It’s Time For Bowl Games Odds And Ways to Play The Bowl Pick Contests

Written By Russ Mitchell on December 14, 2021 - Last Updated on July 22, 2022
Bowl Games

Your friends will tell you there are too many bowl games.

Don’t listen to those friends; they are bad friends. You should deny them pretzel dip and make them watch the NIT next spring.

In fact, college football loves you so much that when the sport had too many bowl-eligible teams this season, they created a new bowl on the fly just to make sure no team stays home.

Welcome, Frisco Football Classic, not to be confused with the Frisco Bowl. Also, it’s Frisco, TX (north of Dallas-Fort Worth), not to be confused with San Francisco. That’s 44 bowl games, (counting the National Championship game) between Friday, Dec. 17, and Monday, Jan. 10.

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Betting on bowl games in 2021 and 2022

PlayIA has two ways to help you make the most out of your amazing, spectacular, illustrious 44-game bowl season.

Bets, of course — keep reading. We’ve lined up the schedule chronologically with betting odds for bowl games to help you get your picks in on time (plus viewing information to see if they pay off).

You’ll see the point spreads in red, too. It reflects the best odds you can find for each team at the best sportsbooks in Iowa. And it automatically updates.

Those give you the best odds, but you stick with a specific sportsbook or specific sportsbooks, just hover over the “Iowa Odds” tab at the top of this page and select “college football.” Another toggle gives you options for point spread bets, moneyline bets and the over/under for many of the state’s major sportsbooks.

The bowl games pick ’em contests — ESPN’s Bowl Mania is probably the most well-known of the free contests. We’ll let them explain more details if you use them to stay interested in the bowl season. The key thing to know is: There are at least two ways to enter most bowl guess contests. At ESPN there are three options:

  • Straight Up: Simply make 44 guesses on the bowl games. At ESPN, every correct pick is worth 10 points.
  • Spread: Pick winners against the spread in the bowl games.
  • Confidence Picks: You can organize bowl guesses based on how confident you are in the outcome. Assign 44 points to your most confident pick. Put your least confident bowl pick the 1-point slot.

The use of confidence picks is popular, so to help: PlayIA stacked the games by largest point spread (most confident) to smallest point spread (least confident) according to the sportsbooks.

But first, the schedule with odds:

2021 and 2022 bowl games and odds

Games are on ESPN unless noted.

Friday, Dec. 17

  • 11 a.m. — Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee (6-6) vs. Toledo (7-5)
  • 11 a.m. — Celebration Bowl: South Carolina State (6-5) +10.5 vs. Jackson State -10 (11-1) (ABC)
  • 5 p.m. — Cure Bowl: Northern Illinois (9-4) vs. Coastal Carolina (10-2) (ESPN2)

Saturday, Dec. 18

  • 10 a.m. — Boca Raton Bowl: Western Kentucky (8-5) vs. Appalachian State (10-3)
  • 1:15 p.m. — New Mexico Bowl: UTEP (7-5) vs. Fresno State (9-3)
  • 2:30 p.m. — Independence Bowl: UAB (8-4) vs. No. 13 BYU (10-2) (ABC)
  • 4:45 p.m. — LendingTree Bowl: Eastern Michigan (7-5) vs. Liberty (7-5)
  • 6:30 p.m. — LA Bowl: Utah State (10-3) vs. Oregon State (7-5) (ABC)
  • 8:15 p.m. — New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana (12-1) vs. Marshall (7-5)

Monday, Dec. 20

  • 1:30 p.m. — Myrtle Beach Bowl: Old Dominion (6-6) vs. Tulsa (6-6)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 21
  • 2:30 p.m. — Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Kent State (7-6) vs. Wyoming (6-6)
  • 6:30 p.m. — Frisco Bowl: UTSA (12-1) vs. No. 24 San Diego State (11-2)

Wednesday, Dec. 22

  • 7 p.m. — Armed Forces Bowl: Missouri (6-6) vs. Army (8-4)

Thursday, Dec. 23

  • 2:30 p.m. — Frisco Football Classic: North Texas (6-6) vs. Miami-Ohio (6-6)
  • 6 p.m. — Gasparilla Bowl: UCF (8-4) vs. Florida (6-6)

Christmas Eve bowl games

  • 7 p.m. — Hawaii Bowl: Memphis (6-6) at Hawaii (6-7)

Christmas Day bowl games

  • 1:30 p.m. — Camellia Bowl: Georgia State (7-5) vs. Ball State (6-6)

Monday, Dec. 27

  • 10 a.m. — Quick Lane Bowl: Western Michigan (7-5) vs. Nevada (8-4)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Military Bowl: Boston College (6-6) vs. East Carolina (7-5)

Tuesday, Dec. 28

  • 11 a.m. — Birmingham Bowl: No. 20 Houston (11-2) vs. Auburn (6-6)
  • 2:15 p.m. — First Responder Bowl: Air Force (9-3) vs. Louisville (6-5)
  • 5:45 p.m. — Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State (7-5) vs. Texas Tech (6-6)
  • 7 p.m. — Holiday Bowl: UCLA (8-4) vs. No. 18 North Carolina State (9-3) (Fox)
  • 9:15 p.m. — Guaranteed Rate Bowl: West Virginia (6-6) vs. Minnesota (8-4)

