2012-13 College Football Bowl Games Odds & Predictions

by Scott

The 2012-13 bowl game schedule was released a little while ago and I’ve been working on writing my predictions for each of the games over the next month. Make sure you bookmark this page, so that you can come back and view my picks. The odds could change leading up to the games, so if the odds differ from the odds on this page it’s simply because the line has moved.

2012-13 BCS Bowl Games Lines & Best Bets

Date & TimeCollege Football Bowl GameTeam #1 Team #2
Jan 7th @ 8:30PMDiscover BCS National ChampionshipAlabama -10.5Notre Dame +10.5
Jan 1st @ 5:00PMRose Bowl Game by VIZIOWisconsin +6.5Stanford -6.5
Jan 3rd @ 8:30PMTostitos FiestaKansas State +9.5Oregon State -9.5
Jan 2nd @ 8:30PMAllstate SugarLouisville +13.5Florida -13.5
Jan 1st @ 8:30PMDiscover OrangeNorthern Illinois +13Florida State -13

BCS National Champ: Alabama -10.5 (+100) vs. Notre Dame +10.5 (-120) – Pick: Notre Dame +10.5

The two best defenses in the nation have made it to the BCS National Championship Game this year. Notre Dame is the #1 team in points allowed with just 10.3 PPG on average compared to Alabama who ranks #2 and allows 10.7 PPG on average. Both teams excel at rushing with the Crimson Tide averaging 224.6 RYPG (20th) while the Fighting Irish average 202.5 RYPG (27th).

Nick Saban is going to want to dominate ND next month to prove that the SEC is still the best in the country, but my money is on the Fighting Irish, as they’re getting +10.5 points in a game being played on a neutral field. Notre Dame doesn’t pose as much of a threat on offense as Alabama, but they have a knack for keeping every games close and I think they may even win SU.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin +6.5 (-110) vs. Stanford -6.5 (-110) – Pick: Wisconsin +6.5

Wisconsin isn’t even a ranked team, but after smoking Nebraska 70-31 the Badgers earned a spot in the Rose Bowl. This is the 3rd consecutive time that Wisky has made the Rose Bowl and I’m betting them ATS although I’m waiting for +7 pts. These teams are both solid defensively, as the Cardinals allow 17.5 PPG (14th) on average compared to the Badgers who average 19.1 PPG (19th).

This game is going to come down to who can rush the football the best. Montee Ball and James White are both great RB’s that have helped Wisky rank #12 in rushing yards (237.8 RYPG) while the Cardinals only rank 173.3 RYPG (51st). Neither team is a huge threat to pass the football down the field in this game either. It may be a quiet game offensively and I like the Badgers run game.

Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State +9.5 (-110) vs. Oregon -9.5 (-110) – Pick: Kansas State +9.5

This should be one of the best bowl games this year, as the #4 Ducks take on the #5 Wildcats. Kansas State is one of the highest scoring teams in the nation (40.7 PPG – 10th), but the Ducks score even more points than KSU (50.8 PPG – 2nd). Defensively both teams rank very close as well with the Wildcats giving up 21.1 PPG (24th) and the Ducks giving up 22 PPG (26th) on average.

When you look at the offensive stats the Ducks have a considerable edge in this game. They rush for an average of 323.3 RYPG (3rd) and pass for 226.8 PYPG (67th). Mariota is a dual threat QB that can beat you through the air or on his feet. Kenjon Barner is one of the best RB’s in the country as well, but the point spread is a bit high at +9.5 and I have faith that Klein keeps this close.

Sugar Bowl: Louisville +13.5 (-110) vs. Florida Gators -13.5 (-110) – Pick: Florida

I don’t like taking a huge favorite in BCS bowl games, but the Gators should cover the two TD spread. The Gators are fresh off a 37-26 win over FSU and I’m sure that this team wants to win the Sugar Bowl. Florida ranks 3rd in points allowed (12.9 PPG), but they’ve had struggles on offense this year and only score an average of 26.8 PPG (75th), which isn’t going to cut it.

