College Football Bowl Games

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There was a time when New Year’s Day was the be all and end all for college football. That’s when the first-ever bowl game was played: the 1902 Tournament East-West game between Michigan and Stanford, which the Wolverines won 49-0. Eventually, that game would become an annual event, and when the new Rose Bowl stadium was built in Pasadena, California in time for 1923, they started calling it the Rose Bowl game. Other bowl games would follow; there are 34 of them on this year’s college football betting lines at Bovada Sportsbook.

With so many college bowl games every season – and the National Championship Game deciding who wins the title – New Year’s Day isn’t quite as important as it used to be. However, the College Football Playoff brought some of the luster back in 2014-15 by introducing the “New Year’s Six” concept. They took the six most important bowl games and scheduled them on and around January 1, anchored by the two CFP semifinal games. Here’s a look at each of the New Year’s Six bowls, including the early NCAAF lines for this year’s matchups.


Rose Bowl Odds 

When is the Rose Bowl?

The Rose Bowl is being played on Monday, January 1, 2018, at 5:00 PM EST.


Where is the Rose Bowl?

The Rose Bowl is being played at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California.


Who's Playing in the Rose Bowl?

The #3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs are playing the #2 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the 2018 Rose Bowl. 

Affectionately known as The Grandaddy of Them All, the Rose Bowl has been played annually since 1916, and it’s still considered the most important bowl game of the season. The early games were played at Tournament Park in Pasadena (a suburb of Los Angeles) before the Rose Bowl stadium was built; the 1942 Rose Bowl was played at Duke Stadium in Durham, North Carolina because of World War II.

Conferences have come and gone in college football, but for much of its history, the Rose Bowl featured teams from what we would recognize today as the Pacific-12 and the Big Ten. The USC Trojans have played the most Rose Bowls at 34, with a sparkling 25-9 record; Michigan is next at 20 Rose Bowls (8-12). The Trojans are the reigning Rose Bowl winners after beating the Penn State Nittany Lions 52-49 last year as 7-point favorites.

The 2018 Rose Bowl will be played Monday, January 1 at 5 PM ET on ESPN, and it’s the first CFP semifinal between the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (12-1 SU, 9-4 ATS) and the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS). The Bulldogs are a bit more battle-tested coming out of the SEC; at press time, they’re 2-point favorites to win the Rose Bowl, with a total of 60 points on the NCAAF odds board. 

Rose Bowl Favorite: Georgia Bulldogs (-2)
Total: 60


Sugar Bowl Odds

When is the Sugar Bowl?

The Sugar Bowl is being played on Monday, January 1, 2018, at 8:45 PM EST.


Where is the Sugar Bowl?

The Sugar Bowl is being played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Who's Playing in the Sugar Bowl?

The #4 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are playing the #1 ranked Clemson Tigers in the 2018 Sugar Bowl. 


The Sugar Bowl was the next of the big games to join the Rose Bowl, and it’s been a fixture in New Orleans every year since 1935 – except the 2006 Sugar Bowl, which was played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta because of Hurricane Katrina. Tulane Stadium was the host until 1974 when the Sugar Bowl was moved to the Superdome, where it remains today. SEC teams have historically been selected for this game; the Alabama Crimson Tide hold the record for most Sugar Bowls at 15, going 8-7 thus far. Last year’s winners were the Sooners, who beat the Auburn Tigers 35-19 as 2-point favorites.

Sugar Bowl No. 16 for Alabama (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) will be New Year’s Day at 8:45 PM ET on ESPN. The Crimson Tide are the No. 4 seed in the CFP, and for the third year in a row, they’ll face the No. 1 Clemson Tigers (12-1 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) of the ACC in the playoffs. These two teams have met in back-to-back National Championship Games, with ‘Bama winning the first and Clemson the second. The Tide are 3-point favorites to win the Sugar Bowl with a total of 47.

Sugar Bowl Favorite: Alabama Crimson Tide (-3)
Total: 47


Cotton Bowl Odds

When is the Cotton Bowl?

The Cotton Bowl is being played on Friday, December 29, 2017, at 8:30 PM EST.


Where is the Cotton Bowl?

The Cotton Bowl is being played at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.


Who's Playing in the Cotton Bowl?

The #8 ranked USC Trojans are playing the #5 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic. 


First held at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas in 1937, this classic bowl game moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for 2010. This was a showcase for what became the Big 12 Conference, usually with an SEC team or a major independent supplying the opposition, but there are no more conference tie-ins for the New Year’s Six games. The Texas Longhorns have played in the Cotton Bowl 22 times with a record of 11-10-1; the Wisconsin Badgers (–9) won the last Cotton Bowl 24-16 over the Western Michigan Broncos.

