January 2nd 2014 - Posted 5:00 PM Eastern Time
There is one football pick
tonight as we aim to extend our impressive bowl winning streak to 8
games! Regardless of how tonight goes however, we look even more forward
to Friday and the weekend when some mouth-watering matchups present
even more value.
Take the UNDER 52 Total in Alabama vs. Oklahoma risking 2%
This Sugar Bowl matchup
is an interesting one. Even though the Sugar Bowl is one of the bigger
BCS Bowls of the year, both of these teams had much higher hopes this
season. Alabama is coming off a shocking loss in the Iron Bowl, in their
final game of the season when a missed FG was run back 100+ yards with
no time left on the clock to shatter the Crimson Tides' aim of playing
for an unprecedented 3rd straight National Championship! Because of
that game, two things could happen.
1) Alabama could come out a bit disinterested in this game or 2) Alabama will come out and show that they are still the "best" and most dominant team in the country even if they aren't playing for a National Title and clamp down on defense against the Sooners. We expect the latter from Nick Saban's team.
Both of these teams are great at running the football. The Sooners' rushing attack is one of the best in the country ranking 18th in the nation with an average of 235 rushing yards per game. Senior RB Brennan Clay is the leader of the offense and has proven that he is capable of taking a game over by himself. Alabama has always been known for having prolific RB at their disposal and this season is no different. RB T.J. Yeldon is a perfect combination of size and speed at the running back position and has averaged 130 yard on the ground in each of the last 3 games.
As good as both of these teams' ground games have been, it is the defenses that have really shined. The secondary of the Sooners is one of the very best in the country, led by junior DB Julian Wilson and senior CB Aaron Colvin. This duo has the ability to shut down opposing receivers, and that will be key against Alabama QB AJ McCarron and his passing game. Oklahoma ranked 23rd overall in scoring defense and allowed just over 21 points per game this season.
As for Alabama, not much needs to be said. Alabama ranked 2nd overall in scoring defense this season and allowed opponents just 12 point per game! This is a swarming group of ball-hawks who play a smothering and disciplined style of defense which makes it hard for teams to run or pass against. They have held opponents to 108 yards rushing and 166 yard passing on average this season. Both teams could have problems moving the football tonight.
We expect that both teams
will more than likely try to establish their ground game early and that
there will be an early feeling out period for the first couple of drives. Running the football takes time off the clock
and ultimately "speeds" up the game by limiting the number
of possessions each team gets. Both Alabama and Oklahoma
U have shown that their defense can step up and make plays so we don't
expect to see too much passing in this game. This is going to be a game
that is won in the trenches and the team that can gain the most yards
on the ground and win the time of possession will likely take this game.
We also don't expect to see too many drives completed for touchdowns
as this could end up turning into a battle of field goals and field
positions. If both sides limit drives to FGs rather than TD's, the total
won't get near the 52 point mark. We expect this to be an old fashioned,
power football game where defenses reign and points are harder to come
Other notable facts to consider:
- The Under is 6-1 when Oklahoma has faced an SEC opponent.
- In 25 bowl games this season, the Under is 18-6-1 with twelve straight games going Under until yesterday.
- The Under is 34-14 when Alabama has been slated as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points.
- The Under is 3-1 when Oklahoma has played in a dome.
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