No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Florida meet in what should be a high-scoring Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 30.
The game is at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Florida (8-3) is back in a New Year’s Day Six bowl for the third consecutive season. Dan Mullen is 2-0 in bowl games for the Gators, and the Gators bring the nation’s leading passer in quarterback Kyle Trask to the game.
Oklahoma (8-2) missed the College Football Playoff this year, but the Sooners won seven straight games to close out the 2020 regular season. Lincoln Riley is 0-3 in bowl games against SEC schools, so this is a chance to silence the critics on that front.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Florida vs. Oklahoma, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the 2020 Cotton Bowl.
Florida vs. Oklahoma odds
The opening line has stuck, but the over continues to trend upward. It opened at 67.5. It’s fair to expect a shootout between the two high-scoring offenses.
Florida vs. Oklahoma all-time series
The Gators and Sooners have one previous meeting. Florida beat Oklahoma 24-14 in the BCS championship game on Jan. 8, 2009. Tim Tebow led Florida to the victory with 231 passing yards, 109 rushing yards and two TDs.
Three trends to know
— The Sooners were 7-3 ATS this season, but they were favored in every game. Oklahoma is 3-2 ATS as an underdog under Riley.
— The Gators were 5-6 ATS this season, and that included a 3-6 ATS mark as a favorite. Florida was a single-digit favorite only one time this season.
— Florida is 3-4 ATS in neutral-site games under Mullen. Oklahoma is 5-6 ATS in neutral-site games under Riley.
Three things to watch
— Trask without his favorite targets. Trask won’t have starting tight end Kyle Pitts, who opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Pitts battled injuries in the second half of the season, and he still averaged 17.9 yards per catch with 12 TDs. Kadarious Toney (984 yards, 10 TDs) also opted out. That leaves Trevon Grimes (589 yards, 9 TDs) as the next-best option. Oklahoma did not allow more than two passing TDs in a single game this season.
— Spencer Rattler vs. SEC defense. Rattler struggled with interceptions early in the season, but he threw just three picks in the Sooners’ last seven games. Freshman Marvin Mims (583 yards, 8 TDs) and sophomore Theo Wease (494 yards, 3 TDs) emerged as playmakers, and that led to a strong second half of the season. Oklahoma will test a Florida defense that allowed 258.3 passing yards per game.
— Aggressive play-calling. Florida and Oklahoma were fast-starting teams in the regular season. The Gators outscored opponents 103-73 in the first quarter, but the Sooners were outstanding at 134-17 in the first quarter. Neither Mullen nor Riley is going to hold back with the deep shots, and they should come early. That first quarter should feature a handful of trick plays, too.
Stat that matters
That’s the number of combined points Oklahoma has allowed in semifinal losses to Georgia, Alabama and LSU the last three seasons – an average of 54 points per game. We know Oklahoma can score, but it’s on the defense to get a few stops against a high-scoring Florida offense that is just as productive as those last three offenses the Sooners faced.
Florida vs. Oklahoma prediction
Rattler gets off to a fast start with his receivers, but the Gators hold up enough against the running game to stall a few Sooners’ drives in the second quarter. Oklahoma leads at halftime, but Trask leads a second-half comeback. A late TD pass to Grimes gives the Gators their third straight New Year’s Day Six bowl victory. Both offenses averaged more than 40 points per game this season, but this one falls right on the over line.
Final score: Florida 38, Oklahoma 34
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