Good year! What better way to kick off 2022 than five January 1 college football games that you can not only watch, but bet on. With three appropriately named New Year’s bowling games slated for a triple header starting at 1 p.m. ET and continuing into the late evening, the excitement will not be lacking throughout the first day of 2022.
The college football playoff finalists have been decided after two exciting games on Friday, and with the CFP National Championship more than a week away, a lot of attention can be given to these 10 teams that played terrific football last season. Some of the huge programs in action include Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Ole Miss, but that doesn’t change anyone else.
Saturday’s finals will serve not only as coaches for the 2021 season, but also as starting points for 2022 and beyond. Notre Dame, for example, will play her first game without Brian Kelly at the helm since 2009, as she begins a new era under Marcus Freeman. Oklahoma State has lost its defensive coordinator Jim Knowles to Ohio State and will look to maintain its same dominant presence on this side of the ball.
While winning is all that matters to most, we do care whether these teams will hedge their spreads. Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the start. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for a busy New Year’s Day as the 2021 season draws to a close.
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Outback Bowl: (21) Arkansas v Penn State
Penn State Nittany Lions +3
Noon | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) – When you consider the large number of corps Penn State is missing for this game and the roles those missing players fill, it’s hard to go in a direction other than Arkansas. Offensively, Jahan Dotson was the relief valve for a PSU team that couldn’t run the ball. Defensively, it will be without the heart of unity. While Treylon Burks is a formidable player and a massive loss for the Razorbacks, he’s much easier to replace than any player the Nittany Lions won’t have in Tampa, so let’s not give this one too much thought. Prediction: Arkansas (+1) – Tom Fornelli
Citrus Bowl: (15) Iowa vs. (22) Kentucky
Kentucky Wild Cats -3
13h | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) – Mark Stoops’ schedule just seems to be in a tough place in a bowl game. These two teams are built the same and both want to win on the line of scrimmage, but I think the talent on the Kentucky side is just a little better, especially with running back Tyler Goodson missing for them. Hawkeyes. Prediction: Kentucky (-3) – Chip Patterson
Fiesta Bowl: (5) Notre Dame vs. (9) Oklahoma State
Notre Dame Fighting Irish PK
13h | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) – Mike Gundy has been a great bowl coach, but I think there is real juice around promoting Marcus Freeman, and Notre Dame will be using this game as a showcase opportunity for the future of the program. Plus, with defensive coordinator Jim Knowles in the same position at Ohio State, there’s a Cowboys staff shuffle that should impact your play on the game. Prediction: Notre-Dame (-2.5) – Chip Patterson
Rose Bowl: (6) Ohio State vs. (11) Utah
Ohio State Buckeyes -4
5pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) – It is not an easy game to understand. Ohio State lacks a host of important players but still has one of the most talented rosters in the country. Even though the substitutes are inexperienced, they have spent the last month training in their new roles and need to be prepared. But we’ve also seen the Buckeyes’ defense battling a physical Michigan team, and that Utah team is just as tough as UM. So I’m playing a bit of both sides here. I think Ohio State wins the game more often, but I don’t think the Buckeyes can blow those Utes up – especially when you know Utah will be in a rush to play in their first Rose Bowl. So Bucks up for grabs, Utes to cover. Prediction: Utah (+6.5) – Tom Fornelli
Sugar Bowl: (7) Baylor vs. (8) Ole Miss
Baylor Bear +1.5
8:45 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) – The game is ultimately a pick ’em after the line swings in Baylor’s direction. The battle will be to force, especially in the racing game. However, if Baylor can keep up with Ole Miss’s talents, the Bears are on their way to their very first New Years Six Bowl victory. Prediction: Baylor (-1) – Shehan Jeyarajah
What college football choices can you confidently make during bowl season, and which underdogs will outright win? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the gap – all from a proven computer model that has grossed nearly $ 3,600 in profits over the past five+ seasons – and find out.