College Football Bowl Game Odds

The regular season provides plenty of college football betting opportunities with dozens of games to choose from each and every weekend. But by the time we get to college bowl season, betting interest goes through the roof.

To make it to a college football bowl, teams have to prove themselves over and over during the regular season. That means that when we get to the post-season slate, we’re treated to the best matchups college football has to offer for the current season.

For sports bettors, the spread-out nature of bowl season is also real bonus. Add in the fact that it wraps itself nicely around the holiday season, and you’ll have lots to look forward to as the calendar gets set to shift. On this page we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about betting on College Football bowls in Colorado.

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Live Odds on College Football Bowl Games

See below for live point spreads, moneylines and totals odds on every bowl game from legal CO online sportsbooks. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bet. Use the drop-down menu to change your odds board. Check the second tab for current futures odds on the National Champion.

How does college bowl betting work?

After the college football regular season, the matchups for bowl season are announced, and betting lines for each of the games are released soon thereafter. Bowl season includes 40+ games, so there is plenty of action on the field and potential wagering opportunities.

Here are the biggest games on the menu, which are also known as the New Year’s Six Bowls:

  • Rose Bowl: Affectionately known as “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl is held annually in Pasadena, California, and has a history that spans over a century.
  • Orange Bowl: Emanating from Miami, the Orange Bowl has been a big highlight of the college football landscape since 1935.
  • Sugar Bowl: The Sugar Bowl also traces its roots back to 1935 and is currently hosted at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
  • Cotton Bowl: From deep in the heart of Texas — Dallas, to be specific — the annual Cotton Bowl Classic is one of the most popular bowl games on the docket.
  • Peach Bowl: A relatively new kid on the block, the Peach Bowl debuted in 1968 and makes its home at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
  • Fiesta Bowl: The Fiesta Bowl is held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and has been a staple of the bowl season menu since 1971.

Betting on the College Football National Championship

The New Year’s Six Bowls attract plenty of attention and betting action as it is, but it’s gone to a whole new level in recent years. Since the end of the 2014-15 college football regular season, the six bowls have taken turns playing host to the College Football Playoff.

The top four teams in the nation, as designated by the College Football Playoff selection committee, square off in a pair of semifinal games at bowls. The winners advance to meet in the national championship game.

Between the playoffs and title game, we’re talking about one of the biggest sports betting events of the calendar year. You’ll have a number of different ways to bet and get involved. We’ll take a closer look at the main types of bets you can place in a bit.

Is college bowl betting legal in Colorado?

Yes, it’s legal to bet on college football bowl games in Colorado, and all other major sports for that matter. Voters gave legal sports betting the nod in 2019, legislators grabbed the ball from there, and the official rollout took place in 2020.

If you want to bet on sports in Colorado, you must be 21 or older, located within state lines and not on the prohibited list of participants, such as those who are affiliated with a pro or college team.

One note to keep in mind: Prop bets on college sports are prohibited by state law. Prop bets are essentially side wagers you can place on things that may or may not happen in a game.

How to read college bowl betting lines and odds

The lobby of listings at online and mobile sportsbooks may look a bit foreign at first glance, but it doesn’t take that long to get up to speed. For the major team sports, including college football, the odds board appears in the same manner.

As an example, let’s consider a fictitious matchup in which USC pays a visit to Colorado. When you come across the game, it’ll be listed with the visitor on top and the home team on the bottom. Next to each team will be a series of numbers such as this:

  • USC -2.5 (-110) -140 O 54.5 (-110)
  • Colorado +2.5 (-110) +120 U 54.5 (-110)

The three sets of numbers you see represent the following: point spread, moneyline and totals. Here’s how you read each of the numbers for the game in question.

  • Point spread: The -2.5 by USC indicates that oddsmakers are favoring it by that amount of points, while the positive spread by Colorado indicates underdog status.
  • Moneyline: The negative number on the USC side means it is favored, while the positive odds for Colorado point to it being the underdog.
  • Totals: This is a benchmark for total points scored in the game. In this case, it’s 54.5, and bettors can decide if they expect the total to be over or under that amount.

We’ll zero in on all three bet types in more detail shortly. For now, try to memorize what the odds board is telling you like this:

  • Point spread: Negative points means favorite, while positive points equals the underdog.
  • Moneyline: These odds work in the same way, a minus for favorites and a plus for the underdogs.
  • Totals: When you see an O and a U next to numbers with odds such as -110 attached, this is the total or over/under for the contest.

