College Football Bowl Parlay Picks: A Betting Angle for All 6 Saturday Games
Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: An SMU Mustangs football helmet.
How are we going to celebrate the conclusion of another awesome year of college football? Well, if you made this far, you already know what it is.
The answer is a parlay that covers all six bowl games on Saturday’s slate.
At the very least, my hope is to give you an angle on each of the six FBS bowl games that are being played during the first full slate of the 2022 postseason.
Before we dive into the constituents of this parlay, one of the key things to monitor for all bowl games are opt-outs. Opt-outs due to injury concerns or transfer portal entries can and will have a material impact on the lines and outcomes of games.
Luckily, Action Network has you covered. Shoutout to Stuckey and Collin Wilson for another killer article on the status of all postseason rosters for all bowl-eligible teams. This should be your first stop before placing any bets this postseason.
Now, let’s back up the truck with a betting angle for all six Saturday college football bowl games that can easily be parlayed.
Fenway Bowl: Louisville vs. Cincinnati
Fenway Park is no stranger to drama, but leave it to these two teams to really up the ante.
Both teams are facing Kardashian levels of reconstruction with former Bearcat head coach Luke Fickell departing for the top job at Wisconsin and former Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield switching sides to fill the vacancy at Cincinnati.
In addition to coaching changes, the quarterback position is in flux with Louisville’s Malik Cunningham and Cincinnati’s Ben Bryant both out for the game.
There are a laundry list of additional opt-outs given the turmoil surrounding the coaching changes, but I think the focus should be on the inevitable deterioration of what were two very good defenses heading into this game.
Most importantly, the defensive coordinators for both teams will not be present for this season finale. Look for both defenses to regress markedly from their end-of-season form. I’m projecting a total of 46 points in this game.
Because of the turnover on both teams defenses, I think this game turns into a spring game of sorts, where the players on the field are showcasing what they can do for their respective programs next season.
Look for the over to hit here, as concerns around defensive scheme should outweigh offensive question marks.
Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon State vs. Florida
Florida is getting dinged by the books for a myriad of reasons:
The Gators ended the season in a slump, losing to Vanderbilt and Florida State.
Opt-outs have added up, namely NFL-bound quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Billy Napier is just 1-3 against the spread in the postseason.
While there are clearly headwinds for the Gators and I don’t blame the books, 10 points is just too many for a Pac-12 team to spot an SEC team of Florida’s depth.
Richardson will be replaced by Ohio State transfer and former four-star recruit Jack Miller. Also, the Gators will have the services of future NFLer Gervon Dexter.
Lastly, I’m putting almost no weight on Napier’s past bowl performances at Louisiana. Napier is an excellent coach and in the midst of a revamp in Gainesville, playing under a different set of circumstances.
I’m projecting Florida as 5.5-point underdogs in Sin City and like them at 10 or better.
Florida can still be had for 10 and a hook at some books. Not only do like the hook for purposes of this parlay, but I think it’s worth a unit or two on its own.
LA Bowl: Fresno State vs. Washington State
The opt-out situation for Washington State makes the angle on surging Fresno State almost a no-brainer.
Cougar linebacker Daiyan Henely has opted out of the game as he prepares for the NFL Draft, and Francisco Mauigoa and Travion Brown have entered the portal on the heels of defensive coordinator Eric Morris leaving for the top job at North Texas.
Meanwhile, Fresno State comes into this game rocking Mountain West Championship rings, riding an eight-game heater with no opt-outs of note.
Look for Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener and the hot Bulldogs to have their way with the below .500 Cougars in Tinsel Town.
I’m projecting a slight model advantage for Washington State in this game, but the toll of opt-outs is large and material, especially with the entire linebacker corps sitting this game out.
LendingTree Bowl: Rice vs. Southern Miss
These former Conference USA foes will get the chance to clash one more time after both teams limped into the postseason.
Rice finished the season with a 5-7 record but was granted bowl eligibility because of strong academics within the team. The Owls have injury concerns at quarterback as well as cornerback.
Southern Mississippi qualified under its own athletic steam with a 6-6 record. The Golden Eagles may have been pedestrian straight up, but they were one of the best teams in the country against the spread, going 9-3 on the season.
The Golden Eagles are not reporting any opt-outs and have covered five of their last six.
Let’s ride Southern Miss one last time this season.
I’m projecting the Golden Eagles as 11-point favorites and love any under seven for purposes of this bet. I would bet this game individually for one or two units at -6.5 or better.
New Mexico Bowl: BYU vs. SMU
All signs are pointing to quarterback trouble for BYU in this game, with QB1 Jaren Hall unlikely to play. Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake admitted as much in a recent interview, hinting that it’ll likely be QB3 Cade Fennegan under center since QB2 Jacob Conover is in the transfer portal.
SMU, meanwhile, appears to be in better shape from a roster standpoint but will be without the services of star wideout Rashee Rice.
Mustang QB Tanner Mordecai will look to dazzle one more time this season after throwing for 3,306 yards, 31 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.
Mordecai gets a favorable matchup against a BYU defense that ranks 84th in passing defense nationally.
Back the Southern Methodist offense, which ranks 13th in the nation in scoring offense. The Mustangs will find enough offense to get cover even without the services of Rice.
I’m projecting SMU as 6.5-point favorites in Albuquerque.
Frisco Bowl: Boise State vs. North Texas
You can make the argument Boise State was slightly snubbed pulling the Frisco Bowl after losing in the Mountain West Championship game to Fresno State.
While it stinks for the Broncos, we are more than happy to add a mispriced game to our juicy parlay. Additionally, the Broncos enter the very close to full strength as they travel to Texas.
North Texas faces some tornado-type headwinds coming into this game, starting with head coach Seth Littrell getting shown the exit door after losing the Conference USA Championship game following seven seasons on the job.
Perhaps the reason the Mean Green AD hit the eject button on Littrell was because North Texas can’t play defense. It finished the season ranked 124th in the nation in total defense.
The only thing the Mean Green have going for themselves is that they’re close to home. But that’s not going to be enough for a Boise State fanbase that travels very well.
Boise State is going to have a field day against the North Texas defense, and this one will get out of control quickly.
I’m projecting Boise State as 14-point favorites.
If you do choose to go the parlay route here, a six-leg bet at plus-money like this clearly has a large advantage for the sportsbook regardless of what you see on gambling social media.
With the necessary disclaimer out of the way, I still recommend you temper your bets accordingly.
I like the idea of keeping the limit for a parlay somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5 units. A $10 bettor would realize $484 if it were to hit. It would be a great use of a free bet if you have any available.
The final odds are going to vary based on the book that you use, but try to keep the final odds at +6000 or longer. Also, don’t be afraid to exclude a leg or two if the market has moved on you or if you’re generally uncomfortable with the angle.
Best of luck to the big plus-money crowd out there. Welcome to the postseason!