It's the most wonderful time of the year ... bowl season! With plenty of betting opportunities among college football bowl games, our experts are here to tell you which games they like.
Here is our 2020-21 running college football bowl best bets guide. We'll update this file often, adjusting picks for injuries, line movement, opt-outs and everything else that comes with handicapping a game in 2020.
NOTE: Best bets for the College Football Playoff are in THIS FILE.
Saturday, Jan. 2
No. 23 NC State Wolfpack vs. Kentucky Wildcats (-3, 52.5)
Brian Edwards: NC State (8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) brings a four-game winning streak into the postseason. Dave Doeren’s club has been an underdog six times this year, compiling a 4-2 spread record with three outright wins (vs. Wake Forest, at Pittsburgh and at Virginia). Kentucky (4-6 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) has a pedestrian offense that ranks No. 117 nationally in total yards, No. 121 in passing yards and No. 107 in scoring with its meager 21.7 ppg average. NC State QB Bailey Hockman has thrown for 313 and 309 yards in back-to-back wins, with four TD passes compared to just one interception. I like NC State to win outright.
Pick: NC State + 2.5
Tim Murray: This might be one of the fishiest lines of the bowl season. NC State finished the season with an 8-3 record and was ranked No. 23 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Why are the Wolfpack an underdog to 4-6 Kentucky?
NC State did not play Clemson or Notre Dame this season, the top two teams in the ACC, so its most impressive win was a 15-14 victory over Liberty. The Wolfpack lost to North Carolina, Miami, and Virginia Tech. The only ACC opponent beat that finished at least .500 in conference play was Pittsburgh back on Oct. 3 when QB Devin Leary threw for four touchdowns. Leary broke his leg against Duke and was replaced by Bailey Hockman. Hockman has shown promise at times this season but in starts against North Carolina, Miami, and Liberty, Hockman completed just 59% of his passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions. In its three losses this season, the Wolfpack have allowed 276.3 rushing yards per game, and Kentucky is a physical, running team. The Wildcats rushed for 291 yards in their regular season finale against South Carolina.
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has led his team to back-to-back bowl wins and the Wildcats are 3-0 ATS in their last three bowls.
Pick: Kentucky -2.5
Ole Miss Rebels vs. No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers (-8, 66)
Wes Reynolds: Indiana may still be getting over its New Year’s Six snub, but this is the biggest bowl game for the program in over 30 years. The Hoosiers have many connections to Tampa, including the location where Tom Allen began his coaching career and the hometown of 10 Indiana players. Indiana has not brought home a bowl trophy since the 1991 Copper Bowl. Last year, the Hoosiers had a 22-9 lead with less than five minutes to play in the Gator Bowl only to have Tennessee score two touchdowns in 30 seconds and lose 23-22.
Ole Miss also comes into this one short-handed as WR Elijah Moore and TE Kenny Yeboah opted out before the season finale at LSU. Leading rusher and return man Jerrion Ealy also left that game with an injury and is questionable for this one.
The line has now risen to 7.5 and 8 with the Rebels looking to be shorthanded.
Allen has proved to be the master motivator with this bunch and he should be able to sell the disrespect card to his players easily. Indiana has also had some time to get over the snubs and disrespect and look to be amped up to play. “Finish” has been the mantra for Indiana all week in practice as the team did not do so last year in the Gator Bowl. Expect the Hoosiers to “Finish” their best season in three decades here.
Pick: Indiana -6.5
No. 25 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 10 Iowa State Cyclones (-4, 56.5)
Matt Youmans: Little is said or written about running back Breece Hall, but that will probably change Saturday if he carries favored Iowa State to a win in the Fiesta Bowl.