Every college football bettor should know about the importance of the Sugar Bowl. Even when it's not part of the college football playoff, it remains one of the most popular games to watch. Not surprisingly, then, Sugar Bowl odds are among the most sought after NCAA football lines. That interest means a great many things: moneymaking opportunities, sure, but also a need to understand the stakes, the best times to bet, the wager types at your disposal, and any important strategies that might be worth following. And we've got you covered on all fronts.
Best Sugar Bowl Betting Sites
Finding the perfect Sugar Bowl betting site isn't a matter of blindly choosing one. Indeed, Sugar Bowl spreads are available everywhere, but not every experience is the same. You want to pick a sportsbook that provides a great selection of wager types, delivers timely lines, and just generally offers problem-free usage. Checking all those boxes isn't easy. Thankfully, the responsibility isn't yours. We've put together a list of the best online sportsbooks not just for Sugar Bowl betting lines, but for all your college football betting:
2021 College Football Sugar Bowl Betting Odds
Unlike other sports, college football futures don't work the same way. Lines for their major bowl games, including the Sugar Bowl, aren't relayed until the participants are finalized. It has to be done this way since the Sugar Bowl, whether it's part of the college football playoff or not, isn't the game teams enter the season angling for. That honor belongs to the National Championship.
Rest assured, though, we will provide you with the earliest Sugar Bowl betting odds below once we get them. The odds were last updated on January 11, 2021:
Sugar Bowl Odds
|Ohio State Buckeyes||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Texas A&M Aggies||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Notre Dame Irish||TBA||TBA||TBA|
If you're looking to bet on immediate NCAA football futures, you'll need to go with college playoff futures or National Championship futures. Predicting either can be tough, since the field is always the safest wager, and your bet won't hit unless you correctly choose the team that wins the title. But what these gambles lack in simplicity, they make up for in potential rewards. Payouts even for the staunchest favorites can be 1-to-1 or better—and even much better than that.
Looking at the 2020 college football season, though, poses many issues. Sportsbooks have pulled their National Championship odds for the time being, as the NCAA deals with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Certain conferences—most notably the Pac-12 and Big 10—have already postponed their season until the spring. There will be more who follow their lead, and there remains the possibility that there will be no NCAA football at all this season.
It'll be on you to adjust your bets accordingly, both for the Sugar Bowl and college football at large. The field for every major future category will change based on the outcome. If the season isn't postponed, any team that has already moved its schedule will be ripped from the odds-on running. If the season is postponed across the country, certain teams will fall out of contention due to higher-end upperclassmen opting out of play so that they won't risk injury ahead of the 2021 NFL draft.
All of these complications can make for a difficult Sugar Bowl betting experience. Don't worry. You can always trust us and our partners to have the latest odds as soon as they're available.
The Sugar Bowl's Part in Crowning a College Football Champion
The Sugar Bowl is among the select few bowl games that play a role in determining which teams make the National Championship game. That said, its role is cyclical and varies by the year.
Four teams make the college football playoff each season. It is difficult to predict which schools will secure the top four spots, even as the year goes on, because of how they're determined. A committee of impartial observers meets a few times every season to rank the top 25 programs in the country.
Though there is some methodology to their decision-making—they heavily consider the strength of schedule and undefeated records—there are no concrete criteria involved. This invariably leads to surprise verdicts and plenty of unhappy bettors who have placed money on National Championship futures for schools that don't make the cut.
Sometime in the near term, we should expect the college football playoff to expand. It could be a model that includes six teams or even eight, which would then come closer to involving all six major bowl games, including the Sugar Bowl, on a more annual basis.
For the time being, the top four teams are assigned to two separate bowl games on a rolling basis. Aside from the Sugar Bowl, the other five include:
Under the current college football playoff structure, the first place squad faces fourth place, while the second and third teams partake in their own showdown. The winners from each then move onto the National Championship.
Your betting approach doesn't need to change all that much when the Sugar Bowl is tapped as a playoff affair. The primary difference will be the speed at which the lines are delivered and then shift. Placing your wagers early is always better, as you won't be subject to the adjustments oddsmakers implement when they react to heavy opening action on a certain line or team.
What Happens When the Sugar Bowl Isn't Part of the College Football Playoff?
The Sugar Bowl could technically lose some of its lusters in years when it doesn't count toward the college football playoff. It doesn't.
Teams treat the Sugar Bowl as a championship of its own. It's better than a conference title but not quite a National Championship. It falls somewhere in between and is probably closer to winning a National Championship matchup than not.
This means something in a sport where the field of competitors is so darn large. Many sports bettors might only pay attention to the top-25 rankings, but there are more than 100 schools technically vying for bowl-game attention, of some sort, each season. Winning the National Championship takes precedence, but a Sugar Bowl victory is one of the next highest honors. Even making it is a notch schools will put under their belt and use to recruit prospective players.
Sugar Bowl Props and Live Betting
Because this is viewed as a pinnacle game for college football, betting options will be available in heavy supply. In addition to the usual Sugar Bowl spreads, moneyline and over/under wagers, you'll encounter a deeper slate of props and live betting.
Prop lines are particularly incredible in advance of the Sugar Bowl. Where regular-season games, even in primetime, will usually only offer selections such as spreads and moneylines by half, bow season is a different beast.
How many touchdowns will LSU's quarterback throw? What's the over/under on the number of yards Oklahoma will gain on the ground? How many turnovers will the defense for Oregon force? Will there be a safety? What's the over/under on the number of receptions each receiver from Alabama will reel in? Will the head coach of Utah win a challenge? Which team will score first to open up the third quarter?
These are all examples of what prop bets you can make for the Sugar Bowl and during Bowl season at large. And just so we're clear, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be plenty more. Stuff, not even we can fathom off the top of our head.
Many of these options will even be available as live lines. That's where the Sugar Bowl stands out, too. Sportsbooks are more apt to put their efforts into drawing in midgame bettors. Not all the prop odds will be available, but some will be, and you'll have the option of gambling on lines by quarter and half and for the entire.
Anyone in the hunt for payout bargains will enjoy live-betting the Sugar Bowl—under the right circumstances. One strategy many sports gamblers subscribe to is the decision to pounce on mid-game moneylines for favorites who fall behind to open the Sugar Bowl. When placed at the right time, the projected payouts on these wagers can be better than 1-to-1. They'll be much higher if the favorite in question trails by more than a touchdown or 10 points.
Betting on other Bowls
Granted, there's risk involved with this theory. Sugar Bowl favorites don't usually tower over the underdog. The same goes for the other major bowl games. You'll find larger differences in betting odds for the less celebrated bowl games, like the ones below:
- Celebration Bowl
- Las Vegas Bowl
- Holiday Bowl
- Citrus Bowl
- Alamo Bowl
- Music City Bowl
- Belk Bowl
- Outback Bowl
- Army-Navy Game
As a final reminder, if you're not into live betting the Sugar Bowl, remember to place your pregame wagers well in advance. You'll have almost a week in the lead-up to the big game, but as always, we strongly recommend working the earliest lines, as those spreads and over/under tend to favor the early birds.