2019 Cotton Bowl Classic Betting Odds

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2019 Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis Tigers vs Penn State Nittany Lions

Cotton Bowl Classic Betting

Though the 2019 Cotton Bowl isn’t a part of the College Football Playoff this time around, it still presents college football bettors at online sportsbooks with a wonderful opportunity to take in and wager upon one of the more intriguing games of the bowl season. The Memphis Tigers put a bow on one of the best seasons of the program by winning the AAC for the very first time while racking up 12 wins along the way. Though Mike Norvell won’t be coaching the team from the sidelines, you can bet your bottom dollar they put their best foot forward against the Big Ten rep Penn State Nittany Lions. James Franklin’s kids played runner-up to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the East Division by way of winning 10 games while only tasting the bitterness of defeat twice. The Nittany Lions are currently 6.5-point favorites with the total set at 60.5.

2019 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at a Glance

Date: Saturday, December 28, 2019

Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas


Matchup: Memphis Tigers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Odds: Penn State -6.5, total 61.5

Cotton Bowl Classic Preview

If not for a questionable defeat at Temple back on October 12, Memphis would invade Arlington undefeated for the first time in program history. Regardless, a 12-1 record is nothing to sneeze at and the output is backed up by an offense that simply knows how to take care of business by land and by air. The Tigers boast a balanced attack overlooked by sophomore quarterback Brady White who threw for over 3,500 yards and a solid 33:9 TD/INT ratio. He possesses a rich of spoils to get the ball to with his main beneficiary being Damonte Coxie who reeled in 68 receptions and turned them into 1,144 yards and 9 TD. But when the Tigers are really running well, it’s because of the ground game spearheaded by the trio of freshman Kenneth Gainwell, Patrick Taylor Jr. and Antonio Gibson.

The triumvirate allowed for Memphis to attain the nation’s No. 34 ranked rushing attack. Because of it, White flourished en route to leading the Tigers to the No. 26 ranked passing attack. All the production added up to Memphis entering the Cotton Bowl with the country’s No. 8 ranked scoring offense that dents scoreboards for nearly 41 points per game. Along with winning the most games in program history, the Tigers were also kind to their wagering supporters in covering eight of their 13 played games. Two of the five pointspread defeats came against the Cincinnati Bearcats whose defense gave them some problems in the regular season finale as well as the conference title game.

A hard-fought defeat at Minnesota and Ohio State check in as the only blips on the Nittany Lions radar heading into the bowl season. That game against the Golden Gophers could’ve gone either way, but the Buckeyes proved PSU was overmatched in the Horseshoe right before Thanksgiving. Regardless, this is arguably the second best team in the Big Ten evidenced by having wins under the belt versus Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State; they came a half-point away from covering each and every one of those games and would’ve sealed the deal if not for failing to hammer in the final nails in Michigan’s coffin in the fourth quarter. Be that as it may, this is a rock solid team on both sides of the ball.

The offense is led by Sean Clifford who completed 59 percent of his passes for over 2,500 passing yards to go along with 22 touchdown passes while only throwing six interceptions. His ability to not throw errant passes allowed for Penn State to rank amongst the elite in the turnover department. Only 15 teams turned the ball over fewer times than that of the Nittany Lions which allowed for the defense to rank out so highly over the course of the regular season. Speaking of the stop unit, it ranked No. 22 overall in allowing just over 330 yards per game and only conceded an average of 14.1 points per game; an output that finds the scoring defense ranked No. 7 overall. No opponent scored more than 27 points in their 10 overall wins, but the two defeats saw at least 28 points hit the board. Memphis will have to hang a crooked number to come out on top of this one.

