Now that we have officially kicked in the New Year, sportsbook fans can look forward to getting back to some lucrative college football betting action. Leading up to the New Year we got to see some pretty thrilling, unexpected finishes. Like the Tigers commanding beat down of the Buckeyes on New Year’s Eve, or Florida State’s surprising upset over Michigan on the 30th. Those contests were some of the best we’ve seen all season, but the New Year’s Six bowls have a reputation for being inarguably the most entertaining games in college football.
The Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach Bowls are some of the oldest bowl games in the history of college football and are known for consistently pitting the best schools in the country against each other. Because of this outstanding repute, the two semifinal games for the college football betting playoffs are rotated amongst these six bowl games. We’ve already seen how the semifinals have turned out, as well as the Orange Bowl, but there’s still time for NCAA football fans to bet on the remaining New Year’s Six contests. Of the three that remain, the Sugar Bowl seems to be the most competitive. Let’s take a look at what the NCAA football betting lines are predicting for this year’s rendition.
NCAAF Odds – Sugar Bowl – Monday, January 2nd
Auburn Tigers +2½ (+105) 64½ (-110) +127
Oklahoma Sooners -2½ (-125) 64½ (-110) -147
Originally the Sugar Bowl was supposed to be a contest between the highest ranked team from both the SEC and the Big 12. However, since Alabama, the highest ranked SEC team, would be competing in the semifinals, whichever team was next in line just so happened to receive the call. Auburn was more than happy to be able to compete in the Sugar Bowl against the champion of the Big 12, even if the Tigers are coming in as the sportsbook underdogs.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn came into the 2016 college football betting season with very little job security after leading the Tigers to a poor finish in 2015. After a 1-2 start it seemed that Malzahn would be leading his team to another lackluster season. However, an upset in Week 4 against then ranked #18 LSU would provide the motivation this team needed to deliver a six-game win streak that placed the Tigers within the national Top 10 rankings. As the season drew to its end a handful of injuries began to devastate Auburn’s roster and the Tigers would finish by losing 2 of their final 3 games. But in the end losses by both Tennessee and Florida assured Auburn’s ticket to the Sugar Bowl.
Unlike Auburn the Sooners were coming off a very successful 2015 season that saw Oklahoma compete in the College Football Playoffs. Coming into this season, many sportsbook fans believed that the Sooners would once again compete for a playoff berth. However, 2 losses in the first three weeks of the season against nationally-ranked opponents assured that Oklahoma would be absent from this year’s playoffs. But even though they weren’t able to accomplish the goal they had in mind, all was not lost. The Sooners were able to win a tough contest against rival Texas that ignited a nine-game win streak that included a victory over Oklahoma State that assured the Sooners would be Big 10 champions and Sugar Bowl participants.