How to bet on college playoff/bowl games

The three sets of odds listed in the main betting lobby are also the bet types that typically attract the largest amount of betting action. You’ll be able to place bets on any the games on the college football bowl schedule. Let’s walk through some examples.

College bowl point spread betting

Point spreads can seem confusing at first glance, but it can help to just think of them as an estimated margin of victory. Oddsmakers will attach a number to the game, which you must account for in your handicapping.

  • Texas +3.5 (-110)
  • Oklahoma -3.5 (-110)

You can bet on underdog Texas plus the points, or favored Oklahoma minus the points. To “cover” the spread, Texas must keep the final score closer than 3.5 points or win outright. For Oklahoma to cover, it needs to win by an amount greater than the spread.

College bowl moneyline betting

A moneyline bet is one of the most simple and straightforward you’ll come across on the wagering menu and a great place to start as a result. You’re simply choosing which side will win from the two choices on the menu:

  • Michigan +135
  • Penn State -155

In this case, Penn State is favored to win over Michigan. A winning $100 bet on that side at odds of -155 would return a total of $164.50. A correct $100 wager on Michigan at odds of +135 would return a total of $235.

College bowl totals betting

Beyond winners, losers and spreads, you can also place your bets on the total amount of points scored in a game. Sportsbooks set the bar, and bettors then choose if they like the total to go over or under that amount:

  • Over 59.5 (-110)
  • Under 59.5 (-110)

Odds are attached to both sides of the equation, and they may fluctuate based on market action. Totals are a popular item on the wagering menu, and receive plenty of attention from both new and seasoned handicappers.

Other betting options for college bowls

Your choices for getting in on the action aren’t just limited to the most popular options. Here are two more ways that you can get involved, both of which can generate some nice returns if all goes well.

Parlay betting for college bowls

A parlay bet is a wager in which you include two or more outcomes on a single betting ticket. The more selections you add, the better the potential returns. However, parlays also become tougher to hit with each additional choice added.

Let’s say it’s a day with a number of bowl games on tap, and you happen to zero in on the following three teams to win on the moneyline:

  • Colorado State +125
  • Michigan State -130
  • Notre Dame -185

You can place individual wagers on each of these games, but since you feel confident in all three, you decide to also tie them together on a single parlay ticket.

After doing so, you’ll be presented with total parlay odds of +513. For round numbers, a $20 parlay bet at these odds would return a total of $122.66 if you were correct on all three selections.

Parlay betting can be quite lucrative, but remember that the risk rises with each selection added to the betting slip.

College bowl futures betting

Thanks to the futures betting market, you don’t have to wait for the national title game to place your bets on which team will be at the top when all is said and done.

Futures bets are popular wagers in which you take your chances at predicting something that has yet to happen. For college football purposes, you’ll find markets on things such as season win totals, division and conference winners, playoff teams and the national champion.

Odds are released in advance of the season and will fluctuate based on market action and performance. For example, here’s what the four favorites may look like on the odds board:

  • Clemson +250
  • Ohio State +300
  • Alabama +400
  • Georgia +800

Some futures bettors take a long-term perspective and place their wagers as soon as odds are released. Others will remain engaged throughout the season and look for appealing opportunities all along the way.

College bowl live betting

You no longer have to get all of your wagers in before the game kicks off. That’s thanks to the advent of live betting, which has grown to become one of the most popular offerings at legal and regulated sportsbooks.

As the game plays out in real-time, sportsbooks will unveil new opportunities based on what’s happening on the field. This is a fast-paced market that opens up even more doors, but discipline is a must for success.

For the college football bowl season, there will be several opportunities to take advantage of for each game on the docket. Here are a few examples:

  • What will be the outcome of the next drive?
  • Which team will hold the halftime lead?
  • What will be the total number of points scored in the second quarter?

Live betting can help to kick the enjoyment level up several notches for college bowls, and also offers up even more ways to potentially profit.

