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Bowl season, although very different this year, is upon us.
From September-November, the over was 38-22 (.633) in games with a total of 45 or lower. However, December has been a very different story; the over is 6-18 (.250) as we close in on Christmas.
Here are notes and more trends to know for the bowl games.
Odds listed are from Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill and subject to change.
Saturday, Dec. 26
FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl: Liberty Flames vs. No. 12 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-6.5, 59.5)
• Liberty is 3-0 against the spread as an underdog this season.
• Liberty is 8-2 ATS overall this season, which is tied for the fifth-best mark. Coastal Carolina is also tied for fifth at 8-2-1 ATS.
• Coastal is 5-0 ATS this season against teams with winning records.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: No. 19 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (-13, 57.5) vs. UTSA Roadrunners
• Louisiana is the only team in FBS with six outright road wins without a loss this season. Alabama and Coastal Carolina are each 5-0 straight up as a visitor.
• Louisiana is 0-3 ATS in bowl games since 2016.
• UTSA is 4-0 ATS in its past four as double-digit underdogs.
• UTSA is 9-3 ATS over its past 12 games as underdogs.
• The under is 8-3 in UTSA's games this season and 7-1 over its past eight games.
Tuesday, Dec. 29
Cheez-It Bowl: No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-2, 58.5) vs. 18 Miami Hurricanes
• Oklahoma State is 14-3 ATS in nonconference games over the past five seasons. That is the best cover percentage over that span.
• Oklahoma State is 4-0 ATS in bowl games since 2016.
• Oklahoma State is 9-3 ATS against ranked teams since 2018; only Tulsa (8-0) and Purdue (6-1) have a better cover percentage during that span.
• Miami is 4-1 ATS as an underdog since 2019.
• Miami is 1-7 ATS in bowl games since 2010, tied with WVU for the worst cover percentage over that span (min. 5 games).
Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 20 Texas Longhorns (-13, 63.5) vs. Colorado Buffaloes
• Texas is 3-0 ATS in bowl games since 2017.
• Teas is 4-1 ATS vs. Colorado since 2004.
• Colorado is 10-25-1 ATS vs. ranked teams since 2010; only New Mexico (3-12) has a worse cover percentage over that span (minimum 15 games).
• Texas is 8-10 ATS as a double-digit favorite the past five seasons.
• If the line holds, -13 would be tied for the most points Texas has been favored by in a bowl game (also -13 in 2001 vs. Washington; Texas won but did not cover).
Wednesday, Dec. 30
Duke's Mayo Bowl: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Wisconsin Badgers (-6.5, 52)
• Wake Forest is 6-2 ATS (.750) this season. The last time the Demon Deacons finished a season with a cover percentage over 70% was 1997 (8-3, .727).
• Wake Forest has covered all four of its home games this season by an average of 14.9 points. Only Buffalo (20.7) and Air Force (18.0) have larger per game cover margins at home in 2020.
• Wake Forest is 3-0 ATS as an underdog this season.
• Wisconsin is 0-4 ATS over its past four games; it was a favorite in all four.
• Wisconsin is 4-1-1 ATS (5-1 SU) in bowl games since 2014.
TransPerfect Music City Bowl: No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes (-15, 50) vs. Missouri Tigers
• Iowa is 3-0 ATS in its past three bowl games.
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• The current 15 points is the most Iowa has ever been favored in a bowl game. The previous high was -7 in 1986 v.s San Diego State (Iowa won but did not cover).
• Iowa is 3-4 ATS (1-1 this season) as a double-digit favorite.
• Missouri have failed to cover each of its past three games.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 7 Florida Gators (-3, 71.5) vs. No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners
• Oklahoma is 3-0 SU (3-0 ATS) against ranked opponents this season; Alabama (4-0), Ohio State (3-0) and Cincinnati (3-0) are the only other teams with at least three wins without a loss against ranked opponents this season.
• Oklahoma is 6-1 ATS over its past seven games.
• Florida is 4-0 ATS following a loss since 2019.
