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Fiesta Bowl Betting History

The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl is played yearly in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Along with the big game, the Fiesta Bowl Parade makes its way through downtown Phoenix complete with marching bands, floats and Arizona celebrities like Randy “the Big Unit” Johnson, Shane Doan and Kurt Warner.

Betting History of the Fiesta Bowl

The Western Athletic Conference watched its conference champions miss out on bowl invites in 1968 and 1969. If that wasn’t enough heartache, an undefeated Arizona State squad had to settle for the less respected Peach Bowl in 1970 – the Peach Bowl is a big deal now but it wasn’t back in the day. After all that, the Fiesta Bowl was born because everyone loves a good fiesta as much as they love millions of peaches.

The inaugural game in 1971 pitted a 9-1 ASU team against 8-2 Florida State. In a sign of things to come, the Sun Devils knocked off the Seminoles in a 45-38 thriller. ASU won four of the first five Fiesta Bowls on its home field in Tempe, Arizona. Their last appearance came in 1983, when they defeated Oklahoma.

During the intervening decades, the game shifted conference allegiance from WAC (1971-1978) to an at-large system with the “Power Five” conferences sending top-tier talent. From 1980 through today, the Fiesta Bowl has featured two AP Top 25-ranked teams every year except 1995 when No. 4-ranked Colorado beat unranked Notre Dame.

Over time, the Fiesta Bowl has become an increasingly prominent postseason spectacle, beginning with the 1987 edition. That year, top-ranked Miami battled second-ranked Penn State. In a showdown of 11-0 juggernauts – also, a great name for a wrestling tag team – the Nittany Lions prevailed 14-10 to capture the de facto national championship.

One of the sport’s most memorable upsets occurred in 2007 at the first Fiesta Bowl played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Despite being undefeated, Boise State was a 7-point underdog against Oklahoma but won outright in a 43-42 overtime classic. Favorites covered easily on the betting lines in the Fiesta Bowl in 2015 and 2016, but underdogs won outright in the two prior editions of the game.

Last year’s Fiesta Bowl featured the No. 11-ranked Washington Huskies taking on the No. 9-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State came into the bowl on a three-game winning streak during which they averaged 52.3 points. The Huskies were also keeping scoreboard operators busy during the season by scoring 37 or more points on eight occasions. This marked the first Fiesta Bowl appearance for Washington. Penn State had won all six of its previous appearances. With the total set at 54.5 and the home spread at -3.0, the final score was 35-28 for Penn State. Those who took the OVER were able to win their totals bets and point spread bettors who took Penn State were able to clean up too.

2018 Fiesta Bowl

January 1, 2019, is when the Fiesta Bowl will be played between the No. 11-ranked LSU Tigers (9-3) and the No. 8-ranked UCF Knights (12-0). For the latest odds, a free pick and handicapping information, visit our Fiesta Bowl Game Center

LSU by the Numbers
  • Conference: SEC
  • ATS: 6-6
  • ATS Home: 4-4
  • ATS Away: 2-2
  • O/U: 7-5
  • O/U Home: 5-3
  • O/U Away: 2-2
UCF by the Numbers
  • Conference: American
  • ATS: 9-3
  • ATS Home: 6-2
  • ATS Away: 3-1
  • O/U: 4-8
  • O/U Home: 3-5
  • O/U Away: 1-3

How to bet on the Fiesta Bowl

Betting on any college football game – whether it’s a bowl game or a regular-season matchup – requires research and a basic understanding of how odds work. The good thing is, OddsShark’s NCAA football pages have everything you need to make smart Fiesta Bowl picks.

These are the types of bets we recommend making on the Fiesta Bowl:

  • A moneyline bet on the Fiesta Bowl involves picking a winner
  • An OVER/UNDER or totals bet means you predict if the total combined score from both teams will be OVER or UNDER a certain amount
  • Point spread betting requires you to decide if the favorite or the underdog is going to win or lose by a set number of points
  • Props are bets made on individual players (how many rushing yards will so-and-so have, how many sacks will so-and-so have, etc.), and non-football related things like who will win the coin toss

Where to bet on the Fiesta Bowl

Now that you’re well-versed in all things Fiesta Bowl, why not bet on it? Any of the sportsbooks we recommend here are safe and reputable places to make your bowl game wagers.

Fiesta Bowl Bites
  • In 1996, BYU students and professors burned bags of Tostitos to protest their fifth-ranked team not receiving an invite to the Fiesta Bowl.
  • This bowl has awarded the MVP title to many future NFLers like Deshaun Watson, Alex Smith, Tedy Bruschi and Matt Millen
  • NCAA Division I FBS independent schools have made the most appearances in the Fiesta Bowl with 20.
Fiesta Bowl History
YearBowlTeamScoreTeamScoreSpreadATS WinnerSU Winner
1995Fiesta BowlFlorida24Nebraska62-3.5NEBRNEBR
1996Fiesta BowlPenn State38Texas15-1PENNSTPENNST
1997Fiesta BowlSyracuse18Kansas State35-4KAN.STKAN.ST
1998Fiesta BowlFlorida State16Tennessee23+5.5TENNTENN
1999Fiesta BowlTennessee21Nebraska31-3.5NEBRNEBR
2000Fiesta BowlNotre Dame9Oregon State41-3OREGSTOREGST
2001Fiesta BowlOregon38Colorado16-3OREGOREG
2002Fiesta BowlOhio State31Miami24-12OHIOSTOHIOST
2003Fiesta BowlKansas State28Ohio State35+6.5OHIOSTOHIOST
2004Fiesta BowlPittsburgh7Utah35-16UTAHUTAH
2005Fiesta BowlNotre Dame20Ohio State34-4.5OHIOSTOHIOST
2006Fiesta BowlBoise State43Oklahoma42-7BOISEBOISE
2007Fiesta BowlWest Virginia48Oklahoma28-6WESTVWESTV
2008Fiesta BowlOhio State21Texas24-9.5OHIOSTTEXAS
2009Fiesta BowlBoise State17TCU10-7BOISEBOISE
2010Fiesta BowlConnecticut20Oklahoma48-16OKLAOKLA
2011Fiesta BowlStanford38Oklahoma State41-5STANFOOKLAST
2012Fiesta BowlOregon35Kansas State17+8OREORE
2013Fiesta BowlUCF52Baylor42-6.5UCFUCF
2014Fiesta BowlBoise State38Arizona30-2.5Boise StateBoise State
2015Fiesta BowlNotre Dame28Ohio State44-4.5Ohio StateOhio State
2016Fiesta BowlOhio State0Clemson31+1.5ClemsonClemson
2017Fiesta BowlWashington28Penn State35-3.5Penn StatePenn State
2018Fiesta BowlLSU40UCF32+7.5LSULSU