December 30, 2013

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma at Alabama Preview and Pick

The Sugar Bowl is not being played on New Year’s Day and it is not the National Championship game, but it could be argued that it will be the best game to watch this season. The Alabama Crimson Tide lost to the Auburn Tigers but they are still considered by many to be the best team in college football. After missing out on the big game they will have to try and find the motivation to get excited for the Sugar Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma at Alabama Preview

The college football bowl odds for this game opened up with the Crimson Tide listed as (-17) point favorites. It is obvious that although they will not be playing in the big game, that the betting public still believes in this team. Over 70 percent of the early wagering is coming in on the Tide, but the lien has slowly started to decline and it can now be found at (-15) at some of the top rated online sportsbooks.

The Sooners could come into this game with plenty of motivation as they are being overlooked. Many believe that Oklahoma is in a bowl game it has no business playing in, versus the two-time defending national champion Tide, who was a mere second away from potentially playing in a third consecutive BCS title game. The college football betting trends indicate that the Sooners could be in for some trouble. The Sooners are 2-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last 7 bowl games, 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games in January and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 against the SEC.

For Alabama it will be interesting to see if they can get over the loss to Auburn. While senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood said the team has moved past Alabama’s 34-28 loss to Auburn nearly three weeks ago, the players still talk about the game outside of practice and meetings. The loss to Auburn was a painful one, but junior defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan said the team can’t let the Tigers beat them twice, should the loss affect the team’s play against Oklahoma. The Crimson Tide are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game, 8-1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games. Trends do not tell the entire story however.

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma at Alabama Pick

Alabama is the better team, but they have to have a hangover from Auburn and would rather be playing in the big game. They will still win, but don’t expect a blowout.

Oklahoma +15