2019-20 College Football Bowl Season Betting Guide

December 12, 2019 - 10:13 am

Dec. 20 marks the start of the 2019-2020 College Football Playoffs, an exciting time of the year for students, football fans and, in our case, bettors! You Better You Bet, a RADIO.COM Sports Original, jumped on the full slate of games as hosts Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley provided their top picks for the action-packed schedule ahead (listed chronologically).

New Mexico Bowl: Central Michigan vs. San Diego State

Saturday, December 21 | 2:00 pm | Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Pick: San Diego State (-4)

Barkley: “... it’s a slightly down season for [San Diego State], but really they’re a consistent team, they’re really well-coached, they always do the same things really well. They’re going to run the ball and they’re going to play great defense. The Mountain West had a much better non-conference season and had a better profile than the MAC this year… I have a hard time believing that a top-tier Mountain West team should only be [favored by] four in a bowl game against a very very poorly recruited, kind of out-of-nowhere MAC team.”

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: UCF vs. Marshall

Monday, December 23 | 2:30 pm | Tampa, Florida

The Picks: Marshall (+18); o61.5

Barkley: “Is there a more degen time slot on the entire calendar? Marshall’s coach, Doc Halladay, is one of the more outstanding bowl performers. I think he’s either undefeated against the spread or has one loss in his entire career in bowl games. They’re getting a huge number from UCF, and I like them to kind of keep it close. I also think there might be a ton of points in this game. Marshall played a couple really high-scoring games to close the season, and UCF against much better competition still scores a billion points. I like a lot of points and I like Marshall to keep it within the number.”

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami

Thursday, December 26 | 4:00 pm | Shreveport, Louisiana

The Pick: Louisiana Tech (+6.5)

Kostos: “All you need to know here is that Manny Diaz, Miami’s head coach, is holding a quarterback competition to start the bowl game. It’s f****** December, it’s not July, this is not August, it’s December, and they’re holding a quarterback competition and manny diaz said that he is going to base the decision not just on what happens in practice but academically as well.”

Tune into the podcast for the rest of the rant.

Quick Lane Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan

Thursday, December 26 | 8:00 pm | Detroit, Michigan

The Pick: Pittsburgh (-11)

Barkley: “Eastern Michigan might be the worst team to play in a bowl the entire bowl season. I think the difference between how any normal team and Eastern Michigan has played the whole year is massive. I like Pittsburgh, a well-coached team, to win by a pretty big number.”

Military Bowl: North Carolina vs. Temple

Friday, December 27 | 12:00 pm | Annapolis, Maryland

The Pick: North Carolina (-6.5)

Barkley: “Talent is as big of a mismatch in this type of bowl game as you can have and you’re getting under a touchdown. I think the hype train for next year and what the Tar Heels can accomplish starts really growing with Mack Brown as a result of a strong blowout performance in this game.”

Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Friday, December 27 | 6:45 pm | Houston, Texas

The Pick: Texas A&M (-7)

Kostos: “Even if Spencer Sanders does play in this game, he’s gonna miss more than half the prep time for this game. We don’t know if Chuba Hubbard is gonna play in this game, so we don’t know if Oklahoma State’s star running back. Here’s what i do know… Texas A&M’s losses this year are to Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and LSU. All of those teams would vaporize Oklahoma State off the face of the Earth. Texas A&M is going to walk into this bowl game, look at Oklahoma State, and say “this is who we get to play now after the murderer’s row we just went through for the last three months?” I don’t care if Sanders plays, I don’t care if Hubbard plays, I don’t care if Brandon Weedon comes back… Texas A&M rolls over Oklahoma State.”

Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Iowa

Friday, December 27 | 8:00 pm | San Diego, California

The Pick: USC (+1.5)

Kostos: “If Graham Harrell, USC’s offensive coordinator, bounces from USC and takes another job, I will probably not be betting on this game. But assuming that Harrell is the offensive coordinator, I like USC here because they’ve got NFL-caliber wide receivers, they play the air raid here, and this is unlike anything Iowa sees in the Big 10. I think USC’s gonna win the game outright- again, this is contingent on if Graham Harrell stays.

Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force vs. Washington State

Friday, December 27 | 10:15 pm | Phoenix, Arizona

The Pick: Air Force (-2.5)

Barkley: “Of all the Air Force teams this past decade, this is a pretty good version of Air Force. They’re really good at what they do. I don’t know what’s going on with Mike Leach in Washington State, but he historically is not very good in a lot of his bowl appearances. To me that whole program stinks right now, and if that program stinks and I get their opponent at less than a field goal, who is a team that typically tries really hard in this exact situation, I’ll be taking Air Force -2.5.”

