Oklahoma (12-1) vs Alabama (13-0)
When: Saturday, December 29th 2018
Where: Hard Rock Stadium,
Miami Gardens, Florida
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Alabama -14/78.5
The top two scoring offenses will take to the field in Miami Saturday night in the second National Semifinal, as the Oklahoma Sooners battle the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl, with the winner going to the National Championship Game next week. Not only do these teams score a ton – 97 points per game combined – but they boast the Heisman Trophy winner and runner up. OU’s dynamic Kyler Murray took home the award and leads a Sooner offense that outscored their porous defense en route to winning 12 games, including a Big 12 Championship victory over Texas. Murray passed for just over 4,000 yards with 40 touchdowns against seven interceptions and also rushed for 892 yards and 11 scores, while Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa threw for 3,353 yards and 37 touchdowns and was only intercepted four times. Tagovailoa is still recovering from the left ankle surgery he underwent earlier this month while also dealing with season-long issues with his right knee, but insists he’s ready to go. The Crimson Tide have a huge edge when it comes to the defensive side of the ball, ranking fourth in scoring defense (14.8) and held eight opponents to 17 or fewer points while the Sooners (32.4 per game) gave up 40 or more five times, including in four straight November games. Oklahoma’s only setback this season was back in October, a 48-45 loss to Texas, and will need to slow down an Alabama team that rolled scored 45 or more points on nine times. The Tide are 3-1 SU/ATS in semifinal games, while Oklahoma is coming off a loss to Georgia last year in this same spot.
All-American wide receiver Marquise Brown is dealing with a left lower-leg injury he suffered in the Big 12 title game victory over Texas, but has been upgraded to probable. The junior has 75 receptions for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead a talented offense that includes sophomore WR CeeDee Lamb (57 for 1,049 and 10 scores), freshman running back Kennedy Brooks (1,021 yards, 12 touchdowns) and fellow back Trey Sermon (928 yards, 12 scores). The defense still has some solid players in middle linebacker Kenneth Murray (140 tackles, four sacks) and senior weak-side linebacker Curtis Bolton (130 stops, four sacks), but the secondary was dead last (130th) in FBS, allowing 291.4 yards a game through the air.
Tagovailoa has a bevy of weapons at his disposal also including All-American wideout Jerry Jeudy (59 catches for 1,103 yards and 12 touchdowns) while sophomore Henry Ruggs III (42 catches, 724 yards) has 10 touchdown receptions. The rushing attack boasts three players with at least 495 yards rushing and the trio of Damien Harris, Najee Harris, and Josh Jacobs have combined for 22 rushing scores. Junior All-American defensive tackle Quinnen Williams has 18 tackles for loss – including eight sacks – while making 66 tackles altogether. Junior All-American safety Deionte Thompson (two interceptions, four forced fumbles) and sophomore linebacker Dylan Moses (team-high 76 tackles) are just two more studs from a unit that was 10th overall in yards allowed per game (296.2).
Oklahoma is not going to be able to stop or slow down this Alabama offense, while the Tide will have their hands full with the versatile Murray. The total is high in this one, but I just don’t see many stops on defense to keep this one from getting out of control. 11 of OU’s 13 games have gone over the total and six of them were 90 or more points.
Pick: OVER 77
- Sooners are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. SEC.
- Sooners are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Sooners are 1-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Sooners are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Sooners are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games.
- Sooners are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Sooners are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Sooners are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Crimson Tide are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Crimson Tide are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Crimson Tide are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Crimson Tide are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on grass.
- Crimson Tide are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 5-0 in Sooners last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 11-1 in Sooners last 12 games on grass.
- Over is 7-1 in Sooners last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 16-3-1 in Sooners last 20 games in December.
- Over is 5-1 in Sooners last 6 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 5-1 in Sooners last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 13-3 in Sooners last 16 games overall.
- Over is 4-1 in Sooners last 5 non-conference games.
- Over is 4-1 in Sooners last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Sooners last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 7-2 in Sooners last 9 vs. SEC.
- Under is 8-3 in Sooners last 11 neutral site games.
- Under is 5-2 in Sooners last 7 bowl games.
- Over is 9-4 in Sooners last 13 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Crimson Tide last 4 non-conference games.
- Over is 5-0 in Crimson Tide last 5 vs. Big 12.
- Over is 20-5-2 in Crimson Tide last 27 neutral site games.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Crimson Tide last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 11-4 in Crimson Tide last 15 bowl games.
- Over is 5-2-1 in Crimson Tide last 8 games in December.
- Over is 9-4-1 in Crimson Tide last 14 games overall.
- Over is 9-4-1 in Crimson Tide last 14 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.