College Football Bowl Season: 2023-24 New Year’s Six Odds Market Report
The post-Christmas rush to the betting window sent dozens of College Football bowl odds in flux. While not every major shift was founded (see: UNLV pre-kick, six-point move), many late swings indicate player news (see: Frank Harris out of Frisco Bowl). Large bowls like the Cotton Bowl aren’t immune to these big moves. After weeks of being open, what is now causing swings in New Year’s Six bowl odds?
Especially with the chaos of Bowl Season, monitoring big moves in odds is a critical tool for successful betting. Is a player making a last-second decision to sit? Did half the starting roster come down with the flu? These reasons and more were unpleasant surprises to many of the betting masses.
Before betting on bowls, compare odds from the best college football betting sites. We’ve compiled those odds for you in the tables below.
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College Football New Year’s Six Odds Report
Cotton Bowl: No. 9 Missouri Vs. No. 7 Ohio State
- Biggest move: Missouri +6.5 to Missouri -2.5, Ohio State +2.5 to Ohio State -2.5
- Opening line: Ohio State -6.5
- Reason for move: Player opt-outs, market-driven
After initially opening as nearly a touchdown favorite, a slew of suspected opt-outs and the transfer of starting QB Kyle McCord slashed Ohio State’s number down to -2.5. Star receiver and Heisman finalist Marvin Harrison Jr. was also heavily suspected to sit, pushing the line further to a high-water mark of Missouri -2.5. But the days after Christmas brought more change, moving the line back in favor of the Buckeyes to its current mark.
A few key cogs – namely receiver Emeka Egbuka, running back TreVeyon Henderson, and All-American linebacker Tommy Eichenberg – opted into the game, perhaps giving bettors confidence in Ohio State’s roster. QB Devin Brown gets the starting nod. Notably, the Buckeyes haven’t lost a non-Playoff bowl game since 2011 (a year in which they were hit heavy with NCAA sanctions) and before then, 2004.
Mizzou has almost total buy-in from the team. Their two best defenders, corner Ennis Rakestraw Jr. and linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper, are out with injuries.
Cotton Bowl Odds, Betting Preview, Opt Outs and Injuries
Peach Bowl: No. 11 Ole Miss Vs. No. 10 Penn State
- Biggest move: Penn State -3.5 to Penn State -4.5
- Opening line: Penn State -3.5
- Reason for move: Market-driven
The names of players not playing in the Peach Bowl is thankfully low. Aside from Penn State’s Chop Robinson and Ole Miss’ Micah Pettus, these rosters are intact. Oddsmakers opened Penn State at -3.5, deterring an initial push of Nittany Lions bettors. The market was patient, but when the -3 didn’t show, the movement began coming in on Penn State. In the 48 hours following Christmas Day, that line moved a point and might not yet be done moving.
A move from -3 to -3.5 represents a 17% shift in implied win rate; a move from -4 to -5.5 is just a 10% move combined. With less consequence for bettors buying at -4.5 or -5.5 than -6, expect more fluidity in the spread leading up to kickoff.
James Franklin has a proven track record in New Year’s Six bowl games, holding a 3-1 record and winning his last three.
Orange Bowl: No. 6 Georgia Vs. No. 5 Florida State
- Biggest move: Georgia -14 to Georgia -19.5
- Opening line: Georgia -14
- Reason for move: Player opt outs
Things went from bad to worse for Florida State. After being controversially left out of the CFP field at 13-0, 12 starters announced they wouldn’t play for various reasons. Backup QB Tate Rodemaker hit the transfer portal, leaving QB1 duties to Brock Glenn. Glenn went just 8-for-21 for 55 yards in the ACC Championship Game against Louisville. None of the players who caught a pass in that game will play, nor will FSU’s top two rushers.
The omission from the CFP was a dejecting experience for the ‘Noles, not an uplifting one. On the other side, Kirby Smart likely uses the omission as fuel for the Dawgs. However, the movement in this game comes from the sheer number of absences for FSU; no roster has quite the same extensive damage.
At -19.5 and O/U 44.5 points, the implied final score sits at Georgia 32, Florida State 12.5.
Orange Bowl Odds, player news, opt outs
Fiesta Bowl: No. 23 Liberty Vs. No. 8 Oregon
- Biggest move: Oregon -14 to Oregon -17.5
- Opening line: Oregon -14
- Reason for move: Players not opting out, market-driven
While Oregon has its share of opt outs – namely All American center Jackson Powers-Johnson – much of the market movement on the Ducks came from a notable opt in. Heisman finalist Bo Nix announced he would play in the game, going against the seeming-foregone conclusion that he would skip for the NFL Draft. Oregon went from -14 to -17.5 in some spots following the announcement.
Speculation still remains around WR Troy Franklin and tackle Ajani Cornelius, although neither are expected to play.
Liberty played the nation’s easiest schedule en route to a 13-0 record. Just two of their opponents finished power rated above 80 and the slate was absent a single Power Five opponent. Now, the Flames take on their first – the No. 1 most efficient offense in the country. While the player news drove some of the odds movement, much of it was purely market-driven.
Fiesta Bowl odds: Betting preview, injuries, opt outs
CFB New Year’s Six Bowl Odds
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