Louisville on the other hand ranks 37th in points allowed (23.8 PPG) and 48th in points scored (31 PPG). The Cardinals have a solid QB in Bridgewater who has helped Louisville rank 24th in passing yards (298.5 PYPG). However, Louisville only ranked 61st in SOS this year compared to the Gators who had the #6 SOS. With this in mind the SEC Gators should eat-up the Big East Cardinals.

Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois +13 (-110) vs. Florida State -13 (-110) – Pick: Florida State -13

I have to admit that the Orange Bowl this year isn’t going to excite too many people. Northern Illinois had the #100 SOS this year compared to FSU who ranked 47th in SOS. Florida State should be able to control this game from start to finish. They only allow an average 15.1 PPG (7th) and they’re also one of the highest scoring teams in the nation with an average of 39.9 PPG (14th).

Northern Illinois is also good on both sides of the football, but their schedule was much easier. NIU ranks 18th in points allowed (19 PPG) and 9th in points scored (40.8 PPG). If FSU can take QB Jordan Lynch out of his comfort zone early this could be a long game as the Huskies rely heavily on their QB in both the passing and rushing department. Take the favored Seminoles by -13 pts.

2012-13 Bowl Games Odds & Picks

Date & TimeCollege Football Bowl GameTeam #1Team #2
Dec 15th @ 1:00PMGildan New MexicoNevada +9.5Arizona -9.5
Dec 15th @ 4:30PMFamous Idaho PotatoToledo +10Utah State -10
Dec 20th @ 8:00PMSD County Credit Union PoinsiettaBYU -2.5San Diego State +2.5
Dec 21st @ 7:30PMBeef ‘O’Brady’s St. PetersburgBall State +7.5Central Florida -7.5
Dec 22nd @ 12:00PMR+L Carriers New OrleansEast Carolina +6UL Lafayette -6
Dec 22nd @ 3:30PMMAACO Las VegasWashington +5Boise State -5
Dec 24th @ 8:00PMSheraton Hawai’iSMU +12Fresno State -12
Dec 26th @ 7:30PMLittle CaesarsCentral Michigan +5Western Kentucky -5
Dec 27th @ 3:00PMMilitary by Northrop Grumman
Bowling Green +7San Jose State -7
Dec 27th @ 6:30PMHoliday BowlCincinnati -7Duke +7
Dec 27th @ 9:45PMBridgepoint Education HolidayBaylor PKUCLA PK
Dec 28th @ 2:00PMAdvoCare V100 IndependenceOhio +7UL Monroe -7
Dec 28th @ 5:30PMRussell AthleticRutgers +2.5Virginia Tech -2.5
Dec 28th @ 9:00PMMeineke Car Care of TexasMinnesota +12.5Texas Tech -12.5
Dec 29th @ 11:45AMBell Helicopter Armed ForcesAir Force -1Rice +1
Dec 29th @ 3:15PMKraft Fight HungerNavy +14.5Arizona State -14.5
Dec 29th @ 3:15PMNew Era PinstripeWest Virginia -4Syracuse +4
Dec 29th @ 6:45PMValero AlamoOregon State -2Texas +2
Dec 29th @ 10:15PMBuffalo Wild Wings BowlTCU -2.5Michigan State +2.5
Dec 31st @ 12:00PMFranklin American Mortgage Music CityNC State +7Vanderbilt -7
Dec 31st @ 2:00PMHyundai Sun BowlGeorgia Tech +10USC -10
Dec 31st @ 3:30PMAutoZone LibertyIowa State PKTulsa PK
Dec 31st @ 7:30PMChick-fil-AClemson +4LSU -4
Jan 1st @ 12:00PMHeart of Dallas BowlPurdue +16.5Oklahoma State -16.5
Jan 1st @ 12:00PMTaxSlayer.com GatorNorthwestern +2.5Mississippi State -2.5
Jan 1st @ 1:00PMCapital OneNebraska +10Georgia -10
Jan 1st @ 1:00PMOutbackMichigan +5.5South Carolina -5.5
Jan 4th @ 8:00PMAT&T CottonTexas A&M -4.5Oklahoma +4.5
Jan 5th @ 1:00PMBBVA CompassPittsburgh +3.5Mississippi -3.5
Jan 6th @ 9:00PMGoDaddy.comArkansas State -4Kent State +4

