Last Updated Jan 18, 2023, 8:29 AM

Cotton Bowl Betting 2024 Odds, Predictions, Preview

The Tulane Green Wave defeated the USC Trojans 46-45 in the 2023 Cotton Bowl.

Check out last year's coverage here below and tune back in with us soon for the 2024 Cotton Bowl Odds, Picks and Predictions.

The Tulane Green Wave just posted their best record in more than two decades. Tulane has largely toiled in obscurity over its 118-year history of playing collegiate football with just four 10+ win seasons to its credit.

However, the Green Wave were the best Group of Five team this year and earned their first major bowl appearance since 1939 as a result. Tulane will take on the USC Trojans in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Monday, January 2, 2023, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Tulane Green Wave vs. USC Trojans Betting Prediction

Lincoln Riley met all expectations in his first year in charge of the USC Trojans. After a proverbial “lost decade”, USC roared back to life in 2022 and won the PAC 12 Championship behind Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Caleb Williams.

It’s clear that the Trojans will be a national title contender in 2023, but how will they close out this season? Williams is reportedly going to suit up to play in the Cotton Bowl despite earlier rumors to the contrary, yet a maligned defense that has had major problems throughout the season will likely keep USC from winning a New Year’s Six game.

Score Prediction: Tulane 38, USC 31
Best Bet: Tulane +2 (-110)

Tulane Green Wave vs. USC Trojans Betting Odds

Cotton Bowl Classic Betting Resources

  • Date: Monday, January 2, 2023
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: AT&T Stadium
  • Location: Arlington, Texas
  • Expert Picks

Tulane Green Wave Betting Analysis

This is the biggest game Tulane has played in the 21st Century, so it’s no surprise that there are no opt outs for the Green Wave.

The offense is led by Tyjae Spears, who became the first non-quarterback to be named AAC Offensive Player of the Year last month. Spears ran for 1,376 yards (6.5 YPC) and 15 touchdowns in Willie Fritz’s hybrid option offense.

Michael Pratt was a Second Team All-AAC selection after putting together his best season yet under center for the Green Wave. Pratt completed 64.5% of his passes for 2,776 yards (8.6 YPA) with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also showed his mobility with 395 yards (3.5 YPC) and 10 touchdowns as a runner.

These receivers aren’t great, but they have been able to get the job done in this offense. Shae Wyatt and Duece Watts were the big play threats for Tulane as Wyatt caught 35 passes for 692 yards and seven TDs, while Watts hauled in 31 receptions for 574 yards and eight TDs.

Jha’Quan Jackson, Lawrence Keys III, and tight end Tyrick James are the underneath threats to watch in the passing game.

Tulane’s defense was ranked 30th in Defensive SP+. The Green Wave had one of the most underrated secondaries in the country though, allowing just 6.1 YPA.

Cornerback Jarius Monroe and safety Macon Clark were First Team All-AAC selections, and linebacker Dorian Williams was one of the best defensive players in the conference.

Tulane was an incredible team for bettors this season, going 11-2 versus the spread. (Getty)

USC Trojans Betting Analysis

Caleb Williams may have brought the enmity of Oklahoma fans when he decided to leave Norman and head to USC with Lincoln Riley, but it’s hard to criticize him for the decision after the numbers he posted this season.

Williams thrived with a collection of great receivers in Riley’s offense, completing 66.1% of his passes for 4,075 yards (9.1 YPA) with 37 touchdowns and four interceptions on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy.

He was also a dangerous runner, averaging 7.8 YPC with 10 rushing touchdowns once you take out sack yardage. However, his mobility may be limited in this game as Williams has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

This offense will be without leading rusher Travis Dye though. The Oregon transfer suffered a season-ending knee injury in November, leading to Stanford transfer Austin Jones taking over as the top running back. Jones ran for 644 yards (5.7 YPC) and 10 touchdowns this season, and he was more of a receiving threat out of the backfield than Dye.

Standout receiver Jordan Addison will skip this game after suffering an ankle injury. Addison was the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top receiver at Pittsburgh last year, and he led USC with 59 receptions for 875 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022.

Tahj Washington and Mario Williams are excellent receivers in their own right, so the loss of Addison won’t impact the Trojans as much as it would other teams.

USC’s defense is ranked 71st in SP+. The Trojans surrendered 415.1 YPG and struggled against both the run and the pass. Defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu was outstanding and ended up being named PAC 12 Defensive Player of the Year after recording 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss this season.

However, there weren’t really any other playmakers on this side of the ball. Defensive backs Mekhi Blackmon and Calen Bullock earned all-conference honors, but their impact will be muted against Tulane’s offense

Cotton Bowl History

The Cotton Bowl began in 1937 and the matchup currently features schools from the Big 12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The game takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas as the previous venue for this contest was the Cotton Bowl in Dallas from 1937-2009. This game was named the Mobil Cotton Bowl, Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic, and SBC Communications Cotton Bowl Classic, and the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic prior to Goodyear obtaining sponsorship rights in 2015. 

In 2018, Clemson punished Notre Dame in another lopsided semifinal playoff game, 30-3. Favorites have won in 11 of the last 14 installments of this game, and the 'under' has now connected in four of the last five in this Arlington, Tex. bowl game, and the favorite is on a 4-0-1 ATS streak, too.

The most recent favorite to cash was Penn State, who took care of Memphis in 2019 as seven-point favorites, 53-39, marking the first time since USC in 1994 that a team has busted the 50-point mark in a Cotton Bowl.

In 2020, Oklahoma routed Florida by a 55-20 score as the favorite cashed, with the 'over' hitting, too. It was the second straight season a team went for 50 or more points in the Cotton Bowl.

