The NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) is U.S. college football‘s top level and its postseason is among the most exciting in any sport. While the top four ranked teams compete for a national title in the College Football Playoff and National Championship, more than 30 other bowl games play out across the country with each team playing for a “title” of their own.
You can now bet on all these college bowl games legally right here in Tennessee. Even with the delays and schedule changes this year, we can expect a relatively full bowl season to bet on.
We’ll discuss which games will be part of the College Football Playoff this season and how you can bet on all the NCAA college football bowls right here in Tennessee.
You can pretty much bet on college football and all the NCAA Division I FBS bowl games on the schedule without restrictions in Tennessee. That includes:
Other than TN sportsbooks being prohibited from offering live prop betting on college sports and props involving college athletes, betting on NCAA bowl games is wide open.
Of course, you still must be 21 or over and inside state lines. You also need to make all your bowl bets with legal and licensed TN online sportsbooks.
Betting on anything at a licensed sportsbook requires you to:
Whether you’re using the online sportsbook on your computer or you download the sportsbook app, every sportsbook will use geolocation to verify you are inside the state. They’ll also make sure you’re of legal age using the personal information you signed up with, including the last four digits of your Social Security number.
The books will have a football, college football, college football playoffs, or bowl games tab you can click through to find all of the current game odds and available betting markets once the bowl game matchups are set.
Most bowl game matchups will be set after the College Football Playoff selection committee releases its final rankings for the 2020-21 season, on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. The odds for each NCAA Division I FBS bowl game should come out almost immediately after that.
The FBS consists of 130 schools in 10 conferences across the country. There are four FBS teams in Tennessee:
Last season, the Tennessee Volunteers won the Gator Bowl 23-22 over Indiana. The game took place on Jan. 2, 2020 at TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Memphis Tigers played in the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 28, 2019, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. They lost 53-39 to Penn State.
The Vanderbilt Commodores and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders did not play in an FBS bowl game in the 2019-20 bowl season.
All FBS teams are eligible for the College Football Playoff bowl games and New Year’s Six bowl games, which include the:
Tennessee and Vanderbilt both play in the Southeastern Conference, which typically has agreements with nine postseason bowls, not including the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six bowl games.
Keep in mind that the 2020-21 football season is a strange one given the pandemic, so the standard rules around bowls will not be in effect. For example, there will be bowl games featuring teams with losing records, several bowls are canceled for the year, and travel and virus issues could impact which bowls select which teams.
The Citrus Bowl normally has the first selection of available SEC teams after the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six.
Then, there are six bowls, including the Outback Bowl, Music City Bowl in Nashville, Gator Bowl, Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Texas Bowl, and Belk Bowl that can invite SEC teams. The Birmingham Bowl and Independence Bowl are next.
Memphis plays in the American Athletic Conference, whose champion is guaranteed to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl if the team finishes higher than the champions of four other conferences in the CFP rankings.
The conference also sends teams to the Military Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, and will send a team to a new bowl in Boston managed by ESPN Events and Fenway Sports Management in 2020. Plus, the conference will receive four invites from a group of eight bowls, including the:
Middle Tennessee plays in Conference USA, which is guaranteed seven bowl appearances every year.
The conference sends teams to the Bahamas Bowl, New Orleans Bowl, Independence Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, and LendingTree Bowl (The Bahamas Bowl and Hawaii Bowl will not take place in 2020). Plus, C-USA schools may also be invited to the following bowl games:
The New Year’s Six are the six bowl games involved in the revolving College Football Playoff schedule. Every year, two of these bowl games are the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Here’s what the New Year’s Six will look like this season:
The College Football Playoff selection committee will release its final rankings for the 2020-21 season on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.
The No. 1 ranked team will then play No. 4, and its No. 2 vs. No. 3, in the semifinal games that rotate annually among the New Year’s Six bowl games.
This season’s semifinals are the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, set for January 1, 2021.
The winners of these games will meet in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Once the College Football Playoff semifinals matchups are set, you’ll be able to bet on the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl right here in Tennessee.
The winners of the College Football Playoff semifinals, including the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2021, will play for the national title in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Once the College Football Playoff National Championship matchup is set, you’ll be able to bet on the game at TN online and mobile sportsbooks. Plus, the NCAA Football futures markets at TN online and mobile sportsbooks allow you to bet on who you think will win the title all year long.
Last season, Tennessee took on Indiana in the Gator Bowl.
If there were Gator Bowl lines posted at TN online and mobile sportsbooks they would have most likely looked like this:
|Tennessee Volunteers||-3.5 (-110)||-175||O 54.5 (-110)|
|Indiana Hoosiers||+3.5 (-110)||+195||U 54.5 (-110)|
These and other typical college bowl betting lines should be easy enough to read once you understand what each number represents.
The first number is the spread with the odds in parentheses. What this shows is that Tennessee was 3.5-point favorites. That meant you’d have to deduct 3.5 points from the Vols final score to determine a betting winner.
The -110 odds show that you would have had to bet $110 to win $100, plus your bet back.
In the end, Tennessee won 23-22. The Vols did not cover, only winning by one, and spread bets on Tennessee were losers.
The second number is the moneyline. Moneyline betting asks you to pick the straight-up winner. A plus sign in front of the moneyline indicates that the team is the underdog and shows how much you stand to win for every $100 you bet.
A minus sign in front of the moneyline indicates that the team is the favorite and shows how much you need to bet to win $100, plus your bet back.
Here, the Vols won straight up, so every $175 bet on Tennessee paid out a total of $275.
The third and final number is the totals line with the odds in parentheses. This is where you could have bet that the total combined score by both Indiana and Tennessee would have landed over or under 54.5 points. Once again, the -110 odds show that you would have had to bet $110 to win $100, plus your bet back.
A total of 45 points were scored in the 2020 Gator Bowl, which means only the under paid off.