar at the onset of the season. They received zero votes for the AP Top-25 preseason ranking. Even Penn State received two votes.
So it’s hard not to look at Auburn like a team of destiny. They counted on miracles to get past Georgia and Alabama, then decimated Missouri 59-42 in the SEC Championship while rushing for 545 yards. Head coach Gus Malzahn has quickly emerged as one of the most creative and resourceful game planners in the country.
Think he has something in his bag of tricks for the top ranked team in the country? I’m dying to find out.
And there you have it: the 2013 College Football Bowl Games Rankings with odds. I hope you have much fun watching this seasons bowl games as the BCS title game is the closest to a true championship game as there can be without a playoff system.