Whatever You Do, Don't Bet on These College Football Bowl Games
It's the time of year when gambling degenerates all over the country rejoice. They get a chance to spend a month wasting their well-earned money on betting college football bowl games instead of spending money on Christmas gifts for loved ones. Or paying the phone bill.
What we can do is negate those losses just a little bit by breaking down what the absolute worst bets you can make on college football bowl games are. With these bets, you would essentially be giving away your money to your bookie, or various legal sports gambling outfits in your state if it permits.
Here are the 12 worst college football bowl game bets. And you should stay away from them, no matter what.
Wasabi Fenway Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Louisville
Where: Fenway Park (Boston, Massachusetts)
When: Dec. 17, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Line: Louisville -2.5 (O/U 44.0)
Records: Cincinnati 9-3, Louisville 7-5
Why you should stay away: Stay far away from betting on this bizarro world bowl game. Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield left to be the new coach at Cincinnati just one day after the game was announced.
Those types of emotions and an all-out sprint to the transfer portal by players on both teams make it so any bet on this game is throwing your cash into a blender and hitting the "puree" button.
But it's your money so do what you want. Just don't bet on this game.
All bowl game kickoff times are EST.
Cricket Celebration Bowl: Jackson State vs. North Carolina Central
Where: Mercedez-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)
When: Dec. 17, 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Jackson State -16.5 (O/U 56.0)
Records: Jackson State (12-0), North Carolina Central (9-2)
Why you should stay away: Jackson State are huge favorites in this game, and we understand why — going unbeaten and capturing the imagination of the public throughout head coach Deion Sanders' tenure has been their specialty.
What we don't know is how Jackson State's players will react to Sanders' recent announcement he's going to be the head coach at Colorado next year. Or whether star quarterback Shedeur Sanders and star cornerback Travis Hunter will even play in the game.
It makes even a 16.5-point spread seem shaky.
SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl: Florida vs. Oregon State
Where: Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas, Nevada)
When: Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Oregon State -9.0 (O/U 53.0)
Records: Florida (6-6), Oregon State (9-3)
Why you should stay away: The reason why this bowl game gives us the heebie-jeebies is because of Florida. Star quarterback Anthony Richardson has already announced he won't play because he's entering the NFL draft, and his backup quarterback, Jalen Kitna, was arrested Nov. 30 on child pornography charges and thrown off the team.
It's the type of stew that makes a team's presence in a bowl game completely unpredictable. Florida could come together and be really solid in the bowl game, or they may splinter and be all over the place.
RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl: Liberty vs. Toledo
Where: FAU Stadium (Boca Raton, Florida)
When: Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Toledo -1.0 (O/U 53.5)
Records: Liberty (8-4), Toledo (8-5)
Why you should stay away: Liberty has made some big inroads the last few years thanks to the top-notch recruiting of former head coach Hugh Freeze, who left recently to become the new head coach at Auburn.
We assume that's why Toledo has been pegged as a slight, early favorite, but this is a total stay-away game. Liberty is much better than people probably understand because they're not on national television very often.
Definitely good enough to knock off a middling team from the MAC.
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. South Alabama
Where: Caesars Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)
When: Dec. 21, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: South Alabama -6.5 (O/U 59.0)
Records: Western Kentucky (8-5), South Alabama (10-2)
Why you should stay away: It's crazy to think South Alabama was just five points away from an unbeaten season, losing 32-31 to UCLA and 10-6 to rival Troy. And their 10-2 record still only gets them the New Orleans Bowl and a game against an 8-5 team from Conference USA.
This is only the third bowl game South Alabama has ever played in. Not that this is necessarily a factor, but the chance for a dropoff is high in these situations.
Western Kentucky is also much better than the record indicates. Of the Hilltoppers' five losses, three were against Group of Five schools that are headed to bowl games, and the other two were against Power Five teams Auburn and Indiana.
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. East Carolina
Where: Protective Life Stadium (Birmingham, Alabama)
When: Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: East Carolina -7.0 (O/U 63.0)
Records: Coastal Carolina (9-3), East Carolina (7-5)
Why you should stay away: Coastal Carolina has gone 31-6 over the last three seasons, and this is its third consecutive year playing in a bowl. It's a veteran group from one of the top Group of Five programs, so you wouldn't think this team would be touchdown underdogs to East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.
