College Bowl Game Predictions, Picks & Analysis for Every Game

The matchups for every 2023 Bowl Game as well as a controversial College Football Playoff field have been set.

The only thing left to do is dominate your bowl pick ’em pool.

We are here to help with predictions and analysis for every 2023 Bowl Game as well as some strategies to use in your bowl pick ’em pool.

These picks will continue to be updated throughout bowl season, especially as we get news of players opting out.

Since players opting out and transferring can wildly swing expectations for a game, it’s advisable to join a pool in which you can change your selections up until the kickoff of each bowl game.

2023 Bowl Game Picks:

BowlMatchupPickConfidence Points
Gator BowlClemson vs. KentuckyClemson26-30 points
Sun BowlNotre Dame vs. Oregon StateOregon State1-5 points
Liberty BowlMemphis vs. Iowa StateIowa State26-30 points
Cotton Bowl ClassicOhio State vs. MissouriOhio State1-5 points
Peach BowlPenn State vs. Ole MissPenn State11-15 points
Music City BowlAuburn vs. MarylandAuburn21-25 points
Orange BowlFlorida State vs. GeorgiaGeorgia36-43 points
Arizona BowlWyoming vs. ToledoWyoming26-30 points
ReliaQuest BowlLSU vs. WisconsinLSU31-35 points
Citrus BowlIowa vs. TennesseeTennessee36-43 points
Fiesta BowlOregon vs. LibertyOregon36-43 points
Rose BowlMichigan vs. AlabamaAlabama11-15 points
Sugar BowlWashington vs. TexasWashington6-10 points
National ChampionshipTBDComing Soon!Coming Soon!

Don’t Miss Out On The Best Postseason Betting Recommendations

Bowl season has been winning season for Warren Sharp.

Over the last two years, our college bowl recommendations are 26-8 (76%).

  • 2021: 10-1 (91%)
  • 2022: 16-7 (70%) and 5-0 on elevated plays

Warren Sharp’s lifetime bowl totals have hit at a 64% rate including 76% on his top recommendations.

» Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

2023 Bowl Game Pick ‘Em Strategy:

In either straight-up bowl pick ’em or confidence pools, the goal is fairly simple. Pick more correct games or score more points than everyone else.

Accomplishing that goal, however, is more involved than simply picking the games, especially in confidence pools.

In regular pick ’em pools, there will be a lot of overlap between entries. In ESPN’s College Bowl Mania, for instance, there are already several teams with well over a 90% pick rate.

While it is not a great idea to deviate from those heavy favorites just for the fun of it, those games can offer a great opportunity to gain leverage on the field if the public is too confident in a certain team.

Often, this overconfidence is a result of the public missing important news, such as opt outs or coaching changes.

Betting markets adjust quickly to that kind of news and are a great way to determine if the public is too confident in a specific team since every moneyline comes with an implied probability of victory.

A -120 favorite (54.6% implied probability) selected by 80% of the field offers a great opportunity to go against the public.

Conversely, a -200 favorite (66.7% implied probability) selected by just 55% of the field is a great opportunity to go with the chalk and pick the favorite.

Identifying those situations is important because it differentiates your entry and increases your chances of winning if you get those swing games correct.

How often you need to make those swings depends on the size of your bowl pool.

In a small pool, it does not make sense to pick a ton of upsets. A few underdog picks should be enough to differentiate from a small number of entries.

A bigger pool, however, might require a bit more risk taking to separate from the larger field.

Confidence pools add another layer to pick ’em strategy because they require entries to rank their selections, with their most confident pick usually worth 43 points and the least confident worth only one point.

The importance of those high confidence games cannot be overstated. The 43-point pick is worth nearly as much as picks 1 through 9 combined.

However, those high confidence picks also offer a great opportunity. Assigning a higher point value to an undervalued team maximizes the advantage gained if that underdog can pull out the win.

Like with regular pick ’em pools, the size of a confidence pool affects how aggressive you should be with upset selections and their point values.

2023 Bowl Game Analysis and Predictions, Every Bowl Game:

Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. Kentucky

  • Predicted Winner: Clemson
  • Confidence Points: 26-30 points

Gator Bowl Analysis:

Clemson’s defense will be without at least four starters, but can probably still shut down a disappointing Kentucky offense. 

The Wildcats run a balanced offense, but are at their best when the rushing attack is clicking with Ray Davis

Due to its use of heavier formations, defenses are typically able to stack the box against Kentucky at a high rate, but that doesn’t necessarily help Clemson, especially after some opt outs. According to Sports Info Solutions, Clemson ranks 70th in yards per attempt allowed with a stacked box. 

Clemson’s strength is forcing teams into tough third-down scenarios, ranking second in the nation in third-and-long rate. That’s bad news for quarterback Devin Leary and Kentucky which ranks 107th in third-and-long avoidance, and 119th in third-and-long conversion rate, per Sports Info Solutions. 

Sun Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Oregon State

  • Predicted Winner: Oregon State (early lean – check back for official pick)
  • Confidence Points: 1-5 points

Sun Bowl Analysis:

Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman and virtually every meaningful player who caught a pass from him this season is gone. Jayden Thomas and Jaden Greathouse, who combined for 33 receptions, are likely to be the top receivers for this game. 

Redshirt-freshman Steve Angeli will make his first start for Notre Dame, and will do so without his starting center and both tackles. That’s especially concerning considering the mediocre performance of the offensive line, which ranked 66th in opponent-adjusted pressure rate allowed, per Sports Info Solutions. 

Oregon State will start third-stringer Ben Gulbranson at quarterback, though Gulbranson started eight games for the Beavers last year, including a bowl game win over Florida. 

With so many opt-outs on both sides this is a tough game to predict, but let’s trust the more experienced quarterback. 

Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs. Iowa State

  • Predicted Winner: Iowa State
  • Confidence Points: 26-30 points

Liberty Bowl Analysis:

Iowa State is a run-first offense that lines up in heavy formations, allowing defenses to stack the box at a high rate. 

That strategy is liability in certain matchups, but not against Memphis, based on this stacked box data from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Ranked 127th in yards before contact per attempt allowed (2.7)
  • Ranked 133rd in yards per attempt allowed (6.9)

Abu Sama III, who exploded for 276 yards in his first career start in the Cyclones final regular season, should run all over this Memphis defense. 

Memphis likes to attack downfield with quarterback Seth Henigan, but that’s a tough ask against Iowa State, which ranks 33rd in completion rate allowed at 15 or more yards downfield. 

Henigan will need to protect the ball to stay in this game, as Iowa State ranks third in the nation in ball-hawk rate, making a play on the ball on 19% of opponent pass attempts, per Sports Info Solutions. 

Don’t Miss Out On The Best Postseason Betting Recommendations

Bowl season has been winning season for Warren Sharp.

Over the last two years, our college bowl recommendations are 26-8 (76%).

  • 2021: 10-1 (91%)
  • 2022: 16-7 (70%) and 5-0 on elevated plays

Warren Sharp’s lifetime bowl totals have hit at a 64% rate including 76% on his top recommendations.

» Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Cotton Bowl: Ohio State vs. Missouri

  • Predicted Winner: Ohio State (early lean – check back for official pick)
  • Confidence Points: 1-5 points

Cotton Bowl Analysis:

Check out our full Cotton Bowl breakdown and best bet here.

Peach Bowl: Penn State vs. Ole Miss

  • Predicted Winner: Penn State
  • Confidence Points: 11-15 points

Peach Bowl Analysis:

Ole Miss struggled to develop a passing game this year and reverted to a run-centric offensive scheme. That makes Penn State a touch matchup, based on this opponent-adjusted data from Sports Info Solutions: 

  • Ole Miss: ranked 111th in yards before contact
  • Penn State: fourth in yards before contact allowed 

Penn State running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen are both expected to play and should have success against an Ole Miss defense that struggles to generate early contact:

  • Penn State: ranks seventh contact rate allowed at or behind line of scrimmage
  • Ole Miss: ranked 75th in contact rate generated at or behind line of scrimmage

If Penn State were to fall behind, quarterback Drew Allar likely does not have the tools to lead a comeback. According to Sports Info Solutions, Allar ranked 83rd in completion rate at 15 or more yards downfield (35.4%).

Partially due to Allar’s struggles, Penn State ranks 122nd in explosive play rate, generating 20 or more yards 4.7% of plays. 

Ole Miss ranks seventh in explosive play rate, so Jaxson Dart may be capable of playing from behind, but Penn State’s defense ranks seventh in explosive play rate allowed. 

Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Maryland

  • Predicted Winner: Auburn
  • Confidence Points: 21-25 points

Music City Bowl Analysis:

Auburn relies on a physical rushing attack led by Jarquez Hunter, who ranked second in the SEC with 3.7 yards after contact per attempt, according to Sports Info Solutions. 

