College Football Bowl Season 2019: Top Games To Wager On At WV Sportsbooks

Posted on December 18, 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Beyond families gathering to celebrate the holidays, college football bettors are gearing up for another incredible bowl season.

West Virginia online sportsbooks should see plenty of betting action throughout the end of the month and into the new year. This season’s bowl schedule consists of 40 different bowl games including the College Football Playoff and National Championship.

Although the WVU Mountaineers didn’t qualify for a bowl this year, the Marshall Thundering Herd did. The Herd will battle the UCF Knights in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 23.

Marshall finished 2019 with an 8-4 record overall and in second place in the Conference USA East. The Herd dropped a late-season matchup with Charlotte, preventing them from making the conference’s title game.

Regardless, the Herd have a chance to earn some hardware this season, but it won’t come easy. The UCF Knights are a solid team and have been one of the top programs in the sport in recent years.

They finished 9-3 this season after only losing one game in total over the last two years. UCF is favored by about 18 points heading into its bowl with Marshall.

Of course, there are a lot of other enticing bowl games outside of the Mountain State. And even though they are not local, WV sportsbooks will busy accepting action.

This year’s playoff should be amazing once again, as the four best teams in the nation square off to determine the national champion. LSU is the top seed, followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma.

Each squad has loads of NFL talent and some of the best coaches around. All four have a realistic chance of winning two games and taking home the championship.

Let’s examine the top upcoming bowl games and their current odds in the WV sports betting market.

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College Football Bowl Preview 2019

The college football bowl schedule begins on Dec. 20 with the Bahamas and Frisco bowls. Following these two, there is basically at least one bowl game every day through the first week of January.

The two College Football Playoff games occur on Dec. 28 and the National Championship is scheduled for Jan. 13 in New Orleans.

Bettors in WV can wager on any of these games right from their mobile devices thanks to the return of online sports betting apps. The state features two of the best online sportsbooks available in any market:

Whether it’s live in-game wagering or futures bets leading up to the playoff, DraftKings and FanDuel have you covered. Here are a few of the most intriguing bowl games of the year and their betting odds provided by both operators.

Marshall vs. UCF – Gasparilla Bowl

  • College football playoff odds at DraftKings sportsbook:
    • Marshall +17.5 (-110)
      • Moneyline: +460
    • UCF -17.5 (-110)
      • Moneyline: -670
    • Over 61.5 (-110)
    • Under 61.5 (-110)

    College football playoff odds at FanDuel sportsbook:

    • Marshall +17.5 (-110)
      • Moneyline: +580
    • UCF -17.5 (-110)
      • Moneyline: -850
    • Over 61.5 (-110)
    • Under 61.5 (-110)

The biggest game in the state of WV is the Gasparilla Bowl featuring the Thundering Herd and UCF Knights. Sportsbooks will have a lot of gamblers looking to potentially take advantage of the sizeable spread Marshall is receiving.

Early lines show the Herd grabbing over 17 points in this one. While UCF might have the better team on paper, bowl season is often filled with a fair amount of upsets. There’s no reason why Marshall can’t be involved in one of these games this year.

Both sides had similar regular-season records, but their play on the field is much different.

UCF tends to be a more vertical team, stretching the field with a deep and effective passing game. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel is a capable passer and will look to expand on his 3.400 yards passing and 27 touchdowns from the regular season.

The Knights’ offense averaged 43 points per game in 2019.

Marshall, on the other hand, will be looking to slow down the pace. Coach Doc Holliday and his squad lean much heavier on the run.

Running back Brenden Knox will be utilized early and often in this one. He led the Herd with nearly 1,300 rushing yards and 11 scores.

Predicting a Marshall victory might be a little too bold, but it’s proven in the past it can compete with college football’s best. If the Herd can play a sound game and not commit any turnovers, then they can absolutely make this a close contest.

Bettors who think Marshall will cover might also take a look at betting the under. If the Herd have success, they will be able to maintain possession of the ball often and limit UCF’s opportunities.

Michigan vs. Alabama – Citrus Bowl

DraftKings odds:

  • Michigan +7 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +200
  • Alabama -7 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -250
  • Over 58.5 (-110)
  • Under 58.5 (-110)

FanDuel odds:

  • Michigan +7 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +210
  • Alabama -7 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -265 
  • Over 59 (-110)
  • Under 59 (-110)

One of the most anticipated bowl games that is not in the playoff is Alabama vs. Michigan. These teams are two of the most successful programs in the history of college football. Combined, they have accounted for 28 national championships.

