College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six Bowl Game Predictions Before Rivalry Week

Written By Kelley Ford | Last Updated
bowl game projections

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released its rankings for the fourth time this season and moved Washington ahead of Florida State for the No. 4 spot. The best college football betting sites adjust their odds accordingly with each new rankings release. But the postseason is about more than just the CFP. There are 39 other bowl games, highlighted by the prestigious New Year’s Six. Below is a summary of CFP and NY6 bowl game predictions:

  • current CFP Selection Committee Rankings
  • KFord Ratings projections for games between now and Selection Sunday

Odds To Win College Football National Championship

Current Bowl Game Projections

Matchup By CFP RankingsBowlMatchups By KFord Projections
No. 1 Georgia vs No. 4 WashingtonCFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar BowlGeorgia vs Oregon
No. 2 Ohio State vs No. 3 MichiganCFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Pres. by PrudentialMichigan vs Florida State
No. 5 Florida State vs No. 8 AlabamaCapital One Orange BowlOhio State vs Louisville
No. 9 Missouri vs No. 23 TulaneChick-fil-A Peach BowlMissouri vs SMU
No. 7 Texas vs No. 10 LouisvilleGoodyear Cotton Bowl ClassicTexas vs Penn State
No. 6 Oregon vs No. 11 Penn StateVrbo Fiesta BowlWashington vs Alabama

CFP Bowl Game Predictions

Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl

No. 1 Georgia vs No. 4 Washington is the current matchup.

My numbers make Georgia a 22-point favorite at Georgia Tech and a 2.5-point favorite against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. That combination yields a 53% chance Georgia finishes 13-0.

While my numbers favor Washington by 17.5 points at home against Washington State in the Apple Cup, I make Washington a 6.5-point underdog against Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game (Oregon must beat Oregon State in the Civil War first; 82% win expectancy).

As such, my numbers project that currently-ranked No. 6 Oregon will be able to move up past Washington and the loser of Ohio State/Michigan into the No. 4 spot.

Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Pres. by Prudential

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Michigan is the current matchup. But those two teams face off this weekend, with odds for The Game having UM as a small favorite this weekend in Ann Arbor.

My numbers make Michigan a 3.5-point favorite against the Buckeyes and then a 22-point favorite against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game. That combination yields a 61% chance Michigan finishes 13-0.

With Ohio State (and Washington) out of the way, it opens the door for No. 5 Florida State to move up to No. 3 if the Seminoles can win at Florida (+12.5 per my current numbers) this week and against No. 10 Louisville (+9) in the ACC Championship Game next week.

NY6 Bowl Game Predictions

Capital One Orange Bowl

The only non-College Football Playoff New Year’s Six Bowl with a conference tie-in, the highest-ranked non-CFP team from the ACC will play a team from either the SEC or Big Ten. Using the current rankings, that would be No. 5 Florida State and No. 8 Alabama.

However, as written above, my numbers favor Florida State to make the CFP (the model doesn’t know QB Jordan Travis is injured) and Ohio State to fall out of the top four.

So, my projection for this game is Ohio State vs Louisville.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Using the current rankings, this game would feature No. 9 Missouri vs No. 23 Tulane.

While my projections favor Missouri by 7.5-points at Arkansas on Friday, my projections favor SMU by six points in the most likely American Athletic Conference Championship Game: SMU at Tulane. If that comes to fruition, it’s likely SMU would be the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion.

However, it’s worth noting that No. 25 Liberty from CUSA is currently the next-highest-ranked G5 team behind Tulane. My numbers favor the Flames by 16.5 points at UTEP this week and by 12.5 points against New Mexico State in the championship game.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

The current rankings would likely pair No. 7 Texas with No. 10 Louisville in this game.

However, as mentioned above, my numbers project Louisville to end up in the Orange Bowl. So who takes the Cardinals place in this one? That would be No. 11 Penn State. The Nittany Lions have a 97% win expectancy on Friday against Michigan State in Detroit.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl

No. 6 Oregon vs No. 11 Penn State is likely the current matchup.

But my numbers project Oregon to the CFP and Penn State to the Cotton Bowl. So that means these two spots open up for a pair of teams that my numbers project will lose in their respective conference championship games, No. 4 Washington and No. 8 Alabama.

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