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2013-2014 bowl game opening lines, ranked from biggest to closest

You do not have to watch the Pinstripe Bowl. Just keep telling yourself this. You do not have to watch the Pinstripe Bowl.

The Missouri-Oklahoma State Cotton Bowl is expected to be this bowl season's closest big game.
The Missouri-Oklahoma State Cotton Bowl is expected to be this bowl season's closest big game.
Ronald Martinez

The initial lines for every bowl game have been released, giving us a rough watchability index of sorts. Notre Dame opened as the biggest favorite among all bowl teams; the Irish are expected to dispatch Rutgers by at least three scores. And those two BCS bowl matchups you saw and figured will probably stink? Vegas agrees. Baylor is a 16.5-point favorite over UCF, while Alabama is favored by 16 over Oklahoma.

Here are the opening odds for each bowl game (courtesy of Odds Shark), ordered from largest to smallest spread:

  1. Pinstripe Bowl: Notre Dame (-17.5) vs. Rutgers
  2. Fiesta Bowl: Baylor (-16.5) vs. Central Florida
  3. Sugar Bowl: Alabama (-16) vs. Oklahoma
  4. Alamo Bowl: Oregon (-14) vs. Texas
  5. Chick-fil-A Bowl: Texas A&M (-13) vs. Duke
  6. Holiday Bowl: Arizona State (-13) vs. Texas Tech
  7. Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: East Carolina (-13) vs. Ohio
  8. Gator Bowl: Georgia (-9.5) vs. Nebraska
  9. Outback Bowl: LSU (-7.5) vs. Iowa
  10. Bowl: Ball State (-7.5) vs. Arkansas State
  11. Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State (-7.5) vs. Rice
  12. AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona (-7) vs. Boston College
  13. Sun Bowl: UCLA (-7) vs. Virginia Tech
  14. Armed Forces Bowl: Navy (-7) vs. Middle Tennessee
  15. BCS Championship: Florida State (-6.5) vs. Auburn
  16. Heart of Dallas Bowl: North Texas (-6.5) vs. UNLV
  17. Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Bowling Green (-6) vs. Pittsburgh
  18. Las Vegas Bowl: USC (-6) vs. Fresno State
  19. Texas Bowl: Minnesota (-4.5) vs. Syracuse
  20. Hawaii Bowl: Boise State (-4.5) vs. Oregon State
  21. Orange Bowl: Ohio State (-4) vs. Clemson
  22. Music City Bowl: Ole Miss (-4) vs. Georgia Tech
  23. Rose Bowl: Stanford (-3.5) vs. Michigan State
  24. Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville (-3) vs. Miami
  25. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Kansas State (-3) vs. Michigan
  26. Fight Hunger Bowl: Washington (-3) vs. BYU
  27. Military Bowl: Marshall (-3) vs. Maryland
  28. New Mexico Bowl: Washington State (-3) vs. Colorado State
  29. Poinsettia Bowl: Northern Illinois (-2.5) vs. Utah State
  30. Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin (-2) vs. South Carolina
  31. Belk Bowl: North Carolina (-2) vs. Cincinnati
  32. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Buffalo (-2) vs. San Diego State
  33. Cotton Bowl: Missouri (-1.5) vs. Oklahoma State
  34. BBVA Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt (-1.5) vs. Houston
  35. New Orleans Bowl: Tulane (-1) vs. UL Lafayette

This being bowl season, though, some measure of zaniness is assured. Some teams come to play, while some are just here for the Belk gift card. Plus there is the coaching-change factor in some cases. Anything could happen. Well, Alabama is going to win by four touchdowns and Notre Dame will somehow lose, but other than that, anything could happen.

Vegas expects a lot of contests to be tight, including all of the games that kick off the bowl schedule on Dec. 21. The slimmest opening line belongs to the New Orleans Bowl, where Tulane is favored by just one point over UL Lafayette. So if you needed a reason to watch that game other than "this is the only college football there is right now," there you go.

The Cotton Bowl between Missouri and Oklahoma State looks like it's going to be a lot of fun, and the same goes for the Orange Bowl between Ohio State and Clemson. Florida State opened as a 6.5-point favorite over Auburn in the BCS Championship Game, though the Seminoles are already nine-point favorites in some places. FSU didn't win a game all year by fewer than two touchdowns.

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