Free Orange Bowl Game Prediction: Tigers vs. Sooners Odds
College football betting on the 2015 Orange Bowl sees the Clemson Tigers taking on the Oklahoma Sooners Thursday, December 31st at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
2015 Orange Bowl
Clemson Tigers (13-0) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (11-1)
Date: Thursday, December 31st
Time: 4:00 PM
Venue: Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida
NCAA Football Spread: Oklahoma -3.5
NCAA Betting Total: 64.0
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The undefeated ACC champion Clemson Tigers will be underdogs in the opening game of the College Football Playoff. To think the team favored over them lost at home to Texas in the midst of one of their most disappointing seasons in school history is mindblowing.
But, that team is the Oklahoma Sooners and they have earned every bit of respect they are being given. They have come on strong on both sides of the ball and probably would’ve welcomed a conference championship game as a chance to further build their momentum.
Both teams have been strong on both sides of the ball and it could come down to who has the ball last to determine who faces the Cotton Bowl winner in the National Championship.
Normally, you would think an undefeated team being an underdog would fire up a team that is being disrespected. For example, the undefeated Carolina Panthers entered their Week 12 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys as an underdog and ripped them apart.
There was more to it than the matchup as the Cowboys lost Tony Romo to an injury but the Panthers clearly came in pissed off on a mission.
The difference though is the teams aren’t focused on what the spread says. Sure, it may fire up Clemson a bit but energy and passion won’t win this football game.
Oklahoma is surely well aware of the spread but they’re not treating the Tigers as an inferior opponent. They’re the number one team in the country for a reason.
Led by quarterback DeShaun Watson, the Clemson Tigers have rattled off 16 straight wins and have won 22 of 23 games dating back to last season.
The defense allowed fewer than 24 points in all of their first 7 games, but have given up that amount or more four times in the last six games of the season.
Their dominance has slowed over the last couple months of the year but nevertheless, the Clemson Tigers are still undefeated.
The defense will have its hands full with Baker Mayfield and the hottest offense in college football. But, the defensive prowess of Clemson matches up well with the Oklahoma offensive attack.
Watson will be relied on to go out and win this football game for the Tigers. Coach Dabo Swinney was more careful with Watson last year relying on him as game manager more than a game changer. But, this year he has been just that – a game changer.
Mayfield will find ways to put up points on the defense so it could be up to Watson – possibly on the last possession – to go win this game for Clemson and give them a chance for an undefeated season and more importantly, a National Championship.
When Oklahoma lost at home to Texas, it was difficult to imagine a scenario where the Sooners ended up in a New Year’s Six Bowl – never mind the College Football Playoff.
Given last year’s treatment of the Big 12 by the committee, one berth in the playoff wasn’t even a guarantee for the conference.
And after the loss to Texas, the Sooners still had TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma State left on the schedule.
On top of that, the loss to Texas pointed out some glaring weaknesses with the football team. Fast forward two months and here we are. Oklahoma is looking up at the number one team in the country with a chance at a National Championship.
Well, actually in the eyes of Vegas, they’re looking down. The 3.5 point favorite Sooners will certainly have their hands full.
Heisman finalist Watson had a historic season but Mayfield has shown over the last several weeks he could be the best quarterback in the country. The duo of Mayfield and running back Samaje Perine is one of the scariest combinations in the nation.
The defense is most dangerous in how they create turnovers. The Sooner defense forced 26 turnovers this season – 14th most in the country. That isn’t a great sign for Clemson who have turned the ball over 25 times this season.
The defense will need to force turnovers to win this game because the Clemson defense could slow down the Oklahoma offense a bit – something the Sooners might not be used to.
A fourth quarter turnover could be the difference in this game and enough to get the Sooners to the National Championship.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- • The Tigers are 5-6 ATS in their last 11 bowl appearances.
- • The Tigers are 5-10 ATS in their last 15 away games.
- • The Sooners are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 away games.
- • The Sooners are 9-3 ATS this season.
Free 2015 Orange Bowl NCAA Football Prediction
On paper, this could be one of the most evenly matched bowl games on this year’s bowl schedule. But, the way the teams have been performing over the last month or so signifies a different trend. Both teams have been winning but the Sooners have been playing the best football in the country.
The Watson vs. Mayfield matchup will be an intriguing one. The athletes on Oklahoma’s defense could cause Watson some issues and Mayfield may have his defining moment.
7* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Oklahoma -3.5
The turnover margin will be the difference in this game like many games and Oklahoma should have that advantage. Mayfield and Perine will be too much for the Clemson defense to handle.
2015 Orange Bowl Free Score Prediction: Oklahoma 41 – Clemson 31
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