Camping World Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Iowa State

Saturday, December 28 | 12:00 pm | Orlando, Florida

The Pick: Iowa State (+3.5)

Kostos: “My initial thought on the game was to lay it with Notre Dame, but then I thought a little bit about it. I like Ian Book a lot. He’s a good quarterback and led Notre Dame to the playoff last year… Brian Kelly gets all the national publicity, but I am in camp Campbell. So, better quarterback, better coach, getting points… Iowa State +3.5.

Cotton Bowl: Penn State vs. Memphis

Saturday, December 28 | 12:00 pm | Arlington, Texas

The Pick: Memphis +7

Barkley: “Memphis’s group of players has been together for several years, they’re insanely talented, they have upperclassmen all over the field. This is the kind of team that I think goes out with a bang.”

Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson

Saturday, December 28 | 8:00 pm | Glendale, Arizona

The Pick: Clemson ML, u63

Kostos: “Give me Clemson in any possible way that you can take Clemson. Clemson in the first half, Clemson laying the points, Clemson on the money line.”

Barkley: “I like the under in this game. A couple of things that I think work against the over in this game. First of all, Justin Fields and his health and mobility are questionable in this game. The idea that he’s going to be 100%, not take some hits, not be a little banged up, is questionable. I think Clemson is going to get a ton of pressure on him. I’m not sure Ohio State is going to be able to move the ball as effectively as they’ve been able to move the ball against everybody else. On the other side, Clemson has been able to move the ball on absolutely no one.”

Peach Bowl: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

Saturday, December 28 | 12:00 pm | Orlando, Florida

The Pick: Oklahoma (+13.5)

Kostos: “Take Oklahoma at the largest number.”

Redbox Bowl: California vs. Illinois

Monday, December 30 | 4:00 pm | Santa Clara, California

The Pick: o42

Barkley: “The total between Illinois and Cal is 42 right now which is embarrassingly low compared to the average bowl total. Cal is known for their defense, I understand that. But Illinois doesn’t stop a lot of people, and I think Illinois is going to run some tricky plays, try to do some cool stuff. I don’t think Illinois is in this for a “let’s grind out a 6-3 win” type of game. That’s just not the sense I get from what I read about the game.”

Orange Bowl: Florida vs. Virginia

Monday, December 30 | 8:00 pm | Miami Gardens, Florida

The Pick: UVA (+13.5)

Kostos: “Dan Mullen has put some quotes out there… he’s talking about the bowl game being an experience for his players. I’m old school and I want my team to be all about football. Bronco Mendenhall is kind of an old school dude. I’m being a little facetious with what I’m saying here, but I think florida is an obvious play coming off Virginia getting pasted in the ACC championship game and I think we may see some support for the Hoos here coming in late.”

Sun Bowl: Florida State vs. Arizona State

Tuesday, December 31 | 2:00 pm | El Paso, Texas

The Pick: Arizona State (-4)

Kostos: “I’ll keep the handicap really simple. Florida state is checked out, Mike Norvell is going to be the coach, and I don’t know that FSU is going to [care] about the Sun Bowl. You know who is gonna [care] about the sun bowl? A Herm Edwards-coached team. End of analysis.”

Alamo Bowl: Utah vs. Texas

Tuesday, December 31 | 7:30 pm | San Antonio, Texas

The Pick: Utah (-7)

Kostos: “Utah is smarting coming off the PAC-12 championship blowout loss to Oregon. Utah’s defense is really good despite Oregon looking great in that game, and they’ll have a month to think about it. I know Tom Herman as an underdog is great, but I don’t think his team is as good as Utah’s team, and I don’t think he’s as good of a coach as Kyle Whittingham is.”

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin

Wednesday, January 1 | 5:00 pm | Pasadena, California

The Pick: Oregon (+2.5)

Barkley: “This is a really straightforward handicap for me. I’ve had Oregon as the better team all season, I have Oregon as the better team right now, and Oregon is the underdog in the game. I would have this as Oregon minus a couple, and Oregon plus anything is wrong.”

Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Baylor

Wednesday, January 1 | 8:45 pm | New Orleans, Louisiana

The Pick: Georgia (-7)

Kostos: “Baylor had no business getting to OT against Oklahoma, and I feel like the line of this game looks different if Oklahoma did what they should have done in that game… We are getting a discount, I believe, on this line. I think Georgia annihilates Baylor.”

Catch You Better You Bet from 6:00 to 10:00 pm on weekdays, and from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm for the Sunday show. Full show available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Follow RADIO.COM Sports on Twitter