College football kicks off in late August, with Week Zero games between Arizona and Hawaii and an intrastate matchup between Miami and Florida.
For more than three months, football will consume our lives. And all of those games will culminate with the College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans on Jan. 13, 2020.
Will that final game be the fourth meeting between Clemson and Alabama in the past five years? Or will the college football landscape get shaken up?
Have some predictions and hot takes? In New Jersey, you can put your money where your mouth is, courtesy of a sports betting industry that has boomed over the past year.
Here you will find a cumulative look at the NJ sports betting landscape as it pertains to college football wagering.
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Where to bet on the College Football Playoffs in NJ
Operators have taken full advantage of sports betting regulations in New Jersey, leading to a massive market that features 14 betting apps and 10 retail sportsbooks throughout the state.
NJ online betting apps
|Online Sportsbook||Land-based Affiliate||iOS/Android app?||Bonus Offer||Promo Code|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Resorts AC||Yes/Yes||$50 in free bets||None - Use Links|
|FOX Bet||Resorts AC||Yes/Yes||$500 risk-free bet||None - Use Links|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Meadowlands||Yes/Yes||$1,000 match bet||None - Use Links|
|William Hill NJ||Monmouth Park/Ocean Resort/Tropicana AC||Yes/Yes||$500 risk free bet||LEGALRF|
|PointsBet NJ||Meadowlands||Yes/Yes||up to $2,000 risk free bets||BETBONUS|
|SugarHouse NJ||Monmouth Park||Yes/Yes||100% up to $250||PLAY250|
|Caesars Sportsbook NJ||Caesars AC||Yes/Yes||$10 free||BETFREE10|
|Resorts Sportsbook||Resorts AC||Yes/Yes||Up to $250 match bet||MAXBONUS|
|888 Sport||Caesars AC||Yes/Yes||$500 risk free bet||None - Use Links|
|BetMGM Sport||Borgata AC||Yes/Yes||$600 risk free bet||PLAYBONUS|
|Golden Nugget Sportsbook||Golden Nugget||Yes/Yes||Up to $100 risk-free bet||PLAYBONUS|
|Hard Rock Sports||Hard Rock AC||Yes/Yes||$100 free bet||None - Use Links|
|BetAmerica||Golden Nugget||Yes/Yes||100% up to $500||None available|
|Borgata Sports||Borgata AC||Yes/Yes||Up to $100 risk-free bet||PLAYNJ|
|Unibet Sportsbook||Hard Rock AC||Yes/Yes||$20 free + up to $250 risk free bet||BETBONUS|
|Bet365||Hard Rock AC||Yes/Yes||Up to $500 in bet credits||None - Use Links|
NJ sports betting locations
- Resorts Atlantic City
- Ocean Casino Resort
- Monmouth Park
- Meadowlands Racetrack
- Hard Rock Atlantic City
- Golden Nugget
- Tropicana Atlantic City
Online vs. retail betting
It is no secret that the secret to NJ sports betting has been the online betting side of things.
The state’s industry has taken off since launching in June 2018, as legalized retail and online sportsbooks have taken in nearly $3 billion in wagers over the last year.
About 73% of all bets made during the life of NJ sports betting have come online, via one of the 14 online sportsbooks operating in the Garden State. In 2019 alone, bettors have wagered more than $1.3 billion through betting apps, equating to more than 80% of overall handle in the state.
Retail sportsbooks obviously provide an event-style environment, with tellers, big-screen TVs, lounge chairs, and bars that add even more to the betting experience.
But if some prefer to stay at home, or if they are heading to a watch party or a prior engagement, New Jersey boasts plenty of online options to allow bettors to still make their wagers in time for kickoff.
2020 College Bowl Championship current odds
Summers are filled with the dog days of baseball, a few golf tournaments, maybe even a smattering of tennis action.
For most, though, the summer is a time for building hype. A time for getting to know the college football landscape. A time to get their first wagers on the books.
In New Jersey, bettors can begin laying down money on which team they believe will win the 2020 national championship. Next to each team is a number that is either paired with a plus or minus sign.
The plus sign tells bettors how much money they will win on a $100 bet should their selected team win the title. For example, bettors might find Clemson listed at +200 to go all the way. A Tigers victory, then, would pay $200 on a $100 wager.
Below is a look at the teams favored at some of New Jersey’s top betting apps:
College Football Playoff predictions and betting picks
Once again, it is Clemson and Alabama against the field … if not each other.
Most sportsbooks list the defending champion Tigers as the front-runners for the 2020 CFP National Championship. Others put them second, behind perennial power Alabama, which has advanced to four straight championship games, winning twice.
Heisman Trophy favorites Trevor Lawrence, Clemson’s QB, and Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama QB, will have the spotlight on them all season. They lead explosive offenses that averaged more than 44 points per game. They also benefit from stout defenses that last season allowed less than 15 points per contest.