We had a Group of Five team in the 2021 Cotton Bowl Classic, as Cincinnati was the No. 4 seed in the CFP. The Bearcats were no match for No. 1 seed Alabama, as the Crimson Tide rolled to a 27-6 rout. The 33 total points were the least amount of combined points since 2017, when Ohio State topped USC 24-7.

YearMatchupSpread, TotalsATS Result
2022Tulane Green Wave 46 USC Trojans 45USC -1.5, 66Underdog, Over
2021Alabama 27 Cincinnati 6Alabama -12.5, 56.5Favorite, Under
2020Oklahoma 55 Florida 20Oklahoma -7.5, 65Favorite, Over
2019Penn State 53 Memphis 39Penn State -7, 60.5Favorite, Over
2018Clemson 30 Notre Dame 3Notre Dame -10.5, 58Favorite, Under
2017Ohio State 24 USC 7Ohio State -10, 65.5Favorite, Under
2016Wisconsin 24 Western Michigan 16Wisconsin -8, 54Push, Under
2015Alabama 38 Michigan State 0Alabama -10, 46Favorite, Under
2014Michigan State 42 Baylor 41Baylor -3, 68Underdog, Over
2013Missouri 41 Oklahoma State 31Oklahoma State -3, 62Underdog, Over
2012Texas A&M 41 Oklahoma 13Texas A&M -3, 72Favorite, Under
2011Arkansas 29 Kansas State 16Arkansas -9.5, 65Favorite, Under
2010Louisiana State 41 Texas A&M 24LSU -1.5, 49Favorite, Over
2009Mississippi 21 Oklahoma State 7Mississippi -3.5, 51Favorite, Under
2008Mississippi 47 Texas Tech 34Texas Tech -4, 66Underdog, Over
2007Missouri 38 Arkansas 7Missouri -3.5, 68.5Favorite, Under
2006Auburn 17 Nebraska 14Auburn -2.5, 47Favorite, Under
2005Alabama 13 Texas Tech 10Texas Tech -3, 47Underdog, Under
2004Tennessee 38 Texas A&M 7Texas A&M -5, 56Underdog, Under
2003Mississippi 31 Oklahoma State 28Mississippi -3, 59.5Push, Under
2002Texas 35 Louisiana State 20Texas -10.5, 46.5Favorite, Over
2001Oklahoma 10 Arkansas 3Oklahoma -12, 41.5Underdog, Under
2000Kansas State 35 Tennessee 21Kansas State -3.5, 50.5Favorite, Over
1999Arkansas 27 Texas 6Texas -5.5, 51Underdog, Under
1998Texas 38 Mississippi State 11Texas -6.5, 53Favorite, Under
1997UCLA 29 Texas A&M 23UCLA -12, 54Underdog, Under
1996Brigham Young 19 Kansas State 15Kansas State -3, 47Underdog, Under
1995Colorado 38 Oregon 6Colorado -6.5, 52Favorite, Under
1994Southern California 55 Texas Tech 14Southern California -6.5, 46.5Favorite, Over
1993Notre Dame 24 Texas A&M 21Notre Dame -8, 43Underdog, Over
1992Notre Dame 28 Texas A&M 3Notre Dame -4, 42Favorite, Under
1991Florida State 10 Texas A&M 2Florida State -5.5, 44.5Favorite, Under
1990Miami (FL) 46 Texas 3--
1989Tennessee 31 Arkansas 27--
1988UCLA 17 Arkansas 3--
1987Texas A&M 35 Notre Dame 10--
1986Ohio State 28 Texas A&M 12--
1985Texas A&M 36 Auburn 16--
1984Boston College 45 Houston 28--
1983Georgia 10 Texas 9--
1982Southern Methodist 7 Pittsburgh 3--
1981Texas 14 Alabama 12--
1980Alabama 30 Baylor 2--
1979Houston 17 Nebraska 14--
1978Notre Dame 35 Houston 34--
1977Notre Dame 38 Texas 10--
1976Houston 30 Maryland 21--
1975Arkansas 31 Georgia 10--
1974Penn State 41 Baylor 20--
1973Nebraska 19 Texas 3--
1972Texas 17 Alabama 13--
1971Penn State 30 Texas 6--
1970Notre Dame 24 Texas 11--
1969Texas 21 Notre Dame 17--
1968Texas 36 Tennessee 13--
1967Texas A&M 20 Alabama 16--
1966Georgia 24 Southern Methodist 9--
1965Louisiana State 14 Arkansas 7--
1964Arkansas 10 Nebraska 7--
1963Texas 28 Navy 6--
1962Louisiana State 13 Texas 0--
1961Texas 12 Mississippi 7--
1960Duke 7 Arkansas 6--
1959Syracuse 23 Texas 14--
1958Air Force 0 Texas Christian 0--
1957Navy 20 Rice 7--
1956Texas Christian 28 Syracuse 27--
1955Mississippi 14 Texas Christian 13--
1954Georgia Tech 14 Arkansas 6--
1953Rice 28 Alabama 6--
1952Texas 16 Tennessee 0--
1951Kentucky 20 Texas Christian 7--
1950Tennessee 20 Texas 14--
1949Rice 27 North Carolina 13--
1948Southern Methodist 21 Oregon 13--
1947Penn State 13 Southern Methodist 13--
1946Louisiana State 0 Arkansas 0--
1945Texas 40 Missouri27--
1944Oklahoma State 34 Texas Christian 0--
1943Texas 7 Randolph Field 7--
1942Texas 14 Georgia Tech 7--
1941Alabama 29 Texas A&M 21--
1940Texas A&M 13 Fordham 12--
1939Clemson 6 Boston College 3--
1938Saint Mary's (CA) 20 Texas Tech 13--
1937Rice 28 Colorado 14--
1936Texas Christian 16 Marquette 6--
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