While some sportsbook fans may have found entertainment in catching The Magnificent Seven or even The Hateful Eight, there is no doubt that the entire NCAA football betting community will be looking forward to the New Year’s Six. Even though most of the New Year’s Six bowl games are not part of the playoff bracket, they still represent 6 of the 10 oldest bowl games. In addition, they also have a reputation of pitting only the very best teams in the country against each other. With that in mind, let’s take a look at one of the most promising bowl games of the New Year’s Six, this year’s Outback Bowl
The Outback Bowl, previously referred to as the Hall of Fame bowl, is an annual New Year’s Day college football bowl game played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Outback Bowl is not the first bowl game to be in Tampa, but it is without a doubt the first major bowl game to be played in the area. Since January 1st falls on a Sunday, the Outback Bowl will be shifted to January 2nd. The 2017 Outback Bowl will be a contest between the 8-4 Florida Gators from the Big Ten Conference and the 8-4 Iowa Hawkeyes from the Southeastern Conference. Let’s take a look at the college football betting lines to see what kind of contest they are predicting.
NCAAF Odds – Outback Bowl – Monday, January 2nd
Iowa Hawkeyes +3 (-110) 40½ (-110) +135
Florida Gators -3 (-110) 40½ (-110) -155
With a 3-point prediction on the spread line, it seems that the sportsbooks are predicting a rather competitive bout. In addition, the NCAA football betting odds seem pretty confident that the Gators will end up winning the 2017 Outback Bowl. The Gators will come into this contest with a No. 20 ranking while the Hawkeyes will be coming into January’s game with the No. 21 national ranking. This matchup will mark the 4th time that these two schools have met and interestingly enough it will mark the 3rd time that the Gators and Hawkeyes play each other in the outback Bowl. Both schools have made 5 appearances in the Outback Bowl.
The Florida Gators were the NCAA football betting surprise of the SEC East, but will be coming into this game with a 2-game losing streak including an embarrassing 54-16 loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game. Last year the Gators ended the season with three straight losses and if Jim McElwain leads the Gators to a similar finish this time around, it’s safe to say that he will be in the hot seat. Due to issues at the quarterback position, Florida ranks 107th in offensive scoring. However, the sportsbooks still think that’s enough to get the job done against Iowa.
Mostly because the Hawkeyes offense isn’t much better, currently Iowa ranks No. 12 in the Big Ten for total offense and No. 13 for their passing offense. The Hawkeyes have performed rather poorly in their last two bowl games and the pressure will certainly be on to get it done this time around. Unfortunately for Iowa, they’ll have to overcome the NCAA football betting odds in addition to the Gators.