Saturday, December 29, 2018 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL
Betting Line: Alabama -14
Over/Under: 79.5 points at 5Dimes
In the Orange Bowl, the national semifinals, Alabama is a big 14-point betting favorite against Oklahoma. This game features the Heisman Trophy winner in Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and the runner-up in Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.
Oklahoma Sooners form
Oklahoma won their last seven games of the college football season and avenged their only loss by beating Texas in the Big 12 title game. Murray leads the Sooners, who have the top-ranked offense in the nation at 577.9 yards per game. However, their defense only ranks 108th in the nation. That is the main reason they are such big underdogs in this game.
Alabama Crimson Tide form
Alabama finished the season unbeaten and the only game they were really tested in was the season finale where they edged out Georgia 35-28. They have been in the national semifinals all five years since they were founded and are roaring favourites with online bookmakers to win it all this season. The Tide are loaded on both sides of the ball and rank seventh in the nation in overall offense and 10th in overall defense.
These teams last met in the 2015 season.
This season Oklahoma is 12-1 SU with an ATS record of 5-7-1`and an O/U record of 11-2 and Alabama is 13-0 SU with an ATS record of 8-5 and an O/U record of 8-4-1.
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With the defense that the Sooners have Murray and company will have to light up the scoreboard. The Heisman winner had a huge season, passing for 4,053 yards with 40 touchdowns and rushing for 892 yards with 11 scores. He has a lot of talent around him with two wide receivers gaining over 1,000 yards each in Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb. The running back duo of Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon combined to rush for 1,949 yards and each had 12 touchdowns.
The ‘Bama defense ranks 13th in the nation defending the pass and 18th defending the run. In their win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game the Tide were outgained by the Bulldogs (454 yard to 403 yards), but they forced two turnovers and did not commit any. The Sooners cannot turn the ball over in this game, as if they lose the turnover battle they will lose.
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Alabama is simply stacked on both sides of the ball. They beat four ranked teams this season, including two teams that were in the top five at the time. Tagovailoa is nursing an ankle injury, but will go in this game. While he had a stellar season, he did not have a stellar last game in the win over Georgia, only going 10/25 for 164 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Five players for ‘Bama had at least 524 receiving yards, led by Jerry Jeudy (1,103 yards, 12 TD).
The Sooners got into many shootouts this season and they only rank 96th in the nation giving up an average of 32.4 points per game. They only rank 107th in pass defense and 53rd in run defense. Their front line has to get in the backfield, but that is a tough task facing a great Crimson Tide offensive line.
Oklahoma Sooners betting trends
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games facing teams from the SEC
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games facing a team with a winning record
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games
Alabama Crimson Tide betting trends
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games facing a team with a winning record
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven games
- Over record of 20-5-2 in their last 27 neutral site games
Oklahoma vs. Alabama betting prediction
A 14-point line is a lot to give to a team that has a Heisman-winning quarterback and is the highest-scoring team in the nation. However, the Tide will still cover it. They are much better on the defensive side of the ball and they will force some turnovers. Alabama will win and cover and advance to the BCS title game for the second year in a row.
Get the best odds for Orange Bowl 2018 at 5Dimes
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