College Football Bowl Betting Odds

College football bowl season goes hand-in-hand with shopping, baking and traveling during the holiday season. There are barnburner games featuring smaller schools, heavyweight showdowns between national powerhouses and intriguing crossover games between programs in both categories. When you add in the College Football Playoff to cap things off, betting interest truly goes through the roof.

While there are lots of bowl games to consider betting on, the bowl schedule is also spaced out more than the regular season. That’s a huge bonus for sports bettors as that directly translates into more time to analyze the lines.

This page covers everything you need to know about betting on college football in VA, from the bowl schedule to how the odds work and all points in between. We’ll also point you in the right direction for the best places to legally and safely place your bets online.

Latest college football odds at VA online sportsbooks

See below for the latest college football bowl game odds direct from VA online sportsbooks. Use the drop-down menu to change your odds board between spread, moneyline and over/under. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook and make your bets

How do you read college football bowl odds & lines?

Soon after the bowl game pairings are announced, sportsbooks will begin releasing college bowl odds for each of the matchups. Generally, the games are announced a few weeks in advance, so you have more time to digest what the oddsmakers have to say.

For each game there will be a main line that lists the odds for the three big bet types. It’ll look something like this.

 SpreadMoneylineTotal
Ohio State+2.5 (-110)+120O 54.5 (-110)
Clemson-2.5 (-110)-140U 54.5 (-110)

Next to the two names is a series of numbers. Starting from the left, these are the lines for the point spread bet, moneyline bet, and totals (over/under) bet. In this case, Clemson is favored by less than a field goal on the spread.

Clemson is also the overall favorite on the moneyline and the total combined score for the game is estimated to be in the mid-50s.

For the point spread and moneyline, negative numbers point to favorites, while positive numbers indicate underdogs. On the total, oddsmakers set a benchmark number, and bettors then get to choose the over or under.

Next to the numbers for the spread and total are the actual odds for the bets. At most sportsbooks, the starting point for odds is -110 on both sides. The numbers can move as betting action comes in. The same holds true for the moneyline odds, as well as the spread or total.

As an example, let’s say that Clemson attracted a lot of betting action. In response, the sportsbook tweaks the numbers a bit so that they now look something like this.

 SpreadMoneylineTotal
Ohio State+2.5 (-105)+135O 54.5 (-110)
Clemson-2.5 (-115)-155U 54.5 (-110)

Since the book has taken in most of the action on favored Clemson, it has responded by making the wagers on the Ohio State side more attractive. The hope is that it will be able to even out the action a little more, thereby reducing the liability on its end in the case of a Clemson win and cover.

In order to make sure that you are getting the best possible prices, a good habit to get into is what’s known as line shopping. This simply means that you are checking out the college bowl game odds at multiple books to find the best ones.

Bets you can make on college bowl games 

For each of the games, you’ll have several options to consider for your wagers. Let’s begin by taking a closer look at the big three bet types.

Moneyline bet

This is a bet in which you simply choose the winner. Odds are negative for favorites and positive for underdogs. When the two numbers are close, it could be a tight game. If there’s a big difference, that means a mismatch on paper.

  • Michigan +190
  • Alabama -240

For this fictitious matchup, Alabama is a pretty big favorite over Michigan. A winning $100 bet on Alabama would return a total of $141.70. If you bet $100 on Michigan, the return would be a total of $290 should Michigan win.

Point spread

Oddsmakers install a spread on each game that reflects both the perceived difference between the two sides and an estimated margin of victory. For bettors, the choice is to go with the favorite minus the points or the underdog plus the number.

  • West Virginia +4.5 (-110)
  • Maryland -4.5 (-110)

In order to cover this spread, underdog West Virginia would have to keep the margin to four points or fewer or win the game outright. Maryland has to win by five points or more to cover. A winning $100 bet at odds of -110 returns a total of $190.90.

Totals (Over/under)

This is a bet on the total combined points that will be scored in the game. Oddsmakers set an estimated number, and bettors then get to pick if they think the two sides will combine for over or under that amount.

  • Over 59.5 (-110)
  • Under 59.5 (-110)

If you choose the over, then you’re hoping for 60 or more points to be scored. A final of 31-29 gets it done, but a score of 28-27 misses the mark. For the under, it’s the opposite, as you want the total to come in at 59 points or fewer.

More college bowl bets

Another restriction in VA sports betting law has to do with prop bets on college sports. Props are essentially side bets on things that might happen during a game or by its conclusion. Betting on props for any college game is prohibited in VA, regardless of where the team resides.

