College Football Bowl Picks: Best Bets for Upcoming Games

min read
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Dec 27, 2023, 12:55 PM

College football bowl season has arrived once again, heralding in a season of 42 bonus games. That tally includes both College Football Playoff semifinal games and the Celebration Bowl.

As always, the BetMGM online sportsbook has game-by-game college football odds for your consideration. 

This year, BetMGM is also providing an additional way to enjoy bowl season: the College Football Bowl Pick ‘Em Challenge, a free-to-play predictions game for all registered players. 

Whoever picks the most games correctly (against the spread) will walk away with the $25,000 prize. You can enter by following the link above.

For those of you playing in the contest – or maybe just looking for a few strong bowl bets – here’s a little bit of analysis on the best bets to consider for upcoming games. 

College Football Bowl Season Schedule: Upcoming Games

  • Military Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Tulane (Dec. 27)
  • Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. West Virginia (Dec. 27)
  • DIRECTV Holiday Bowl: No. 15 Louisville vs. USC (Dec. 27)
  • TaxAct Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. No. 20 Oklahoma State (Dec. 27)
  • Wasabi Fenway Bowl: No. 24 Southern Methodist vs. Boston College  (Dec. 28)
  • Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Miami Florida (Dec. 28)
  • Pop-Tarts Bowl: No. 18 NC State vs. No. 25 Kansas State (Dec. 28)
  • Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 14 Arizona vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (Dec. 28)
  • TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: No. 22 Clemson vs. Kentucky (Dec. 29)
  • Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: No. 19 Oregon State vs. No. 16 Notre Dame (Dec. 29)
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs. Iowa State
  • Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 9 Missouri vs. No. 7 Ohio State (Dec. 29)
  • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: No. 11 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Penn State (Dec. 30)
  • TransPerfect Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Maryland (Dec. 30)
  • Capital One Orange Bowl: No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 5 Florida State (Dec. 30)
  • Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl: Toledo vs. Wyoming (Dec. 30)

Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. West Virginia

Pick: Over 58

Much has been made in this game of Drake Maye’s opt-out, as the Tar Heels will be turning to redshirt freshman Conner Harrell. 

Harrell may find more success against West Virginia’s mediocre defense than the market suggests, but I’m still not willing to take six points against West Virginia’s advantageous ground game. 

In my opinion, the better angle is to play the over, as I think both offenses should play ahead of both defenses. At BetMGM, market action has moved this total from 54.5 to 58 over the last week. 

Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 14 Arizona vs. No. 12 Oklahoma

Pick: Arizona -3

Here’s another game that will be drastically altered by a departed quarterback. Dillon Gabriel has left Oklahoma and is transferring to play at Oregon next year as the successor to Bo Nix. That means Oklahoma’s offense will be helmed by five-star freshman Jackson Arnold in this game.

Arnold has extremely high expectations in Norman, to the point that many Sooner fans were calling for an in-season quarterback change throughout much of the last two seasons. If Arnold is half the quarterback people think he is, Oklahoma should be a fun watch in the SEC going forward.

That said, I suspect Arnold will be outmatched in this young start against Arizona’s very good defense. The Wildcats were tested early and often in a deep Pac-12; I’m not sure Oklahoma can say the same in this season’s Big 12. I’d make this closer to Arizona -4.5.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: No. 22 Clemson vs. Kentucky

Pick: Clemson -5

Kentucky got a big perception bounce after its late-season win over Louisville, as the Cardinals were technically still in CFP contention at that point. But my theory on the game is that Jeff Brohm’s staff kind of punted on the game, putting their late-season prep energy toward the upcoming ACC Championship Game against Florida State.

If you take that win away from Kentucky, I’m not sure there’s anything that suggests the Wildcats are in Clemson’s neighborhood. I’m willing to lay a no man’s number with Clemson and expect a win by one touchdown or more. 

Goodyear Cotton Bowl: No. 9 Missouri vs. No. 7 Ohio State

Pick: Missouri +110

Missouri has been underrated and undervalued pretty much all season, and it remains a dog in this game against Ohio State despite the Buckeyes missing multiple pieces. Among the departures are starting quarterback Kyle McCord, No. 2 running back Chip Trayanum, and No. 3 receiver Julian Fleming.

Missouri is playing with its full roster (as far as we know) and can play a complete game in all three phases. I like the Tigers to win outright. 

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.