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Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after the Georgia Bulldogs score a touchdown.
Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after the Georgia Bulldogs score a touchdown. Emilee Chinn/Getty Images/AFP.

There are 43 bowl games this postseason including a trio of College Football Playoff games. Read on for our bold predictions ahead of the start of the 2022 bowl season.

When it comes to the annual sports betting calendar, the college football bowl season is always one of the can’t-miss events of the year. Sure, the insanity that is the NCAA transfer portal has cast a shadow over bowl season this year. That said, there is bound to still be plenty of great football, thrilling games, and shocking results in the weeks to come.

After taking a long look into our crystal ball, here are our bold predictions for the college football bowl season.

Check out our college football bowl season schedule, odds, and picks!

Bold Predictions for College Football Bowl Season

No. 1: Loser of Ohio State vs. Georgia CFP semifinal will score more points than the Music City Bowl

At the time of this writing, the game total for the Peach Bowl matchup between Ohio State and Georgia sits at 61.5. Subsequent team totals at DraftKings Sportsbook have Georgia’s mark set at 34.5 and Ohio State’s line at 27.5. Meanwhile, the game total for the Music City Bowl matchup between Iowa and Kentucky sits at 31.5.

Throughout the season, we have seen several Iowa game totals close in the low-30s. The Hawkeyes have struggled offensively all season long, and it is tough to envision Spencer Petras finding much success against a Kentucky defense that notably held Georgia to just 16 points in a mid-November meeting.

At the same time, how can bettors feel confident in the ability of Will Levis and the Wildcats’ offense to get things going in this matchup? Iowa finished the regular season ranked second nationally in defensive efficiency. As such, the Music City Bowl is clearly the frontrunner to be the lowest-scoring game of the entire bowl season.

When it comes to the CFP semifinal matchup, Georgia will arguably be the toughest defense that Ohio State has faced all season. When we last saw the Buckeyes, they were stymied in the second half against Michigan and finished with only 23 points. However, if OSU can get players like RB Miyan Williams back from injury, the offense figures to perform much better.

No. 2: The Sun Belt will finish with best winning percentage of any conference

Khalan Laborn of the Marshall Thundering Herd rushes the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Joan C. Edwards Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Huntington, West Virginia. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images via AFP.

It’s always fun to track the win-loss records of each conference during the bowl season. Bettors might recall that the Sun Belt Conference became the darling of the sport in September, thanks to several massive upsets. Based on the bowl game matchups, the SBC could be poised for more success in the postseason.

After demolishing Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt title game, Troy will kickstart the league’s bowl season schedule with an intriguing showdown against Conference USA Champion UTSA. Perhaps to the surprise of some, the Trojans are currently a 1-point favorite ahead of their Cure Bowl matchup. 

Should Troy get the job done, the SBC will be set up to post a solid winning percentage as a conference during the bowl season. The following list provides a glimpse at some other bowl games involving Sun Belt teams in favorable spots:

  • Southern Mississippi (-6.5) against a five-win Rice team that technically didn’t even obtain bowl eligibility.
  • Marshall (-10) against a UConn program that is playing in its first bowl game in six years.
  • South Alabama (-8) against a Western Kentucky team that will be without starting quarterback Austin Reed, who has already entered the transfer portal.
  • Georgia Southern (-3.5) against a Buffalo outfit that barely pushed past lowly Akron by a single point just to become bowl eligible.

Assuming that these games all go in the Sun Belt’s favor, the conference could realistically finish the bowl season with the best winning percentage even if Louisiana and Coastal Carolina lose as underdogs. That said, the Ragin’ Cajuns have a shot in their home state against an unpredictable Houston team.

No. 3: The SEC will thrive against the spread

College football fans all across the country get sick and tired of hearing that the SEC is head and shoulders above all other conferences. Apologies to Big Ten sympathizers, but this claim wasn’t hatched out of thin air. While the transfer portal has clouded bowl season handicapping in a big way, one can’t help but conclude that the market is undervaluing the SEC as a whole.

The undervaluation of the Southeastern Conference begins on the second day of bowl season. Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson has decided to skip the Las Vegas Bowl to prepare for the NFL Draft. However, that alone doesn’t justify the Gators catching 10.5 points to an Oregon State team that is also starting a backup QB.

All season long, a common narrative was how bad the ACC was. Wake Forest finished 3-5 in said ACC, yet is favored against Missouri in the Gasparilla Bowl. How does that make sense?

Ole Miss finished the regular season on a three-game losing skid. But the Rebels love to run the football, so to only be laying a field goal against a Texas Tech team that struggled to stop the run all season long is rather absurd.

Other point spreads to note include Arkansas only laying a field goal against Kansas, Kentucky being a 2-point underdog to Iowa, Mississippi State as an underdog against Illinois, and Alabama now laying just 3.5 points to Kansas State. The Crimson Tide have been hit hard by transfer portal entrants, but this is Nick Saban and Alabama we are talking about. 

With so many obscure lines, we predict that backing the SEC as a whole will prove to be a very profitable ATS strategy this bowl season.

Where to Bet on Bowl Season

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks: