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  • Ben Hall

The Best New Year's Day Bowl Game Bets

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

On Thursday, four major college football bowl games will take place including the two semifinal games for the College Football Playoff. Here are some of my best bets for the day:

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Georgia vs. Cincinnati 12:00 PM EST

Desmond Ridder Over 49.5 Rushing Yards (-113)

Since Cincinnati has started being viewed as a one of the better teams in the country, Desmond Ridder has had a ton of success running the ball. He averages 68 rushing yards per game. Cincinnati wants to make a statement in this game and Ridder having success in the run game will be crucial for that.

Zamir White Over 75.5 Rushing Yards (-113)

Throughout this season, Zamir White was the leading rusher for Georgia. In a lot of games James Cook, Minnesota Vikings' running back Dalvin Cook's brother, was splitting carries with White. However, Cook will not be playing in this game, so White will be getting a ton of carries. White averaged 84 yards per game this season. With Cook out, White could even have 100+ yards.

Georgia -7.5 (-108)

I'm not completely sold on Cincinnati. They have had an excellent season and still have yet to lose. But I think this Georgia defense will step up and make some plays. Throughout most of the year, we have seen how electric this Bearcat offense can be. We also saw them struggle when taking on a good defense in Tulsa. Georgia has a better offense then Tulsa does, and if their defense is able to limit Cincinnati like Tulsa did, we could see a double-digit win.

Vrbo Citrus Bowl: Auburn vs. Northwestern 1:00 PM EST

Seth Williams Over 64.5 Receiving Yards (-113)

Yes, I know that Northwestern has one of the better pass defenses in college football. However, Seth Williams is one of the most underrated receivers in college football. This could be his final game with Auburn and I am expecting him to go out with a bang. Bo Nix has had some struggles this year and that's why Williams' numbers aren't as good as they should be. Auburn's number two wide receiver Anthony Schwartz also opted out of the NFL Draft prior to this game, so Williams will have increased number of targets.

Peyton Ramsey Over 28.5 Rushing Yards (-113)

In his last two games, Peyton Ramsey rushed for 40+ yards in both of them. Against Ohio State, Ramsey could not get the passing game going but he created some plays with his feet. All season, he has really struggled throwing the ball. I believe we will see him trying to run the ball much more similar to the Ohio State game.

Tank Bigsby Over 89.5 Rushing Yards?? (-113)

As long as Tank Bigsby plays, I think this will be a pretty easy bet. In the Big Ten Championship game, we saw Ohio State have their way running against Northwestern's defense. Ohio State running back Trey Sermon rushed for 331 yards and two touchdowns. The only way Auburn will beat the Wildcats is to have some success on the ground. All year, we have seen Bigsby have his way running the ball against SEC defenses. Like I stated before, the only issue with this bet is he may not play. Interim head coach Chad Morris stated that he is "hopeful" that Bigsby will play. So, I'd wait on this one until there is an official ruling on whether he will play or not.

Rose Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Alabama

Alabama -18.5 (-112)

This might have been my easiest bet to pick. One thing that I have learned over the past few years is that head coach Nick Saban and Alabama almost always cover. I haven't been high on Notre Dame all year and i think Alabama is going to dominate them. I don't see the Irish having any chance at stopping this talented Alabama offense. With Mac Jones, Najee Harris, Devonta Smith, John Meetchie, and everybody else on that offense playing the way they have, I think Alabama will take a huge lead early on and run with it.

Najee Harris Over 118.5 Rushing Yards (-113)

This is Najee Harris' final College Football Playoff and he will be looking to finish both the semifinal and the championship with wins. Even with Alabama's electric air attack, Harris has been one of the best running backs in college football. I think this Notre Dame front will have a ton of problems stopping Harris and he will have his way all game.

Ian Book Any Time Touchdown Scorer (+150)

For this bet to win, Book has to either have a rushing or a receiving touchdown (passing touchdowns don't count). Book has had eight rushing yards all year and I think we could see him score one hear in his final game with the Irish. Whether you like him or not, Book is a tough player and anything to get into the end zone. To beat Alabama, Notre Dame has to produce points and surprise Alabama with some plays. We could see Book running the option a lot more.

BONUS: Alabama Defense/Special Teams Touchdown (+250)

In most of Alabama's big postseason wins over the past few years, their defense or special teams have forced a ton of turnovers. As I stated before, I think the game will be one-sided and I could see this Alabama defense forcing some turnovers on Ian Book and turning them into scores.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson

Trevor Lawrence Over 334.5 Passing Yards (-113)

This could be Trevor Lawrence's final college game and I think we are going to see Clemson airing it out all game. Last year, Lawrence had some struggles against the Ohio State defense, but the Buckeyes secondary has gotten weaker from last year. I think this will be a high scoring game and both teams will struggle defensively.

Travis Etienne Over 121.5 Total Rushing + Receiving Yards (-113)

For Clemson to win this game, they will need Etienne to be on his A game in both the run game and pass game. He's had a ton of success in both all year. Similar to Lawrence, this could be Etienne's final college game. Last season, Etienne wasn't able to run the ball too well, but he made up for it in the passing game in which he had three receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. I think we will see him have some more success in the run game and catch more than three passes on Friday.

Tre Sermon 2+ Touchdowns (+420)

The Big Ten Championship was the breakout game for Tre Sermon. I think we could see the success once again against Clemson. I don't think we will see the same number of rushing yards, but Ryan Day should've learned how much success the Buckeyes have when Sermon has the ball in his hands. The Buckeyes will definitely have some more success in the passing game getting Chris Olave back, however they will need to continue to feed Sermon if they want to win this game.

BONUS: Ohio State vs. Clemson Over 67.5 Points (-110)

Last year, both Clemson and Ohio State had a much better defense. This year, both defenses have definitely taken a bit of a step back. This has really turned into a rivalry in the past two years with all the talking between last years semifinal and where Dabo Swinney ranked the Buckeyes in his final rankings this year. I think this game will be a shootout and could even go into overtime.

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