As such, you won’t be able to bet on any props during bowl game season. However, that doesn’t mean that the fun stops with the three bet types we walked through up above. There are other ways to get in the game, including via the following:

  • Parlays: Wagers in which you include multiple outcomes on a single betting slip.
  • Round robin bets: Similar to a parlay, but multiple combos of several teams.
  • Teasers: You get to shift the point spread on a series of games by designated amounts.

Each of these bet types can offer up a nice return, but there is risk involved. After all, it can be challenging enough to hit on a single-game bet. When you begin adding multiple outcomes on a single slip, the risk rises accordingly.

That said, there is absolutely a place for each of these bet types in an overall handicapping strategy. When you have a series of games on the same slate that you feel strongly about, then these bet types offer up the chance to get bigger payouts.

College football bowl game schedule 2022-23

The bowl game schedule appears set for the upcoming season. Networks can still change a detail here and there, but let’s take a look at what we know for now.

DateGame LocationConference Tie-Ins
Dec. 16Bahamas BowlNassau, BahamasConference USA vs. MAC
Dec. 16Cure BowlOrlando, FLAt-Large vs. At-Large or Army
Dec. 17
Fenway BowlBostonACC or Notre Dame vs. AAC
Dec. 17New Mexico BowlAlbuquerque, NMMountain West vs. C-USA
Dec. 17Celebration BowlAtlantaFCS: MEAC vs. SWAC
Dec. 17LA BowlInglewood, CAMountain West vs. Pac-12
Dec. 17LendingTree BowlMobile, ALAt-Large vs. Sun Belt
Dec. 17Las Vegas BowlLas VegasPac-12 vs. SEC
Dec. 17Frisco BowlFrisco, TXAt-Large vs. At-Large
Dec. 19
Myrtle Beach BowlConway, SCAt-Large vs. At-Large
Dec. 20
Famous Idaho Potato BowlBoise, IDMAC vs. Mountain West
Dec. 20Boca Raton BowlBoca Raton, FLAt-Large vs. At-Large
Dec. 21
New Orleans BowlNew OrleansC-USA vs. Sun Belt
Dec. 22
Armed Forces BowlFort Worth, TXAAC vs. At-Large
Dec. 23Independence BowlShreveport, LAACC vs. Army
Dec. 23
Gasparilla BowlTampa, FLACC/SEC vs. At-Large
Dec. 24
Hawai'i BowlHonolulu, HIC-USA vs. Mountain West
Dec. 26
Quick Lane BowlDetroitBig Ten vs. MAC
Dec. 27Camellia BowlMontgomery, ALAt-Large vs. At-Large
Dec. 27
First Responder BowlDallasBig 12 vs. At-Large
Dec. 27Birmingham BowlBirmingham, ALAt-Large vs. SEC/ACC
Dec. 27Guaranteed Rate BowlPhoenixBig Ten vs. Big 12
Dec. 28
Military BowlAnnapolis, MDACC vs. AAC
Dec. 28Liberty BowlMemphis, TNBig 12 vs. SEC
Dec. 28Holiday BowlSan DiegoPac-12 vs. ACC
Dec. 28Texas BowlHoustonBig 12 vs SEC
Dec. 29
Pinstripe BowlNew York CityACC vs. Big Ten
Dec. 29Cheez-It BowlOrlando, FLACC vs. Big 12
Dec. 29Alamo BowlSan Antonio, TXBig 12 vs. Pac-12
Dec. 30Duke's Mayo BowlCharlotte, NCACC vs. Big Ten
Dec. 30Sun BowlEl Paso, TXACC vs. Pac-12
Dec. 30Gator BowlJacksonville, FLACC vs. SEC
Dec. 30Arizona BowlTucson, AZMAC vs. Mountain West
Dec. 30
Orange BowlMiami Gardens, FLCFP: ACC vs. Big Ten or Notre Dame or SEC
Dec. 31Sugar BowlNew OrleansCFP: SEC vs. Big 12
Dec. 31Music City BowlNashville, TNBig Ten vs. SEC
Dec. 31
Peach Bowl (CFP semifinal)AtlantaCFP Top 4 vs. CFP Top 4
Dec. 31Fiesta Bowl (CFP semifinal)Glendale, AZCFP Top 4 vs. CFP Top 4
Jan. 2
ReliaQuest BowlTampa, FLSEC vs. Big Ten or ACC
Jan. 2Cotton BowlArlington, TXCFP: At-Large vs. Highest Go5 Champion
Jan. 2Citrus BowlOrlando, FLBig Ten vs. SEC
Jan. 2Rose BowlPasadena, CABig Ten vs. Pac-12
Jan. 9National ChampionshipLos AngelesCFP semifinal winners

How do teams qualify for bowl games?

