Cincinnati vs Alabama live stream is today: How to watch the Cotton Bowl online

Desmond Ridder of the Cincinnati Bearcats and Bryce Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide
(Image credit: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images; Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It's almost time to watch the Cincinnati vs Alabama live stream, which has the Crimson Tide heavily favored in its pursuit of winning a 16th national title. Alabama needs just two more wins to accomplish that goal.

Standing in their way is a Bearcats team that is looking for their first ever title while heading into the college football playoffs as an undefeated. It's Bama and the Bearcats when you watch the Cotton Bowl online.

Cincinnati vs Alabama live stream channel, start time

The Cincinnati vs Alabama live stream is today (Dec. 31).
Time — 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT / 8:30 p.m. GMT
• U.S. — Watch on ESPN via Sling or Fubo.TV
• U.K. — Watch on BT Sport    
• Watch anywhere — try ExpressVPN 100% risk free 

The Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) has Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young eager to pick up from where he left off in Bama’s 41-24 SEC Championship win over Georgia. The sophomore signal caller added to his already stellar resume by setting a SEC Championship record with 421 passing yards in the win.

While Young lead’s the Crimson Tide offense, sophomore linebacker Will Anderson leads the defensive unit. Anderson put together a 15.5 sack season, tied with Army’s Andre Carter II for most in the nation.   

The Cincinnati Bearcats (13-0) are looking to stay perfect on the season and add to the history that they’ve already made. After beating Houston 35-20 for the AAC championship, the Bearcats became the first non-Power Five school to make the college football playoffs. Now they’ll also look to be the first to win a playoff game.

Senior quarterback Desmond Ridder will look to lead Cincinnati to a win after throwing for three touchdowns in the conference championship. Junior running back Jerome Ford will also look to stay hot after taking Houston for 187 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries. Ford has run for a touchdown in all but one game this season.

Alabama is currently a big 13.5-point favorite against Cincinnati. The over/under is 57.5. Bama is playing in their seventh playoff game since the creation of the format eight seasons ago.

For more college bowl action, check out how to watch Georgia vs Michigan live stream in the Orange Bowl. 

How to watch the Cotton Bowl live stream from anywhere


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College bowl streaming tip:

If you're away from home and can't watch the Cotton Bowl, you can still see the game. Using the best VPN makes it so that you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town, so you can access the same streaming services you already pay for.

Here's how easy it is to stream the game from anywhere in the world:

1. Get a VPN (we recommend ExpressVPN as the best out there)
2. Connect to the location you want to stream from
3. Use your usual streaming service and watch like normal

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Cotton Bowl: Cincinnati vs Alabama live streams in the US

In the U.S., Cincinnati vs Alabama is going to be broadcast on ESPN, which is available with most cable packages and on two of our favorite streaming services fuboTV and Sling TV.

The game starts at 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT on Friday (Dec. 31).

If you've cut the cord but still want to watch ESPN, you can rely on the very affordable Sling while the more comprehensive channel package comes from fuboTV. They are two of our picks for the best streaming services.

Sling TV:

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Sling TV: Right now, you can sign up and get your first month for just $10. That gives you live TV for a very cheap price. The Sling Orange package comes with ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, CNN and more top channels. 

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Cotton Bowl: Cincinnati vs Alabama live streams in the UK

College football fans across the pond can watch Cincinnati vs Alabama on BT Sport

A great option for non-BT subscribers is the BT Sport Monthly Pass (£25), which lets you watch via an app for a fixed time and doesn't require a lengthy subscription.

The Cotton Bowl live stream starts at 8:30 p.m. GMT Friday night on BT Sport.

Americans abroad could just use the service of their choice, provided they log in via a VPN such as ExpressVPN.

Cotton Bowl: Cincinnati vs Alabama live streams in Canada

Canadian college football fans will need to watch Cincinnati vs Alabama live streams in Canada. It will be carried on TSN 2.  

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Marc Farzetta

Marc is a contributing sportswriter at Tom’s Guide covering the NFL, NBA and MLB as well as various other leagues. He is a graduate of Temple University where he studied Broadcasting and Journalism. Marc’s previous stops include the Trenton Times and NBC Sports Philadelphia. He also worked on the production crew of NBC Sunday Night Football for 11 seasons. When not working, Marc is probably sipping his next espresso to get him ready for more work.