• Florida is 26-11-4 ATS against top-10 teams since 2004; only Clemson has a better cover percentage against top-10 teams in that span (20-7-1; minimum 10 games).
• Florida is 10-0 in nonconference games since 2018; only LSU has more nonconference wins (12-0) without a loss during that span.
• Florida is 8-2 ATS in nonconference games since 2018, tied with Texas A&M (8-2 ATS) for the best cover percentage during that span.
Thursday, Dec. 31
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: No. 24 Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-2.5, 50) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
• Tulsa is 7-1 ATS this season; only San Jose State (6-0-1) and Indiana (7-0) have a better cover percentage.
• Tulsa is 3-0 ATS in bowl games since 2012.
• Tulsa is 4-1 ATS in its past five games as a favorite.
• Mississippi State is 0-4 against teams with winning records this season.
• Mississippi State is 1-3 ATS in Bowl games since 2016.
Arizona Bowl: Ball State Cardinals vs. No. 22 San José State Spartans (-7.5, 63)
• San Jose State is 6-0-1 ATS this season, tied with Indiana (7-0 ATS) for the best mark in the FBS.
• San Jose State is 26-13-2 ATS as a favorite since 2012; that is the third-best cover percentage as a favorite during that span (Tulane, 28-12-0 and Liberty, 11-5-3).
• Ball State is 3-0 ATS as an underdog in 2020.
• Ball State is 0-4 ATS in bowl games since 2007.
• Ball State is 2-14 SU against ranked teams since 2004.
Friday, Jan. 1
Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl: No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs (-7, 50.5) vs. No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats
• Georgia is 6-1 ATS in bowl games since 2014.
• The over is 4-0 in Georgia's past four games this season.
• Georgia is 5-4 ATS as at least a 7-point favorite in bowl games since 2004.
• Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS in its past four as an underdog.
• Cincinnati is 5-11 ATS in bowl games, including 1-4 ATS as an underdog.
VRBO Citrus Bowl: Auburn Tigers vs. No. 14 Northwestern Wildcats (-3.5, 43.5)
• The under is 7-1 in Northwestern games this season, including 4-1 when the total is under 50.
• Northwestern is 7-1 ATS this season; only San Jose State (6-0-1) and Indiana (7-0) have a better cover percentage.
• Northwestern is 4-1 ATS as a favorite this season.
• Auburn is 0-3 ATS as an underdog this season.
• Auburn is 4-1 ATS in nonconference games dating to last season.
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One -- CFP semifinal: No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-19.5, 65.5)
• If the line holds, it would be the biggest spread in a College Football Playoff game. Alabama currently holds that record; the Tide were a 15-point favorite over Oklahoma in 2018.
• Alabama is 8-2 ATS this season, including 3-1 ATS against ranked opponents (all as a favorite).
• This is the 79th straight game Alabama has been a favorite, the longest active streak in FBS.
• Alabama is 7-1 ATS over its eight games as a favorite, as well as 6-1 ATS over its past seven as a double-digit favorite.
• If it holds, -19.5 would be the largest spread in a game between top-5 teams in our database.
• Notre Dame is 9-3 ATS against ranked teams since 2018, tied for the best cover percentage in FBS over that span (Oklahoma State, LSU, Indiana; minimum 10 such games)
• Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS against teams with winning records in 2020.
Allstate Sugar Bowl -- CFP semifinal: No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 2 Clemson Tigers (-7.5, 65.5)
• Clemson is 19-5-1 (.783) ATS versus AP top-10 teams since Dabo Swinney's first full season in 2008, the best such cover percentage in FBS over that span (minimum 10 such games).
• Clemson is 4-0 SU against Ohio State; Clemson has covered the past three, but their 1978 meeting was a push.
• This will be the fifth time these teams have met and fourth during Swinney's career at Clemson; 7.5 points is the most either team has ever been favored in the matchup.
• Ohio State is 14-3 ATS as an underdog since 2009. That is the best cover percentage in such games during that span (minimum 5 such games).