An invite to a bowl game is similar to a postseason berth in other sports. In order to get one, college football teams have to earn it. For a normal season in which the Division I schools are playing a 12-game schedule, schools need to have at least six wins to qualify.

Beyond the college bowls, a new wrinkle has emerged in recent years. Starting in the 2014-15 season, the College Football Playoff was introduced to determine a true national champion. The four best teams in the land make it this far, and the games are part of bowl season. We’ll cover the details on how teams make the cut in a bit.

What are the New Year’s Six bowl games?

The marquee matchups for college football bowl season have come to be known as the New Year’s Six. These are the biggest contests featuring the best teams, and each of the games has a strong tradition and rich history. Here’s the scoop on each.

  • Rose Bowl: The first incarnation of the Rose Bowl took place in 1902. It was then known as the Tournament East-West Football Game. It’s held annually at the aptly named Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. For last year’s game, it was Ohio State winning a 48-45 thriller over Utah.
  • Sugar Bowl: The inaugural Sugar Bowl was held in 1935. Tulane was the host and took down Temple by a score of 20-14. These days, the game is held annually at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. In the last edition,  Baylor got the best of Ole Miss to the tune of a 21-7 win.
  • Orange Bowl: The Orange Bowl also made its debut in 1935. In the inaugural game, Bucknell took Miami to the woodshed and won in a 26-0 laugher at Miami Field. The game is now held each year at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Last year, the game did double-duty as a College Football Playoff semifinal in which Georgia took down Michigan by a score of 34-11.
  • Cotton Bowl: The first Cotton Bowl was played in Dallas in 1937 as TCU defeated Marquette by a score of 16-6. The venue changed to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in 2009 for the annual game. For the last edition was a College Football Playoff semifinal. Alabama beat Cincinnati in a 27-6 affair that lit up the scoreboard.
  • Peach Bowl: The first Peach Bowl was held in 1968. LSU upended Florida State by a final of 31-27 in a game that was held at Grant Field in Atlanta. Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the same city serves as the permanent venue these days. Michigan State got past Pitt 31-21 in 2022.
  • Fiesta Bowl: The first edition of the Fiesta Bowl came in 1971 as Arizona State defeated Florida State by a score of 45-38. State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, is now the host for the annual affair. Last year, Oklahoma State won a 37-35 shootout over Notre Dame.

College Football Playoff

A few years back, the powers that be in college football took steps to ensure that a true national champion would be crowned each season. The College Football Playoff was introduced following the 2014-15 campaign.

The four top teams, as decided by the College Football Playoff selection committee, get to settle it on the field. Semifinal matchups are held at a rotating pair of the New Year’s Six bowls. Then the National Championship Game follows a week later. This season, the college football national champion will be crowned Monday, Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.

But how are the New Year’s Six and CFP teams selected?

About midway through the regular season, the CFP committee begins releasing a top 25 poll for teams in the running. The final edition of that poll gets unveiled when conference championships are in the books. The No. 1 team in the final poll faces the No. 4 team, while No. 2 faces No. 3.

The College Football Playoff Committee uses its final rankings to decide the other New Year’s Six Bowls, too. The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC conference championship game winners all get an automatic spot in a NY6 bowl.

Essentially teams have to finish in or around the CFP final top 10 to land in one of the big bowls. Once the NY6 matchups are set, the rest of the bowl pairings are set. Bowl hosts and conferences do the matchmaking. It isn’t always based on conference standings or a team’s rankings.

Ratings are generally through the roof for the College Football Playoff games, each of which takes in a ton of wagering action. The semifinals are on New Year’s Eve. Be sure to circle these contests as ones to bet on during bowl season.

Best college football bowl handicapping tips

As you get set to bet on bowl season, you can break down the games just like you would normally. For example, you’ll want to look at the overall matchup and find edges while realistically assessing the strengths and weaknesses on both sides.

Beyond the basic stuff, there are some other factors you’ll want to really zero in on this time of the year. Here are three tips to keep in your back pocket as you get set to place your bets.

