Orange Bowl: Bet Oklahoma To Cover ATS Our College Football Pick Against Clemson

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1:22 PM GMT

For College Football Bowl action we have in store the highly expected Orange Bowl between Oklahoma Sooners vs. Clemson Tigers. Find out our college football pick for this game.

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College Football Pick: Oklahoma -3.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Oklahoma vs. Clemson 4:00PM ET
The first semi-final game of this season’s Bowl Championship series kicks off at 4:00 ET on Thursday, December 31st. It pits the 11-1 SU Oklahoma Sooners against the 13-0 SU (No. 1 rated) Clemson Tigers. The winner gets to play the winner of the Cotton Bowl between Michigan St. and Alabama which follows this contest. The situational edge certainly lies with Oklahoma, who is looking to avenge its’ 5th loss from last season. Clemson plays with the pressure of the No. 1 ranking, which has resulted in their recent underperformance against the pointspread. Let’s go inside the season’s results to see where the edges lie on the field.

 

Betting Preview
With just 3 starters returning to the defensive side of the ball and last year’s OC Morris headed to coach SMU, many predicted a decline in the fortunes of Clemson, following success of double-digit winning seasons in each of the previous 4 seasons. Few teams in the nation exceeded expectations on the field as much as the Clemson Tigers. Credit to HC Swinney, who in his 7th season, has led the Tigers to this playoff game, as well as QB Watson whose offensive elusiveness and efficiency got him the Heisman nomination. It resulted in a 13-0 SU undefeated season and the No. 1 ranking. Clemson was not quite the defensive power of last season, allowing 20/296 compared to 17/261 last season. But, the Tiger offense was a 200 club member, averaging 39 PPG with at least 222 yards both running and passing. They held off Notre Dame (24-22) in an early October. By the time the opening ratings were released for the BCS Championship, the Tigers saw themselves at 8-0 SU. But, the pressure of being highly ranked took its toll. A 4th quarter victory vs. Florida St. the next week confirmed their ranking and their excellence. But, they did not cover another pointspread until their ACC Championship victory over N. Carolina (45-37). Major issue is that in the last half of the season, Clemson allowed 163 total points for an average of 27 PPG in those final 6 games. That will be a major issue against a highly-motivated Oklahoma team.

In retrospect, it would now appear that the theme of the Oklahoma Sooners this 2015 Football season was revenge! Last year, the Sooners suffered an uncharacteristic 5 losses to TCU, Kansas St., Baylor and Oklahoma St. in the regular season. In 2016, they played each of those Big 12 foes once again on their schedule. True to “Big Game Bob” Stoops history, the Sooners avenged every one of those defeats! The 5th loss of last season came to this very Clemson team in last year’s Bowl Game. The Sooners were poorly motivated after their season of decline.  It resulted in a (40-6) Bowl loss to Clemson in which they were outgained 387-275 and had a (-5) net TO margin. Unlike last year, the Sooners enter with a tremendous amount of positive momentum. Since their lone loss in the Red River Rivalry to Texas (mark that date next season), the Sooners finished 7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS, beginning with a 55-0 revenge rout of Kansas St. and ending the season with 3 consecutive revenge wins against Baylor, TCU and the season finale against rival, Oklahoma St. (a 58-23 victory). Many believe it is Oklahoma who is playing the best ball in the country with a powerful 200 CLUB offense that averages 46/543 on a balanced 235+ running and passing. But, it is (40-6) Bowl revenge and Clemson’s No. 1 ranking that provides the motivational difference in this contest.

I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor and join me with my college football pick on the Oklahoma Sooners as the CFB Bowl Revenge Game of the Year!