College Football Bowl Game Best Bets – December 26th to 30th Picks

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We've started off bowl season hot, going 3-1 on our first set of picks. We're not done yet, though, as we've got another batch of picks from our experts for the games going from Tuesday (12/26) to Saturday (12/30).

After this set of picks, we'll have additional picks for New Years Day/College Football Playoffs semi-final games (next article) and the National Championship picks (last article).

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Remember, you can always compare college football lines and odds by sportsbooks here. You can also see all of our current and past college football betting picks here.

College Football Bowl Game Best Bets – December 26 to 30 Picks

Bowling Green +4.5 vs. Minnesota – Quick Lane Bowl – 12/26 @ 2 pm ET

Rob O'Connor
Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor is a veteran sports handicapper. He broke into the industry in 2002 and has continued to provide high quality sports handicapping advice ever since.

Minnesota finished the season 5-7 but managed to get themselves into a bowl game when there were not enough 6-win teams available to fill all the spots in all the bowl games.

Minnesota won’t have starting QB Athan Kaliakmanis, who entered the transfer portal, so they will turn to backup QB Cole Kramer for the game. He is a 5-year player and will be making his first career start. That should tell you all you need to know about him.

Not once in 5 years did Minnesota think Kramer was good enough to start for them and now they are forced to use him in the bowl game. And the Bowling Green defense is going to be challenging to score against. They ranked 25th against the pass and 42nd against the rush in 2023.

Bowling Green had a decent 7-5 season including a win over Power 5 opponent Georgia Tech. Their starting QB Connor Bazelack had a good season and will play in the bowl game. If they are able to get leading RB Terion Stewart back from injury, the offense will be pretty much as it was during the regular season, otherwise Bowling Green may have some trouble running the ball.

But the good news for them is Minnesota probably won’t have their top defensive player in safety Tyler Nubin, who is preparing for the NFL draft.

Bowling Green has a chance to defeat another Power 5 team this season and may be able to pull the upset, and even if they can’t, look for this to be a close game and grab them +4.5.

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North Carolina vs. West Virginia Over 54 – Duke’s Mayo Bowl – 12/27 @ 5:30 pm ET

Kyler Wolff
Kyler Wolff

Kyler Wolff is a sports writer with a passion for football & statistical analysis. He uses his knowledge of the game and ability to break down stats to make the best picks.

These two teams combined score 68.2 points per game on offense and allow 54.8 points per game on defense, averaging out well over 54 points.

The reason why the over/under is so low is that North Carolina's star QB Drake Maye is skipping the bowl game and declaring for the NFL (where he could go as high as the number 1 pick).

The reason why I'm confident that this game will still see more than 54 is because while Drake Maye is an absolute stud who put up 3608 passing yards, 449 rushing yards, and 33 total touchdowns, he isn't what truly drives this offense. Omarion Hampton, the running back from nearby Clayton, North Carolina, is the beating heart of this offense and of this team.

North Carolina will look to establish the run game in a myriad of different ways in this one, using both Hampton and backup QB/absolute speedster Conner Harrell. He's shined in the few opportunities he's had so far, and this game will give him a chance to establish himself for this team going forward. Expect a lot of big runs and perhaps some shots down the field as well.

As for the West Virginia offense, they've also had a dynamic run game starting QB Garrett Greene, who has 13 touchdowns on the ground this year, and a pair of running backs who each ran for nearly 800 yards.

There's not much more to say; these two teams have scoring built into their DNA, and that shouldn't change this week.

>> Use our College Football Odds Comparison Tool to find the best lines & odds for this game

Oklahoma St +2 vs. Texas A&M – Texas Bowl – 12/27 @ 9 pm ET

Rob O'Connor
Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor is a veteran sports handicapper. He broke into the industry in 2002 and has continued to provide high quality sports handicapping advice ever since.

This is a matchup between two teams that had completely different seasons.

Texas A&M greatly underachieved and fired head coach Jimbo Fisher during the season, while Oklahoma State exceeded expectations and made it to the Big 12 title game before falling to Texas.

Texas A&M will be coached in the bowl game by Elijah Robinson, who is leaving to take the job as the Syracuse defensive coordinator. So one has to question how much focus he has on a bowl game that doesn’t mean much when he has another job to prepare for.