This year’s Cotton Bowl looks more like something you’d see in Pasadena: It’s No. 8 USC (11-2 SU, 3-9-1 ATS) taking on the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2 SU, 6-7 ATS) on Friday, December 29, kicking off at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN. The Trojans haven’t quite lived up to their lofty expectations for this season, and they’re 7.5-point underdogs in Arlington with a total of 65.

Cotton Bowl Favorite: Ohio State Buckeyes (-7.5)
Total: 65


Orange Bowl Odds

When is the Orange Bowl?

The Orange Bowl is being played on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at 8:00 PM EST.


Where is the Orange Bowl?

The Orange Bowl is being played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.


Who's Playing in the Orange Bowl?

The #6 ranked Wisconsin Badgers are playing the #11 ranked Miami Hurricanes in the 2018 Orange Bowl. 
 Miami has been home to the Orange Bowl since it began in 1935 at Miami Field, then moved to the now-defunct Orange Bowl stadium in 1938; to be precise, this game has been held in the suburb of Miami Gardens since 2000, at the former Joe Robbie Stadium. There have been several different conference tie-ins over the years, but it’s Oklahoma with the most Orange Bowl appearances at 19, winning 12 of those games. Most recently, it was the Florida State Seminoles upsetting Michigan 33-32 as 7-point underdogs.

Sticking with the local flavor, it’s the No. 10 Miami Hurricanes (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS) representing the ACC at this year’s Orange Bowl, taking place Saturday, December 30 at 8 PM ET on ESPN. The Hurricanes will face No. 6 Wisconsin (12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS), who just missed out on running the table in the Big Ten; the Badgers may be the road team here, but they’re 4-point favorites to win the Orange Bowl.

Orange Bowl Favorite: Wisconsin Badgers (-4)
Total: 45


Fiesta Bowl Odds

When is the Fiesta Bowl?

The Fiesta Bowl is being played on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at 4:00 PM EST.


Where is the Fiesta Bowl?

The Fiesta Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.


Who's Playing in the Fiesta Bowl?

The #12 ranked Washington Huskies are playing the #9 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2018 Fiesta Bowl. 


The Fiesta Bowl was established in 1971 as a way for the WAC to get their champion in a bowl game. Interest quickly built from there, and the game was eventually added to the New Year’s Day schedule; they played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe until 2006, when the Fiesta Bowl was moved to the new facility in Glendale. Ohio State has played the Fiesta Bowl eight times with a record of 5-3, but the Buckeyes got creamed in last year’s game, losing their CFP semifinal 31-0 to Clemson as 1-point favorites.

No. 9 Penn State (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) has had more success at the Fiesta Bowl than anyone else. The Nittany Lions are undefeated thus far at 6-0, and they can make it seven straight with a win over the No. 11 Washington Huskies (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS) on December 30, beginning at 4 PM ET on ESPN. The Lions are 3-point favorites to win the Fiesta Bowl with a total of 55.

Fiesta Favorite: Penn State Nittany Lions (-3)
Total: 55


Peach Bowl Odds

When is the Peach Bowl?

The Peach Bowl is being played on Monday, January 1, 2018, at 12:30 PM EST.


Where is the Peach Bowl?

The Peach Bowl is being played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.


Who's Playing in the Peach Bowl?

The #10 ranked UCF Knights are playing the #7 ranked Auburn Tigers in the 2018 Peach Bowl. 


Last, and by no means least, the Peach Bowl will make its debut on New Year’s Day (12:30 PM ET, ESPN) at the new Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where the game has been played since its inception in 1968. Grant Field was its first venue, followed by Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium and the Georgia Dome; SEC and ACC teams used to be Peach Bowl regulars, and it’s Clemson with the most appearances at eight, although the Tigers only won three of them. Alabama beat the Huskies 24-7 at last year’s Peach Bowl before losing to Clemson in the National Championship Game.

This year’s Peach Bowl is an intriguing matchup between the No. 12 UCF Knights (12-0 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) of the AAC and the No. 7 Auburn Tigers (10-3 SU, 6-5-2 ATS) of the SEC. It’s something of a letdown game for Auburn after they beat the Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl, only to lose their CFP spot when they dropped the SEC title game to Georgia. The undefeated Knights should be competitive as 10-point underdogs with a total of 67 – the highest total for any of the New Year’s Six bowls. Keep checking Bovada Sports for the freshest lines on bowl games, and stay tuned for a wide selection of college football props on each game as they become available.

Peach Bowl Favorite: Auburn Tigers (-10)
Total: 67

*Odds as of December 28, 2017