College Bowl Picks 2019-20: Recent Odds and Predictions Against the Spread

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 15, 2019

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, right, looks to throw during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Wisconsin, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

The first college football bowl game takes place Friday. So it's time to prepare and make sure everybody is informed about what to expect this year.

Buffalo and Charlotte will kick things off in the Bahamas Bowl. Better matchups will come more than a week later, when many of the top teams will be in action.

The most important games will be the College Football Playoff semifinals. LSU and Oklahoma are facing off in the Peach Bowl, while Ohio State and Clemson go head-to-head in the Fiesta Bowl, with both games taking place on Dec. 28.


2019-20 Bowl Schedule, Odds

All Times ET. Predictions in bold against the spread. Odds via Caesars.

Friday, Dec. 20

Bahamas Bowl (2 p.m., ESPN): Buffalo (-6.5) vs. Charlotte

Frisco Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN2): Utah State (-7) vs. Kent State


Saturday, Dec. 21

Celebration Bowl (noon, ABC): North Carolina A&T vs. Alcorn State (no line)

New Mexico Bowl (2 p.m., ESPN): Central Michigan vs. San Diego State (-3.5)

FBC Mortgage Care Bowl (2:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network): Liberty vs. Georgia Southern (-5)

Boca Raton Bowl (3:30 p.m., ABC): SMU (-3) vs. Florida Atlantic

Camellia Bowl (5:30 p.m., ESPN): Florida International vs. Arkansas State (-2.5)

Las Vegas Bowl (7:30 p.m., ABC): No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington (-3.5)

New Orleans Bowl (9 p.m., ESPN): No. 20 Appalachian State (-17) vs. UAB


Monday, Dec. 23

Gasparilla Bowl (2:30 p.m., ESPN): UCF (-17) vs. Marshall


Tuesday, Dec. 24

Hawaii Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN): Hawaii vs. BYU (-1.5)


Thursday, Dec. 26

Independence Bowl (4 p.m., ESPN): Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Fla.) (-6)

Quick Lane Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN): Pittsburgh (-10.5) vs. Eastern Michigan


Friday, Dec. 27

Military Bowl (noon, ESPN): North Carolina (-5) vs. Temple

Pinstripe Bowl (3:20 p.m., ESPN): Michigan State (-5) vs. Wake Forest

Texas Bowl (6:45 p.m., ESPN): No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M (-7)

Holiday Bowl (8 p.m., Fox Sports 1): No. 22 USC vs. No. 16 Iowa (-1.5)

Cheez-It Bowl (10:15 p.m., ESPN): Air Force (-2.5) vs. Washington State


Saturday, Dec. 28

Camping World Bowl (noon, ABC): No. 15 Notre Dame (-4) vs. Iowa State

Cotton Bowl (noon, ESPN): No. 17 Memphis vs. No. 10 Penn State (-6.5)

College Football Playoff semifinal: Peach Bowl (4 p.m., ESPN): No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 LSU (-12.5)

College Football Playoff semifinal: Fiesta Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN): No. 3 Clemson (-2) vs. No. 2 Ohio State


Monday, Dec. 30

First Responder Bowl (12:30 p.m., ESPN): Western Kentucky (-3.5) vs. Western Michigan

Music City Bowl (4 p.m., ESPN): Mississippi State (-4) vs. Louisville

Redbox Bowl (4 p.m., Fox): California (-7) vs. Illinois

Orange Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN): No. 9 Florida (-14) vs. No. 24 Virginia


Tuesday, Dec. 31

Belk Bowl (noon, ESPN): Virginia Tech (-3) vs. Kentucky

Sun Bowl (2 p.m., CBS): Florida State vs. Arizona State (-5)

Liberty Bowl (3:45 p.m., ESPN): No. 23 Navy (-2) vs. Kansas State

Arizona Bowl (4:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network): Wyoming (-7.5) vs. Georgia State

Alamo Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN): No. 11 Utah (-7.5) vs. Texas


Wednesday, Jan. 1

Citrus Bowl (1 p.m., ABC): No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 13 Alabama (-7.5)

Outback Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN): No. 18 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Auburn (-7)

Rose Bowl (5 p.m., ESPN): No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin (-3)

Sugar Bowl (8:45 p.m., ESPN): No. 5 Georgia (-7.5) vs. No. 7 Baylor


Thursday, Jan. 2

Birmingham Bowl (3 p.m., ESPN): No. 21 Cincinnati (-7) vs. Boston College

Gator Bowl (7 p.m., ESPN): Indiana vs. Tennessee (-2)


Friday, Jan. 3

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (3:30 p.m., ESPN): Ohio (-7.5) vs. Nevada


Saturday, Jan. 4

Armed Forces Bowl (11:30 a.m., ESPN): Southern Mississippi vs. Tulane (-7)


Monday, Jan. 6

LendingTree Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN): UL Lafayette (-14) vs. Miami (Ohio)


Monday, Jan. 13

College Football Playoff National Championship (8 p.m., ESPN): Winner of No. 1 LSU-No. 4 Oklahoma vs. Winner of No. 2 Ohio State-No. 3 Clemson


3 Underdog Bowl Picks

Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State (+2) over Clemson

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Even though Ohio State is the higher seed, it's a two-point underdog for its semifinal matchup against Clemson.

Both teams are 13-0 and won their respective conference championships, but the Tigers have had more recent CFP success. They have won two of the past three national titles, including last season, and they have some players back, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

However, the Buckeyes may be better prepared for a challenging Playoff matchup. In order to reach this point, they beat Penn State and Michigan and then defeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. Meanwhile, the Tigers didn't face much tough competition on their ACC schedule.

This is going to be a competitive game, but it's smart to bet on Ohio State to score the upset victory.


Rose Bowl: Oregon (+3) over Wisconsin

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

It may not be a College Football Playoff appearance, but Oregon has set itself up to have a strong finish to a solid season.

The Ducks bounced back from a loss at Arizona State on Nov. 23 by beating Oregon State and defeating Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game. By winning the conference title, Oregon secured a spot in the Rose Bowl, one of the most prestigious events on the schedule.

Oregon's loss at Arizona State was its only defeat after its season-opening loss to Auburn in Dallas. That's an impressive run, as the Ducks rolled for most of the season with future NFL quarterback Justin Herbert leading their offense.

Wisconsin will be a tough challenge, as it has fared well in the Big Ten this season. But Herbert should help Oregon have a big offensive game and win a shootout with the Badgers.


Alamo Bowl: Texas (+7.5) over Utah

Michael Thomas/Associated Press

Utah could have been in the College Football Playoff had it defeated Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Instead, the Utes will conclude their season with an appearance in the Alamo Bowl.

This is essentially a home game for Texas, which will only have a short trip to get to the Alamodome in San Antonio. So plenty of Longhorns fans should be in attendance as their team, which went 7-5 during the regular season, will try to notch its biggest win of the year to conclude the campaign.

As 7.5-point underdogs, it's worth betting on Texas to at least cover the spread. The Longhorns played competitive games against two of the teams in the CFP, LSU and Oklahoma, losing to each of those teams by only seven points.

It's possible Texas pulls off the upset here, but it should lose by only a touchdown or less.