Fiesta Bowl Odds

College Football Playoff


The Vrbo Fiesta Bowl is a College Football Playoff semifinal this season and it kicks off Dec. 31 from State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, Ariz. The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 4:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. MT. The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (13-0) host first-time CFP team the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs (12-1). Traditionally, the Fiesta Bowl is a matchup between two at-large teams. This page will focus on Fiesta Bowl betting odds, matchup analysis, and bowl history.

Fiesta Bowl odds: No. 2 Michigan Vs. No. 3 TCU College Football Playoff Semifinal

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Michigan is a favorite over TCU in the Fiesta Bowl– the first of two College Football Playoff Semifinals. Early numbers posted by FanDuel Sportsbook suggested Michigan was favored by 9.5 points, but most books ultimately settled on -7.5. The little movement thus far has favored Michigan.

Expect the Wolverines to control most of the handle and bets and to be a popular high confidence pick in bowl pools.

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Why Michigan Can Cover

The bottom line: Michigan is the better team. They have a coach with more bowl and championship experience of late. In bowl and Playoff games, postseason coaching experience matters.

Michigan unlocked the ideal balance between a hard-nosed rushing offense and efficient downfield passing offense. JJ McCarthy showed he can win Michigan ballgames, demonstrated in their road win over Ohio State. Though Blake Corum is done for the season, running back Donovan Edwards showed just as much explosion and pop when the lead back. Against a TCU defense that’s 63rd in yards per rush allowed, Edwards should have another fine outing.

Defensively, Michigan is the best team TCU’s offense has faced by a comfortable margin. They have the athletes outside to match TCU’s speedy receivers, namely Mike Sanstrill and DJ Tucker. Sanstrill was the hero of the Ohio State game, making an incredible play on a sure TD to force the turnover on downs.

The Wolverines don’t give up big plays. They’ve allowed the 14th-least plays of 20 or more yards this season and just two plays of 40 or more yards– fewest in the nation.

Why TCU Can Cover

The market’s been off on TCU all season. They finished with a 9-3-1 record against the spread, although the finish to the season was much less fruitful than the start. Either way, this is a TCU team underrated by the market all season long.

TCU bettors get a good number, too, on the plus-side of +7. 17% of college football games end in a seven-point differential, which is known as the “push rate.” So a movement off or through seven points represents a massive 17% shift in implied win percentage, the highest of any number in college football.

The Horned Frogs live by the big play, but also showed that they can win football games with running back Kendre Miller. Heisman finalist Max Duggan and potential first-round receiver Quentin Johnston received most of the attention, but Miller finished the year with over 1,300 yards and 17 TDs. In the Big 12 Championship Game, OC Garrett Riley called Miller’s number to win the game twice.

Defensively, this is a much-improved team. They held opponents to under 30 points in regulation in each of their last five games after allowing 30 points four times in their first eight games.

This is also a tested team. With so many close games and comebacks, TCU has been there and done that. Getting behind early in this game won’t put them away.

Important Player Notes

As mentioned, Corum is out of the lineup for Michigan. While this was initially a point of concern, the offense scored 45 and 43 points in the two games without him. Edwards proved to be a more than capable replacement, rushing for 216 yards against Ohio State and 185 yards against Purdue.

Beyond that– these are two healthy teams with time to rest. However, keep an eye on player news for any injuries that may pop up.

Fiesta Bowl betting

The 2021 Fiesta Bowl saw the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Notre Dame Fighting Irish square off in Marcus Freeman’s first game as head coach. The line moved all around, pinning Oklahoma State and Notre Dame both as slight favorites depending on the day. Ultimately, this game was about a pick ’em with a 45.5-point over/under.

Spencer Sanders and the Pokes mounted a furious second-half comeback to beat the Irish 37-35. Notre Dame QB Jack Coan threw a Fiesta Bowl-record 509 yards and five TDs on another record-breaking 68 passes. However, the Pokes’ defense stepped up in the second half, holding Notre Dame to just seven points while scoring 23 of their own.

The point total went way over on what was expected to be a defensive stalemate and, with the win, Oklahoma State covered the spread.

Previous Years

Favorites have dominated recent history in the Fiesta Bowl. Before the 2021 game, four straight favorites covered (and if you bet OKST -1 last year, five did). To find the last underdog to cover, you’d have to look back to 2016, when Clemson +1 beat Ohio State 31-0 in the College Football Playoff. The Tigers would go on to win the National Championship under Trevor Lawrence.

To find the last non-CFP underdog to cover in the Fiesta Bowl, head back another two seasons to Boise State, who upended Arizona as a 2.5-point favorite, 38-30.

Six of the last nine games have gone over point totals. A string of three Fiesta Bowls from 2011-13 saw over/unders set at 73 or higher, a testament to the typically high-flying offenses that play in the desert. However, both CFP semifinal matchups (which were both matchups between Clemson and Ohio State) went under the point total.