Over the past couple years, a few darkhorse programs have emerged that bettors have backed in hopes of Clemson and/or Alabama tripping over themselves.
Georgia is one of those teams, which heads into the 2019 season two years removed from an appearance in the national title game. D’Andre Swift has grabbed the attention of NFL scouts as a go-to running back, potentially even as an early first-round pick.
And no college football season could go without hype surrounding Ohio State and Michigan, two storied programs with fan bases that, in recent history, have had disappointing ends to seasons after lofty expectations.
Who knows, though? Perhaps this year belongs to the Big Ten.
How the College Football Playoff field is set
A 13-person College Football Playoff committee determines which programs earn spots in the four-team playoff field.
Beginning just after the midway point of the regular season, the CFP releases weekly Top 25 rankings. Once the season concludes, a final ranking will paint the picture of the playoffs.
The top four teams will advance to the playoff and will play at either the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona or the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. These semifinal games will take place Dec. 28, and winners will advance to the Jan. 13 national championship in New Orleans.
Types of College Football Playoff bets available in NJ
A variety of betting formats exist in the NJ sports betting world. From wagering on winning margins to simply choosing a winner to predicting a coin toss, options abound for bettors.
This is arguably the most familiar betting type to the public. And one the media frequently cites when analyzing matchups.
Sportsbooks determine which teams in any given week should be favored in their respective games. To boot, they predict how much those teams will win by.
When looking at an odds board, bettors will see a decimal number with a minus sign next to it, such as “Clemson -7.5.” This tells bettors that the Tigers are favored by 7.5 points.
They can then wager on Clemson to win by more than that margin (or to “beat the spread”) or for Clemson’s opponent to lose by fewer than that total (known as “covering the spread”).
Underdogs don’t even need to lose to cover. Outright wins provide the same winnings for backers.
This type of bet hinges not on the score, necessarily; simply which team wins.
Bettors will see a three-digit number next to each team, which denotes the moneyline. A minus sign next to that figure indicates the favored team, and a plus sign shows the underdog.
Additionally, these numbers tell bettors either how much they can win on a $100 bet, or how much would need to be wagered in order to win $100.
Alabama as a -200 in a game, for example, means the Crimson Tide are not only favored but also that bettors would need to wager $200 in order to win $100. As a +150 underdog, an Alabama win would pay $150 on a $100 wager.
Not wanting to back any specific team? Look at the totals.
Prior to kickoff, sportsbooks will predict various totals within a given game. How many points will be scored? How many touchdowns will be scored? You get the idea.
All bettors need to do is decide if less or more than those totals will occur and place their bets.
For the long-game bettors, the action is with futures.
During the offseason or even during the season, bettors can find futures odds at sportsbooks. Which team will win the national championship? Who will win the Heisman?
Prices will likely be adjusted as the season goes on, so bettors can do some shopping and waiting to find the best value. But whatever price is listed at the time of a wager is the payout bettors will receive if they win.
These types of wagers involve players directly.
Seeing a market that wonders which player will score the first touchdown in a game, for example, is a prop bet.
Props typically revolve around individuals rather than teams. And they certainly add more skin to the sports betting game.
Seeing multiple games you want to wager on? Or perhaps you’re looking to increase the payout on certain games?
Parlays are your ticket.
Bettors put money down across several events, combining their bets in a parlay to maximize winnings.
Moneylines, point spread, and totals could all be featured in a parlay. In order to collect, though, bettors must hit every “leg” of the bet. Go undefeated to reap the rewards, because even one loss in a 10-leg parlay will keep bettors from celebrating.
2020-21 college football bowl schedule
There’s a reason winter is perceived as “Bowl Season” for sports fans. There are games almost every day. For almost an entire month.
For just over three weeks, 41 games will take place, keeping all of us entertained through the new year.
