Oregon Ducks vs Oklahoma Sooners: 2021 Valero Alamo Bowl Gambling Guide - Dec. 29
On paper, the Alamo Bowl between the Oregon Ducks (10-3) and the Oklahoma Sooners (10-2) is one of the better matchups of the bowl season. However, reality is ugly, and this game is a watered-down version of both of these teams.
Both head coaches from this season have left, and the opt-outs have decimated both Oklahoma and Oregon. To be fair, playing in the Alamo Bowl is a massive disappointment for two teams that were thought to be locks for the playoffs, so it is hard to blame the players for not wanting to play. Still, this should be a fun nightcap, and I am officially placing this game under "great uniform matchup" watch.
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How do these teams match up, and who has the edge? Well, let's find out.
Why Oregon Can Cover:
- 6-12 ATS in last 18 games
- 5-8 ATS this season
- The total has gone UNDER in three of the last five games
- 10-3 SU in last 13 games
Oregon pulled off the biggest win of the regular season when they beat up on Ohio State in Columbus. Since then, Oregon has been a hot mess. It only took three weeks after the Ohio State win to come back down to earth as they lost to Stanford, in overtime, and at home. If beating Ohio State is the best win of the season for anyone, then losing to Stanford at home is the worst loss by any team this season.
Oregon went on to get waxed by Utah twice, and the early playoff team will look to save their season with a win over Oklahoma.
The Ducks' calling card this season was going to be on defense with Kayvon Thibodeaux and Justin Flowe. The front seven only allowed 3.7 yards per carry and 128.4 rushing yards per game, so the impact of Thibodeaux was felt all season long, but he has opted out of this game as he prepares to hear his name called with the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Along with Thibodeaux, Flowe, C.J. Verdell, and Mycah Pittman are all players who were expected to take this team over the top. Instead, they will be without all of those players, and will only have about 50 scholarship players available. It also hurts that head coach Mario Cristobal left the program to become the next head coach at Miami.
Oregon ran the ball pretty well this season, and Travis Dye became the focal point of this offense when Verdell was lost for the season. However, quarterback Anthony Brown offers very little, and if Oklahoma piles on the points, there is not a lot of hope for Brown to keep the Ducks alive.
The only hope for Oregon is that Oklahoma doesn't care about this game, and an undermanned defense steps up. Other than that, good luck.
Why Oklahoma Can Cover:
- 4-2-1 ATS in last seven games played
- 5-6-1 ATS this season
- The total has gone OVER in four of the last seven games
- 18-2 SU in last 20
Like Oregon, the Sooners will be without the head coach that started the season. With Lincoln Riley bolting for USC, legendary Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops will return to the sidelines for one game.
Also, like the Ducks, Oklahoma will be without a lot of key contributors. Of all the Oklahoma players expected to miss this game, Nik Bonitto, Isaiah Thomas, Brian Asamoah, Jadon Haselwood, and Austin Stogner are the players that Oklahoma will miss in this game.
Even with all of their missing production, Oklahoma will still be rolling out Caleb Williams to take the snaps, and Marvin Mims and Kennedy Brooks will play big roles for the Oklahoma offense like they did all season.
Oklahoma lost a few players in their front seven to opt-outs and the transfer portal, but still, the Sooners only allowed 3.8 yards per rush. In the secondary, Oklahoma is very weak, but nothing about Oregon should scare the Sooners.
At the end of the day, Oklahoma just is too good on offense. They put up 33 points and 441 total yards in their last game against an Oklahoma State defense that is ranked sixth in scoring, third in total yards per game, and the Cowboys only allowed 4.1 yards per play.
Alamo Bowl Best Bet:
*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Oregon is missing way too many scholarship players to be competitive in this game. Even when they are at full strength, Oregon does not do very well for the bettors. They have covered only six times in their last 18 games, and their last three covers came against Oregon State, Washington State, and Washington. those are not three impressive teams.
Oklahoma is not a very profitable team to bet on either, but they are 4-2 ATS in their last six when playing as a favorite. Sure, the Ducks have the better win between the two, but this is not the same Oregon team that walked into Columbus and bullied the Buckeyes.
With all of the production out for this game, Williams and the Sooners should be able to do whatever they feel like. Even if Oklahoma goes up in this game early, the Ducks do not have enough firepower to keep up. Unless Oregon has some motivational angle that the public is not aware of, Oklahoma should win this game pretty easily.
Pick: Oklahoma -6.5 (-110)
Photo: Getty Images