Orange Bowl Odds: Oklahoma vs. Alabama Betting Preview, Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01:  Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (R) reacts after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 35-28 in the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Alabama is 10-4 straight up and 8-5-1 against the spread in bowls and national championship games under coach Nick Saban. Throw in SEC title contests and the Crimson Tide are 16-5 SU and 11-9-1 ATS in the postseason for Saban. In the second of the two College Football Playoff semifinals, Alabama runs with Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl in suburban Miami.


College football point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 14.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 53.3-36.4 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)


Why the Oklahoma Sooners can cover the spread

The Sooners started 5-0 this season, with wins at pesky Iowa State and in overtime over a very game Army outfit. Oklahoma then lost the Red River Shootout to Texas on a late field goal but proceeded to win its last six games, putting up huge offensive numbers, to finish 8-1 in Big 12 play. The Sooners then got some sweet revenge on the Longhorns with a 39-27 victory in the Big 12 championship game.

So OU is playing in the CFP for the third time in the last four seasons.

That conference title tilt against Texas was tied at 27-27 into the fourth quarter but the Sooners scored the last 12 points for their fourth straight Big 12 championship and the cover as nine-point favorites.

Oklahoma out-gained eight of its last nine opponents and out-rushed eight of its last nine foes. The Sooners also hit the 50-point mark five times in their last seven games.


Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread

The Crimson Tide rolled through their schedule this season, beating eight teams that eventually made bowls, most in blowout fashion. Alabama won its first three games by an average score of 57-9, beat Texas A&M by three touchdowns and toppled what turned out to be a pretty good Missouri team by four touchdowns.

The Tide then threw back-to-back shutouts against LSU and Mississippi State and finished with a 52-21 Iron Bowl rout over Auburn to finish 8-0 in SEC play. Alabama then rallied from a 28-14 third-quarter deficit to beat Georgia in the SEC championship game 35-28. So the Tide are playing in the CFP for the fifth year in a row.

Alabama actually was out-gained by the Bulldogs in that conference title tilt, but that was the first time that happened to the Crimson Tide this season.

Alabama was favored by at least three touchdowns 11 times this season and still managed to go 8-5 ATS. The Tide are also 6-2 ATS on the college football odds when favored by four touchdowns or less.


Smart betting pick

These teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in scoring this season, but Alabama owns a huge advantage on defense. Also, while Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is dealing with a sore ankle, backup Jalen Hurts led the comeback in the SEC championship game victory. Smart money here gives the points.


College football betting trends

Alabama is 53-0 SU in its last 53 games as a double-digit favorite.

Alabama is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.

The total has gone over in six of Alabama's last eight games in December.


All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.


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