BetSided Bowl Bash: Best College Football Bets for Thursday, Dec. 28

Best college football bets for Thursday, Dec. 28 including picks for the Alamo Bowl and Pop Tarts Bowl.

Nov 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;North Carolina State Wolfpack receiver KC Concepcion (10)
Nov 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;North Carolina State Wolfpack receiver KC Concepcion (10) / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bowl season is in full swing with four games on Thursday with four postseason matchups to consume.

Of course, we at BetSided have you covered with our BetSided Bowl Bash tab, covering sides, totals and props for every game! Below, you'll find out how we are betting each game from the first game on Thursday between SMU and Boston College in the Fenway Bowl all the way through the night cap between Arizona and Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

Here's our look at all four games. If you want to bet on bowl season, make sure to do it at Caesars Sportsbook, who is matching all new users first bets up to $1,000 when they follow the link below!

Best College Football Bowl Bets for Thursday, December 28th

SMU vs. Boston College Prediction and Pick

Boston College became one of the most exciting teams in the ACC with its dynamic quarterback making plays all over the field -- some good and some bad -- but the team is likely running into a buzzsaw in SMU, who bolsters the eighth-best net yards per play.

With Jennings under center, the Mustangs offense may not have the high upside passing game that was 13th in EPA/Pass, but he proved he can navigate the offense with his legs. Now, he faces a Boston College defense that is 118th in EPA/Play and has no semblance of a pass rush, the fewest tackles for loss of any defense in the country (38).

Meanwhile, SMU's defense can keep a lid on BC's normally explosive offense, but one that struggled down the stretch. The Eagles didn't score more than 22 points in its final five games and lost its last three by an average margin of nearly 20 points. Sure, the team is close to home, but I like SMU to win in a convincing fashion.


Rutgers vs. Miami (Florida) Prediction and Pick

This is a favorable setup for the Scarlett Knights to get a bowl win in a local game where the team should have plenty of fans in attendance. The team will face a Miami team that is onto its third-string quarterback with a coach who typically struggles in the lead-up to bowl games. Mario Cristobal is 2-4-1 ATS in bowl games and may be more focused on the future of the program (especially at quarterback) than this exhibition game.

The Hurricanes have a laundry list of key contributors in the portal or opting out, including star safeties Kamren Kinchens and James Williams as well as defensive tackle Leonard Taylor.

Rutgers's offense won't blow the Hurricanes away, but given that the team should have a mostly full roster and plenty of motivation to win its first bowl game since 2014, I expect the team to come focused for this one. Further, the Rutgers offensive line has proven to be sturdy all season, 14th in sacks allowed and the team can avoid back-breaking mistakes, 13 turnovers lost are tied for the 28th lowest mark in the country.

Meanwhile, Miami is outside the top 100 in turnovers lost (21) and now is onto a third-string quarterback who hasn't proven to be a capable passer just yet.

I'll take Rutgers to simply win the game in what should be a defensive struggle.

PICK: Rutgers PK

North Carolina State vs. Kansas State Prediction and Pick

This is a motivation mismatch as the Wolfpack are trying to finish a double-digit win season and should have full attendance in this game for a veteran roster.

Meanwhile, Kansas State has been fairly overrated this season and now will be replacing a ton of key contributors, including the likes of Howard, starting safety Kobe Savage, cornerback Will Lee, two key pass catchers in Phillip Brooks and Ben Sinnott, and future first or second round pick Cooper Beebee on the line.

Kansas State gave the freshman Johnson plenty of reps this season in unique packages, but he will draw the state against an elite North Carolina State defense that is 20th in points per drive allowed and 33rd in yards per carry. The team has also generated the fifth most turnovers this season (24). I believe the team can give Johnson fits in this bowl game setting.

Meanwhile, Kansas State's defense is a bit overrated, 75th in yards per play allowed and 90th in yards per carry allowed. I believe North Carolina State is peaking at the right time and gets the upset win, but I'll happily take the field goal.

PICK: North Carolina State +2.5

Oklahoma vs. Arizona Prediction and Pick

The Sooners opt outs are going to be the story of this one with Gabriel gone to Oregon and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby taking the job at Mississippi State. However, the team will also be down key members of its offensive line, including future first rounder right tackle Tyler Guyton and center Andew Raym.

The Sooners have depth and talent behind those guys, but this will be a test for the OU offense in Arnold's first start. However, the Wildcats passing defense is vulnerable, just national average in terms of EPA/Pass (69th in the country).

The Sooners still have playmakers in the passing game and the fast track of the Alamodome should be ideal conditions for what was the nation's third best passing offense in terms of EPA/Pass. Yes, there is a drop-off from Gabriel to Arnold, but this is still a dangerous passing game.

Meanwhile, the Sooners defense that was elite all season will be close to in tact after getting news that All-Big 12 linebacker Danny Stutsman and safety Billy Bowman will stay with the program and playing in the bowl game.

The Sooners' talent outmatches Arizona, but opt outs and over performing expectations has driven the price up on the Wildcats. In a game that should feature big plays from both sides and a ton of efficient offense, I'll side with the underdog catching a field goal. This game is more of a coin flip.

PICK: Oklahoma +3

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.