Texas A&M has 15 players leaving via the portal and will not be at full strength for this game. They won’t have starting QB Max Johnson who missed A&M’s last 3 regular season games and is now in the transfer portal.

They will have to turn to the inexperienced QB Jaylen Henderson to lead the offense, which will also be without one of their top WRs in Ainias Smith, who broke a finger in the LSU game and is now preparing for the NFL Draft.

Oklahoma State, meanwhile, will have their top offensive weapon in RB Ollie Gordon, who will play in the game. He rushed for over 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season.

Oklahoma State had the better season over, has their best weapon playing, and more stability with coach Gundy at the helm. They have been very good in the role of underdog under Gundy. Look for that to continue in the Texas Bowl, play Oklahoma St +2.

>> Use our College Football Odds Comparison Tool to find the best lines & odds for this game

Arizona -2.5 vs. Oklahoma – Valero Alamo Bowl – 12/28 @ 9:15 pm ET

Kyler Wolff
Kyler Wolff

Kyler Wolff is a sports writer with a passion for football & statistical analysis. He uses his knowledge of the game and ability to break down stats to make the best picks.

The driving force behind Oklahoma's offense this year has been Dillon Gabriel, who put up near-Heisman numbers completely under the radar. Gabriel had 4,000+ total yards and 42 total touchdowns on a 69.3% completion rate, but unfortunately, Oklahoma will not have him going into this game.

Gabriel announced last week that he is transferring to Oregon to play for the Ducks, and he will not play in Oklahoma's bowl game against Arizona. This has left Oklahoma in a dire situation against a surging Arizona team that is on a 6-game-win streak.

Oklahoma does have a former 5-star QB recruit starting in this game in Jackson Arnold, but to think he can lead this offense and keep up with Arizona is kind of absurd.

Arizona has averaged 38.8 points per game in their last 6 games, which included 4 ranked teams (Washington State, Oregon State, UCLA, and Utah). They have a great duo in QB Noah Fifita and WR Tetairoa McMillan, who has 1242 yards on 10 TDs on 80 receptions this season.

Arizona has also had a better defense than Oklahoma this season, allowing only 341 yards and 20.8 points per game compared to Oklahoma, giving up 390 yards and 22.3 points per game.

Given how hot Arizona has been recently, Oklahoma's quarterback situation, and Arizona's slightly better defense, especially in the high-scoring PAC-12, I've got to go with Arizona in this one.

The spread seems like a good pick. I don't think the Wildcats are going to waste many possessions, and I think Arnold will struggle early, and Oklahoma won't be able to catch back up.

>> Use our College Football Odds Comparison Tool to find the best lines & odds for this game

Georgia -14 vs. Florida State – Orange Bowl – 12/30 @ 4 pm ET

Rob O'Connor
Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor is a veteran sports handicapper. He broke into the industry in 2002 and has continued to provide high quality sports handicapping advice ever since.

This game features a pair of teams that had their hopes on college football playoffs but missed out during the season’s final weekend.

Florida State, while undefeated, is clearly not the same team since they lost starting QB Jordan Travis to injury and, for that reason, they will not be in the college football playoff. Florida State won’t even have backup QB Tate Rodemaker, so that will hurt the already struggling offense even more.

Beyond that, they are losing some top offensive weapons to the NFL Draft in WR Johnny Wilson and RB Trey Benson. Other players have opted out as well. It seems Florida State took missing in the playoff hard and they have pretty much packed it in for the season.

Georgia has had some players opt out as well, but they have more of their starters playing including QB Carson Beck, who will play in the game and return next season. The biggest question mark for Georgia is TE Brock Bowers, who is still with the program but is uncertain if he will play in the game.

While Georgia fell all the way to 6th with their first loss in 3 years to Alabama in the SEC Championship game, as a program, they seem to be handling missing out on the playoffs much better than Florida State is and that will be a significant factor on game day.

Georgia is simply the more complete team, has more starters playing, and a better attitude than Florida State heading into the game.

The Florida State offense will find scoring extremely difficult with the product they are putting out on the field against one of the best defenses in the country.

They simply won’t be able to keep up with Georgia in this one. Look for Georgia to cover the two-touchdown spread and win the Orange Bowl comfortably.

>> Use our College Football Odds Comparison Tool to find the best lines & odds for this game

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