Based on opponent-adjusted data from Sports Info Solutions, his looks like a lopsided matchup for Hunter and the Auburn backfield:

  • Auburn: ranked fifth in yards after contact
  • Maryland: ranked 51st in yards after contact allowed

Partially for this reason, the Terps’ defense has struggled on early downs, and ranks 114th in third-and-long rate. 

Maryland will be without quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, with Billy Edwards Jr. making his fourth career start in his place.

When we last saw Edwards start in 2022, he struggled as a downfield passer with a 53% catchable pass rate at 15 or more yards downfield 一 Tagovailoa’s rate was 67% this year. 

The Auburn defense ranks 29th in ball-hawk rate, so Edwards will need to be cautious throwing downfield. 

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Georgia

  • Predicted Winner: Georgia
  • Confidence Points: 36-43 points

Orange Bowl Analysis:

Just about everyone of significance will be opting out for Florida State, but we’re still waiting to hear about a lot of opt-out candidates for Georgia. 

Carson Beck will play for Georgia, however, which gives the Bulldogs a massive edge at quarterback with Jordan Travis injured and Tate Rodemaker hitting the transfer portal. That leaves freshman Brock Glenn to start for the Seminoles — Glenn was just 8-21 for 55 yards with four sacks in his lone start against Louisville. 

With Florida State missing a few key defensive players, expect Georgia to run at will against an inconsistent Seminoles run defense. According to this opponent-adjusted data from Sports Info Solutions, the matchup in the trenches is lopsided:

  • Georgia: ranked 10th in yards before contact
  • Florida State: ranked 93rd in yards before contact allowed

Arizona Bowl: Wyoming vs. Toledo

  • Predicted Winner: Wyoming
  • Confidence Points: 26-30 points

Arizona Bowl Analysis:

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl is retiring after this game, which likely ensures some extra motivation for the Cowboys. 

Both teams run the ball over 60% of the time in neutral situations, per Campus2Canton, so expect a slow-paced, low-scoring contest. 

Wyoming lines up in heavier formations which allows defenses to stack the box, and the Cowboys should have success against Toledo based on this data from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Wyoming: 2.3 yards before contact versus stacked box, ranked 21st
  • Toledo: 2.4 yards before contact allowed with stacked box, ranked 115th

Toledo will be playing without star quarterback Dequan Finn, who transferred to Baylor, and will likely use Tucker Gleason. Over the last two years the Rockets are 18-5 with Finn as the primary quarterback and 1-2 with Gleason. 

If either team falls behind, a comeback may be tough. Both defenses excel at defending downfield, based on these numbers from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Toledo: ranked 16th in completion rate at 15 or more yards downfield
  • Wyoming: ranked 21st in completion rate at 15 or more yards downfield

ReliaQuest Bowl: LSU vs. Wisconsin

  • Predicted Winner: LSU
  • Confidence Points: 31-35 points

ReliaQuest Bowl Analysis:

Heisman winner Jayden Daniels has opted out for LSU, but there are high expectations for former four-star recruit Garrett Nussmeier, so LSU should remain in good hands. 

Wide receivers Brian Thomas and Malik Nabers are key opt-outs to keep an eye on. Our confidence in Nussmeier would rise if he’s supported by his elite weapons. 

LSU should also have success on the ground against a Wisconsin defense that struggled this year, as evidenced by this opponent-adjusted data from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Ranked 84th in yards before contact allowed
  • Ranked 48th in yards after contact allowed

Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Tennessee

  • Predicted Winner: Tennessee
  • Confidence Points: 36-43 points

Citrus Bowl Analysis:

Tennessee’s greatest weakness is the secondary, especially since losing cornerback Kamal Hadden to injury. 

The Vols rank 133rd in completion rate allowed at15 or more yards downfield, per Sports Info Solutions 一 fortunately for them, Iowa can barely complete a forward pass, let alone throw it downfield. Iowa averaged just 4.5 passes at 15 or more yards downfield (ranked 128th) with a 29% completion rate (ranked 123rd). 

According to Sports Info Solutions, Iowa’s outdated offense allows defenses to stack the box at an 83% rate 一 the nation’s second highest mark and even higher than the rate faced by Army and Navy’s triple-option offenses.

Tennessee ranks 20th in early contact rate with a stacked box, making contact at or behind the line of scrimmage on 24.8% of attempts. That’s bad news for Iowa, which ranks 118th in yards per attempt when contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage, per Sports Info Solutions. 

