College Football Bowl Game Best Bets: Alabama vs Michigan, Tennessee vs Iowa, Missouri vs Ohio State, More!

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his favorite College Football Bowl Bets and keeps a running list of all his best bets here. Some of his best bets include the College Football Playoff Semifinals and Iowa versus Tennessee, Rutgers vs Miami, plus game picks for Missouri vs Ohio State, and more.

December 23rd, 2023: Las Vegas Bowl

Utah (-7) vs Northwestern O/U 41.5

Utah's on its fourth-string QB as Bryson Barnes, Nate Johnson, and Mack Howard all hit the transfer portal leaving the Utes with only the staff knows. Northwestern turns to its backup after Ben Bryant hit the portal, so I expect a sloppy offensive game.

Utah's defense has been a constant all season, holding eight of 12 opponents to 21 or fewer points. When the Utes won, six out of seven opponents failed to score more than 17 points and that's mainly because of the top 10 rushing and third-down defense.

Northwestern owned a top-25 pass defense during the regular season, so Utah should struggle through the air with its backup QB, plus the Utes' leading receiver has hit the portal.

Devaugh Dele led Utah in receiving yards over four straight games before missing the season finale. Dele is the team's leading receiver (43 rec, 593 yards, 3 TDs), so the incoming QB will not have it simple. I am going Under 41.5 (-110) in this matchup down to 38.0. I played Northwestern +7 with a sprinkle on the ML (+250) too.

Pick: Under 41.5 (1u), Northwestern +7 (1u), Northwestern ML (0.25u)
*odds courtesy of BetMGM

December 26th, 2023: Quick Lane Bowl

Bowling Green vs Minnesota (-4): O/U 38.5

Bowling Green and Minnesota meet in the Quick Lane Bowl and had very different routes getting there.

Minnesota is 5-7 on the year and got invited to this game despite losing four straight games to Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, but ended up drawing Bowling Green with some help.

Bowling Green won five of its past six games with a one-point loss to Toledo as the only blemish during that span. The Falcons earned an impressive 38-27 win over Georgia Tech, who is playing UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl.

Minnesota is without starting QB, Athan Kalikamnis, and the offense scored 14 or fewer points in six out of 12 games with him. Bowling Green's defense held five of seven teams to 19 or fewer points in wins this year. Give me the Under 38.0 (-110) in this matchup down to 35.0.

Pick: Under 38.5 (1u)
*odds courtesy of BetMGM

December 28th, 2023: Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers vs Miami (-2.5): O/U 41.5

The Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium will feature Greg Schiano's Rutgers Scarlett Knights and Mario Cristobal's Miami Hurricanes in what should be a slugfest.

QB Tyler Van Dyke hit the transfer portal for Miami and Rutgers' has one of the worst passing five pass attacks behind Gavin Wimsatt, so I expect a defensive grind from Greg Schiano and Mario Cristobal's squads.

Jacurri Brown will start for the Canes and Miami scored 16 or fewer points in the past four games Brown played in. Rutgers lost four straight games to Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, and Maryland to end the season, so this is a spot for the Knights to save its season.

Rutgers scored a total of 46 points in that four-game stretch and I don't expect 20-plus from the Knights here. I played the Under 41.5 at -110 odds and would go down to 38.0.

Pick: Under 41.5 (1u)
*odds courtesy of BetMGM

December 29th, 2023: Cotton Bowl

Missouri (-2.5) vs Ohio State: O/U 49.0

Missouri and Ohio State meet in the Cotton Bowl and this is the Super Bowl for the Tigers.

Missouri finished the regular season 6-6 in each of the past two years, losing to Wake Forest and Army in Bowl Games to drop to 6-7. This year, Missouri is 10-2 and lost to Georgia and LSU, but beat the likes of Kansas State, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Brady Cook and Missouri were ultra-competitive in both contests versus LSU and Georgia and will be here versus Ohio State.

The Buckeyes haven't looked like the Ohio State of old all year, and with Ryan Day on the hot seat after going from No. 1 with the best resume to out of the College Football Playoff with a loss at Michigan to an interim head coach, it's time to fade the Buckeyes.

This went from Ohio State -3.5 to Missouri -2.5, so I am only risking 1 unit on the ML at -130 odds.

Pick: Missouri ML (Risk 1u)
*odds courtesy of BetMGM

January 1st, 2024: Citrus Bowl

Iowa vs Tennessee (-8.5): O/U 36.5

Deacon Hill and Iowa versus Joe Milton and Tennessee will be one to remember as they meet in the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day.

If the Hawkeyes win, it's because Tennessee can't score more than two touchdowns, and if Tennessee wins, Iowa shouldn't score more than two touchdowns. Both these defenses should make noise in this matchup and both QBs will likely struggle.

Give me the Under on Iowa once again. I played it at Under 36.5 (-110) and would go down to 34.0, or the closing number. Joe Milton taking on Iowa to close out his college career should be interesting.

Pick: Under 36.5 (1.5u)
*odds courtesy of BetMGM

January 1st, 2024: Rose Bowl

Alabama vs Michigan (-1.5): O/U 45.5

Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban go head-to-head for what's anticipated to be the best game of the four-team College Football Playoff.

Alabama opened +3 and was bet down, which I can't argue with, but sharps will hit this back to -3 after Christmas. The Tide have not played a defense quite like Michigan's yet and Jalen Milroe should struggle if his deep passes aren't connecting or drawing flags.

The Michigan defense is top 15 in third-down defense (30.8%), interceptions (16), passing yards allowed per game (152.6), rushing yards allowed per game (86.6), and red-zone defense (71.4%).

Milroe has very different efficiency when throwing 15 yards or less compared to 15 or more, so I expect Michigan to respect the deep ball ability and QB spy Milroe to limit his damage on the ground. I played Michigan's ML at -111 odds and would go to -130.

Pick: Michigan ML (2u)
*odds courtesy of BetMGM

January 1st, 2024: Sugar Bowl

Washington vs Texas (-4): O/U 64.5

Both Washington and Texas rank top 20 in passing efficiency with Michael Penix and Quinn Ewers under center, so I expect fireworks similar to last year's College Football Playoffs (179 combined points in two semifinals).

Washington owns the 80th-ranked third-down defense (40.3%) and is 120th with 263.2 passing yards allowed per game. Both offenses are explosive, but those are the two areas that give Ewers and Texas the favorite tag.

I grabbed the Over 63.5 at -115 odds and would go up to 64. I think this closes between 64.5 and 66.5 with two explosive offenses and two squads that rank 66th and 128th in penalty yards per game.

Oregon and Washington combined for 69 and 65 points in it two meetings, which will be similar to this game. I like the chances Washington scores 30-plus points and Texas has recorded 13 touchdowns in the past two games.

Pick: Over 63.5 (1.5u)
*odds courtesy of BetMGM

Season Record: 63-42-1 (60%) +18.21 units

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