College football’s 2019-20 bowl season will start in the Bahamas on Dec. 20 with Buffalo taking on Charlotte in the Bahamas Bowl, but the games everyone is most excited for are the New Year’s Six bowls. The pairings for these games were determined during the College Football Playoff selection show, and there are betting lines available now.
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Peach Bowl: LSU (-13) vs. Oklahoma, O/U 75.5
The Tigers are massive favorites over the Sooners in the Peach Bowl on Saturday, December 28. LSU is having its best season in over 60 years, and Joe Burrow is set to become the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner since Billy Cannon won the award in 1959. Burrow is a -30000 favorite to win the award this Saturday, making him the loftiest favorite we have seen since Troy Smith won the 2006 Heisman Trophy.
LSU was initially -10 by the opening college football betting odds, but an influx of money on the Tigers led to this line taking off. Oklahoma has not looked sharp since its loss to Kansas State in Manhattan, beating Iowa State by a point, Baylor by three points, and TCU by four points before finally winning comfortably in Bedlam. The Sooners needed to outlast Baylor in overtime in the Big 12 Championship Game to get here too, and they would not have been chosen by the Selection Committee if Utah beat Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship Game on Friday night.
Fiesta Bowl: Clemson (-2) vs. Ohio State, O/U 63.5
Dabo Swinney might think that the defending national champions are being disrespected, but the oddsmakers believe in Clemson. The Tigers are the No. 3 seed, but they are slight favorites over No. 2 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, December 28.
Clemson has pasted each team it has played over the last two months. All the Tigers’ wins have come by at least 31 points, and they hammered Virginia 62-17 in the ACC Championship Game last week. Meanwhile, Ohio State had a tough time getting past Wisconsin, needing to rally from a 21-7 halftime deficit to keep its undefeated season alive.
MORE: Picks for all 40 bowl games in 2019-20
Cotton Bowl: Penn State (-7) vs. Memphis, O/U 60.5
Special teams could play a major role in the Cotton Bowl, as Penn State and Memphis have two of the best special teams’ units in the country. Memphis has returned 10 kickoffs for touchdowns since the start of 2018, and the Tigers have the third best special teams in the country by SP+. Penn State is one of the nation’s best at preventing returns, allowing just 262 total return yards all season, and the Nittany Lions are conceding a scant 1.8 yards per punt return.
The Nittany Lions will be using a new offensive coordinator for this game though as Ricky Rahne has become the new head coach at Old Dominion. Rahne had been the OC in Happy Valley since Joe Moorhead left to take the Mississippi State head coaching job two years, and that could create some hiccups on an offense that could be without star receiver K.J. Hamler too if he declares early for the NFL Draft.
Orange Bowl: Florida (-13.5) vs. Virginia, O/U 55
Virginia is making its first trip to the Orange Bowl after its best season in over 20 years. However, the Wahoos are one of the biggest underdogs of bowl season. Bryce Perkins did it all in leading the Cavaliers to their first ACC Coastal title in program history, but the oddsmakers believe that Florida’s defense will shut him down and hamstring this offense.
Perkins was responsible for over 78 percent of UVA’s offense this season. The Gators have one of the best defenses in the country, though, ranking seventh in SP+. That could lead to a long day for Virginia as SP+ rates the Cavaliers as the 45th best team in the country, behind 6-6 teams like Michigan State and Tulane.
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Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (-2.5) vs. Oregon, O/U 51
If this year’s Rose Bowl is anything like the 2012 Rose Bowl between Oregon and Wisconsin, we’re all in for a treat. In that year’s edition of “The Granddaddy of Them All”, Oregon and Wisconsin combined for 1,129 yards and set a then-Rose Bowl record with 83 combined points. This year’s version is likely to see considerably less scoring according to the betting lines though.
Both Oregon and Wisconsin like to run the ball and trust their defenses to make big plays. The Ducks ran all over what had been the best run defense in the country last week in the Pac 12 Championship Game, and the Badgers have been one of the best running teams for the last two decades. That will put the onus on both teams to stop the run in Pasadena.
Sugar Bowl: Georgia (-7.5) vs. Baylor, O/U 42.5
UGA is hoping that Baylor decides not to bring either of its live bear mascots to the Sugar Bowl after nearly being impaled by Bevo last year. That ominous event foreshadowed what was to come as Texas stunned Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, beating the Bulldogs 28-21 as a two-touchdown underdog.
Baylor isn’t nearly as much of an underdog, as Matt Rhule has the Bears playing the best defense in the Big 12. That nearly led to Baylor beating Oklahoma twice, but the Bears fell short both times and have to settle for an NY6 game rather than a spot in the College football Playoff.