2023 Holiday Bowl Betting Odds, Predictions, Preview

The Holiday Bowl wrapped up on Wednesday, December 27, 2023 and bettors saw USC take care of Louisville, 42-28 as 4.5-point underdogs.

Recap all the 2023 Holiday Bowl Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions and History below and be sure to check back for the 2024 installment.

Holiday Bowl Betting Odds

LOU @ USC Odds

  • Opening point spread: Louisville -6.5
  • Opening moneyline: Louisville -305/USC +240
  • Opening total: Over/Under 57.5 points scored
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, Dec. 27 (FOX)

UPDATE 7:45 P.M. ET WEDNESDAY, DEC. 27: As noted in the previous update (see below), USC is quite shorthanded for the Holiday Bowl. As such, on Dec. 3, Louisville opened -6.5 at BetMGM.

A week ago, Louisville was -7.5 at BetMGM. Sunday brought a move to Cardinals -7 (-115), Tuesday saw the line go to -7 flat, and the Cards dipped to -6.5 this morning. And in just the past hour, the line dipped 2 more points, to Louisville -5.5 (-105), then -4.5.

That's despite the Cardinals drawing 61% of spread bets/63% of spread money. On the moneyline, however, bettors are leaning into the Trojans, with 72% of bets/80% of cash on USC.

BetMGM's total opened at 57.5 and made multiple stops at 58.5 over the course of the month. The number briefly touched 59 this morning, then toggled between 58/58.5, and it's now at 58. The Over is netting 64% of bets, while 53% of cash is on the Under.

That matches the Dec. 4 opening number of Cardinals -7.5. Louisville was at -8 from Dec. 6-13 before returning to 7.5. The Cardinals are netting 52% of spread tickets/65% of spread money.

DK's total toggled between 58/57/57.5 over the first week-plus on the board. But it's been stable at 57.5 since Dec. 13. The Over is getting 63% of tickets, but money is running dead even.

UPDATE 1:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 8: Obviously, Southern Cal quarterback Caleb Williams isn't playing in the Holiday Bowl. One look at the point spread on this game tells you that. Williams might be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Trojans (7-5 SU/3-9 ATS) had a disappointing regular season and proved to be one of the worst spread-covering outfits in the nation. After a 6-0 SU start, USC lost five of its last six games, including the final three in a row. In the season finale, USC was a 5-point home favorite vs. UCLA and lost 38-20.

Louisville (11-2 SU/6-6-1 ATS) lost to Florida State in the ACC championship game. Even with the Seminoles' issues at QB, the Cardinals fell 16-6 as 1-point favorites.

With Williams a no-go for USC, Caesars Sports opened Louisville -6.5, and the line shot to -8 within 20 minutes on Dec. 4. Within a couple hours, the number settled at Cardinals -7.5. The total nudged from 57.5 to 58.

Click here for Vegas Insider senior reporter Patrick Everson's full College Football Bowl Odds: Spreads, Lines, Trends for Every Bowl Game.

Holiday Bowl Betting Resources

  • Date: Wednesday, December 27, 2023
  • TV-Time: FOX, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Petco Park
  • Location: San Diego, California

Holiday Bowl Pick, Prediction

Action Network college football betting expert Collin Wilson offers this prediction:

Unlike the Cotton Bowl a season ago, USC fans don't have to wait for a decision from Caleb Williams. The quarterback has declared for the NFL Draft and will not play, as Miller Moss will get his first start in three seasons as a Trojan.

The junior has produced three touchdown passes on 59 career attempts, nearly all in garbage time.

Key pieces of the Trojans offense have also declared for the draft, from running back MarShawn Lloyd to wide receiver Brenden Rice.

While the transfer portal is a revolving door for head coach Lincoln Riley, Louisville has maintained nearly every contributor on both sides of the ball. The Cardinals are top-20 in Defensive Success Rate and limiting explosives.

Look for the offense to do enough against a USC defense that provided the antidote to every team struggling to put points on the board during the regular season.

Pick: Louisville -7.5

For more college football picks, check out Action Network's College Football Bowl Confidence Pool Rankings: Collin Wilson’s Picks for All 2023 Bowl Games.

Holiday Bowl History

The Holiday Bowl began in 1978 and the matchup currently features schools from the Pac-12 and Big 10, who took over the bowl tie-in from the Big 12. The game takes place at Qualcomm Stadium Stadium from San Diego, California. 

