The college football bowl season is off and running. And while COVID-19 has forced several cancellations, the main event is set to go ahead as planned.
The four-team College Football Playoff semifinals offers us one game featuring a David-vs-Goliath matchup, while the other includes two of college football’s bluebloods going head-to-head to get one step closer to a national championship.
It’s the first College Football Playoff that people in Arizona can legally bet on. And FanDuel Sportsbook is whipping out another promo to help wrangle in some new bettors.
FanDuel Arizona: Bet $5 on CFP semifinal game, win $150 in cash
Both College Football Playoff semifinal games both take place on New Year’s Eve. The games feature two very intriguing matchups that prospective bettors in the Grand Canyon State may want to capitalize on.
New users can simply sign up, make a qualifying deposit and get a 30-1 odds boost by placing their first real-money wager on any of the four teams playing in the College Football Playoff semifinals. This gives you the chance to win $150 in cash, not site credit.
You can only find this promo on the FanDuel Sportsbook app. Desktop users will see a post-registration pop-up instructing them to download the app to claim their offer. If you use mobile web, you will be told to download the app to deposit, triggering the promotion.
FanDuel college football promo features odds that are hard to pass on
FanDuel’s 30-1 odds boost promo does not have any limits regarding eligible market odds. Although FanDuel limits the max bet at $5 per bettor. As long as the new user’s first real-money wager is placed on either team playing in the Cotton Bowl or Orange Bowl, the player will make $150 cash if their team wins.
Meaning, a bettor could potentially turn a $5 bet into a $150 cash payout if the Alabama Crimson Tide () beat the Cincinnati Bearcats ().
Outside of this promo, it would take a wager of around $850 on Alabama’s moneyline to make anywhere near $150.
No. 1 Alabama heavy favorite over No. 4 Cincinnati in Cotton Bowl
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Alabama Crimson Tide is once again the No. 1 team in the CFP rankings. Alabama also stands as the favorite to win the national championship at .
Head coach Nick Saban has already established himself as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. Now he is only two wins away from securing his eighth national championship. He has also now coached four Heisman Trophy winners at Alabama, with quarterback Bryce Young winning the award this year.
However, the Tide were not as dominant as in years past. They lost to a Texas A&M team playing a backup quarterback and struggled in several games, including near-losses to LSU and Auburn. But, Alabama muscled its way to the top of the final CFP rankings by crushing then-No. 1 Georgia 41-24 in the SEC Championship Game.
Now, the reigning national champs will take on the first Group of Five team in history to earn entry into the four-team dance, as the nation gets introduced to Cincinnati. The Bearcats head into this game as massive underdogs at
Cincinnati broke into the field after finishing a second consecutive undefeated regular season and winning the American Athletic Conference. The Bearcats got a little help with several contending Power Five teams losing multiple games, but in the end, they earned a Group of Five team’s first opportunity to win a playoff game.
Led by one of the winningest college QBs ever in Desmond Ridder and a defense that features several NFL-caliber players, Cincinnati will look to give Alabama a run for its money. They have already shown they can play with the SEC’s best following a narrow 24-21 loss to Georgia in the 2021 Peach Bowl.
2021 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) vs #4 Cincinnati Bearcats (13-0)
Date: Friday, Dec. 31
Time: 1:30 p.m. MST
Location: AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas
TV Coverage: ESPN
Double-Digit Dogs Struggle in the CFP
Of the 16 CFP semifinals, including this year, seven have or will feature double-digit spreads. In 2019, both semifinal games had double-digit spreads. To this point, the favorites are 4-2 against the spread and 6-0 straight-up in those scenarios.
Cincinnati will not be the first double-digit dog to take the field in a CFP game, and it’s unlikely that they’ll be the last with so much talk surrounding the idea of playoff expansion. But when you look at how the underdogs have fared, it shows that with multiple weeks to game-plan, the favorite (typically Alabama) is the one to side with.
- 2015: Alabama (-10) vs. Michigan State
– Result: Alabama wins, 38-0
- 2016: Alabama (-13) vs. Washington
– Result: Alabama wins, 24-7
- 2018: Alabama (-15) vs. Oklahoma
– Result: Alabama wins, 45-34
No. 2 Michigan underdog against No. 3 Georgia in Orange Bowl
On the other side of the bracket, we will see two of college football’s most historic programs do battle. Oddsmakers expect the more competitive College Football Playoff semifinal matchup will involve the Michigan Wolverines from the Big Ten and the Georgia Bulldogs from the SEC.
Georgia appeared to be on track for an undefeated season until running into Saban and Alabama in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs have a dominant defensive unit that leads the country in scoring defense (9.5 points per game). To put it in perspective, the Bulldogs have given up only 11 touchdowns this season. That is by far the fewest in the country.
The line on this game has bounced around. Georgia opened as a seven-point favorite, and some sportsbooks in Arizona saw the spread peak to around eight points. Georgia is currently favored at .
On the other end, Michigan is riding an impressive five-game winning streak that includes back-to-back wins over ranked foes Ohio State and Iowa. The Wolverines beat Ohio State for the first time since 2011 and won the Big Ten championship for the first time since 2004. That Ohio State victory had eluded head coach Jim Harbaugh during his time in Ann Arbor.
Heisman Trophy finalist Aidan Hutchinson leads a defense that allows just 16.1 points per game. And quarterback Cade McNamara and running back Hassan Haskins lead a run-heavy offense. The Wolverines have won outright their only two games as underdogs. (Ohio State +6.5; Wisconsin +2)
2021 Capital One Orange Bowl
#2 Michigan Wolverines (12-1) vs #3 Georgia Bulldogs (12-1)
Date: Friday, Dec. 31
Time: 5:30 p.m. MST
Location: Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Gardens, Florida
TV Coverage: ESPN