Cotton Bowl Classic Format

The Cotton Bowl is a well-known traditional bowl game that has been played in the Dallas area each year since 1937. Since 2009 it has been played at AT&T Stadium, moving from the original Cotton Bowl Stadium itself. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been instrumental in bringing this bowl back to top tier status.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Game Results (Since 2000)

2018 Clemson Notre Dame 30-3
2017 Ohio State USC 24-7
2017 Wisconsin Western Michigan 24-16
2015 Alabama Michigan State 38-0
2015 Michigan State Baylor 42-41
2014 Missouri Oklahoma State 41-31
2013 Texas A&M Oklahoma 41-13
2012 Arkansas Kansas State 29-16
2011 LSU Texas A&M 41-24
2010 Mississippi Oklahoma State 21-7
2009 Mississippi Texas Tech 47-34
2008 Missouri Arkansas 38-7
2007 Auburn Nebraska 13-10
2006 Alabama Texas Tech 38-7
2005 Tennessee Texas A&M 31-28
2004 Mississippi Oklahoma State 35-20
2003 Texas LSU 10-3
2002 Oklahoma Arkansas 35-21
2001 Kansas State Tennessee 35-21
2000 Arkansas Texas 27-6

The old Cotton Bowl Stadium became outdated and the game lost some of its prestige because of it. Playing outdoors in typically cold weather wasn’t what organizers wanted. When Jerry Jones built his behemoth AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington for his NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, the Cotton Bowl jumped at the opportunity to upgrade its status. And the ploy worked. The Cotton Bowl is in the rotation as a New Year’s Six game and has hosted a couple of College Football Playoff games.

When not hosting a semifinal game, we’ve typically seen a team from the southwest part of the country participate. The Cotton Bowl had a long-standing agreement with the SWC before that league went belly up. The SWC champion had lost seven straight bowls before being dissolved. The Big 12, which included several former SWC schools, took over starting with the 1996 playing.

The Cotton Bowl returned to elite status under the new CFP arrangement. In the first year of the format, the game pitted Alabama and Michigan State in a national semifinal with the Crimson Tide obliterating the Spartans 38-0 on their way to a win over Clemson in the CFP title game.

Moving forward the game will continue to host some of the best programs in the country. Even before aligning with the CFP, the Cotton Bowl had two nationally ranked teams face each other in 26 of the previous 30 matchups, and the other four games had one of the teams ranked in the AP poll. With no conference affiliation, the bowl will host two at-large teams not selected to compete in the four-team playoff. Western Michigan was the top Group of Five team in the 2016 season and lost to Wisconsin.

Most All-Time Wins at Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

11 Texas 1942, 1945, 1952, 1961, 1963, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1981, 1998, 2002
5 Texas AM 1940, 1967, 1985, 1987, 2012
5 Notre Dame 1970, 1977, 1978, 1992, 1993
4 Alabama 1941, 1980, 2005, 2015
4 Arkansas 1964, 1975, 1999, 2012
4 Mississippi 1955, 2003, 2008, 2009

With its ties to the southwest it’s not alarming to find teams in the region getting plenty of exposure in the game. Texas, a powerhouse in the old SWC and now the Big 12, has appeared in over one-third of the Cotton Bowl games with 22 total visits. The Longhorns easily have the most victories as well with 11. However, Texas hasn’t played in the event since the 2002 season when it knocked off LSU 35-20.

The move to the CFP proved bountiful in the first year. Hosting a national semifinal, the game drew an announced crowd of nearly 83,000. Without the appeal and no regional selections playing in the 2016 season game, fewer than 60,000 attended the contest. It was the lowest attended Cotton Bowl in nearly two decades.

College football bluebloods restored some luster to the game in the 2017 season with Ohio State defeating USC in a matchup of top-10 teams. It was the third time in four seasons the game featured a pair of teams ranked among the 10 best in the country. Clemson and Notre Dame drew more than 72,000 people in 2018. The matchup in 2019 will go a long way in determining how much interest the Cotton Bowl garners this time around.