1. Watch for line moves

Bowl game odds come out well in advance of the contests, so there’s a good chance there will be some movement before kickoff. Take some time to examine the opening college bowl lines versus where it stands at the present time, and pay particularly close attention to really big shifts in the numbers.

2. Pay careful attention to players who are in or out

Many Division I college football players have aspirations of playing in the NFL. Those who are in a prime position to be selected in the next NFL Draft may have their sights more set on the future. As such, it’s not uncommon for players to opt-out of playing in bowl games as opposed to risking injury. Closely monitor the news for developments.

3. Dive deep and examine team mindset

While a bowl game is a reward for a team having a solid regular season, there can be times when the contest a team is scheduled for isn’t quite what it had in mind. On the other hand, some clubs can be more than tickled with where they have landed. Try to gain a sense of the overall motivation level as it can be a difference-maker on the field.

Handicapping the games can be a very worthwhile endeavor, especially for those who enjoy doing research. There’s always the chance you might find something that others have missed, and that can be the difference between winning and losing wagers. For those who don’t have time or simply are not fans of breaking down the contests, there are free and paid resources that you can lean on. When looking at those in the latter category, shop carefully and stick to trusted resources with good reputations.

History of college football in Virginia

The roots of college football in Virginia go all the way back to the early days of the sport in the late 1800s. These days, there are four schools playing at the top FBS level, and a handful of others that play in the FCS. Here are some of the key details about the schools that fall into the former category.

  • University of Virginia
    • Nickname: Cavaliers
    • Established: 1888
    • Location: Charlottesville
    • Conference: ACC
    • Home games: Scott Stadium
    • All-time record: 675–618–48
    • Bowl game record: 8–13
    • Conference titles: Five, last in 1995
  • Virginia Tech
    • Nickname: Hokies
    • Established: 1892
    • Location: Blacksburg
    • Conference: ACC
    • Home games: Lane Stadium
    • All-time record: 760–485–46
    • Bowl game record: 13–21
    • Conference titles: 11, last in 2010
  • Liberty University
    • Nickname: Flames
    • Established: 1973
    • Location: Lynchburg
    • Conference: Independent
    • Home games: Williams Stadium
    • All-time record: 279–248–4
    • Bowl game record: 3-0
    • Conference titles: Eight, last in 2016
  • Old Dominion University
    • Nickname: Monarchs
    • Established: 1930
    • Location: Norfolk
    • Conference: Conference USA
    • Home games: S.B. Ballard Stadium
    • All-time record: 125–99–4
    • Bowl game record: 1-1
    • Conference titles: 0

Unfortunately, you can’t bet on any of the local college teams here in VA. The sports betting law specifically prohibits betting on contests involving programs from the state. However, there’s nothing stopping you from rooting along whenever they take the field.

FAQ

Let’s start off with the good news. It is legal to bet on college football in Virginia, and you’ll have plenty of bowl games to choose from. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to bet on any games that involve teams from Virginia.

The law as it stands now specifically prohibits betting on VA-based college teams. That means if Virginia, Virginia Tech, Liberty, or Old Dominion get invited to a bowl game, you won’t be able to bet on it. However, all of the other contests on the docket are fair game.

For example, if your favorite school is in neighboring West Virginia or Maryland, betting on those games is no issue. It’s a quirk in the law that we’ll have to get accustomed to, and there is some precedent for it.

New Jersey was one of the first states to give sports betting a green light, but legislators also made sure to bar bets on NJ-based college teams. However, neighboring Pennsylvania has no such restrictions on in-state teams.

Bowl games are essentially the postseason for college football. Programs that perform well during the regular season are rewarded with an invite. The top programs for the season will be off to the College Football Playoff in marquee games, while there are a number of other bowl contests that are highly sought after due to their tradition and history.

This is a number that has been steadily climbing through the years. Many moons ago, it was just a handful. Fast forward to the advent of cable television, and the number began a steady upward trajectory. For the coming season, there are 43 games on the bowl season docket when you include the national title game.

The bowl game schedule for the 2022 season begins Dec. 16 and wraps up with the CFP National Championship game on Jan. 9.

The “New Year’s Six bowls” pair the 12 best or most deserving teams in all of college football. Naturally, the College Football Playoff semifinals and the National Championship Game are the biggest draws.

No college football bowl games are currently played in VA, but there is some good news for anyone in the mood to take a road trip. The Military Bowl is played annually in Annapolis, Maryland. The Music City Bowl takes place at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, formerly known as the Belk Bowl, is held each year at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.