College Football Betting: Alabama vs. Oklahoma

College Football Betting:  Alabama vs. Oklahoma

Two heavyweight football programs face off on Thursday night in New Orleans as the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Oklahoma Sooners. The Crimson Tide are the defending national champions–or at least they will be until a new champion is crowned in the BCS Title game next Monday night. They had every reason to think they’d be playing in the game before a shocking last second upset to in-state rival Auburn relegated them to a lower tier bowl matchup. The Sooners never really had national title aspirations–Big 12 conference play losses to Texas and Baylor took care of that but finished with an impressive 10-2 record.

Typically in games like this the narrative is that the favored team may not bring a high level of intensity to the proceedings. The thinking is that a team with championship dreams that have been vanquished will manifest their disappointment in their play. We’re not really convinced that will be the case with Nick Saban’s well schooled Crimson Tide team. The last time they lost to Auburn to keep them out of the championship game was 2010 and they went on to beat Michigan State 49-17. It wouldn’t surprise us if this game played out in much the same way. There are few programs in the country with the pride and tradition of excellence as Alabama and there’s every reason to think they’ll show up with a strong effort in quarterback A.J. McCarron’s last game in a Crimson Tide uniform.

Oklahoma will have had a solid season win or lose but this team just isn’t as strong as they were earlier in the year due to the loss of key offensive contributors Trey Millard (injury) and Damian Williams (suspension). There’s also little to suggest that the Sooners’ defense is up to the task of stopping a powerhouse Alabama offense that is capable of doing damage through the air or on the ground. Finally, it’s difficult to go against any Nick Saban coached team after he’s had a month to prepare. The Sooners have fared very poorly over the past few decades when stepping up in class to face an opponent from the SEC (0-7 ATS run) and we look for the ‘Tide to roll’ tonight.