Colorado NCAAF teams

Colorado is a great spot for college football action. There are several teams at the various levels of play, each of which has a loyal and dedicated fan base. All told, there are 14 college football teams in Colorado: three at the FBS level, one in FCS, and 10 in Division II, all of which play in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Top 5 teams in Colorado

  • Colorado Buffaloes: A member of the Pac-12 since the 2011 season, the University of Colorado football program has notched 27 conference and five division titles during its history. Most recently, the 2016 edition took down the Pac-12 South Division.
  • Colorado State Rams: Affectionately known as CSU, the Rams have been part of the Mountain West Conference since 1999. The program has 15 conference crowns under its belt, the last of which came in 2002.
  • Air Force Falcons: The Falcons also joined the Mountain West in 1999, and they have quite the rivalry with Colorado State, as well as with the Army and Navy football programs. The team was the winner of the MW Mountain Division in 2015.
  • Northern Colorado Bears: A member of the FCS Big Sky Conference, Northern Colorado won back-to-back Division II national titles in 1996 and 1997. Ed McCaffrey, a former star receiver for the Denver Broncos, roams the sidelines as head coach.
  • Colorado Mines Orediggers: The Orediggers trace their roots back to 1888 and have claimed conference titles in 22 seasons. The squad is a member of the DII Rocky Mountain Conference and finished up the 2019 campaign with a perfect 10-0 record.

5 NCAA players drafted into NFL

A number of college football players from Colorado schools have taken their talents to the next level. Here’s a look at some of the more memorable names on the list.

  • Garrett Griffin: Garrett played his college ball for Air Force, scoring eight TDs along the way at the tight end position. As a member of the New Orleans Saints, he scored his first career TD in the NFC championship game versus the Los Angeles Rams in 2019.
  • Eric Bieniemy: Currently the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, Bieniemy was a second-round draft pick out of Colorado in 1991. He played for eight years in the NFL, including his initial stint with the San Diego Chargers.
  • Rashaan Salaam: The Heisman Trophy winner out of Colorado in 1994, Salaam was a first-round selection of the Chicago Bears the following year. He never quite lived up to his promise at the pro level, but he’s a legend for the Buffaloes.
  • Kordell Stewart: A second-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995 out of Colorado, the man known as “Slash” had a pretty memorable pro career, winning AFC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2001.
  • Michael Gallup: The former CSU standout was selected in round three of the 2018 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He has shown lots of promise in his young career and figures to be a key piece of the team’s offense moving forward.

College bowl betting tips

When preparing to bet on college bowl games, normal handicapping rules apply. For example, you’ll want to examine things such as the matchup on both sides of the ball while looking for specific weaknesses that may be exploited by either side.

In addition, there are some key tips you can keep in mind for bowl season, which can make quite the difference for your handicapping.

Motivation

Making it to a bowl game is a big reward in general, but there are times when the contest that programs are chosen for is a bit of a letdown. If a team entered the season with great expectations and winds up playing in a lesser bowl, that can impact the product on the field. This is especially true when it is squaring off with a team that is more than happy with how things turned out.

Historical postseason performance

Several college football programs excel in the postseason. Others? Not so much. As part of your handicapping, play close attention to how the teams have fared in bowls for years past. Additionally, check out the overall record of the head coaches in the postseason if they have careers that span more than one school.

Venue and travel

Several bowl games are held in exotic locales, so making it to the game is quite a reward for young and hungry college students. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate into an increased focus on the reason they are there. To help spot the contenders and pretenders, examine any potential red flags that may have emerged during the season, and pay close attention to the coaches’ track records.

College Bowl Betting FAQ

What are the most popular college bowl games?

Traditionally, it’s the New Year’s Six Bowls that capture the most attention. In recent years, two of those bowls also serve as College Football Playoff games, so interest has been even further through the roof.

Which college bowl games offer the best odds?

Sportsbooks, like DraftKings and FanDuel,  are very good at what they do, so each of the bowl games will be tightly managed. Naturally, the most popular games see the most betting action, but each of the contests during bowl season attracts plenty of attention.

Are all of the college bowl games televised?

Absolutely. College football attracts plenty of eyeballs to the screen throughout the season, and the same holds true for the bowls. The majority of bowl games can be found on the ESPN family of networks, but outlets such as Fox and CBS can also get in the mix.

What’s the biggest upset in college bowl history?

There have been a number of big upsets in bowl season through the years, but perhaps none was more memorable than the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma was a 7.5-point favorite over Boise State, but the Broncos came out on top in overtime of the stellar affair by a score of 43-42.

What’s the best college bowl rivalry?

Since the bowl matchups change from year to year, rivalries aren’t a big part of the fun. However, the advent of the College Football Playoff has started to change that. For example, Alabama and Clemson have developed quite the rivalry in recent years as they’ve battled for overall supremacy.