Five-star freshman Nico Iamaleava is making his first start at quarterback for Tennessee. That sets the ceiling significantly higher for the Vols offense, as Iamaleava is expected to have the downfield passing ability Joe Milton lacks. However, his inexperience against a tough Iowa defense also raises the potential for an upset if the Hawkeyes can force a few turnovers.

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Liberty

  • Predicted Winner: Oregon
  • Confidence Points: 36-43 points

Fiesta Bowl Analysis:

We’re still waiting on a lot of opt-out decisions from Oregon, but Bo Nix is expected to play. 

Oregon’s passing attack is among the most conservative in the country, as 70% of Nix’s attempts are within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, per Sports Info Solutions. 

Against this Oregon offense, limiting yards after catch is critical 一 and that’s bad news for Liberty, which ranks 96th in yards after catch allowed. 

The key to this game could be Liberty’s ability to protect quarterback Kaidon Salter, who holds the ball longer than almost any quarterback in the country. It could be a long day for Salter, based on this opponent-adjusted data from Sports Info Solutions:

  • Liberty: ranked 70th in pressure rate allowed
  • Oregon: ranked 26th in pressure rate generated

This game should probably be your most confident selection, unless you’re strategically choosing to be different to make up ground.  

Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. Alabama

  • Predicted Winner: Alabama
  • Confidence Points: 11-15 points

Rose Bowl Analysis:

Check out our full Rose Bowl game breakdown and best bet here.

Sugar Bowl: Washington vs. Texas

  • Predicted Winner: Washington
  • Confidence Points: 6-10 points

Sugar Bowl Analysis:

Coming Soon!

2023 Bowl Game Schedule:

BowlDateMatchup
Myrtle Beach BowlDecember 16Georgia Southern vs. Ohio
Celebration BowlDecember 16Florida A&M vs. Howard
New Orleans BowlDecember 16Jacksonville State vs. Louisiana
Cure BowlDecember 16Miami (Ohio) vs. App State
New Mexico BowlDecember 16Fresno State vs. New Mexico State
LA BowlDecember 16UCLA vs. Boise State
Independence BowlDecember 16Texas Tech vs. Cal
Famous Toastery BowlDecember 18Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion
Frisco BowlDecember 19Marshall vs. UTSA
Boca Raton BowlDecember 21Syracuse vs. South Florida
Gasparilla BowlDecember 22Georgia Tech vs. UCF
Camellia BowlDecember 23Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois
Birmingham BowlDecember 23Troy vs. Duke
Armed Forces BowlDecember 23Air Force vs. James Madison
Potato BowlDecember 23Georgia State vs. Utah State
68 Ventures BowlDecember 23Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama
Las Vegas BowlDecember 23Northwestern vs. Utah
Hawaii BowlDecember 23San Jose State vs. Coastal Carolina
Quick Lane BowlDecember 26Bowling Green vs. Minnesota
First Responder BowlDecember 26Texas State vs. Rice
Guaranteed Rate BowlDecember 26Kansas vs. UNLV
Military BowlDecember 27Tulane vs. Virginia Tech
Duke's Mayo BowlDecember 27North Carolina vs. West Virginia
Holiday BowlDecember 27Louisville vs. USC
Texas BowlDecember 27Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Fenway BowlDecember 28SMU vs. Boston College
Pinstripe BowlDecember 28Rutgers vs. Miami
Pop-Tarts BowlDecember 28NC State vs. Kansas State
Alamo BowlDecember 28Oklahoma vs. Arizona
Gator BowlDecember 29Clemson vs. Kentucky
Sun BowlDecember 29Notre Dame vs. Oregon State
Liberty BowlDecember 29Memphis vs. Iowa State
Cotton Bowl ClassicDecember 29Ohio State vs. Missouri
Peach BowlDecember 30Penn State vs. Ole Miss
Music City BowlDecember 30Auburn vs. Maryland
Orange BowlDecember 30Florida State vs. Georgia
Arizona BowlDecember 30Wyoming vs. Toledo
ReliaQuest BowlJanuary 1LSU vs. Wisconsin
Citrus BowlJanuary 1Iowa vs. Tennessee
Fiesta BowlJanuary 1Oregon vs. Liberty
Rose BowlJanuary 1Michigan vs. Alabama
Sugar BowlJanuary 1Washington vs. Texas
National ChampionshipJanuary 8TBD
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