More than two-thirds of this season’s bowl games are scheduled for late 2014, but the biggest games will take place in early 2015. On New Year’s Day, all five contests will include two ranked teams, including the two College Football Playoff games. The national championship game is set for Monday, Jan. 12.
Since the bowl schedule schedule was announced, several point spreads have moved, and one team has gone from being the favorite to the underdog. Below are updated Las Vegas betting odds for the 2015 bowl games, as well as picks against the spread.
Outback Bowl: Auburn (-6.5) vs. Wisconsin, 62
The Badgers lost their only contest to an SEC team this year, while Auburn had their way with nonconference opponents. If Auburn can contain Melvin Gordon at all, Wisconsin could find it difficult to put points on the board.
Prediction ATS: Auburn
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Baylor (-2.5) vs. Michigan State, 71.5
Baylor has the nation’s top scoring offense, but they were held under 40 points by West Virginia and then-No.9 Kansas State. The Spartans have enough offensive fire-power to keep up with the Bears, boasting the No.7 offense in the country, and they might be able to slow down Bryce Petty and Co. just enough to pull off the upset.
Prediction ATS: Michigan State
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Missouri (-5) vs. Minnesota, 47.5
Missouri may have gotten blown out in their last game, but that was against the No.1 team in the country, and they had won six in a row. Minnesota has lost three of their last five games, and went 0-3 this year against opponents that ended the season in the top 25. Having played in the SEC and beaten a few ranked teams, Missouri should start 2015 on a high note.
Prediction ATS: Missouri
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual: Oregon (-9) vs. Florida State, 72
Oregon is favored for good reason, having beaten four ranked opponents by an average of 23 points per game, but Florida State can’t be counted out. The team still hasn’t lost with Jameis Winston as the starter, and though a lot of their games have been close, they always find a way to win. Even if the Seminoles finally lose, they have the quarterback and a good enough defense to keep them in the game until the end.
Prediction ATS: Florida State
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Alabama (-9) vs. Ohio State, 58.5
Aside from their early season slip up at Ole Miss, Alabama has clearly been the best team in college football. In their last two games, they beat Auburn and Missouri, two top 16 opponents, by a combined 40 points. Since they won’t be on the road, it will be difficult for any team to beat the Crimson Tide. Cardale Jones played great in the Big Ten Championship Game, but he could have trouble against the No.4 scoring defense in the sport.
Prediction ATS: Alabama
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Houston, 53.5
The Panthers are heavily reliant on their running game, ranking 15th in the nation with 251.3 yards on the ground per game. Considering Houston ranks 23rd in the country, allowing just 3.5 yards per rush, Pittsburgh could have trouble moving the ball.
Prediction ATS: Houston
TaxSlayer Bowl: Tennessee (-3.5) vs. Iowa, 51.5
The Volunteers have a .500 record, but they likely would have performed better in another conference, losing four games to top 12 opponents. Tennessee (74th in offense, 36th in defense) and Iowa (70th in offense, 37th in defense) had similar seasons, but the Volunteers get the edge having played in the SEC.
Prediction ATS: Tennessee
Valero Alamo Bowl: Kansas State (+1) vs. UCLA, 59.5
The initial betting line had Kansas State favored. UCLA has come up short in several big games this season, losing at home to Utah when they had a chance to be the only unbeaten Pac-12 team, and losing by 21 points in their last game with a chance to reach the conference championship game. The Wildcats’ No.23 offense could have a big day against the Bruins’ No.76 scoring defense.
Prediction ATS: Kansas State
TicketCity Cactus Bowl: Washington (-5.5) vs. Oklahoma State, 56.5
Oklahoma State is only playing a bowl game because they ended the season with one of the year’s biggest upsets, winning at Oklahoma in overtime. However, they are much more likely to play like the team that had a losing record through 12 games and lost five straight contests, prior to their Big 12 finale.
Prediction ATS: Washington
Birmingham Bowl: Florida (-6.5) vs. East Carolina, 56.5
Other than the Gators’ upset win over Georgia, their only victory over a bowl team was a one-point win at Tennessee. East Carolina has a few big wins over Virginia Tech and North Carolina, and they should be able to keep the contest within a touchdown.
Prediction ATS: East Carolina
GoDaddy Bowl: Toledo (-3.5) vs. Arkansas State, 67
Toledo has one of the nation’s best rushing attacks, and they should find success against Arkansas State’s No.94 run defense.
Prediction ATS: Toledo