2019 Holiday Bowl Betting Odds

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2019 Holiday Bowl - USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes

Holiday Bowl Betting

With the Big Ten and Pac-12 ready to square off for a sixth straight year at the Holiday Bowl, we might as well call the game Rose Bowl lite. Unlike the Granddaddy of Them All, the Big Ten has had success in San Diego winning the last four matchups. The Iowa Hawkeyes look to continue the recent trend against the USC Trojans in the 2019 edition and opened as a 2-point favorite to do so. If anything it should be an entertaining game with USC’s Air Raid offense going against Iowa’s fifth-ranked scoring defense.

2019 San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl at a Glance

Date: Friday, December 27, 2019

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Venue: SDCC Stadium, San Diego, California


Matchup: USC Trojans vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Odds: Iowa -2, total 52

Holiday Bowl Preview

With talk all season about his status, Clay Helton got a reprieve and will return as USC’s coach. He can make a good impression on those who wanted him gone by winning a bowl game. Losses to BYU, Washington and Notre Dame left the Trojans at 3-3 and the rumors flew about Helton’s security. He squashed those by winning five of the last six games. He’s not a big name on the coaching front, but Helton has won 65 percent of his games, including an 8-4 mark this season. A win over Utah early put USC in the driver’s seat for the South crown, but a 56-24 loss to Oregon in Week 11 ended that. Ending the year with three straight victories behind an offense that produced 124 points has USC in position for its first bowl win since beating Penn State in the Rose Bowl following the 2016 season.

Most thought USC’s offense would suffer when J.T. Daniels was lost early in the year. Showing their abundance of riches at the skill positions, Kedon Slovis stepped in and passed for 3,242 yards and 28 touchdowns to earn Pac-12 offensive freshman of the year honors. The Trojans have the fifth-ranked pass offense with 336 yards per game with three players – Michael Pittman, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns – having at least 68 receptions. They’re averaging 33.2 points per outing. It’s been a struggle all season on defense with the group exposed in the loss to Oregon. An explosive offense and a generous defense helped USC cash the over in its last five games.

There are no concerns over the coaching spot at Iowa. There have been just two guys running the show since 1979 and Kirk Ferentz has been in control for the last 21 years. He’s won over 60 percent of his games, but bowl season hasn’t been as fruitful. The Hawkeyes are making their 17th postseason appearance under Ferentz and have an 8-8 record in the previous 16. Iowa ended a five-game bowl losing streak beating Boston College in the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl and followed that last season with a 27-22 upset of Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl. Iowa finished third in the Big Ten West but closed the season going 5-1 with wins in their last three games to finish the regular season at 9-3.

With the decision A.J. Epenesa to play in the Holiday Bowl the Iowa defense has a much better chance of slowing down SC’s run and gun approach. Epenesa led the fifth ranked scoring defense with nine sacks and three forced fumbles. The Hawkeyes allowed just 13.2 points per game and held teams to 304.6 yards per contest to prop up an offense that struggled most of the season. Nate Stanley threw for 2,738 yards and 14 touchdowns to pace an offense that ranks 98th in the FBS in yards and 99th in points per game.

Holiday Bowl Format

The game was born to give the Western Athletic Conference an automatic bowl bid following the defection of Arizona and Arizona State to the Pac-8 in 1977. Along with them went the Fiesta Bowl, which had an affiliation with the WAC. The WAC champ played an at large team until 1986 when the Big Ten agreed to send a bowl-eligible team. That arrangement lasted until 1984.

The Big 8 Conference took over for the Big Ten in 1995 and the affiliation remained as the league grew to the Big 12 the following year. The WAC ended its association with the game after the 1997 season, at which point the Holiday Bowl became a matchup between the Pac-10 and Big 12.

The Big Ten agreed to return a team to the Holiday Bowl after a 20-year absence starting with the 2014 contest, making the bowl a current matchup between the No. 3 Pac-12 team and the No. 4 Big Ten club. The first tilt in the new alignment featured the No. 24 USC Trojans nipping the No. 25 Nebraska Cornhuskers 45-42.

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl Game Results (Since 2000)

2018 Northwestern Utah 31-20
2017 Michigan State Washington State 42-17
2016 Minnesota Washington State 17-12
2015 Wisconsin USC 23-21
2014 USC Nebraska 45-42
2013 Texas Tech Arizona State 37-23
2012 Baylor UCLA 49-26
2011 Texas California 21-10
2010 Washington Nebraska 19-7
2009 Nebraska Arizona 33-0
2008 Oregon Oklahoma State 42-31
2007 Texas Arizona State 52-34
2006 California Texas A&M 45-10
2005 Oklahoma Oregon 17-14
2004 Texas Tech California 45-31
2003 Washington State Texas 28-20
2002 Kansas State Arizona State 34-27
2001 Texas Washington 47-43
2000 Oregon Texas 35-30

BYU dominated the WAC at the time of the Holiday Bowl’s inception and the Cougars appeared in the first seven games. Their bowl-record fourth win in 1984 capped a perfect season and the Cougs were named National Champions after knocking off Michigan. The WAC’s agreement called for the league champion to play in the bowl and BYU came back to defeat a mediocre Wolverines team. BYU was the only undefeated team in college football that season and the last non-Power Five team to win the National Championship.

Thanks to BYU, the Holiday Bowl got a reputation for miraculous finishes. BYU erased a 20-point deficit to SMU in the last two minutes of the 1980 game, getting a game-tying touchdown pass from Jim McMahon on the final play. The extra point gave BYU a 46-45 win.

In 1983 quarterback Steve Young accomplished a rare feat in the game of football. He caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds to give BYU a win over Missouri. He also threw a scoring pass and ran for a touchdown. Six different BYU quarterbacks have earned game MVP honors. Along with McMahon and Young, Marc Wilson, Robbie Bosco, Ty Detmer and John Walsh all took home the hardware.

Most All-Time Wins at San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

4 BYU 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984
3 Kansas State 1995, 1999, 2002
3 Texas 2001, 2007, 2011
2 Iowa 1986, 1987
2 Ohio State 1982, 1993
2 Oregon 2000, 2008
2 Texas Tech 2004, 2013

Along with the most victories of any school in the Holiday Bowl, BYU easily has the most appearances. The Cougars appeared in 11 of the game’s first 16 contests and they haven’t been back since losing to Ohio State in 1993. The Buckeyes are the only team the Cougars faced twice and BYU dropped both.

While the Pac-12 is widely considered the best conference in the western part of the country, the success hasn’t translated to the Holiday Bowl. Since the then Pac-10 aligned with the game in 1998, conference teams have gone just 7-15, haven’t won back-to-back games and have dropped seven of the last eight matchups.

Utah was the latest Pac-12 team to falter, losing to the Northwestern Wildcats, though the Utes didn’t have their starting quarterback for the game. Washington State lost the previous two Holiday Bowls, becoming the first league team to lose in consecutive years and the fourth overall, dropping the 2017 game 42-17 to Michigan State. Oregon at 2-1 and Colorado at 1-0 are the only current Pac-12 teams to have a winning record in the bowl. Colorado’s victory is tainted, though, since the win came in 1996 when the Buffs were members of the Big 12 Conference.

2019-20 College Bowl Games 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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