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As the Music City Bowl approaches its 20th anniversary, moneyline bettors can fondly look to the Nashville, Tennessee, staple as college football’s most likely site for unlikely postseason upsets.

The game – which has historically involved a Southeastern Conference squad suiting up against representatives of the Big East (1999-2001), Big Ten (2002-2005) and ACC (2006-present) – tends to invite top teams that happen to have had a down year.

The debut of the Music City Bowl in 1998 was evidence of this trend, with Alabama battling Virginia Tech, but the festivities were relocated from Vanderbilt Stadium to the Tennessee Titans’ Nissan Stadium one year later. And in the first game there, Syracuse’s 20-13 win over Kentucky as a 2.5-point underdog started a particularly odd run of results.

Dogs won outright in eight of the first 10 Music City Bowls at Nissan Stadium, giving new meaning to the venue’s penchant for miracles among pigskin pundits and fans. Kentucky came into the 2006 meeting with Clemson as heavy 11-point dogs but wound up winning 28-20. In 2002, Minnesota prevailed 29-14 with Arkansas laying 8.5 points. And as recently as 2014, Notre Dame overcame an 8.5-point spread to outlast LSU 31-28.

Favorites won the Music City Bowl just seven times overall prior to 2017, but in four of the next seven games after 2010 (’10, ’11, ’12, ’16).

Tennessee notched its first win in the bowl in 2016, beating Nebraska 38-24 as a 3-point favorite, while mid-major Vanderbilt is a perfect 2-0 at its hometown bowl.

This year, the Music City Bowl will feature a matchup between the Auburn Tigers and the Purdue Boilermakers. For the latest odds, a free pick and handicapping information, visit our Music City Bowl Game Center

Music City Bowl History
Year Bowl Team Score Team Score Spread ATS Winner SU Winner
1998 Music City Bowl Virginia Tech 38 Alabama 7 +5 VTECH VTECH
1999 Music City Bowl Syracuse 20 Kentucky 13 -2.5 SYRACU SYRACU
2000 Music City Bowl Mississippi 38 West Virginia 49 +4 WESTV WESTV
2001 Music City Bowl Boston College 20 Georgia 16 -4 BOST.C BOST.C
2002 Music City Bowl Arkansas 14 Minnesota 29 -8.5 MINN MINN
2003 Music City Bowl Wisconsin 14 Auburn 28 -3 AUBRN AUBRN
2004 Music City Bowl Minnesota 20 Alabama 16 -3 MINN MINN
2005 Music City Bowl Virginia 34 Minnesota 31 -6.5 VIRGNA VIRGNA
2006 Music City Bowl Kentucky 28 Clemson 20 -11 KENTUC KENTUC
2007 Music City Bowl Florida State 28 Kentucky 35 -7 Push KENTUC
2008 Music City Bowl Boston College 14 Vanderbilt 16 +5 VANDY VANDY
2009 Music City Bowl Kentucky 13 Clemson 21 -6.5 CLEM CLEM
2010 Music City Bowl North Carolina 30 Tennessee 27 +1 UNC UNC
2011 Music City Bowl Wake Forest 17 Mississippi State 23 -7 WAKE MIS.ST
2012 Music City Bowl Vanderbilt 38 N.C. State 24 +6.5 VANDY VANDY
2013 Music City Bowl Mississippi 25 Georgia Tech 17 +3 OLE MISS OLE MISS
2014 Music City Bowl Notre Dame 31 LSU 28 -8.5 Notre Dame Notre Dame
2015 Music City Bowl Texas A&M 21 Louisville 27 -3 Louisville Louisville
2016 Music City Bowl Nebraska 24 Tennessee 38 -9.5 Tennessee Tennessee
2017 Music City Bowl Kentucky 23 Northwestern 24 -8 Kentucky Northwestern
2018 Music City Bowl Auburn 63 Purdue 14 +3.5 Auburn Auburn