We’ve gotten our toes wet, but here’s where Bowl Season really ramps up. From Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, 25 of the total 43 games take place. Buckle in, it’s going to be a busy handful of days. Below, we’ll take a look at bowl game odds for 11 games, highlighted by the Alamo and Cheez-It bowls.
You may want to bookmark this article and be prepared to take notes– there’s a ton of coaching and personnel changes to go through.
We’ve also already published College Football Playoff odds and analysis.
This Week’s College Football Bowl Game Odds
Quick Lane Bowl: Western Michigan () vs. Nevada
Monday, December 27, 11:00 a.m. ET, ESPN
Nevada has the brunt of news worth noting for this game. Star quarterback Carson Strong won’t be playing in this game, opting out for the NFL Draft. His announcement brought in plenty of money on Western Michigan. Head coach Jay Norvell won’t be participating as he took the head job at Colorado State following the regular season. Kickoff time is also worth noting– the early kickoff clocks in at 8:00 a.m. locally for Nevada, who is traveling over 2,000 miles for this game (vs. WMU’s two hour drive down i-94).
Military Bowl: Boston College vs. East Carolina
Monday, December 27, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
This game has been cancelled.
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl: #20 Houston vs. Auburn ()
Tuesday, December 28, 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Auburn is bleeding players in this game both to the NFL and to the transfer portal. Not playing are: Projected first-round cornerback Roger McCreary, leading tackler Zakoby McClain, and two starters on the offensive line. TJ Finley will start this game after Bo Nix was lost for the season to injury and subsequently announced his intent to transfer to Oregon. Finally, they will be without offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who was fired midseason. On Houston’s side, the only opt out for them is All American corner Marcus Jones.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Air Force vs. Louisville ()
Tuesday, December 28, 3:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Malik Cunningham returns to the Cardinals for 2022, but he’ll be without two of his leading receivers in this game– Jordan Watkins and Justin Marshall– after they entered the transfer portal. Louisville is one of the biggest fades nationally, with just 28% of ESPN’s national bowl pool entries backing them. The market’s not entirely convinced of an Air Force upset, though, as the line hasn’t wavered off its 1.5-point opening line (as of Dec. 23).
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State ()
Tuesday, December 28, 6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
This will be the first time that Mike Leach faces his former employer, Texas Tech. He’s been public for years about the school still owing him money and he holds a serious grudge against the Red Raiders. Mississippi State will be without All American offensive lineman Charles Cross, who is projected to be a high draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Texas Tech will be led by Sonny Cumbie, who was the acting intern since Matt Wells was fired. Cumbie has been hired by Louisiana Tech as their next coach, but will finish this season out in Lubbock, returning to the team on Dec. 13.
SDCCU Holiday Bowl: UCLA vs. #18 NC State
This game has been cancelled.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: West Virginia vs. Minnesota ()
Tuesday, December 28, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Kirk Ciarrocca was hired as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator after serving this season as an offensive analyst for West Virginia. While Ciarrocca won’t coach in this game, he has been in Minneapolis and could assist with the Gophers’ preparation for this game. Leading West Virginia rusher Leddy Brown opted out of the game in favor of the NFL Draft. Brown rushed for over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns while accounting for 26.5% of all of the team’s total touches (run or pass).
Wasabi Fenway Bowl: Virginia vs. SMU
Wednesday, December 29, 11:00 a.m. ET, ESPN
This game has been cancelled.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Virginia Tech () vs. Maryland
Wednesday, December 29, 2:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Not teams have as many personnel changes as Virginia Tech. They parted ways with head coach Justin Fuente earlier in the season, but have been under interim J.C. Price for over a month now. Most of their starpower opted out of this game, highlighted by receiver Tre Turner (NFL Draft), corner Jermaine Waller (draft), and defensive tackle Jordan Williams. Starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister entered the transfer portal and will not play in this game as did star receiver Trayvion Robinson, who transferred to Arkansas.
Maryland doesn’t have any major opt outs or coaching changes to note, but they are seeking their first bowl win since 2010 (when they were in the ACC).
Cheez-It Bowl: #19 Clemson () vs. Iowa State
Wednesday, December 29, 5:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
Clemson lost both coordinators, neither of which will coach in this game. Tony Elliott was hired to be the head coach at Virginia while Brent Venerbles was hired to head Oklahoma. Star receiver Justyn Ross will not be ready to return from injury and is expected to depart for the NFL. Iowa State has their fair share of opt outs, most notably star running back Breece Hall, who accounted for over 28% of Iowa State’s total offensive production this year. Two of the Cyclones’ top receivers and three starters on defense entered the transfer portal and will not play in this game.
Valero Alamo Bowl: #14 Oregon vs. #16 Oklahoma ()
Wednesday, December 29, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
While not the most turnover of the games on this slate, Oklahoma and Oregon have among the most notable changes. Lincoln Riley publicly began the coaching arms race when he departed for USC a day after the regular season ended; he took multiple assistants with him. In his place, Sooners legend Bob Stoops will coach the team. Oklahoma will be without multiple starters, including their two top defensive linemen.
Mario Cristobal left Oregon to coach Miami in another shocking move. The Ducks will be without star pass rusher Kayvon Thibobeaux, who declared for the NFL Draft and is projected by many to be the first overall pick. They will also be without starting corner DJ James (transfer) and receiver Devon Williams (draft). While most of the assistant staff will not be returning next year (OC Joe Moorhead will be the head coach at Akron and DC Tim DeRuyter accepted the same job at Texas Tech), the word is they will coach in this game.