Sugar Bowl Picks: Bet Ohio State +9 vs. Alabama

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, January 1, 2015 3:44 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 3:44 PM GMT

One of today's most exciting matchups is near and we've got you covererd with our premier college football picks for the Sugar Bowl matchup as Saban's Crimson Tide face Meyer's Buckeyes. 

Ohio St. vs. Alabama (-9-) 8:30 ET ESPN
In the 2nd Semi Final game of the first ever Final Four, we find a pair of tradition rich football programs squaring off in the New Orleans’ Super Dome.  This is a pair of 12-1 SU teams, who each enter on lengthy winning streaks.  Let’s go inside each program to take a look at why I feel the value lies with Ohio St. in this contest

Sugar Bowl Picks Against the Spread: Alabama vs. Ohio State 

There is little to criticize about Alabama, who is a perennial National Title contender since Nick Saban took the reins 9 years ago.  Under Saban, the Tide is now 91-16 SU.  Again this season, the Crimson Tide defense has been their calling card.  Alabama allows just 17 PPG, including 88/2.8 overland, 312 YPG and only 4.7 YP play.  Along with a careful conservative offense led by a strong ground game, that is usually enough to get the team into contention for the National Title.  Yet, there is a major difference in this year’s Alabama squad.  It is the addition to the Alabama coaching staff of OC Lane Kiffin.  The former head man at Tennessee and USC has brought a bounce to the Alabama offensive step.  This year, Alabama averages 37 PPG with a more balanced explosive offense that averages 209/5.1 overland and 280/8.8 through the air.  The offensive quartet of QB Simms, WR Cooper, and RBs Henry and Yeldon can take over a game.  That’s exactly what happened in the Iron Bowl this year, when the Tide stormed from behind against Auburn to score the last 21 points in a 55-44 victory as 10 point chalk on college football odds.  The 42-13 whipping of Missouri in the SEC Championship game was little more than a formality.  Even with 4 weeks to prepare, Saban will be clearly tested by Ohio St.

Bet the Total for Ohio State vs. Alabama College Football Pick

With 3rd string QB Cardale Jones at the helm, little was expected of the Ohio St. offense when they lined up as 4 point underdog in their Big 10 title game against rugged Wisconsin.  But the wire-to-wire (59-0) shutout of the Badgers spoke volumes about the Ohio St. program and the leadership of HC Meyer.  An early season home misstep on September 6th vs. VA Tech resulted in a 35-21 defeat as double digit favorite.  That losing effort seemed to spark the Buckeyes the balance of the year.  Today, they enter on an 11 game win streak, playing dominant football on both sides.  Note that 9 of the 11 victories since that loss have come by double digit margins.  QB Jones will get plenty of support from offensive triplets RB Elliott, along with WRs Smith and Thomas.  Must also credit a Buckeye defense that allows just 21 PPG on 328 yards!

Each of these coaches and programs is tough to go against in a situation such as this.  But, a pair of final coaching personality trends should seal the deal at what appears to be a value price favoring Ohio St. When making your college football picks today consider that in his coaching career, that Meyer is 37-12 ATS against non-con foes, as well as 13-0 ATS as dog (4-0 SU ATS in the role of underdog while coaching Ohio St.)  Along with the 9 ½ points, that is enough to swing the pendulum to the Ohio St. side.

Free College Football Picks: Bet Ohio State at 5Dimes

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