• The last time Ohio State was an underdog of at least 7.5 points was in the 2014 CFP semifinal against Alabama. Ohio State won that game.
Saturday, Jan. 2
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: No. 23 NC State Wolfpack vs. Kentucky Wildcats (-2.5, 53)
• Kentucky is 3-0 ATS in bowl games since 2017.
• Kentucky is 12-4-1 ATS against ranked opponents since 2015; only Wake Forest (13-4 ATS) has a better cover percentage during that span (minimum 10 such games).
• Kentucky is 10-18-1 ATS as a favorite over the past five seasons.
• NC State is 0-4 ATS in its past four nonconference games.
Outback Bowl: Ole Miss Rebels vs. No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers (-6.5, 66.5)
• Indiana is 7-0 ATS this season, tied with San Jose State (6-0-1) for the best cover percentage in FBS.
• Ole Miss is 5-1 ATS in bowl games since 2008.
• Ole Miss is 0-3 SU against teams with winning records this season.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: No. 25 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 10 Iowa State Cyclones (-4.5, 57.5)
• Iowa State is 12-5 ATS against ranked teams since 2017.
• Iowa State is 4-1 ATS over its past five games as a favorite.
• Oregon is 2-1 SU (2-1 ATS) against top-10 opponents since 2018.
• The Ducks are 3-0 ATS the past three times they've been underdogs.
• The Ducks have won the past four bowl games in which they were an underdog.
• Oregon is 8-3 ATS as an underdog in bowl games since 1994.
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Capital One Orange Bowl: No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies (-7, 68.5) vs. No. 13 North Carolina Tar Heels
• UNC is 1-12 SU (8-5 ATS) vs. top-10 opponents since 2005.
• UNC has lost its past five bowl games as an underdog.
• UNC is 9-5-2 ATS as an underdog over the past five seasons.
• Texas A&M is 8-2 ATS in nonconference games since 2018.
• Texas A&M is 4-5 ATS (6-3 SU) as a favorite in bowl games since 2000.
Tonight Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0) battle it out for the 2021 College Football National Championship. Sports bettors are going to be sure to look to get some action on this game and BetMGM Sportsbook is offering a special National Championship betting offer in select states.
Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET and you can watch it on ESPN (watch ESPN on Fubo!)
Updated Alabama vs. Ohio State odds, spread and lines
Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Monday at 6:40 p.m. ET.
|Team||Spread||Total – Over/Under||Money Line|
|Alabama||-8.5 (-110)||Over 74.5 (-115)||-350 (bet $350, win $100)|
|Ohio State||+8.5 (-110)||Under 74.5 (-105)||+260 (bet $100, win $260)|
National Championship Betting Trends
The spread has moved from 7 points to 8.5 with the game a few hours away. According to BetMGM Sportsbook, 55.3 percent of spread tickets are on Alabama, good for 59.7 percent of the handle. 44.7 percent are on Ohio State, good for 40.3 percent of the handle.
Best Betting Lines 2021 - Odds, Picks And Spreads
“We’re seeing plenty of action on Alabama for tonight’s National Championship game. BetMGM has adjusted the Crimson Tide’s line from -7 to -8.5. The best outcome for the book would be for Ohio State to pull off an upset.” – Jason Scott, VP of Trading, BetMGM
While the Over/Under opened at 76.5 points, it has been reduced to 74.5 points. Currently, 38.6 percent of tickets are on the Over, with 41.8 percent of the handle. The Under is at 61.4 percent of tickets, with 58.2 percent of the handle.
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National Championship betting contentAlabama vs. Ohio State odds, picks and predictionLISTEN: National Championship predictions with Jason McIntyreAlabama vs. Ohio State prop predictions5 Ohio State prop predictions
College sports coverage from USA TODAY Sports Media Group:
Alabama / Auburn / Florida / Georgia / LSU / Michigan / Michigan State / Notre Dame / Ohio State / Oklahoma / Tennessee / Texas / USC / Wisconsin
Final 235 S. Alabama USA 236 Southern Miss USM
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