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Oklahoma vs. Alabama Free Pick – Odds & SUGAR BOWL Predictions

OU vs Bama NCAAF Handicapping

Alabama watched its hopes of playing for a third straight national championship fade away on the final play of the regular season, so it’s not a stretch to wonder if the third-ranked Crimson Tide can get it done against No. 11 Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan.2, in New Orleans.

ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL
Date: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
Venue:
 Mercedes-Benz Superdome
City:  New Orleans
O/U Odds: 51.5
Spread: -15 Alabama

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One of the few programs in the country that can rival Alabama’s storied history, the Sooners (10-2) finished the 2013 regular season by beating archrival Oklahoma State, and will be making their 15th consecutive bowl appearance under coach Bob Stoops, who must decide who he ill start at quarterback on Thursday.

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A decided underdog in this one, Oklahoma’s three-game bowl win streak was snapped last year when they were blown out by Johnny Manziel and former Big 12 rival Texas A&M, so Stoops decision off either going with senior Blake Bell or redshirt freshman Trevor Knight is a big one.

The 6-6, 220-pound Bell started eight games for the Sooners this season and was instrumental in helping Oklahoma rally past the Cowboys when Knight went down with a shoulder injury.
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Knight, however, is a dual threat QB, and could inflict the most damage against an Alabama defense that has struggled against similar-style quarterbacks this season.

Regardless, Stoops will need plenty of effort from running back Brennan Clay, who rushed for 913 yards, including 200 against Kansas State, to fuel a ground attack that ranked among the top 20 nationally all season long.

Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide’s (11-1) last visit to the Sugar Bowl is no doubt etched in their minds, as this season marks the fifth-year anniversary of their loss to Utah.

The Sooners will have their hands full trying to contain Maxwell Award winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up A.J. McCarron.

The senior QB threw for 26 touchdowns against only five interceptions this season and when coupled with running back T.J. Yeldon, produces a menacing offensive attack.

Yeldon rushed for 1,163 yards and 13 scores while the Alabama defense did its job, ranking No. 2 nationally, allowing 11.7 points per game and holding nine of 12 opponents to 10 points or fewer.

Matt’s Free Prediction

Alabama’s Nick Saban is probably the best coach in college football with four national championships, one of which came at the expense of Stoops and Oklahoma, when he led Louisiana State to a 21-14 victory over the Sooners in the 2004 Sugar Bowl.

I expect a barnburner here with Bama’ coming out on top.

Alabama 35, Oklahoma 28

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