New Mexico Bowl: Nevada +9.5 (-110) vs. Arizona -9.5 (-110) – Pick: Arizona -9.5

Arizona had a rough season where they finished just 7-5 and they’ll be playing Nevada. Arizona had a much tougher SOS (20) compared to Nevada (SOS – 76). Arizona has a high powered offense and Nevada has been brutal defensively. Arizona isn’t much better defensively, but Nevada’s offense isn’t that much of a threat passing. If Arizona stops the run they’ll cruise here.

Idaho Potato Bowl: Toledo +10 (-110) vs. Utah State -10 (-110) – Pick: Toledo +10

Toledo hasn’t lost by more than a TD this entire season and I don’t think that’ll change in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Toledo has been able to keep up offensively with everyone they’ve played this year. This game will be a huge test though, as Utah State ranks #8 in points against (15.4 PPG). Toledo needs QB Terrance Owens to have a big game to have a shot at winning.

Pointsettia Bowl: BYU -2.5 (-115) vs. San Diego State +2.5 (-105) – Pick: BYU -2.5

BYU should win this bowl game due to their rushing defense. They only give up 84.25 rushing yards per game on average and if SD State can’t rush the football they’ll have trouble scoring at all. SDSU ranks #16 in rushing yards (229.2 RYPG), but they have a horrible passing offense. With a low spread of just -2.5 points BYU will be able to cover ATS, as they’ll shutdown the SDSU RB’s.


Beef “O” Brady’s Bowl: Ball State +7.5 (-120) vs. Central Florida -7.5 (+100) – Pick: Ball State +7.5

Ball State has won 6 games in a row now and I’m surprised we’re getting over a TD on the point spread. Ball State is better at rushing the football and passing the football. Ball State ranks #23 in rushing (214.3 RYPG), #48 in passing yards (257.1 PYPG) and #31 in points scored (35 PPG). UCF only gives up 22.5 PPG (29th) on average, but at +7.5 pts I’ll take a shot on the Cardinals.

New Orleans Bowl: East Carolina +6 (-110) vs. UL Lafayette -6 (-110) – Pick: East Carolina +6

East Carolina is a bit overmatched in this game, but I bet them ATS at +6 points. UL Lafayette averages 34.8 PPG on offense and allows 27.6 PPG (61st). East Carolina scores 31.3 PPG (46th), but they allow 30.7 PPG (86th). This game will come down to Carden and his ability to pass on this UL Lafayette defense. ECU ranks 35th in passing yards (272.8 PYPG) and I think he’ll play well.

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Washington +5 (-110) vs. Boise State -5 (-110) – Pick: Boise State -5

Boise State is only favored by -5 points and I think the spread is a bit too low. The Broncos ran 6th in points allowed (14.9 PPG) and Washington will have trouble putting up points. Keith Price is a solid QB, but the Huskies haven’t put up good offensive numbers this year (210.4 PYPG – 87th & 137.2 RYPG – 92nd). Boise will shut the Huskies offense down and win by more than a TD.

Hawaii Bowl: SMU +12 (-110) vs. Fresno State -12 (-110) – Pick: Fresno State -12

The spread is a bit high, but it’s hard to go against Fresno State right now. They’ve beat up on their opponents the L5 weeks of the season and SMU isn’t that solid of a team. The Bulldogs rank #12 in passing yards (322.6 PYPG) and #12 in points scored with 40.3 PPG. SMU isn’t nearly as explosive and they have a middle of the pack defense that won’t be able to stop the Bulldogs.


Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Central Michigan +5 (-110) vs. Western Kentucky -5 (-110) – Pick: Under 58.5

I actually like the total in this game a lot more than the point spread. Neither team has ranked that well offensively this year, as CMU ranks 65th in points scored (29.3 PPG) compared to WKU who ranks 51st (25.6 PPG). CMU gives up 33.3 PPG (99th), which is worrisome, but if they can shutdown WKU’s rushing offense (186.2 – 41st) than this game should stay under with 45-50 pts total.

Military Bowl: Bowling Green +7 (-105) vs. San Jose State -7 (-115) – Pick: San Jose State -7

SJSU has one of the best passing offenses in the country (327.5 RYPG – 11th). Both teams are good defensively, as the Falcons are 9th in points against (15.8 PPG) and the Spartans rank 25th in points against (21.4 PPG). However, SJSU has a much better offense and if David Fales can get the passing game going they’ll not only win the Military Bowl, but they’ll cover the TD point spread.

Holiday Bowl: Cincinnati -7 (-115) vs. Duke +7 (-105) – Pick: Cincinnati -7

Duke has lost their L4 games and none of them were even close. Cincinnati gets it done on both sides of the football, as they’ve averaged 31 PPG (48th) and only give up 17.2 PPG (12th). Duke is going to have trouble defensively to shutdown the Bearcats, as they can run or pass the football down the field. Duke ended the regular season on a horrible note and that’ll continue here.

Holiday Bowl: Baylor PK (-110) vs. UCLA PK (-110) – Pick: UCLA PK

This should be one of the better bowl games to watch if you like exciting football. Baylor ranks 3rd in passing yards (353.3 PYPG), 19th in rushing yards (225.5 RYPG) and 5th in points scored (44.1 PPG). However, they have one of the worst defenses that gives up an average of 38.2 PPG (117th) compared to UCLA who allows 25.9 PPG (55th). I’m taking the better defense to win this one.


Independence Bowl: Ohio +7 (-105) vs. UL Monroe -7 (-115) – Pick: UL Monroe -7

Ohio and UL Monroe come into this bowl game with 8-4 records, but I’m betting on the Warhawks. UL Monroe has a great pass attack (296.7 PYPG – 26th) and they’ve put up plenty of points this season (35.5 PPG – 25th). Ohio is slightly better on defense, as they allow 25.7 PPG (52nd) while the Warhawks allow 27.8 PPG (62nd). Ohio is good at rushing, but I like ULM’s passing offense.

Russell Athletic Bowl: Rutgers +2.5 (-110) vs. Virginia Tech -2.5 (-110) – Pick: Virginia Tech -2.5

Both of these teams had a similar SOS this season (V-Tech 64 & Rutgers 54). Rutgers excels defensively (14.3 PPG Allowed – 4th) whereas the Hokies allow 23.9 PPG – 39th). QB Logan Thomas is a game changer though and if he plays well V-Tech will have a great chance at beating Rutgers. If Logan struggles against this defense than Rutgers will end up winning the bowl game.

Meinke Car Care Texas Bowl: Minnesota +12.5 vs. Texas Tech -12.5 – Pick: Texas Tech -12.5

These two teams are the polar opposite of each other. Texas Tech has an amazing offense that ranks 2nd in passing (361.9 PYPG), 88th in rushing (139.5 RYPG) and 16th in points scored (37.8 PPG). Seth Doege has been great this season for Texas Tech and they should cover this big spread. Minnesota is horrible offensively and it’ll be hard stopping the high flying Red Raiders pass attack.