The line seems totally based on Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell leaving to be Liberty's head coach on Dec. 4. After five years of building the program to its current levels, we doubt Chadwell's infrastructure would fall apart in one game.
Give credit to the people who are remaining and playing out the season for that at least.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Where: Chase Field (Phoenix)
When: Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Wisconsin -3.0 (O/U 40.5)
Records: Wisconsin (6-6), Oklahoma State (7-5)
Why you should stay away: It's crazy to us that Wisconsin is a favorite in this game — mainly because new head coach Luke Fickell has already stated he's only going to be involved in the game in an observer capacity.
Oklahoma State seems like a much better team than its 7-5 record indicates, and their only truly horrid game was a shutout loss at Kansas State. Don't forget they played College Football Playoff semifinalist TCU to within three points in an overtime loss and have quality wins over Baylor and Texas.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Kansas vs. Arkansas
Where: Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium (Memphis, Tennessee)
When: Dec. 28, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Arkansas -5.0 (O/U 67.0)
Records: Kansas (6-6), Arkansas (6-6)
Why you should stay away: This is actually an interesting bowl game. It's two pretty good teams with 6-6 records — and two programs where a bowl win could mean a lot to their programs moving forward.
Kansas is the real X-factor here. Quarterback Jalon Daniels was out for over a month with an injury and is just returning to form. He was a Heisman Trophy candidate through the first two months of the season.
Which also means the Jayhawks could possibly be more like the team we saw when they started the season 6-0.
Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas vs. Washington
Where: Alamodome (San Antonio)
When: Dec. 29, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Texas -3.5 (O/U 64.5)
Records: Texas (8-4), Washington (10-2)
Why you should stay away: The reason why this game scares us so much is because of one player. Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers has been truly feast or famine this season and shows flashes of being a top NFL draft pick or maybe a backup next year to Arch Manning.
On the other side, Washington may have some extra momentum headed into this game as starting quarterback Michael Penix has already announced he will return next season instead of entering the NFL draft.
We're just not sure where either team's head will be in this game. Stay away from this matchup, and keep your hard-earned money.
Cheez-It Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Florida State
Where: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
When: Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: FSU -7.5 (O/U 62.0)
Records: Oklahoma (6-6), Florida State (9-3)
Why you should stay away: Florida State was playing as well as any team in the country over the last month of the season and will have a ton of momentum and motivation headed into the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma.
The real question here is with the Sooners, who have suffered through a nightmare first season under head coach Brent Venables and are completely unpredictable in that they have the talent to make games close but also seem to always give up a ton of points.
Whether they will be able to score points is always the real mystery with this team.
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: Oregon vs. North Carolina
Where: Petco Park (San Diego)
When: Dec. 28, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Line: Oregon -10.5 (O/U 73.5)
Records: Oregon (9-3), North Carolina (9-4)
Why you should stay away: Will these teams be hungry going into the Holiday Bowl? That is the big unknown. North Carolina was 9-1 before losing three straight games to close the season. Oregon's regular season ended by blowing a 21-point lead on the road against rival Oregon State in the annual Civil War game.
We'd like to say Oregon has the edge because they have much less travel to get to San Diego, but the teams get to town almost a week before the game so that's usually a nonfactor.
Shaky betting ground for sure.
Capital One Orange Bowl: Tennessee vs. Clemson
Where: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Florida)
When: Dec. 30, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Clemson -5.5 (O/U 63.0)
Records: Tennessee (10-2), Clemson (11-2)
Why you should stay away: When teams get as close to making the College Football Playoff as Tennessee and Clemson did, there's always a question of what their motivation will be in a bowl game they really, really don't want to play in. In the case of both of these teams, we think this is a stay away because of what a win here might mean to both heading into next season, when both will expect to be CFP contenders.
For Clemson, the questions are all at quarterback. The starting quarterback for the last two seasons, former five-star recruit DJ Uiagalelei has entered the transfer portal, and true freshman Cade Klubnik will make his first start.
Tennessee's disappointment with not making the CFP is much more profound, and they don't have star quarterback Hendon Hooker, who demolished his knee toward the end of the season. We can't count on the Vols. Stay away.