Below are historical results of the Fiesta Bowl. Games marked with a “*” indicate a CFP semifinal matchup and ones marked with a “^” indicate a National Championship.

Arizona State played in and won the first three Fiesta Bowls played in their home stadium from 1971-73. In the inaugural bowl game, the Sun Devils beat Florida State 45-38.

Date playedWinnerScoreLoserScore
December 31, 20223 TCU512 Michigan45
January 1, 2022No. 9 Oklahoma State37No. 5 Notre Dame35
January 2, 2021No. 12 Iowa State34No. 25 Oregon17
December 28, 2019*No. 3 Clemson29No. 2 Ohio State23
January 1, 2019No. 11 LSU40No. 7 UCF32
December 30, 2017No. 9 Penn State35No. 12 Washington28
December 31, 2016*No. 3 Clemson31No. 2 Ohio State0
January 1, 2016No. 7 Ohio State44No. 8 Notre Dame28
December 31, 2014No. 21 Boise State38No. 12 Arizona30
January 1, 2014No. 15 UCF52No. 6 Baylor42
January 3, 2013No. 5 Oregon35No. 7 Kansas State17
January 2, 2012No. 3 Oklahoma State41No. 4 Stanford38 (OT)
January 1, 2011No. 9 Oklahoma48No. 25 Connecticut20
January 4, 2010No. 6 Boise State17No. 3 TCU10
January 5, 2009No. 3 Texas24No. 10 Ohio State21
January 2, 2008No. 11 West Virginia48No. 3 Oklahoma28
January 1, 2007No. 9 Boise State43No. 7 Oklahoma42 (OT)
January 2, 2006No. 4 Ohio State34No. 5 Notre Dame20
January 1, 2005No. 5 Utah35No. 19 Pittsburgh7
January 2, 2004No. 7 Ohio State35No. 8 Kansas State28
January 3, 2003^No. 2 Ohio State31No. 1 Miami (Florida)24 (2 OT)
January 1, 2002No. 2 Oregon38No. 3 Colorado16
January 1, 2001No. 5 Oregon State41No. 10 Notre Dame9
January 2, 2000No. 3 Nebraska31No. 6 Tennessee21
January 4, 1999^No. 1 Tennessee23No. 2 Florida State16
December 31, 1997No. 10 Kansas State35No. 14 Syracuse18
January 1, 1997No. 7 Penn State38No. 20 Texas15
January 2, 1996^No. 1 Nebraska62No. 2 Florida24
January 2, 1995No. 4 Colorado41Notre Dame24
January 1, 1994No. 16 Arizona29No. 10 Miami (Florida)0
January 1, 1993No. 6 Syracuse26No. 10 Colorado22
January 1, 1992No. 6 Penn State42No. 10 Tennessee17
January 1, 1991No. 18 Louisville34No. 25 Alabama7
January 1, 1990No. 5 Florida State41No. 6 Nebraska17
January 2, 1989No. 1 Notre Dame34No. 3 West Virginia21
January 1, 1988No. 3 Florida State31No. 5 Nebraska28
January 2, 1987No. 2 Penn State14No. 1 Miami (Florida)10
January 1, 1986No. 5 Michigan27No. 7 Nebraska23
January 1, 1985No. 14 UCLA39No. 13 Miami (Florida)37
January 2, 1984No. 14 Ohio State28No. 15 Pittsburgh23
January 1, 1983No. 11 Arizona State32No. 12 Oklahoma21
January 1, 1982No. 7 Penn State26No. 8 USC10
December 26, 1980No. 10 Penn State31No. 11 Ohio State19
December 25, 1979No. 10 Pittsburgh16Arizona10
December 25, 1978No. 8 Arkansas10No. 15 UCLA10
December 25, 1977No. 8 Penn State42No. 15 Arizona State30
December 25, 1976No. 8 Oklahoma41Wyoming7
December 26, 1975No. 7 Arizona State17No. 6 Nebraska14
December 28, 1974Oklahoma State16No. 17 BYU6
December 21, 1973No. 10 Arizona State28Pittsburgh7
December 23, 1972No. 15 Arizona State49Missouri35
December 27, 1971No. 8 Arizona State45Florida State38


When is the 2022 Fiesta Bowl?

The 2022 Fiesta Bowl will be played on Dec. 31, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. MT.

Where is the Fiesta Bowl?

The 2022 Fiesta Bowl will be played at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix and has been since 2006. Previously, it was held at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe– home to Arizona State– and featured multiple National Championships.

Who is playing in the 2022 Fiesta Bowl?

No. 2 Michigan plays No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal game this year. No. 1 seed Georgia was allowed to choose their location, which they chose the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. Michigan was then delegated to the Fiesta Bowl.