Here’s a full schedule of the upcoming college bowl season and College Football Playoffs:
|December 19||Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco||7:00 PM||ESPN||American/C-USA/MAC/MWC|
|December 21||Myrtle Beach||2:30 PM||ESPN||American/MAC/Sun Belt|
|December 22||Famous Idaho Potato||3:30 PM||ESPN||MAC vs. MWC|
|December 22||Boca Raton||7:00 PM||ESPN||American/C-USA/MAC|
|December 23||R+L Carriers New Orleans||3:30 PM||ESPN||C-USA vs. Sun Belt|
|December 23||Montgomery||7:00 PM||ESPN||At Large vs. At Large|
|December 24||New Mexico||3:30 PM||ESPN||American/C-USA/MWC|
|December 25||Camellia||2:30 PM||ESPN||MAC vs. Sun Belt|
|December 26||Cure Bowl||12:00 PM||ESPN||American/MAC/Sun Belt|
|December 26||Gasparilla||12:00 PM||ABC||American/ACC/SEC|
|December 26||LendingTree||3:30 PM||ESPN||MAC vs. Sun Belt|
|December 26||SERVPRO First Responder||3:30 PM||ABC||American/ACC/Big 12|
|December 26||Radiance Technologies Independence||7:00 PM||ESPN||Army vs. Pac-12|
|December 26||Guaranteed Rate||10:15 PM||ESPN||Big 12 vs. Big Ten|
|December 28||Military||2:30 PM||ESPN||ACC vs. American|
|December 29||Cheez-It||5:30 PM||ESPN||ACC vs. Big 12|
|December 29||Valero Alamo||9:00 PM||ESPN||Big 12 vs. Pac-12|
|December 30||Duke's Mayo||12:00 PM||ESPN||ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big Ten|
|December 30||TransPerfect Music City||3:30 PM||ESPN||Big Ten vs. SEC|
|December 30||Goodyear Cotton||7:15 PM||ESPN||At-large vs. At-large|
|December 31||Lockheed Martin Armed Forces||12:00 PM||ESPN||American/Army/C-USA|
|December 31||Autozone Liberty||4:00 PM||ESPN||Big 12 vs. SEC|
|December 31||Arizona||4:00 PM||CBSSN||MAC vs. MWC|
|December 31||Texas||8:00 PM||ESPN||Big 12 vs. SEC|
|January 1||TicketSmarter Birmingham||12:00 PM||ESPN2||ACC/American/SEC|
|January 1||Chick Fil-A Peach||12:30 PM||ESPN||At-large vs. At-large|
|January 1||Vrbo Citrus||1 :00 PM||ABC||Big Ten vs. SEC|
|January 1||Rose||5:00 PM||ESPN||Semifinal Game|
|January 1||Allstate Sugar||8:45 PM||CBSSN||Semifinal Game|
|January 2||TaxSlayer Gator||12:00 PM||ESPN||ACC vs. SEC|
|January 2||Outback||12:30 p.m.||ABC||Big Ten vs. SEC|
|January 2||Playstation Fiesta||4:00 PM||ESPN||At-large vs. At-large|
|January 2||Capital One Orange||8:00 PM||ESPN||ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big Ten/SEC|
|January 1||National Championship||8:00 PM||ESPN||Semifinal winners|
|Cancelled||Bahamas||N/A||N/A||C-USA vs. MAC|
|Cancelled||Celebration||N/A||N/A||MEAC vs. SWAC|
|Cancelled||Fenway||N/A||N/A||ACC/Notre Dame vs. American|
|Cancelled||LA||N/A||N/A||Pac-12 vs. MWC|
|Cancelled||Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas||N/A||N/A||Pac-12 vs. SEC|
|Cancelled||New Era Pinstripe||N/A||N/A||ACC vs. Big Ten|
|Cancelled||Quick Lane||N/A||N/A||Big Ten vs. MAC|
|Cancelled||Redbox||N/A||N/A||Big Ten vs. Pac-12|
|Cancelled||SDCCU Holiday||N/A||N/A||ACC vs. Pac-12|
|Cancelled||Sofi Hawai'i||N/A||N/A||MWC vs. AAC/C-USA|
|Cancelled||Tony the Tiger Sun||N/A||N/A||ACC vs. Pac-12|
When is the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship?
Just as the NFL playoffs begin, the peak of the College Football Playoff will arrive.
On Jan. 13, 2020, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the last two teams standing will duke it out for college football supremacy.
How can I watch the CFP title game?
The vast majority of bowl games will air on ESPN. And the College Football Playoff is no different.
Both semifinal games on Dec. 28 will broadcast on ESPN, as will the national championship game.
Brief history of the College Football Playoff
The college playoffs enters its sixth season of existence, after years of the Bowl Championship Series system that determined the national champion.
Four of the five playoff title games involved Alabama, three of which came against Clemson. Only the first college playoff national championship, in 2015, went without a Crimson Tide appearance as Ohio State demolished Oregon 42-20.
Yes, the playoff format of college football has not yielded quite the parity the NCAA certainly hoped for. But hey, at least the template is in place in order to create it.
There has been little shortage of offense in the college football national championship, especially last year.
Then a freshman, Clemson QB Lawrence picked apart the Bama defense. His 347 yards passing and three touchdowns led to a 44-16 demolishing of the Tide.
How historic was that win? Clemson became the first college football team since the turn of the 20th century to finish a season 15-0. It became the first team to go undefeated in the brief history of the College Football Playoff.
One point further: Clemson became the first team to beat Alabama by more than 14 points since Tide coach Nick Saban took over in 2007.
