Alabama vs Oklahoma
2018 Playoffs Betting Pick
When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
Live Stream: WatchESPN
2018 Orange Bowl Betting Lines: Alabama Crimson Tide -14 (Total 77)
Partly Cloudy: 24°C/75°F
Cloud Cover: 32%
Wind: 5 mph SE
Stadium Type: Open
Alabama vs Oklahoma 2018 Orange Bowl Betting Trends
- Sooners are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. SEC
- Sooners are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win
- Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- Crimson Tide are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win
- Oklahoma is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma’s last 5 games
- Alabama is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of Alabama’s last 14 games
Alabama Betting Preview
Will the Tide have Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa? In his first season as the full-time starter, Tagovailoa passed for 37 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He struggled in the SEC championship before leaving with a sprained ankle but is widely expected to start and thinks he will be 100 percent.
Tagovailoa had surgery the morning after the SEC championship game against Georgia and used a walking boot and medical scooter the following week. When he went to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, Alabama’s head athletic trainer, Jeff Allen, traveled with him. Tua was the Heisman favorite all season but lost it in that final game, most likely, to Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.
Alabama’s 35-28 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game was the 54th for members of the Crimson Tide’s senior class. The group has posted a record of 54-3 (.947), won two national championships and three Southeastern Conference championships, and has appeared in four College Football Playoffs. The 54 wins surpass Alabama’s 2017 senior class (53-5; .914) for the most wins by a senior class in NCAA history.
Over the last 10 seasons (2009-18), Alabama has spent 82 weeks as the nation’s top-ranked team. The rest of the Football Bowl Subdivision combined has spent 79 weeks at No. 1 over that same span. Alabama is 88-49-4 (.638) all-time in 141 neutral site contests. The Tide are 2-0 in neutral site games this season. The Crimson Tide are 20-5 (.800) in neutral site games during head coach Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama.
Alabama’s scoring differential stands at 33.1 points per game (47.9-14.8). A big reason for the margin is the Crimson Tide’s performance following a turnover. UA has scored 118 points off 21 opponent giveaways this season, scoring on 18 of the turnovers. The Tide defense has directly accounted for 35 points on four interception returns and a fumble return, while the offense has posted 83 points on its 15 post-turnover possessions.
Oklahoma Betting Preview
Kyler Murray had a historic season in becoming the second straight OU quarterback to win the Heisman. In addition to throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 40 scores, Murray ran for 892 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 51 touchdowns responsible for equaled Haskins for the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He’s on pace to become the first FBS starting quarterback to average at least 300 passing yards and 60 rushing yards per game.
Only one OU team (51.1 in 2008) averaged more points per game for a season than this year’s squad is averaging (49.5). And only one Sooners team (579.6 in 2017) averaged more yards per game for an entire campaign than this year’s group is averaging (577.9). Oklahoma’s 8.7 yards per play would set a single-season FBS record (OU’s record of 8.3 was set last year).
Murray, a junior, is the Sooners’ seventh Heisman Trophy winner, tying the school with Notre Dame and Ohio State for the most by a program all-time. Oklahoma is the first team to win consecutive Heisman Trophies with different players since Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis of Army in 1945 and 1946. This could be Murray’s final college game if he loses. That’s because Murray was a first-round draft pick of MLB’s Oakland A’s and plans to dedicate himself to baseball going forward. Some think he might change his mind and opt for the NFL but he’d have to repay a $4.66 million bonus.
OU is making its 20th Orange Bowl appearance, more than any other school. The program’s 12 Orange Bowl wins also pace the country. Four of the Sooners’ seven national championships culminated with Orange Bowl wins.
Oklahoma is 7-13-2 (.364) all-time against the AP No. 1 team. When the Sooners are ranked in the AP’s top 10, though, they are 7-6-2 (.533) against the No. 1 squad. The last time they played the AP No. 1 team was in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game in Miami (Florida beat No. 2 OU 24-14). This will mark the fourth occasion for Oklahoma to face the AP No. 1 team in the Orange Bowl, with the Sooners owning a 2-1 record. No. 4 OU beat Maryland 7-0 in the 1954 game and No. 3 OU downed Penn State 25-10 in the 1986 game to claim the 1985 national title. In the 2005 game, which doubled as the BCS National Championship Game, USC beat the No. 2 Sooners 55-19.
Orange Bowl Betting Prediction:
Two touchdowns is a lot to give in a playoff game but I am going to do it. Well, I am waiting to see if the dog gets more action so I can get Alabama at 13 but I will take -14 if I have to. The Sooners defense is non-existent. Alabama can score 50+ on them and I do not have the Sooners scoring more than 30 points. The only worry is a late cover with a meaningless touchdown.