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Wayne Taulapapa of the Washington Huskies celebrates with Michael Penix Jr. and Corey Luciano after scoring a rushing touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Wayne Taulapapa of the Washington Huskies celebrates with Michael Penix Jr. and Corey Luciano after scoring a rushing touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images via AFP.

Check out below as we look at the biggest matchups and most interesting betting lines for the 2022 college football bowl season to help with your early picks.

The most wonderful time of the year is nearly upon us. No, we’re not talking about Christmas, but rather the College Football Bowl Season.

Including the two College Football Playoff semifinals and the National Championship Game, there are a total of 43 bowl games set to take place over the coming month-plus. Intriguing matchups and compelling storylines abound as teams look to tie a bow on their respective 2022 campaigns. 

Here are the top college football bowl games to watch over the next month and how to bet on such matchups (all odds via DraftKings Sportsbook).

Check out our college football bowl season matchups, schedule, and odds.

Top College Football Bowl Games to Watch

Cure Bowl: (24) Troy vs. (25) UTSA

Date: Friday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m. ET
Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
Odds: UTSA -2.5 | O/U 54.5

What better way to kick off the College Football Bowl Season than with a showdown between two conference champions? That is exactly what fans will get in the Cure Bowl as the Sun Belt Champion Troy Trojans take on the UTSA Roadrunners, who won the Conference USA crown.

Another compelling aspect of this matchup is the contrast in styles between the two teams. UTSA’s offense ranked 11th nationally in scoring at 37.6 points per game. On the flip side, Troy’s defense allowed only 17.6 points per game to opponents, the seventh-fewest in all of FBS. 

Given how the Sun Belt was a vastly superior league to C-USA all season, one has to lean toward taking the points with the Trojans.

Las Vegas Bowl: Florida vs. (14) Oregon State

Date: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Odds: OSU -9.5 | O/U 53

From a storyline standpoint, the Las Vegas Bowl easily provides one of the bowl season’s best games, especially early on. Some might recall when Florida knocked off Utah all the way back in Week 1 of the season. Well, the Pac-12 Conference gets a chance at redemption in Sin City courtesy of the 14th-ranked Oregon State Beavers.

Yet again, the Pac-12 finds itself on the outside of the College Football Playoff. Oregon State now has an opportunity to boost the overall stock of the conference in a big way against a high-profile SEC opponent. Florida may have finished the regular season with a .500 record, but the Gators gave rival Florida State all it could handle two weeks ago.

Given how run-heavy both offenses are, bettors might wish to consider playing the Under in this matchup.

New Orleans Bowl: South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Odds: USA -5.5 | O/U 59.5

College football fans are set to receive an early Christmas present this year in the form of a very compelling New Orleans Bowl matchup. Two teams that narrowly missed their respective conference title games will collide in the Big Easy as the South Alabama Jaguars of the Sun Belt face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers out of Conference USA.

After winning just five games a season ago, South Alabama has had a remarkable turnaround. The Jaguars’ only two losses to date came by a single point against UCLA and by four points to Troy. Of course, USA will have its hands full trying to slow down Austin Reed and the high-flying Western Kentucky offense in this bowl game.

Given some of the inconsistencies that the Hilltoppers have shown over the course of the season, we’ll lean toward laying the points with South Alabama in this matchup.

Alamo Bowl: (12) Washington vs. (20) Texas

Date: Thursday, Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Odds: TEX -3.5 | O/U 65

Despite having the highest betting power rating in the Big 12 all season, the Texas Longhorns failed to even make the conference title game. Meanwhile, the Washington Huskies missed out on playing in the Pac-12 Championship due only to a three-way tiebreaker. As such, both teams figure to be highly motivated coming into the Alamo Bowl.

Based on how Texas finished the season, it’s hard to argue with the opening betting odds. Michael Penix Jr. had a phenomenal year playing quarterback for Washington. However, the Longhorns’ defense will present a much stiffer test than the majority of teams in the Pac-12.

Throw in what will undoubtedly be a pro-Texas crowd and laying the points seems like the best option. With a shootout being a real possibility, bettors might also consider backing the Over.

Gator Bowl: (19) South Carolina vs. (21) Notre Dame

Date: Friday, Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Odds: ND -4.5 | O/U 53

After putting an end to Tennessee’s CFP hopes in Week 12, South Carolina snapped a seven-game losing streak to rival Clemson the following week. After scoring back-to-back wins over top-10 opponents, what will the Gamecocks have in store for Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl?

One of the major storylines here is who the Fighting Irish will start at quarterback as Drew Pyne has already departed South Bend via the transfer portal. While Week 1 starter Tyler Buchner was supposed to be sidelined until mid-January after shoulder surgery, Irish head coach Marcus Freeman suggested that he has already gained full clearance.

For many, Buchner’s return would signify an upgrade over Pyne at the position. That said, it’s hard to bet against the momentum that South Carolina built up down the stretch.

Sugar Bowl: (5) Alabama vs. (9) Kansas State

Date: Saturday, Dec. 31, noon ET
Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Odds: ALA -6 | O/U 56

We’ll leave the debate of whether or not Alabama deserved to be in the College Football Playoff over Ohio State to the talking heads. What we can focus on is a very compelling Sugar Bowl matchup as a result of the decision. The Crimson Tide will need to be at their very best to knock off the newly-crowned Big 12 Conference Champion Kansas State Wildcats.

Thus far, the point spread has not deviated from the initial line of Alabama -6. One of the sad but very real components to consider when handicapping this game is how motivated and invested the Crimson Tide will be. Will potential NFL draftees opt out? Could other players join wideout Traeshon Holden and corner Khyree Jackson in entering the transfer portal early?

On the contrary, motivation figures to be no concern for Kansas State. As such, we’ll lean toward taking the points with the Wildcats.

Check out our top three college football bowl games to bet now!

Rose Bowl Game: (11) Penn State vs. (8) Utah

Date: Monday, Jan. 2, 5 p.m. ET
Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Odds: UTA -2 | O/U 52.5

It’s only fitting that ‘The Granddaddy of Them All’ rounds out our list of top bowl games to watch. Fresh off of winning their second straight Pac-12 Conference title, the Utah Utes will take another stab at winning the Rose Bowl Game. This time, the Penn State Nittany Lions stand in their way.

Penn State’s only losses this season came against two of the four teams participating in the College Football Playoff. Despite this, the betting market has moved two full points in Utah’s favor after opening lines made the Rose Bowl a pick’em.

The Nittany Lions already know that they will be short handed on defense as star cornerback Joey Porter opted out of the postseason to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft. This combined with a very telling early line move suggests that the Utes could be the side to play.

Where to Bet on College Football Bowl Season

Check out our top-rated sportsbooks: