Game: Oregon Ducks vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Time: 9:15 p.m. ET
Odds: Ducks +7, Sooners -7
Oregon and Oklahoma had visions of the College Football Playoff at various points throughout the 2021 season. The two teams will meet in the Alamo Bowl tonight. The Ducks beat Ohio State early and found themselves ranked in the top 4 in the country. Then, they lost to Stanford. The Ducks worked their way back into the CFP picture only to get pounded by Utah 38-7. The Ducks still made the Pac-12 championship game, but they were once against destroyed by the Utes, 38-10, to finish their season 11-2.
Oklahoma was in the thick of the CFP race as well. A softer schedule kept the Sooners outside of the top 4, but they were within striking distance until two losses in the final three games of the season derailed any hopes of playing for a national championship.
Both teams are now looking for a way to cap off the 2021 season. Both teams also lost their head coaches to new jobs. Mario Cristobal left Oregon for Miami and will be replaced by Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning. Lincoln Riley surprised the nation by bolting to USC. Former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables will be the head coach in Norman.
Oregon’s success this season came from a very well-balanced offense that averaged 418 yards and 31.4 points per game. The strength of the Ducks offense is the running game which averaged 202.5 yards per game. That was good for 26th in the nation. Oregon had its share of injuries too losing starting RB C.J. Verdell early in the season, but Travis Dye has stepped in and rushed for over 1,000 yards. Dye is also the Ducks leading receiver with 41 catches.
Oklahoma will rely on freshman Caleb Williams who took over the starting quarterback job after his performance against Texas. The Sooners went 3-2 down the stretch though and will be without four starters on defense. Oregon’s defense will be missing All-American DE Kayvon Thibodeaux and CB Mykael Wright. The Ducks have played without Thibodeaux this season. The missing pieces might affect the Sooners more.
If there is a weak spot for Oklahoma, it is the defense. The Sooners allowed 382 yards of offense per game this season. Over their final six games of the season, Oklahoma’s defense gave up 140 or more rushing yards in four of them. In a decisive loss to Baylor, the Sooners allowed a whopping 296 yards on the ground.
The Sooners offense is talented though. They averaged over 421 yards and 35 points per game. It’s that offense that is the reason why Oklahoma is a seven-point favorite tonight. The Sooners are 18-1 straight up in their last 19 games as a favorite. They won those 18 games by an average of 18.8 points. Oklahoma is also 4-2 ATS in its last six games as a favorite, but the Sooners are just 5-6-1 ATS for the 2021 season.
Oregon is just 5-8 ATS this season and 6-12 ATS in its last 18 games. A total of 60 points or more has been scored in six of Oklahoma’s last ten games. In the Ducks last ten games, the total has gone Over 60 just four times.