No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS)
College Football Allstate Sugar Bowl
Date and Time: Thursday January 2nd, 2014. 8:30PM Eastern
Where: Superdome New Orleans, L.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OU +15/ALA -15
Over/Under Total: 51.5
Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide were a mere Iron Bowl victory away from having the chance to play for their 3rd consecutive National Championship. Instead Auburn senior Chris Davis returned a field goal attempt 109 yards for an improbable game winning touchdown that sealed Alabama's National Championship aspirations in stunning fashion. Instead of a trip to Pasadena, the 3rd ranked Crimson Tide will now travel to New Orleans to battle the no. 11 Oklahoma Sooners inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at the prestigious Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners put together a rather quiet yet effective 10-2 SU mark on the season. The Sooners ended the season by winning 5 of their last 6 games including two victories over top 10 ranked opponents in Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Despite the Sooners strong play to close out the season, Stoops and company will be rather large 15 point underdogs when they meet Alabama inside the Superdome on January 2nd.
Obviously Alabama is a monster of an opponent as the point spread indicates. The Crimson Tide are extremely talented at the skill positions and overpowering in the trenches. Alabama's defense especially has been super this season giving up just 11.3 points per game (2nd in the FBS). Only Texas A&M and Auburn had any significant success against Alabama's defense. Auburn was able to keep Saban's defense off balance with the option read while Johnny Manziel was able to find some success in A&M's quick striking spread offense. The Sooners offense has not been extremely impressive this year especially throwing the football. Oklahoma's pass offense has averaged only 186 yards per game which is 99th in the FBS.
The Sooners have run the ball fairly well with tailbacks Brennan Clay and Damien Williams. Both tailbacks have combined for just less than 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns. However, conventional rushing styles have not had much success against Alabama's defense. Coach Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel will be faced with the task of putting together some type of wrinkle in their offense or other type of game plan to keep the Alabama defense off balance. If not, the Crimson Tide will pin their ears back and sell out to stop the run. Neither starting quarterbacks Blake Bell nor Trevor Knight has proven they can carry the offense on their back. Therefore if either is forced into consistent throwing situations, it could be potentially disastrous for Oklahoma's offense. Coach Stoops has yet to announce who the starting quarterback will be for the Sugar Bowl. However, I personally think Trevor Knight gives the Sooners their best chance against Alabama. Despite Blake Bell being the better passer, Knights' running ability could really help in moving the football against Alabama's tough defense.
On the other side of the ball, Oklahoma's defense has played really well this season holding opponents to 21.3 points per game (22nd in the FBS). The Oklahoma pass defense has been really stout despite the pass happy competition of the Big 12. Alabama quarterback A.J McCarron has been effective throwing the ball by completing 67% passing for 26 touchdowns and just 5 picks. Still McCarron may find that this Oklahoma pass defense is a bit better than advertised. However to beat Alabama, Oklahoma's defense must stop the run. Tailback T.J Yeldon and Kenyan Drake have been outstanding this year in the Crimson Tide backfield. Yeldon leads the team with 1,163 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns and Drake has added another 694 yards with 8 touchdowns. Nobody has had success stopping Alabama's running attack this season. Even in the loss to Auburn and close game with A&M, the Crimson Tide posted well over 200 rushing yards to exceed their average of 212 yards per game. That running game could likely be the major difference again once they meet the Sooners in the Sugar Bowl.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I do not expect this game to be a blowout as picking the Crimson Tide to cover may indicate. However I do believe Alabama's defense keeps Oklahoma to a relatively low scoring total in a 31-10 type ball game. Take Alabama -15!
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Favorite of the Week Pick - Giving points means we start the game down. We're not a real big fan of betting college football favorites as it's similar to trading field goals for touchdowns but stick with us as we buck the odds each week, selecting the favored team with the best chance of covering the spread.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2013 College Football Predictions - Badger gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his pick on who thinks will win the 2014 BCS National Championship game.
2013 Heisman Trophy Predictions - Will Johnny Football repeat? This year's list of "Heisman Hopefuls" is pretty balanced and the award is truly up for grabs. OSU Quarterback Braxton Miller is the favorite at +500 with South Carolina defensive stud JaDeveon Clowney not far behind at +700.
2014 BCS Championship Predictions - College football handicapper Jay Horne gives his picks on who he thinks will win the 2014 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship. Despite not liking to side with heavy favorites, he believes the Alabama Crimson Tide are unstoppable and has high expectations for them to cash his betting ticket at season's end!
Sportsbook - Get a free $100 bet after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
GTBets - Offers a HUGE 100% sign up bonus up to $500! Cool offer allows for you to pick 2 of your favorite college football teams and move the line a full point every time you bet those teams!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - This article is outdated and will be updated next year for the 2013 college football season.
Odds to Win the 2014 BCS Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +500 followed by Oregon at +800, Ohio St. +850, LSU/Texas A&M +1200 and Florida/FSU both at +1400. Check out your school's odds here!
Heisman Trophy Winners - A full list of college football quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who have made history on the field and won the prestigious award.
Fantasy College Football - Draft a fresh team every week! Leagues range from $2 to $420! You can play head to head or in big groups! Payouts take place approx. one hour after the final Saturday game.
The Spread - Who will cover the spread? They will! Offers scores, odds, free game predictions, current news and more!