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Our streaming expert has the best ways to watch the Cotton Bowl for free without cable

You’ve got a number of free trials you can choose from of various lengths and breadths.

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Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

It might be a couple of weeks earlier than we had hoped, but the No. 7 Ohio State football team will wrap up its 2023 season tonight as it takes on the No. 9 Missouri Tigers in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. The game will be broadcast on ESPN — more on that momentarily — but the matchup gives Ryan Day and his squad an opportunity to take a look at what the team could look like next fall. While we are still waiting final decisions from more than a half-dozen Buckeye starters, the vibe around the program is that there will be far more familiar faces in the scarlet and gray next season than many of us anticipated.

So, that makes tonight’s game increasingly important and exciting. So, while it is technically just an exhibition game, the Buckeyes are approaching the matchup as if it is a must-win, so no OSU fan is going to want to miss this game. But, I know it can be incredibly confusing to find the best way to watch a game in today’s entertainment landscape. Fortunately for you, I am something of a streaming expert... no really, I write about streaming services for a living. So, I am going to walk you through the best — and cheapest — ways for you to stream today’s game.

Also, if you want to put a little money on the game over at DraftKings Sportsbook, not only would it make what could be a blowout even more exciting, but you could make enough cash to pay for a full month of cable or streaming!


How can I watch the Ohio State vs. Missouri in the Cotton Bowl?

Game Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Broadcasters: Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill
Betting Line: Ohio State -4.5 | 49 o/u
Matt’s Prediction: Ohio State 31, Missouri 21
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.


Best Streaming Option to Watch Ohio State vs. Missouri in the Cotton Bowl: DIRECTV STREAM | 5-Day Free Trial

I know that this will make a ton of Buckeye fans angry, but the Cotton Bowl is being broadcast on ESPN — oh, the horror, right? This will be the first time all season that OSU has played on the worldwide leader in sports, so if you are a cord-cutter, I’ll break down the best ways to watch the game.

Fortunately, ESPN is arguably the most important cable channel in all of television, so it is a staple on the standard package of all live TV streaming services. So, if you are looking to stream the game, DIRECTV STREAM is your best option.

The streamer has the only guaranteed multi-day free trial in the industry and provides the most top cable channels of all of its competitors. The basic, Entertainment package comes with all of the major network channels — all of which have college football — ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. It also has all of the other ESPN channels as well as FS1 and FS2. Then, if you want to upgrade, other packages include the ACC Network, Big Ten Network, ESPNU, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, Longhorn Network, and more.

What’s great about DIRECTV STREAM’s free trial is that you are able to sign up for whatever package you want for free. You don’t have to worry about being charged for upgraded plans until after you decide to stick with it. So, you can simply sign up for the top-tier Premier package — which normally costs $154.99 per month — enjoy all 140 channels for five days and then cancel.


Other Streaming Options for the Cotton Bowl:

Fubo: $84.99 per month, at least a one-day free trial
Sling TV: $40 per month, 50% off first month, no free trisl
Hulu + Live TV: $69.99 per month, comes with Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ included, no free trisl
YouTube TV: $72.99 per month, no free trisl


Join the conversation

Below is your Ohio State vs. Missouri Cotton Bowl game thread. Be respectful, be kind and — as always — keep it classy, BuckeyeNation. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s finish the season strong!

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.