2006 Independence Bowl Preview and Pick

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2006 Independence Bowl Preview and Pick: Oklahoma State vs. Alabama ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>

Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-6) -2, o/u 51 vs. ALABAMA Crimson Tide (6-6) on Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN
by Ultimatecapper.com Staff

The Oklahoma State Cowboys come into this game losers of 3 of their last 4 games. The cause of the problems for the Cowboys has been their defense as they have an allowed giving up an average of 30 points per game since the conference season started.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have also struggled down the stretch as they have lost 4 of their last 5 games. The problem for the Crimson Tide has been the offensive side of the ball as they have only averaged 14 points in those 4 losses.

The Cowboys, 5th place in the Big 12 South division, is back in the bowl season after missing out last year. They had 3 year bowl streak before last season’s struggles.

The Crimson Tide, 4th place in the West division of the Southeastern Conference, struggled to a 2-6 record in conference play. These struggles led to the firing of head coach Mike Shula and they will be coached by interim coach Joe Kines, the current defensive coordinator.

These two teams have no recent meetings and did not have any common opponents this year.

Oklahoma State has posted a 5-5 record against the spread this season. Alabama was 5-6 against the number this year.

The Cowboys are led by Sophomore QB Bobby Reid who is completing 55.9% of his passes and has thrown for 2,054 yards this season. He has thrown for 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.

The Crimson Tide are led by Sophomore QB John Parker Wilson who has a 57.2% completion rate and has thrown for 2,539 yards this season. He has 16 touchdowns and has thrown 9 interceptions.

Oklahoma State averages 208 yards rushing per game and their defense allows 150 yards rushing per game. Alabama is outrushing their opponents by a margin of 124-118.

The Cowboys rank 8th in scoring offense in Division 1 (out of 119 teams) by averaging 35.3 points per game. Alabama is ranked 73rd in scoring offense by averaging 22.2 points per game.

Oklahoma State is ranked 16th in total yards per game with 409.0 yards per game. Alabama is ranked 60th with an average of 340.9 yards per game.

The Cowboys defense is ranked 80th giving up an average 25.2 points per game. The Crimson Tide’ defense is ranked 29th giving up an average 18.0 points per game.

Oklahoma State’s defense is ranked 92nd in total yards by giving up an average of 371.4 yards per game. Alabama is ranked 18th giving up 287.6 yards per game.

Oklahoma State averages 6.4 yards per play while giving up an average of 5.7 yards per play. Alabama averages 5.2 YPP while also giving up 5.2 YPP.

The Over/Under is 7-4 in Oklahoma State games this season, 7-5 in ALABAMA games.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank the Cowboys #49 at 74.46. Alabama ranks #45 at 75.33.

The opening line on this game was Oklahoma State -3 with a total of 51. The line has been bet down to Oklahoma State -2 while the total has stayed 41. At the time of this writing the betting public was backing Alabama by a margin of 51%-49%.

The Ultimatecapper Prediction: This should be an interesting matchup as Oklahoma State has a very good offense and a poor defense while Alabama is just the opposite with a good defense and a poor offense. We suggest a wager on the Cowboys as we don’t see Alabama putting up many points even against the porous Cowboy defense.

Oklahoma State 31 ALABAMA 17

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