Alabama vs Oklahoma betting: Sugar Bowl odds, prediction, trends, preview

John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

This post was provided to SB Nation by OddsShark.com.

The OddsShark.com bowl prediction computer is in perfect lockstep with oddsmakers in Sugar Bowl odds, picking the Alabama Crimson Tide to beat the Oklahoma Sooners by 15 points. Alabama was favored by 15 as of late December at most sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, the odds provider for SB Nation. The game kicks off Thursday, January 2 at the Superdome in New Orleans.

The Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC, 11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-5-1 OU) are a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS in bowl appearances since their last trip to the Sugar Bowl, which resulted in a shocking 31-17 loss to the Utah Utes in 2008. If the computer is correct, this one will end 39-24 for the Tide.

Alabama was supposed to be playing in the National Championship, going into its final game of the regular season against Auburn as a 10-point favorite with an 11-0 SU and 7-4 ATS record. But in one of the craziest finishes in college football history, Alabama's last-second field goal attempt was returned 109 yards for a touchdown to give Auburn the win and end Alabama's quest for a fourth National Championship in five years.

The Sugar Bowl betting history has seen UNDER bettors cashing tickets over the past decade as seven of the past 10 games went UNDER the number. The total was 51.5 in early betting.

For the seventh time in eight years, the Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12, 10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-5-1 OU) locked up a 10-win season with their 10-2 SU and 7-5 ATS record in 2013. The loss to Texas as a 13.5-point favorite put an end to Oklahoma's preseason hopes of being a BCS title contender, and a 41-12 road loss to Baylor was another low point. The Sooners are 0-3 SU and ATS in their last three bowl games against SEC opponents.

Oklahoma finished the season on a 3-0 SU and ATS run, including back-to-back road upsets over Kansas State and Oklahoma State. The UNDER is also 7-2-1 in the last 10 games in which the Oklahoma Sooners were an underdog.

Perhaps the biggest question coming into this game is the motivation factor for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Even after the loss to Auburn, Alabama is still considered to be the best team in college football by many, and on a neutral field should be a heavy favorite against just about anyone. But will the Crimson Tide get up for this game after suffering such a heart-breaking loss at the end of the regular season? Time will tell.

Computer Prediction: 39-24 Alabama

This post was provided to SB Nation by OddsShark.com.

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