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As everyone turns their attention (and bankroll) to the College Football Playoffs, there are still a few games on the board I’m getting action on other than the big two.
Finding a diamond in the rough is invaluable in sports betting. Each time you glance at the board, your first move should be to find the value. Below are a few picks I think you should consider, as I feel the lines are soft.
Additionally, if you ARE betting on the college football playoffs, be sure to check out my gambling guide here. My favorite pick is in the Rose Bowl game, so you’ll want to check it out. It’s my lock of the weekend!
And, if you’re a new user, the FanDuel Sportsbook is offering an incredible promo for the college football playoffs. Bet $5 on any of the four teams to win outright, and if they do, you win $125! Click this link for more details.
Here are my picks for the three best bowl games to bet outside of the college football playoffs:
(odds via the FanDuel Sportsbook ; subject to change.)
January 1, 2021
Peach Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (7-2) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-0)
- Moneyline: GA: (-325), CIN: (+250)
- Spread: GA: -7.5 (-108), CIN: +7.5 (-112)
- Total: Over 51.5: (-106), Under 70.5: (-114)
The Pick: Cincinnati +7.5
Here’s a situational spot I’m looking to get a little bit of action on. A factor to consider in bowl games is whether a team actually wants to win it. I still think Georgia wins outright, but Cincinnati and their incredible defense are more than capable of covering the spread.
This game means little to Georgia, who are out of the college football playoffs for the third straight year, and EVERYTHING to Cincinnati, a team trying to prove they deserved to be in the final four.
The Bearcats have the seventh-best defense in the Group of Five and are well equipped to face a good Georgia offense. Put a small bet on this, perhaps in a parlay, and take the points.
Citrus Bowl: Auburn Tigers (6-4) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (6-2)
- Moneyline: AUB: (156),NW: (-194)
- Spread: AUB: +3.5 (-112), NW: -3.5 (-108)
- Total: Over 43.5: (-106), Under 43.5: (-114)
The Pick: Under 43.5
In a bowl season that seems to be overrun by overs, here’s an under that gives us some confidence. Northwestern is coming off an excellent defensive performance. They held the always prolific Ohio State offense to only three scores in the Big 10 Championship game, the Buckeyes lowest-scoring game of the season. Their defense is for real. They allow only 15.5 points per game, suitable for the fifth-best in the nation.
No one will argue Ohio State’s offense is vastly superior to Auburn’s, and while I like Tigers quarterback Bo Nix, he’s an entirely different player on the road. I’m considering putting some cash on Northwestern’s spread, but the under is the play for two offenses that don’t score much.
January 2, 2021
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon Ducks (4-2) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (8-3)
- Moneyline: ORE: (+164), ISU: (-205)
- Spread: ORE: +4.5 (-112), ISU: -4.5 (-108)
- Total: Over 58.5: (-106), Under 58.5: (-114)
The Pick: Iowa State -4.5
Here’s the diamond in the rough. I think this line should be closer to 7. I know Oregon beat USC in the Pac-12 Championship game, but it was a game they shouldn’t have even played in (thanks, COVID). If you haven’t watched the Ducks all season, they’re not a good football team.
Oregon has losses to Oregon State and Cal, while Iowa State has one-possession losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. You saw what those two teams did in their respective bowl games. It might not be a blowout, but a much better Iowa State team should win by at least a touchdown.
And, there you have it—some good games to put a little action on. Have a safe and happy New Year’s Day!
UPDATE 1/1/2021 (9:25 P.M.):
I had the right idea with the Northwestern vs. Auburn game … I was just on the wrong bet! I mentioned I liked the Wildcats but ultimately took the under, which was smashed midway through the fourth quarter. I own the mistake and have a bonus pick in the Texas A&M vs. UNC Tarheels game to make up for it.
The Pick: Texas A&M -7.5
The Aggies are playing with a chip on their shoulder. They believe they were shut out of the college football playoffs, and after watching Notre Dame play earlier today, it’s hard to argue against it. They want to make a bold statement to the committee. They’ll get their chance against a UNC team that’ll be without four of their best weapons.
Tarheels running backs Michael Carter and Javonte Williams, wide receiver Dyami Brown, and linebacker Chazz Surratt have all opted out of the Orange Bowl. That’s a ton of production missing for a UNC squad playing in its biggest bowl game since 2001.
While UNC quarterback Sam Howell should have a good game against an Aggies team susceptible to the deep ball, the Tarheels’ offense will be missing 4,056 yards and 41 touchdowns worth of production. That’s a significant blow.
The Aggies’ defense is the 12th-best in the country and is especially deadly against the run. Part of what made UNC great this season was their balanced attack. With both of their top running backs out, their offense is one-dimensional.
It’s a good spot for A&M to cover. Remember, the only team to beat the Aggies this season was Alabama, who is in the National Championship game. Lay the points and ride the Aggies to victory!
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