Handicapping New Year’s Six odds are the peak of bowl season. The grandeur, the excitement– it brings the best of college football to a national stage. This year, the two New Year’s Six bowl games to be part of the College Football Playoff are the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl.
Below, we’ll lay out everything you need to know before betting New Year’s Six odds. With a hectic coaching carousel and busy transfer portal, bookmark this article to make sure you don’t miss a single game note.
We also have extended coverage of College Football Playoff odds and analysis. Bookmark TheLines for updates to opt outs, injuries, and coaching changes throughout the college postseason.
2021-22 New Year’s Six Odds
Peach Bowl: #10 Michigan State () vs. #12 Pittsburgh
Thursday, December 30, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
If you’re looking for these teams’ superstar players, you’ll have to next catch them at the NFL Draft. Heisman finalist Kenny Pickett (Pitt) and Doak Walker Award winner Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) opted out of this game to focus on getting ready for the pros. Pitt will also be without offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, who accepted the same job at Nebraska. Fred Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison faces a Michigan State defense that finished 103rd in passing explosiveness allowed.
This is Pitt’s first New Year’s Six appearance since 2004 and Michigan State’s first since the 2015 College Football Playoff semifinal (Cotton Bowl).
Goodyear Cotton Bowl: #1 Alabama () vs. #4 Cincinnati — CFP Semifinal
Friday, December 31, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
This is Alabama’s 12th New Year’s Six bowl under Nick Saban and Cincinnati’s second straight. Saban hasn’t lost a non-National Championship bowl game since 2014, where they were upended by #4 Ohio State in the first-ever CFP semifinal.
The best matchup in this game is between Alabama star receiver Jameson Williams and Cincinnati corner Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Both were named first team All American and are both expected to be selected in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. The Tide are without John Metchie III, who suffered a knee injury late in the SEC Championship Game. Keep an eye on Slade Bolden, who was not part of the 1,000-yard duo this year, but saw a significant increase in targets following Metchie’s departure.
The Bearcats counter an embarrassment of riches of Bama pass catchers with Coby Bryant at the other corner spot, a second team All American. This season, no one fielded a more talented duo of cornerbacks than Cincinnati. They’ll need the All American effort from the defense against Heisman winner Bryce Young, who shredded Georgia’s defense to the tune of 421 yards and three touchdowns in the conference title game.
CapitalOne Orange Bowl: #2 Michigan vs. #3 Georgia () — CFP Semifinal
Friday, December 31, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
This game features nine All Americans, seven of which come on the defensive side of the ball. It’s no surprise that this game comes in with an uncharacteristically-low point total for a semifinal game (– more in line with the NFL). The list is spearheaded by Heisman finalist Aiden Hutchinson, Dick Butkis Award winner Nakobe Dean, and Outland Trophy winner Jordan Davis. Michigan kicker Jake Moody rounded out the four first team All American selections.
Michigan counters Georgia’s historic front seven with a Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line and Hassan Haskins, who tied for the nation lead in rushing touchdowns in the regular season (20). Don’t expect another Ohio State performance from the Michigan front, as Georgia finished the season with the lowest points per drive allowed since 2008 when the stat began to be kept.
Despite some grumblings about benching quarterback Stetson Bennett IV, the Dawgs will likely roll with him again. J.T. Daniels tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 22, potentially jeopardizing his ability to play in this game. Standout receiver George Pickens also joined Daniels in protocols.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: #9 Oklahoma State vs. #5 Notre Dame ()
Saturday, January 1, 1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Notre Dame will be without first team All American Kyle Hamilton, who’s been projected by many to be a top-five pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Hamilton was already nursing an injury and decided it best not to return early and risk re-injury so close to the draft. The Irish also lost running back Kyren Williams, who declared for the NFL Draft and will not play in this game. Oklahoma State keeps their team mostly intact, but defensive coordinator Jim Knowels will be coaching his last game for the Pokes here.
Rose Bowl: #6 Ohio State () vs. #11 Utah
Saturday, January 1, 5:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Ohio State is down four All Americans, who opted out of this game: receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, as well as defensive tackle Haskell Garrett and offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere. They turn to All American sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba and a litany of blue-chip recruits that make up this receiver room to fill the absences on the outside. This is Utah’s first ever Rose Bowl game, giving them a vigor not found in many other bowl teams this season. Given the grandeur and prestige of this game in particular, there likely won’t be many, if any, opt outs from Utah.
AllState Sugar Bowl: #7 Baylor vs. #8 Ole Miss ()
Saturday, January 1, 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
One of the biggest player notes this Bowl Season was that superstar Matt Corral would play for Ole Miss in this game. It’ll be his last game in Oxford before departing for the NFL. However, he’ll be without offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who was hired to be the OC at Oklahoma. Baylor’s quarterback situation is murky, but head coach Dave Aranda said he expects starter Gerry Bohanan to be healthy enough to play in this game. Reserve Blake Shapen completed 82.1% of this passes (23-for-28) and threw three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Big 12 Championship Game.
College Football Bowl Odds
Find New Year’s Six odds, as well as odds for every bowl game below: