Free Orange Bowl Prediction: Crimson Tide vs Sooners Odds
Looking for Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oklahoma Sooners free picks? Orange Bowl betting sees the Crimson Tide taking on the Sooners Saturday December 29th at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Alabama Oklahoma 2018 Orange Bowl free pick.
College Football Handicapping: 2018 Orange Bowl
(13-0) Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oklahoma Sooners (12-1)
Date: Saturday, December 29th 2018
Time: 8:00 pm EST
Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
NCAA Football Spread: Bama -14
NCAA Betting Total: 81
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The premier national semifinal game is played in south Florida on Saturday night of Dec. 29, with Big 12 stalwart Oklahoma locking helmets with the dynastic Alabama Crimson Tide. Two lethal offenses meet each other at the Hard Rock Stadium, so we should see the scoreboard lit up early and often en route to the match-up for the national title, where the winner of this game will play either Clemson or Notre Dame.
This game has the special distinction of featuring the two Heisman Trophy frontrunners in quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Tua Tagavailoa. Murray brought home the hardware, being the second consecutive Oklahoma QB to win the award, and Tua finished as runner-up. Both of these players absolutely light up the aerial attack, and in the modern game of football, that’s the main reason why Alabama and Oklahoma are ranked first and fourth in the country, respectively.
Alabama Crimson Tide
For decades to tell anyone in Dixieland that a coach could come along and supplant the deification of Bear Bryant, it would be blasphemy. But that’s exactly what Nick Saban has done in the last decade in Tuscaloosa. In 12 seasons, Saban has won over 87% of his games (140-20), to go with five National Championships, and if they win on the 29th, ‘Bama will make another title game.
Alabama has supplanted programs like Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami and USC before it as the unquestioned top dog in the sport. The Tide are a threat for the title every year and they simply pump out NFL prospects like it’s nothing. This season, the brightest stars are Tua, a pair of Harrises toting the rock (Damien and Najee, no relation, who’ve combined for 1,450 rush yards and 11 TDs) and WRs Jerry Jeudy (1,103 receiving yards, 11 TDs) and Henry Ruggs (724, 10). The beat goes on for the organization that is easily the biggest deal in the state.
The Tide can play some defense too, as evidenced by their being ranked 12th nationally in defensive yards allowed and fourth in the country in points yielded per game (just over 14, barely two TDs per). You consider that combination and it’s not hard to see why Alabama was the SEC champion, yet again.
Murray is truly a gifted athlete. He is tearing up offense at prestigious Oklahoma, won the Heisman and actually might be more focused on baseball than football. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics and would surely work his way up their farm system if he chooses that path. On the gridiron, Murray was good for an eye-popping 4,053 passing yards and 40 TDs with just seven interceptions; a damn near perfect season for the junior from Allen, Texas.
So who’s been the beneficiary of Murray’s distribution? Mainly the WR duo of Marquise Brown (1,318 yards, 10 TDs) and CeeDee Lamb (1,049, 10). If that’s not tricky enough to stop, OU is also really good at running the ball. Their offensive balance is worthy of envy. Freshman RB Kennedy Brooks, sophomore Trey Sermon and Murray has combined for 391 carries, 2,841 yards and 35 TDs. Yep, pretty ridiculous.
Oklahoma’s offense has been able to drop points on any and all opposition, but it might have met its match in the Alabama ‘D’. The only slip-up OU had all season was a narrow 48-45 loss to rival Texas in the Red River Shootout, and even there they scored 45. But, perhaps the Achilles’ heel of the entire showdown is Oklahoma’s defense. It really isn’t good; they hemmoraged points on several occasions this year and the Sooners rely on their deadly attack to hold them in good stead during barnburners. That strategy might not hold water against a good defense like the Tide.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Over is 11-1 in OKLA last 12 games on grass.
- Over is 6-1-1 in OKLA last 8 games as an underdog.
- Under is 16-3-1 in OKLA last 20 games in December.
- Over is 20-5-2 in ALA last 27 neutral site games.
- Over is 11-4 in ALA last 15 bowl games.
- Over is 5-2-1 in ALA last 8 games in December.
Free Orange Bowl NCAA Football Pick
The Sooners should have a good shot at scoring a few touchdowns, but Tua, who has been injured but plans to play in the Orange Bowl, must be be licking his chops at the prospects of exploiting OU’s lacklustre defense.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: OU ATS
Hopefully both offenses are functioning at their best, because we could be in for a real thriller if this match-up turns into a shootout. It’s really Oklahoma’s best chance at winning, is to simply out-strength a strength of Alabama’s. With Murray and his supporting cast of skill players, the Sooners have the pieces to do it.
The age-old cliche is that ‘defense wins championships’, but it’s also true that with such good attacks, enough defense is all you need to let a team’s scoring potential do the heavy lifting. That’s likely what will happen on Dec. 29th in Miami at the vaunted Orange Bowl in the national semifinal.
2018 Orange Bowl Free Score Prediction: Alabama 42 – Oklahoma 35
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