Wednesday, Dec. 29

  • 10 a.m. — Fenway Bowl: SMU (8-4) vs. Virginia (6-6)
  • 1:15 p.m. — Pinstripe Bowl: Maryland (6-6) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)
  • 4:45 p.m. — Cheez-It Bowl: No. 19 Clemson (9-3) vs. Iowa State (7-5)
  • 8:15 p.m. — Alamo Bowl: No. 14 Oregon (10-3) vs. No. 16 Oklahoma (10-2)

Thursday, Dec. 30

  • 10:30 a.m. — Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina (6-6) vs. South Carolina (6-6)
  • 2 p.m. — Music City Bowl: Tennessee (7-5) vs. Purdue (8-4)
  • 6 p.m. — Peach Bowl: Pitt (11-2) vs. Michigan State (10-2)
  • 9:30 p.m. — Las Vegas Bowl: Wisconsin (8-4) vs. Arizona State (8-4)

New Year’s Eve bowl games

  • 10 a.m. — Gator Bowl: No. 17 Wake Forest (10-3) vs. No. 25 Texas A&M (8-4)
  • 11 a.m. — Sun Bowl: Washington State (7-5) vs. Miami-FL (7-5) (CBS)
  • 1 p.m. — Arizona Bowl: Central Michigan (8-4) vs. Boise State (7-5) (Barstool Sports livestream)
  • 2:30 p.m. — Cotton Bowl: No. 4 Cincinnati (13-0) vs. No. 1 Alabama (12-1)
  • 6:30 p.m. — Orange Bowl: No. 2 Michigan (12-1) vs. No. 3 Georgia (12-1)

New Year’s Day bowl games

  • 11 a.m. — Outback Bowl: Penn State (7-5) vs. No. 21 Arkansas (8-4) (ESPN2)
  • Noon — Fiesta Bowl: No. 9 Oklahoma State (11-2) vs. No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1)
  • Noon — Citrus Bowl: No. 15 Iowa (10-3) vs. No. 22 Kentucky (9-3) (ABC)
  • 4 p.m. — Rose Bowl: No. 11 Utah (10-3) vs. No. 6 Ohio State (10-2)
  • 7:45 p.m. — Sugar Bowl: No. 7 Baylor (11-2) vs. No. 8 Ole Miss (10-2)

Tuesday, Jan. 4

  • 8 p.m. — Texas Bowl: LSU (6-6) vs. Kansas State (7-5)

Monday, Jan. 10

Confidence picks for the bowl games

As we mentioned there are 44 games on the bowl pick contest menu. You’ll see a 43-game confidence ranking below.

The exception is the National Championship Game because that matchup won’t be set until after the New Year’s Eve semifinals. DraftKings has odds for the potential championship combinations, however:

  • If you like Alabama over Cincinnati, the Tide would be -6 vs. Michigan or +2 vs. Georgia.
  • If you like Cincinnati over Alabama, the Bearcats would be +7 vs. Michigan or +14.5 vs. Georgia.

If you filled out your bowl confidence pool picks on Dec. 14, here are the biggest favorites according to sportsbooks in Iowa. The lines will continue to change, of course. Keep in mind, point spreads are only a tool. The extra practices, extra time to get healthy and player opt-outs all make bowl picks less predictable.

Confidence
ranking
Bowl GameFavorite (as of 12/14)
43Cotton Bowl Alabama (-13.5)
42New Mexico BowlFresno State (-11.5)
41Cure BowlCoastal Carolina (-10.5)
40Bahamas BowlToledo (-10)
39Celebration BowlJackson State (-10)
38Lending Tree BowlLiberty (-8.5)
37Myrtle Beach BowlTulsa (-8.5)
36Liberty BowlMississippi State (-8)
35Arizona BowlBoise State (-7.5)
34Orange BowlGeorgia (-7.5)
33Dukes Mayo BowlNorth Carolina (-7)
32LA BowlOregon State (-7)
31Hawaii BowlMemphis (-6.5)
30Independence BowlBYU (-6.5)
29Las Vegas BowlWisconsin (-6.5)
28Gasparilla BowlFlorida (-6.5)
27Rose BowlOhio State (-6.5)
26Gator BowlTexas A&M (-5)
25New Orleans BowlLouisiana (-4.5)
24Alamo BowlOklahoma (-4.5)
23Camellia BowlGeorgia State (-4)
22Guaranteed Rate BowlMinnesota (-3.5)
21Music City BowlTennessee (-3.5)
20Armed Forces BowlArmy (-3.5)
19Boca Raton BowlAppalachian State (-3)
18Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Wyoming (-3)
17Quick Lane BowlWestern Michigan (-3)
16Military BowlBoston College (-3)
15Frisco Football ClassicMiami-Ohio (-3)
14Frisco BowlUTSA (-2.5)
13Birmingham BowlAuburn (-2.5)
12Citrus BowlKentucky (-2.5)
11Sun Bowl Miami-FL (-2.5)
10Fiesta BowlNotre Dame (-2)
9Peach BowlMichigan State (-1.5)
8Outback BowlPenn State (-1.5)
7Fenway BowlVirginia (-1.5)
6First Responder BowlLouisville (-1)
5Cheez-It BowlIowa State (-1)
4Holiday BowlNorth Carolina State (-1)
3Sugar BowlBaylor (PK) Ole Miss
2Texas BowlKansas State (PK) LSU
1Pinstripe BowlMaryland (PK) Virginia Tech

 

Photo by Byron W.Moore / Shutterstock
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Written by
Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

View all posts by Russ Mitchell