The Crimson Tide and Wolverines will get together on New Year’s Day for the Citrus Bowl. Alabama are listed as touchdown favorites at WV sportsbooks.

Both schools feature head coaches who have little to prove. Alabama’s Nick Saban is regarded as the top college coach and has six national titles just by himself. He won it all at LSU once before taking over the Tide in 2007.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh isn’t quite on Saban’s collegiate level, but he’s had his share of success, too. Before arriving in Ann Arbor, he helped build winning teams at Stanford as well as the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.

While each team had bigger expectations than the Citrus Bowl, the matchup should make for an incredible game.

Despite not having their starting quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, the Tide are laying points in this bowl. They’ll lean on their standout wide receivers to help backup Mac Jones.

Michigan will look to recover from its disappointing season finale against Ohio State. It needs quarterback Shea Patterson to play at his best to have a chance to take down an athletic Alabama defense.

The Citrus Bowl will be a fun game with a lot of big plays. It should remain a close affair for the most part, however, if Alabama comes fully focused on winning, then they will be too much for the Wolverines.

LSU vs. Oklahoma – Peach Bowl (CFP)

DraftKings odds:

  • Oklahoma +13 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +340
  • LSU -13 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -455
  • Over 75.5 (-110)
  • Under 75.5 (-110)

FanDuel odds:

  • Oklahoma +13 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +360
  • LSU -13 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -490
  • Over 75.5 (-110)
  • Under 75.5 (-110)

LSU and Oklahoma will meet in the Peach Bowl to decide the first semifinal of the College Football Playoff.

The Tigers finished 2019 with a perfect 13-0 record, including victories over rival Alabama and an SEC Championship win over Georgia. Quarterback Joe Burrow had an incredible year and is regarded as the heavy favorite to earn the Heisman Trophy this weekend.

The senior threw for more than 4,700 yards and 48 touchdowns in helping LSU to its best season in a while. After the year completes, he will be one of the top QB prospects entering the NFL draft.

Oklahoma will try to slow him down. The Sooners are back in the playoff with another new signal-caller leading the troops.

Transfer Jalen Hurts leads them this year after leaving Alabama this past offseason. Hurts also had a spectacular year, as he is a finalist for the Heisman as well.

If you haven’t seen either of these teams play this year, then the game’s total tells you everything you need to know. With the figure set at 75.5 points, there should be nonstop scoring throughout the game.

Oklahoma is a dangerous team with several NFL players, but LSU seems to be on a mission. While the Tigers may not cover the spread, a loss would be a major upset.

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Ohio State vs. Clemson – Fiesta Bowl (CFP)

DraftKings odds:

  • Ohio State +2 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +106
  • Clemson -2 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -129
  • Over 63 (-110)
  • Under 63 (-110)

FanDuel odds:

  • Ohio State +2 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +110
  • Clemson -2 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -130
  • Over 63 (-110)
  • Under 63 (-110)

The other playoff semifinal is shaping up to be one of the best games of the year. Both Ohio State and Clemson went 13-0 and have loaded rosters that could easily win the title.

Clemson is the defending champion and has its stud quarterback back to playing at his full potential. Trevor Lawrence passed for over 3,000 yards and added 34 passing touchdowns this season.

The Buckeyes have an amazing talent at the position, too. Justin Fields scored 50 total touchdowns and only threw one interception for the entire year.

With not much between the two sides, sportsbooks list the Tigers as very slight two-point favorites. Based on how the season went, it’s very difficult to pick this game from a betting standpoint.

Despite being the “underdog”, Ohio State was more impressive over the course of the regular season. The Buckeyes undoubtedly had a more difficult schedule in the Big 10 Conference and have shown that they’re easily one of the best teams in 2019.

Clemson should not be overlooked, though. There is a reason it continues to make the playoffs seemingly every year.

No matter what side you’re rooting for or betting on, this game seems like it will come down to the wire. It’s quite possible the team with possession of the ball last will have the final say.

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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers sports betting and the online casino industries. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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