2019-20 College Bowls Betting Schedule

College Football Playoff
Dec 28 Peach Bowl Atlanta, GA / 4 PM No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
Dec 28 Fiesta Bowl Glendale, AZ / 8 PM No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
Jan 13 CFP National Championship New Orleans, LA / 8 PM Semifinal Winners
Selection Committee Bowl Games
Dec 28 Cotton Bowl Arlington, TX / Noon No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 17 Memphis
Dec 30 Orange Bowl Miami Gardens, FL / 8 PM No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia
Jan 1 Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA / 5 PM No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Jan 1 Sugar Bowl New Orleans, LA / 8:45 PM No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor
Other Bowl Games
Dec 20 Bahamas Bowl Nassau, Bahamas / 2 PM Buffalo vs. Charlotte
Dec 20 Frisco Bowl Frisco, TX / 7:30 PM Kent State vs. Utah State
Dec 21 Celebration Bowl Atlanta, GA / 12:00 PM Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T
Dec 21 New Mexico Bowl Albuquerque, NM / 2 PM Central Michigan vs. San Diego State
Dec 21 Cure Bowl Orlando, FL / 2:30 PM Liberty vs. Georgia Southern
Dec 21 Boca Raton Bowl Boca Raton, FL / 3:30 PM FAU vs. SMU
Dec 21 Camelia Bowl Montgomery, AL / 5:30 PM Arkansas State vs. Florida International
Dec 21 Las Vegas Bowl Las Vegas, NV / 7:30 PM No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington
Dec 21 New Orleans Bowl New Orleans, LA / 9 PM No. 20 Appalachian State vs. UAB
Dec 23 Gasparilla Bowl Tampa, FL / 2:30 PM Marshall vs. UCF
Dec 24 Hawaii Bowl Honolulu, HI / 8 PM BYU vs. Hawai'i
Dec 26 Independence Bowl Shreveport, LA / 4 PM Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Fla.)
Dec 26 Quick Lane Bowl Detroit, MI / 8 PM Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh
Dec 27 Military Bowl Annapolis, MD / Noon North Carolina vs. Temple
Dec 27 Pinstripe Bowl The Bronx, NY / 3:20 PM Michigan State vs. Wake Forest
Dec 27 Texas Bowl Houston, TX / 6:45 PM No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Dec 27 Holiday Bowl San Diego, CA / TBA No. 16 Iowa vs. No. 22 Southern California
Dec 27 Cheez-It Bowl Phoenix, AZ / 10:15 PM Air Force vs. Washington State
Dec 28 Camping World Bowl Orlando, FL / Noon No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State
Dec 30 First Responder Bowl University Park, TX / 12:30 PM Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan
Dec 30 Music City Bowl Nashville, TN / 4 PM Louisville vs. Mississippi State
Dec 30 Redbox Bowl Santa Clara, CA / TBA California vs. Illinois
Dec 31 Belk Bowl Charlotte, NC / Noon Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech
Dec 31 Sun Bowl El Paso, TX / 2 PM Arizona State vs. Florida State
Dec 31 Arizona Bowl Tucson, AZ / 4:30 PM Georgia State vs. Wyoming
Dec 31 Alamo Bowl San Antonio, TX / 7:30 PM No. 11 Utah vs. Texas
Dec 31 Liberty Bowl Mephis, TN / 3:45 PM Kansas State vs. Navy
Jan 1 Outback Bowl Tampa, FL / 1 PM No. 12 Auburn vs. No. 18 Minnesota
Jan 1 Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL / 1 PM No. 13 Alabama vs. No. 14 Michigan
Jan 2 Birmingham Bowl Birmingham, AL / 3 PM No. 21 Cincinnati vs. Boston College
Jan 2 Gator Bowl Jacksonville, FL / 7 PM Indiana vs. Tennessee
Jan 3 Idaho Potato Bowl Boise, ID / 3:30 PM Nevada vs. Ohio
Jan 4 Armed Forces Bowl Fort Worth, TX / 11:30 AM Southern Miss vs. Tulane
Jan 6 LendingTree Bowl Mobile, AL / 7:30 PM Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio)

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