On Saturday, the #4 Oklahoma Sooners take on the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide in one half of the College Football Playoffs. This semifinal matchup features two historic football programs looking to capture another national championship.
Alabama comes in as a big favorite, but Oklahoma features the Heisman Trophy winner. Can Oklahoma pull off the big upset or will the Crimson Tide take one more step toward another national title? Kickoff inside Hard Rock Stadium is at 8 PM ET.
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The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:
Alabama Crimson Tide
Current S/U record
2018 ATS Home
2018 ATS Away
2018 O/U Home
2018 O/U Away
Oklahoma vs Alabama CFP Game Preview
These two teams have played against each other on 5 occasions. The Sooners lead the series with a record of 3-1-1. Oklahoma has won three straight games against the Crimson Tide including their last matchup, which was the Sugar bowl in 2014. Oklahoma won that game 45 to 31. These two teams have played 3 bowl games against each other and are tied at 1-1-1.
Oklahoma (12-1) is riding a 7 game winning streak, which includes defeating two Top 14 teams in a row and winning the Big 12 title game to close out the season. The Sooners are one of the only teams that have just as powerful of an offense as the Crimson Tide do.
In the Big 12 title game, the Sooners avenged their only loss of the season by defeating the Longhorns 39-27. With 4 weeks to prepare, OK is looking to win in a shootout over Alabama.
Alabama (13-0) comes into this game with some off-field controversy as they had to suspend multiple players including a starting offensive linemen. Furthermore, their top QB Tua Tagovailoa was dealing with a significant ankle injury that forced him out of the SEC title game win over Georgia. The Bulldogs showed that Alabama is vulnerable. Will Oklahoma be able to do the same?
All year long, Alabama has been the college football betting favorite to win the national championship. And heading into the CFP, they’re still the favorite. As for this game, Alabama opened as a 14 to 15 point favorite at most online betting sites. Currently, the spread sits at 14 with most online sportsbooks.
The Over/Under has seen more movement than the game’s spread. The point total opened at a range of 79 to 81.5 and moved around these last few weeks at many NCAAF football betting sites. Currently, most sportsbooks have the O/U set at 77 total points.
Free NCAAF Playoff Bet and Game Prediction: Oklahoma +14
The last time Oklahoma was a 14-point underdog in a game, was the Sugar Bowl in 2014 against Alabama. As mentioned above, Oklahoma won that game 45-31. Now, I’m not saying they will win this game by two touchdowns, but I absolutely believe they will cover the spread.
Alabama has the #2 scoring offense in the nation at 47.9 ppg. However, the Sooners have the #1 scoring offense at 49.5 ppg. And, the offensive advantages for Oklahoma don’t just stop there. The Sooners are #1 in the nation in total yards at 577.9 ypg. Alabama is 7th with 527.6 ypg.
Alabama has a slight advantage in passing yards at 325.5 ypg to OK’s 324 ypg. However, the Sooners blow away Alabama in rushing yards as OK averages 253.9 ypg and AL averages 202.2 ypg. A big part of that rushing attack is OK QB Kyler Murray the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner.
Murray has tallied 882 rushing yards this season, which ranked him 74th overall in the nation. That’s 700 more rushing yards than Tua’s 190. Furthermore, Murray tallied 4,053 passing yards to Tua’s 3,353 yards. In the TD production, Murray also has the advantage there with 51 total TDs to Tua’s 42 total TDs.
When it’s all said and done, Murray will be the best player on the field and a huge reason why Oklahoma keeps this game close until the end. The biggest reason why I don’t pick them to win outright is because they are greatly inferior to Alabama on the defensive side of the ball.
Alabama is 10th in total yards allowed at 295.4 ypg, 4th in scoring at 14.8 ppg, 18th against the run at 117 ypg, and 13th against the pass at 178.4 ypg.
Oklahoma doesn’t even rank in the top 50 for any of these defensive categories. With that said, they did play their best game of the year in the Big 12 championship as they held the Longhorns to 27 points.
Speaking of Texas, they play Georgia in the Sugar Bowl this year. The Bulldogs had a chance late in SEC title game to beat Alabama, but fell short once again as they lost 35-28. Georgia racked up 454 total yards against Alabama, which gives confidence to Oklahoma’s offense who’s more explosive than the Bulldogs.
Alabama is going to put up at least 30 points against this poor Oklahoma defense. However, I believe the Sooners will keep pace with the Crimson tide and this game should come down to whoever has the ball last.
Alabama is 4-4 ATS versus Big 12 opponents and 2-2 ATS in their last 4 bowl games. Oklahoma is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the SEC. They’re also 18-2 SU against teams with winning records.
The Over/Under has potential here with the two most explosive offenses in the FBS, but typically games like this hit the Under because of improved defensive play. I would stay away from the O/U.
I really like Oklahoma’s moneyline of +445 as it offers a lot of value. However, the smart play is the spread of 14 points. Murray is one of the best players in FBS and he gives OK the advantage over Alabama. I’m taking the Sooners to cover the spread, but lose 38 to 34 in a great game.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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