Just because a new championship system went into place five years ago does not mean we should ignore the BCS national champs prior.
Here are the past 10 college football champions:
|Jan. 7, 2019||Santa Clara, Calif.||No. 2 Clemson 44, No. 1 Alabama 16|
|Jan. 8, 2018||Atlanta||No. 4 Alabama 26, No. 3 Georgia 23|
|Jan. 9, 2017||Tampa, Fla.||No. 2 Clemson 35, No. 1 Alabama 31|
|Jan. 11, 2016||Glendale, Ariz.||No. 2 Alabama 45, No. 1 Clemson 40|
|Jan. 12, 2015||Arlington, Tex.||No. 4 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Oregon 20|
|Jan. 6, 2014||Pasadena, Calif.||No. 1 Florida State 34, No. 2 Auburn 31|
|Jan. 7, 2013||Miami||No. 2 Alabama 42, No. 1 Notre Dame 14|
|Jan. 9, 2012||New Orleans||No. 2 Alabama 21, No. 1 LSU 0|
|Jan. 10, 2011||Glendale, Ariz.||No. 1 Auburn 22, No. 2 Oregon 19|
|Jan. 7, 2010||Pasadena, Calif.||No. 1 Alabama 37, No. 2 Texas 21|
Biggest upsets in NCAA football championship history
Remember the days before college football instituted a playoff system? Way back when? Before 2014?
Well, those days of BCS selections were wild. As were the years prior, when the media voted on which team was crowned the national champion.
As crazy and manic-inducing as those years were, they certainly produced some memorable title tilts.
2006: Texas 41, USC 38
This BCS National Championship remains the standard.
Texas QB Vince Young, runner-up in that season’s Heisman voting, took frustrations out on the man who beat him out (USC RB Reggie Bush) and the guy who took third (USC QB Matt Leinart, who won the ’04 trophy) in a game for the ages.
Young passed for 267 yards and rushed for 200 more. He scored three TDs, including on a game-winning, fourth-down scramble with less than 20 seconds to play.
In leading Texas to its first outright national championship in 36 years, Young also helped the Longhorns snap USC 34-game winning streak and end the Trojans’ hopes of a third straight national title.
1984: Miami 31, Nebraska 30
Few teams ever get to play Cinderella on their home turf. Miami did.
At the Orange Bowl, the Hurricanes were appearing in only the program’s second bowl game since 1967. They faced top-ranked and perennial power Nebraska, which entered the game as a 10-point favorite.
Despite nearly blowing a 17-point lead, as the Cornhuskers narrowed the gap to 31-30 with less than a minute to play, Miami stood tall. That is, thanks in part to Nebraska coach Tom Osborne.
In those days, there was no overtime in college football. Nebraska had just scored a touchdown and could have opted for the point-after kick to tie the game and hope the polls voted the Cornhuskers’ national champs.
Osborne, though, went for the win. Miami denied him, breaking up the potential game-winning pass and securing a monumental upset for The U.
2003: Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2OT)
From a game where overtime was not an option, Miami found itself hoping it wasn’t one.
The Hurricanes went into the BCS National Championship as 11.5-point favorites, riding a 34-game winning streak into the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.
Miami had the lead in the first overtime and thought it had it made when a fourth-down pass by Ohio State fell incomplete. But a pass interference call breathed new life into the Buckeyes, who scored three plays later to force a second extra period.
In the second overtime, Ohio State RB Maurice Clarett rushed for his second TD of the night to put the Buckeyes on top. Miami came back and had a fresh set of downs at the 2-yard line.
But Ohio State held serve, allowing just one yard over the next four plays to upend Miami.
College football bowl betting FAQ
A slate of 40 bowl games spanning just over three weeks kicks off Dec. 20 with the Bahamas Bowl (in the Bahamas) and the Frisco Bowl (in Texas).
The top four teams in the final CFP rankings will play in either the Peach Bowl in Atlanta or the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. The winners from these Dec. 28 semis will advance to the Jan. 13 championship at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The majority of bowl games will be aired on ESPN and its family of networks. Some games will also air on ABC and CBS. Of the noteworthy bowl games, the College Football Playoffs semifinals and championship will all broadcast on ESPN, as will the Sugar, Rose, Orange and Cotton bowls.
Clemson captured its second national title in three years with a 44-16 bashing of top-seeded Alabama.
You bet. With one exception: games involving teams from New Jersey or games staged within state lines. Fortunately, not one of the 2019-2020 bowl games are slated to take place in the Garden State.
In terms of Division I, only Rutgers is excluded from legalized betting in New Jersey.
The NCAA made the change in 2015.
The season is about to kick off so we don’t know yet who will play in New Orleans on Jan. 13, 2020. However, NJ sportsbooks have Clemson and Alabama as heavy favorites to go all the way.