Very few betting events are bigger than college football's Fiesta Bowl. Stick with us as we break it down from every angle. Let's have a quick look at the Fiesta Bowl Odds.
Every sports bettor knows about the Fiesta Bowl. It is one of the biggest bowl games in college football, one that also joins five others to help shape the college football playoff and the National Championship participants. Some people might even call it the pinnacle of bowl games, given its popularity back in the halcyon days when select bowl games doubled as National Championships and the Fiesta Bowl odds ruled over everything, even when it wasn't, in fact, the title.
Now that it has settled into a larger-serving bracket, the Fiesta Bowl hasn't quite lost its importance. Along with the other five major bowl games, it still represents an apex of college football betting. It is the bowl game most recognizable in name, partially because it's one of the younger ones, having debuted in 1971. But also because it's held in the heart of college football country in Arizona.
Anyhow, those to gamble on NCAA football or plan should strive to know everything about the Fiesta Bowl and how to capitalize on it. So...let's do that.
Best Fiesta Bowl Betting Sites
Just because every sportsbook offers Fiesta Bowl betting odds doesn't mean that some landing spots aren't better than others. On the contrary, there are major differences.
When choosing a home for your Fiesta Bowl wagering—and all your college football betting—you should prioritize everything from the timeliness with which they publish their lines to their customer service to their promotional and bonus programs. Sorting through all the viable candidates can take a while, but's okay, mostly because we've done it for you.
Below you'll find our definitive list of online sportsbooks best fit to serve you as you begin your Fiesta Bowl and overall college football journey. Check out this page if you are looking for other NCAAF odds.
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Fiesta Bowl Betting Odds
For most championship-like tilts, this is where we'd start talking about the latest odds and include the most updated futures. That's not happening here. College football bowl games aren't like other championship contests. The NCAA doesn't have a select group of teams that will participate in each one.
Sure, they can narrow it down by conference, but technically speaking, every school is eligible to contend for the National Championship. And if the Fiesta Bowl isn't part of the college football playoff in a given year, you could technically bet on a team that actually ends up outperforming the stakes of the Fiesta Bowl. That's why it'd be foolish to have future lines.
Make no mistake, though, we will have the odds here once they're finalized. This page was last updated on January 11, 2021:
Fiesta Bowl Winners Odds
This is difficult for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the murky selection process. An impartial committee is in charge of ranking the top 25 college football teams throughout the season. At the end of the year, they must compile their top four. But there are no official criteria.Rather than bet on Fiesta Bowl futures, you have college football national championship odds. These are straightforward, lucrative, and incredibly difficult to get right. You're predicting which school will finish in the top four, win its playoff game and then win the National Championship game.
The panel is known to prioritize strength of schedule and undefeated records, but tiebreaker situations have presented themselves on a handful occasion, and the criteria for deciding on them have been ambiguous at best and created a lot of blowbacks. People are now calling for the college football playoff to expand and include six or eight teams.
All of which explains why even National Championship favorites tend to pay out quite nicely when you're investing in their futures. Of course, the 2021 college football season poses another set of challenges: the possibilities of a canceled schedule.
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown live sports for a whirl. College football is not exempt. Some conferences—most notably the Pac-12 and Big 10, with the ACC expected to soon join them—have already postponed their seasons until at least the spring. Others are expected to follow suit.
Major sportsbooks have yanked their National Championship odds as a result. However, we have the opening lines from this spring, via the fine folks over at BetOnline:
These lines will probably change if the college football season actually happens, so make sure you're rechecking them once a resolution is reached. And be prepared for drastic shifts. This is uncharted territory college football is entering.
If the season isn't postponed, you'll see all the schools that have delayed their college football program instantly fall off the National Championship radar. If the season is postponed, you'll see a lot more upperclassmen opt-out in favor of getting themselves ready for the 2021 NFL draft. Some prospects are already going that route. More will follow, though, if they're not scheduled to start playing football again until late March or April.
Impact of Fiesta Bowl on the College Football Playoff
As referenced above, the Fiesta Bowl plays a role in determining which two teams reach the National Championship—sometimes.
Each year, the top four teams are assigned to match up across two different bowl games. First place plays fourth place; second place faces third place. The bowl games they partake in, however, change on a rotating basis. It is a different two every year, chosen from a field of six, known as the New Year's Six. Aside from the Fiesta Bowl, there's also:
During the years that the Fiesta Bowl serves as a college football semifinal, the winner of it goes on to face the winner of the Peach Bowl in the National Championship.
What About When the Fiesta Bowl Isn't Part of the Playoff?
A lot of fans tend to ask the same question: If there's a National Championship, what's the point of participating in a bowl game that doesn't have any bearing on the college playoff?
It's a fair inquiry. And the fact of the matter is, winning the Fiesta Bowl in a non-playoff year isn't the same as securing an actual title. But it's pretty damn close.
College football is made of all different conferences. There are different levels of championships. If the National Championship is the mountaintop, winning one of the six major bowls is the tier right below. Schools gain bragging rights and get to hang banners. Unofficially, it can also help them curry the benefit of the doubt with the college football ranking committee the following season.
Bettors would do well to remember this because it directly impacts the opportunities available to them. You're pretty much getting the full-scale championship treatment for the Fiesta Bowl in any given year: the usual moneylines and spreads, but also special promotions and, most notably, a buffet of prop bets.
We're not just talking your basic spreads-by-quarter and moneylines-by-half props either. Fiesta Bowl props are more involved.
You'll get to bet on events like the over/under on the number of yards a given Florida State receiver has; the over/under on completions for Boise State's quarterback; whether the running back for Arkansas will have a single run for longer than 20 yards; which team will score first by quarter and half; how many total yards the two teams will combine for; the number of penalty yards each team racks up; whether the kicker for Ohio State converts a field goal from 40-plus yards; the over/under on fumbles and interceptions. and so much more.
This won't be true for all bowl games—just, again, the core six. Though there are other mid-major bowl games that carry a certain cachet, they typically don't offer the same prop-betting variety. Some of these smaller-scale titles include:
- Celebration Bowl
- Las Vegas Bowl
- Holiday Bowl
- Citrus Bowl
- Alamo Bowl
- Music City Bowl
- Belk Bowl
- Outback Bowl
- Army-Navy Game
On a final note, if you're going to test the Fiesta Bowl betting waters, make sure you do so early—like as soon as the lines go public. For starters, you don't have a ton of time to begin with. Extended breaks are only offered between the college football playoff and National Championship.
Mostly, though, the opening lines are usually the most attractive for bettors. There's always one side of the wager that's especially appealing to the public, and though it doesn't always pan out, it does hit a majority of the time, per multiple studies. If you sit on the odds, linemakers will have the chance to adjust to that initial action. And you, in turn, will miss out on a chance to take advantage of an easier spread or moneyline.