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force -1 (-110) vs. Rice +1 (-110) – Pick: Air Force -1

This should be a great game and I’m taking the Falcons who rank #2 in rushing yards (328.8 RYPG). They don’t pass the football well, but they can run really well and they score 28.5 PPG (70th). The Rice defense gives up 31.3 PPG (90th) and they’re going to have a lot of trouble stopping the run for a full 60 minutes without wearing down. Air Force matches up well against Rice.


Fight Hunger Bowl: Navy +14.5 (-110) vs. Arizona State -14.5 (-110) – Pick: Navy +14.5

Navy has actually played fairly well with the talent they have this season. They rank 31st in points allowed (22.7 PPG) and they’ve got one of the best rushing attacks on offense (275.6 RYPG – 6th). Navy has trouble finding the endzone, which hasn’t been an issue for the Sun Devils this year (36.4 PPG – 21st). Navy should be able to keep this match-up within the +14.5 point spread.

Pinstripe Bowl: West Virginia -4 (-110) vs. Syracuse +4 (-110) – Pick: West Virginia -4

West Virginia faltered this season due to the poor defensive play that gives up an average of 38.1 PPG (116th). WVU has one of the top offenses in the country though, as they rank 6th in passing yards (340.9 PYPG) and 7th in points scored (41.6 PPG). I like the Orange’s passing attack (301.6 PYPG – 21st), but WVU is simply better with Geno Smith and they should cover the -4 points.

Alamo Bowl: Oregon State -2 (-110) vs. Texas +2 (-110) – Pick: Texas +2

The Beavers have had great QB play this season and they’ve been strong on the defensive front. They rank 15th in passing yards (316.5 PYPG), 38th in points scored (33 PPG) and 22nd in points allowed (19.8 PPG). Texas has struggled at times on defense, as they’ve allowed 29.4 PPG (73rd), but the offense has been better (36.1 PPG – 24th). I like Texas to pull the upset off in this game.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: TCU -2.5 (-110) vs. Michigan State +2.5 (-110) – Pick: Michigan State +2.5

Waiting for +3 here would be wise, as it could move up before kick-off later this month. The Spartans only average 20.3 PPG (109th) this season, but TCU isn’t a high scoring team either 29.3 PPG (61st). Defensively both of these teams are stout, as the Spartans rank #10 (16.3 PPG) and the Horned Frogs rank #35 (23.1 PPG). I’m taking the better defense to dominate here.


Music City Bowl: NC State +7 (-115) vs. Vanderbilt -7 (-105) – Pick: NC State +7

This should be a low scoring game and I like getting a full TD on the underdog. NC State has a great passing game (304 PYPG), but they don’t rush the football well (116.9 RYPG – 109th) and they struggle to score (28.4 PPG – 72nd). Vanderbilt hasn’t been good offensively this year, but they have one of the best defenses (18.3 PPG – 15th). I just think NC State will keep it close.

Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech +10 (-110) vs. USC -10 (-110) – Pick: USC -10

Georgia Tech is one of the best rushing teams in the country (312.5 RYPG – 4th), but they don’t do anything else well. USC had a tough season, but the team is full of talent and should beat up on G-Tech badly. USC averages 34.2 PPG (37th) on offense and they allow 24.6 PPG (45th) on defense. They’ve also played the 5th toughest schedule this year and I expect them to cover ATS.

Liberty Bowl: Iowa State PK (-110) vs. Tulsa PK (-110) – Pick: Tulsa PK

Iowa State struggles to score, but they’ve been pretty good on defense (23.3 PPG – 36th). Tulsa allows 24.2 PPG (42nd), but the Golden Hurricanes are much stronger offensively. They rank 11th in rushing (240.2 RYPG) and 72nd in passing (220.5 PYPG). I think ISU will stay in the game early on, but the constant rushing will wear down the d-line and Tulsa will win this game by a TD+.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson +4 (-110) vs. LSU -4 (-110) – Pick: LSU -4

Both of these teams had great seasons although LSU is probably a bit disappointed playing in this bowl. LSU lived off of their defense this year (16.9 PPG – 11th), but the rushing was also good (179.9 RYPG – 44th). Clemson was this year and they ended up ranking 13th in passing (319.6 PYPG), 32nd in rushing (198.8 RYPG) and 6th in points (42.3 PPG.), but the LSU defense is too strong.


Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue +16.5 (-110) vs. Oklahoma State -16.5 (-110) – Pick: Oklahoma State -16.5

This game shouldn’t be competitive. OSU has a great offense that’s led by RB Randle. OSU ranks 7th in passing (333.4 PYPG), 22nd in rushing (215.5 RYPG) and 4th in points scored (44.7 PPG). Purdue gives up 29 PPG (72nd) on average, but OSU isn’t an average team and they should put up 50+ in this bowl game. Purdue ended the season hot, but against weaker teams. Take OSU.

Gator Bowl: Northwestern +2.5 (-110) vs. Mississippi State -2.5 (-110) – Pick: Northwestern +2.5

I’d wait to bet this game, as I expect the spread to get a bit better once SEC money comes in. Northwestern is a solid team that can run opponents right out of the stadium (230.9 RYPG – 14th). Northwestern scores 31.5 PPG (42nd) and gives up 22.8 PPG (32nd) this year. Mississippi State had a good year as well with just four tough SEC losses, but I like the Wildcats to win the Gator Bowl.

Outback Bowl: Michigan +5.5 (-110) vs. South Carolina -5.5 (-110) – Pick: Michigan +5.5

This is going to be a close defensive battle and getting over a FG on the spread is good enough for me. Michigan only allows an average of 18.8 PPG (16th) while South Carolina gives up 17.4 PPG (13th). The Wolverines have a more explosive offense that can pop off an 80-yard run at anytime during the game. In a close defensive game I like the Michigan rush to win the game for them.

Capital One Bowl: Nebraska +10 (-110) vs. Georgia -10 (-110) – Pick: Nebraska +10

Georgia has to be angry after losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. I question whether or not the players will give it 100% in this bowl game. If they don’t Nebraska may upset them, but Georgia definitely won’t cover the -10 spread. Nebraska has a tough defense (26.2 PPG Allowed – 56th) and one of the best rushing attacks in the nation (254.5 RYPG – 8th).


Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M -4.5 (-110) vs. Oklahoma +4.5 (-110) – Pick: Texas A&M -4.5

QB Manziel has been the best player in college football this season and I fully expect him to cap off his excellent season with a huge game in the Cotton Bowl. QB Jones for the Sooners has also been great. Oklahoma ranks #6 in pass yards 341.3 PYPG) and score 40.3 PPG (12th). The Aggies gain 317.3 PYPG (14th), 235.1 RYPG (13th) and scored 44.8 PPG (3rd) on average. Bet the Aggies.

Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh +3.5 (-110) vs. Mississippi -3.5 (-110) – Pick: Pittsburgh +3.5

Pittsburgh and Mississippi both had struggles this season, but ended up bowl eligible. The Panthers beat Rutgers and USF in the last two games and have been looking like a much better team. Mississippi had a tough season in the SEC, but they were solid on defense (19.7 PPG – 21st). The team’s offense isn’t nearly as good and the Panthers will keep this game within in a FG.

GoDaddy.com Bowl: Arkansas State -4 vs. Kent State +4 – Pick: Arkansas State -4

Kent State lost the MAC Championship to Northern Illinois and just missed out on a BCS bowl. They now play Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com bowl and I think the Red Wolves will win. Aplin and Oku are both having great seasons and I think Kent State is going to come out sluggish after missing out on a BCS bowl in double OT. The spread seems a few points too low.

About The Author

has written 52 awesome posts on tipsandpicks.com.

Scott primarily focuses on the US sports at Tips and Picks and he spends most of his time analyzing the betting markets to ensure bettors always get the best odds