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UConn Huskies vs. Oklahoma Sooners 2011 Free Fiesta Bowl Pick

BCS – UConn Huskies vs. OU Sooners Gambling Preview + Predictions

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2011 Fiesta Bowl Preview – Huskies vs. Sooners Lines

Date/Time: Saturday, January 1, 8:30 PM ET
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale AZ
Broadcast: ESPN / ESPN3
Connecticut Huskies vs. Oklahoma Sooners Betting Lines from Justbet.com
Money Line: Connecticut (+500) Oklahoma (-700)
Spread: Oklahoma -17
Over/Under: 55
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Connecticut Huskies vs. No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners Preview

The Fiesta Bowl may be the biggest lopsided of the BCS bowl games with a strong Oklahoma (11-2) squad facing a Connecticut (8-4) team that won the weakest of the BCS conference in the Big East and only became the 4th team in the history of the BCS system to lose 4 games still got an automatic bid. College football odds have Oklahoma as big 17-point favorites with a total of 55.

The Sooners have lost 5 straight BCS bowl games and in 2 of those games they were the heavy favorites like they are in this season’s Fiesta Bowl.

Oklahoma earned their shot in this BCS bowl game with a win over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game 23-20 and Connecticut also won their last game beating Big East foe South Florida 19-16.

UCONN was 3-4 this season and a BCS game looked like a major long shot, but they won their last 5 games of the season to win the Big East.

This season the Huskies were 8-4 ATS and the Sooners were 7-6 ATS. Oklahoma has failed to cover the spread in their last 4 bowl games.

Oklahoma should have no problem winning this game if they can contain UCONN RB Jordan Todman. He won the Big East offensive player of the year award and on the season he rushed for 1,574 yards with 14 TD and he ranked 2nd in the nation averaging 143.1 rushing yards per game. The Sooners’ run defense ranks 62nd in the nation and while they have had their issues this season they held Nebraska and their 8th ranked rushing offense to only 145 rushing yards in the Big 12 title game.

Todman will likely have to carry the offensive load since the Huskies’ passing offense only ranks 112th in the nation averaging 145.1 passing yards per game. QB Zach Frazer (1,202 yards 5 TD 4 INT) only passed for over 200 yards once this season and that was in the first game of the season in a 30-10 loss to Michigan, who has one of the worst pass defenses in the nation. Oklahoma has a decent pass D ranking 51st in the nation and they have come up with 17 INT on the season. If the Sooners can contain Todman they should cruise in this game and it may get ugly.

UCONN and their 48th ranked defense has a tough task in this game, as the Sooners’ offense is solid, especially their passing offense that ranks 4th in the nation. QB Landry Jones (4,289 yards 35 TD) has a couple of big play WR’s in Ryan Broyles (118 rec 1,452 yards 13 TD) and Kenny Stills (53 rec 713 yards 5 TD) and they will be facing a UCONN pass defense that ranks 40th in the nation.

The Huskies may have to pressure Landry to thwart the Sooners’ dynamic passing attack and they have a decent pass rush with 28 sacks on the season. However, the OU offensive line is a big bunch that only allowed 21 sacks this season.

Out of the backfield the 58th ranked run defense of UCONN really has to worry about Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray, who rushed for 1,121 yards and 14 TD and caught 69 passes for 595 yards with 5 TD on the season.

The Huskies are not a very high scoring team while Oklahoma is and if UCONN does not play good defense in this game they may get blown out.

OK, so Oklahoma has not fared well in their last few BCS Bowls, but they are much better than the Huskies on both sides of the ball. Jones and Murray will both have big games, as they will win this game easily and even cover the 17-point spread even though the betting trends point to UCONN covering.

Betting Trends

UCONN is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog and 4-0 ATS in their last 5 games facing a team with a winning record while Oklahoma is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite.

A lot of the betting trends point to an Under pick in this game, but that is an iffy call since the Sooners can really light up the scoreboard.

Pick: Oklahoma -17

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