Alabama-Oklahoma CFP Semifinal Betting Odds, Tips & Picks

Alabama-Oklahoma CFP Semifinal Betting Odds, Tips & Picks

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Two storied programs featuring prolific offenses will play in the first NCAA semifinal presenting a college football betting treat for viewers. They also have the two best players in college football this season, with Kyler Murray winning the Heisman Trophy and Tua Tagovailoa finishing runner-up.

And there just happens to be a spot in the National Playoff Championship on the line when Alabama and Oklahoma square off in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29.

2018 Orange Bowl Betting Odds

888Sport and SugarHouse both rate Alabama as a 14.5-point favorite in the Dec. 29 game, the largest spread currently in college bowl betting. The over/under is 80.5.

Orange Bowl 2018 Betting Tips

Alabama the Early Favorite

Alabama is a two-touchdown favorite over Oklahoma, a status is well earned for the Tide, which beat every regular season by no less than 22 points then rallied in the fourth quarter to beat then- No. 4 Georgia in the SEC championship game.

The Crimson Tide are 8-5 against the spread this season, and 8-4-1 versus the over-under. And under Nick Saban, Alabama is 8-6 against the spread in bowl games. The Sooners are 5-7-1 against the spread but are much better at hitting the over in its games, eclipsing the over-under in 11 of its 13 games.

Because of the respective offenses involved, the over-under is a robust 80.5 points. Although that number may be record high for a point spread in a bowl game, fans of college football betting should not get scared off. It is attainable.

The Sooners and Crimson Tide are first and second in points per game, respectively, with Oklahoma averaging 49.5 and Alabama 47.9. Expect a high volume of points.

The Crimson Tide enter the game with Tagovailoa dealing with an ankle injury that forced him out of the Georgia game and required minor surgery. He missed two weeks recovering and there is doubt whether he’ll be 100 percent against the Sooners.

But even if Tagovailoa cannot go it’s not as if Alabama doesn’t have a reliable backup quarterback to lean on.

Jalen Hurts came in relief of Tagovailoa versus Georgia and played quite effectively, leading the Crimson Tide to two fourth-quarter scoring drives including a 15-yard touchdown run with 65 seconds remaining.

And amidst Tagovailoa’s excellence this season that’s seen him pass for 37 touchdowns to just four interceptions it’s easy to forget that Hurts was named the 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year and went 26-2 as Alabama’s starting quarterback.

Sooners Defense Nothing to Write Home About

Regardless of who’s quarterbacking the Crimson Tide, they’ll be facing an Oklahoma defense that struggled significantly for much of the season with a penchant for giving up chunks of yardage and plenty of points.

The Sooners allow 291.4 passing yards per game, T-first in the country, and only 33 teams allowed more points per game. Tagovailoa and Hurts both should be able to make plays down the field, especially with the Crimson Tide’s big and athletic wide receivers matched up against a smaller Sooners secondary.

The knock on Alabama throughout the season was how it would respond in a close game where its offense was struggling. The Crimson Tide emphatically answered that question against Georgia twice overcoming a 14-point deficit.

Who will win 2018 Orange Bowl?

Oklahoma has the weapons to make this a shootout and Murray is than certainly capable of keeping the Sooners in the game for the duration if the defense can somehow get some stops. But it is a big ask to think Oklahoma’s leaky defense can slow an explosive Alabama offense enough where the Sooners can pull off the upset.

Take Alabama to win and narrowly cover the 14.5-point spread. And even though the combined point total is 80.5, bet the over.

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