The Pac-12 has lost seven of its nine appearances in this bowl game. Utah got off to a great start in the 2018 installment of the game, but Northwestern erased a 20-3 halftime deficit with a 28-point third quarter to win 31-20 as the 'over' connected. Iowa kept up the Pac-12's recent woes when they absolutely hammered USC by a 49-24 score as short 'dogs.

The COVID-19 global pandemic wiped out the 2020 installment of this game. The game was expected to return on Dec. 28, 2021, with UCLA of the Pac-12 facing NC State of the ACC.

However, mere hours before the Holiday Bowl was to kick off at Petco Park, the Bruins pulled out of the game due to reported COVID issues within its program.

Underdogs have covered in four straight Holiday Bowls, including three outright wins. USC surprised Louisville, 42-28 in the 2023 edition at Petco Park.

Holiday Bowl Betting Results

YearMatchupSpread, TotalsATS Result
2023USC 42 Louisville 28Louisville -4.5, 57.5Underdog, Over
2022Oregon 28 North Carolina 27Oregon -13, 76Underdog, Under
2019Iowa 49 Southern California 24USC -1.5, 54.5Underdog, Over
2018Northwestern 31 Utah 20Utah -6.5, 43.5Underdog, Over
2017Michigan State 42 Washington State 17Michigan State -3, 47.5Favorite, Over
2016Minnesota 17 Washington State 12Washington State -8.5, 61Underdog, Under
2015Wisconsin 23 USC 21USC -4, 50.5Underdog, Under
2014USC 45 Nebraska 42USC -7, 63Underdog, Over
2013Texas Tech 37 Arizona State 23Arizona State -16.5, 72Underdog, Under
2012Baylor 49 UCLA 26UCLA -3, 81.5Underdog, Under
2011Texas 21 California 10Texas -3, 48Favorite, Under
2010Washington 19 Nebraska 7Nebraska -13.5, 55Underdog, Under
2009Nebraska 33 Arizona 0Nebraska -2, 42Favorite, Under
2008Oregon 42 Oklahoma State 31Oregon -1, 74Favorite, Under
2007Texas 52 Arizona State 34Texas -1, 62Favorite, Over
2006California 45 Texas A&M 10California -3.5, 54.5Favorite, Over
2005Oklahoma 17 Oregon 14Oregon -3, 55.5Underdog, Under
2004Texas Tech 45 California 31California -10.5, 68Underdog, Over
2003Washington State 28 Texas 20Texas -9, 57.5Underdog, Under
2002Kansas State 34 Arizona State 27Kansas State -17.5, 62Underdog, Under
2001Texas 47 Washington 43Texas -13.5, 57Underdog, Over
2000Oregon 35 Texas 30Texas -7, 55Underdog, Over
1999Kansas State 24 Washington 20Washington -11, 50.5Underdog, Under
1998Arizona 23 Nebraska 20Nebraska -3.5, 55Underdog, Under
1997Colorado State 35 Missouri 24Colorado State -3, 59.5Favorite, Under
1996Colorado 33 Washington 21--
1995Kansas State 54 Colorado State 21--
1994Michigan 24 Colorado State 14--
1993Ohio State 28 BYU 21--
1992Hawaii 27 Illinois 17--
1991BYU 13 Iowa 13--
1990Texas A&M 65 BYU 14--
1989Penn State 50 BYU 39--
1988Oklahoma State 62 Wyoming 14--
1987Iowa 20 Wyoming 19--
1986Iowa 39 San Diego State 38--
1985Arkansas 18 Arizona State 17--
1984BYU 24 Michigan 17--
1983BYU 21 Missouri 17--
1982Ohio State 47 BYU 17--
1981BYU 38 Washington State 36--
1980BYU 46 SMU 45--
1979Indiana 38 BYU 37--
1978Navy 23 BYU 16--

College Football Bowl Betting Resources

College Football Playoff Odds: Lines, Spreads, Betting Trends for Semifinal Games

College Football Playoff odds for the semifinals are on the board and getting attention, even as debate rages over the four participants. Michigan nabbed the No. 1 ranking and a meeting with No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. No. 2 Washington then faces No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

Here’s everything you need to know about College Football Playoff odds for the semis: opening lines, spreads and betting trends for each game, as multiple oddsmakers provide insights on CFP odds and action. Check back regularly for updates and use our new ESPN BET bonus code VIBONUS to get the most out of your action.

College Football Playoff Odds for Semifinals