College Bowl Game Betting Guide

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College football bowl games coincide with one of the most feverish times for NJ sports betting.

This year’s edition might be exceptional due to the spread of legal sports betting across the country. For people who would like to wager on these traditional clashes, here is a quick guide of the ins and outs of college bowl game betting.


Where to bet on college football bowl games in New Jersey

There are eight online and nine land-based sportsbooks in New Jersey. Presumably, all of them will have wagering options on various NCAA football bowl games.

The eight online sportsbooks are:

The nine retail sportsbooks are:

  • William Hill Sports Bar at Monmouth Park
  • FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands
  • Borgata Race & Sports Bar
  • Harrah’s Sportsbook
  • The Sportsbook at Golden Nugget
  • DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts
  • Bally’s Sportsbook
  • William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Resort
  • William Hill Sportsbook at Tropicana

New Jersey regulations prohibit wagers on games that either take place in New Jersey or involve New Jersey teams. However, there are no scheduled bowls in state and the state’s only Division 1 football team, Rutgers, has had a dreadful season and will not make it to a bowl.

Ways to bet on college football bowl games

Point spreads

A point spread is a wager on the expected margin of victory in a game. The sportsbook establishes which team will likely win and by how many points.

Then, bettors have two options to wager. They can either predict that the favorite will exceed the given margin of victory, or the underdog will lose by less or win outright (also known as covering).


A moneyline bet is on the outright winner of the contest. The three-digit number next to each team’s name specifies what a winning bet will pay out.

A positive number is an amount that a $100 bet on that team will pay. A negative number is an amount one must bet to receive $100 as their payout.


Totals bets are better known as wagers on the over/under. The sportsbook establishes its estimate for the anticipated combined total of points the teams will score in a given match.

Players then bet on whether or not the combined total will exceed or fail to reach that mark. Betting that the teams will score more than the over/under is called “taking the over” and the opposite bet is known as “taking the under.”


Futures bets are wagers on the probability of a long-term event occurring. Many times, these sorts of bets will revolve around eventual champions of a particular sport or league.

These types of bets for college bowl games will likely pertain to the playoff games at the end of the season. Sportsbooks will offer odds for each playoff game team and its likelihood of winning the championship.


Proposition bets are wagers on the possibilities of specific events occurring, either within a single game or within an entire season. Prop bets usually focus on specific player goals, rather than team ones.

Any bet about which player will score the first touchdown or whether a player will rush for a certain amount of yards is a prop bet. The possibilities for these types of bets are broader than other bet types and tend to be more granular.


Parlays are nothing more than a combination of the above betting types. Players cast bets on more than one event or team at a time.

The catch is that all of the player’s choices must be accurate to pay out. So, parlays tend to be more challenging to win.

Bowl Pick’em contests

Bowl Pick’em contests tend to show up on various popular websites this time of year. ESPN, Yahoo and other wide-distribution sites often run them for free. Sometimes, the sites will offer huge payouts if anyone can correctly select the entire set of bowl winners.

They can be a fun way to increase involvement in the complete slate of bowl games. There are so many bowl games these days that only the most diehard of fans can remain engaged throughout.

It is possible that DraftKings, FanDuel, or one of the other online sportsbooks in New Jersey will offer a Bowl Pick’em contest. However, it is unclear what the buy-in or prize structure for this kind of contest would be.

College football bowl game schedule

There are 40 games in this 2018 bowl season. Bettors will have wagering options for two weeks, so there is no shortage of opportunity.

Here is the schedule and matchups for 2018 (bowl location in parentheses):

Dec. 15

  • Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl: Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T (Atlanta, GA)
  • New Mexico Bowl: N. Texas vs. Utah State (Albuquerque, NM)
  • AutoNation Cure Bowl: Tulane vs. Louisiana (Orlando, FL)
  • Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State vs. Fresno State (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: E. Michigan vs. Ga. Southern (Montgomery, AL)
  • R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Appalachian State vs. MTSU (New Orleans, LA)

Dec. 18

  • Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl: UAB vs. N. Illinois (Boca Raton, FL)

Dec. 19

  • DXL Frisco Bowl: Ohio vs. San Diego State (Frisco, TX)

Dec. 20

  • Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: Marshall vs. S. Florida (Tampa, FL)

Dec. 21

  • Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl: Toledo vs. FIU (Nassau, Bahamas)
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: BYU vs. Western Michigan (Boise, ID)

Dec. 22

  • Birmingham Bowl: Memphis vs. Wake Forest (Birmingham, AL)
  • Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. Houston (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Dollar General Bowl: Buffalo vs. Troy (Mobile, AL)
  • Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. La. Tech (Honolulu, HI)

Dec. 26

  • SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Boston College vs. Boise State (Dallas, TX)
  • Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech (Detroit, MI)
  • Cheez-It Bowl: TCU vs. Cal (Phoenix, AZ)

Dec. 27

  • Walk-On’s Independence Bowl: Temple vs. Duke (Shreveport, LA)
  • New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Miami (New York, NY)
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl: Baylor vs. Vanderbilt (Houston, TX)

Dec. 28

  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Purdue (Nashville, TN)
  • Camping World Bowl: West Virginia vs. Syracuse (Orlando, FL)
  • Valero Alamo Bowl: Iowa State vs. Washington State (San Antonio, TX)

Dec. 29

  • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan (Atlanta, GA)
  • Belk Bowl: South Carolina vs. Virginia (Charlotte, NC)
  • NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Nevada vs. Arkansas State (Tucson, AZ)

Dec. 31

  • Redbox Bowl: Michigan State vs. Oregon (Santa Clara, CA)
  • Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech (Annapolis, MD)
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State (Memphis, TN)
  • San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: Northwestern vs. Utah (San Diego, CA)
  • TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Texas A&M vs NC State (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Hyundai Sun Bowl: Pitt vs. Stanford (El Paso, TX)

Jan. 1

  • Outback Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Iowa (Tampa, FL)
  • Citrus Bowl: Kentucky vs. Penn State (Orlando, FL)
  • Playstation Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs UCF (Glendale, AZ)
  • Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual: Ohio State vs. Washington (Pasadena, CA)
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Texas (New Orleans, LA)

College football playoff game schedule

A few years back, the NCAA instituted a limited playoff system to determine an outright champion for that year. Four teams that the selection committee judges to be this year’s best will play two semifinals and a final game.

Here is the schedule for those games:

Dec. 29

  • College Football Playoff Semifinal: Clemson vs Notre Dame
    Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Arlington, TX)
  • College Football Playoff Semifinal: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
    Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, FL)

Jan. 7

  • College Football Playoff National Championship: Clemson vs. Alabama
    Presented By AT&T (Santa Clara, CA)

Make sure to tune in to all the great action.

And don’t forget to place your bets!

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