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Fiesta Bowl Betting – OU Ends BCS Jinx With Romp Over Huskies

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/21/2010 10:13:19 AM
fiesta bowl betting

Some online betting players feel as though the Big East is out of their element this season when it comes to BCS bowls, and the Connecticut Huskies will have a big hill to climb as they try to represent their conference in the Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners, who has dropped their last five BCS bowls. Look for the Sooners to gain a measure of revenge against the overachieving Huskies.

  • What: NCAA Football Betting
  • When: Saturday, January 1st, 8:30 PM ET
  • Where: University Of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
  • Pick: Oklahoma -17

What’s On The Line

The Huskies (8-4) rode a five-game winning streak down the stretch to the Big East title, but the conference has gone through a down year and many are calling them the worst BCS team in years. The No.7 Sooners (11-2) edged Nebraska for the Big 12 title, and they’re 2-5 in BCS bowl games under coach Bob Stoops, including a pair of losses in the Fiesta Bowl. A win for the Huskies would help legitimize the Big East, while a win would be the first step in turning around OU’s BCS fortunes.

Offensive Matchups: Fiesta Bowl Betting

The ground game is where UConn picks up most of the yards as they’re 31st in rushing, but only 112th through the air. Jordan Todman was fourth in the country in rushing and when he’s on, the Huskies can compete. Zach Fraser had five touchdown passes this season and you can’t even make the excuse that he’s inexperienced because he’s a senior. He takes care of the ball, but Fraser isn’t going to have a 300-yard game. In fact, Fraser has thrown for over 200 yards just once this season, and that was 205 yards in the season opener, a 30-10 loss at Michigan. If the Huskies get behind early, they’re in a world a trouble.

Now, that is where the Sooners shine as Landry Jones leads an aerial attack that is fourth in the country. Jones is second in the NCAA in passing yards and tied for second in touchdowns, and while the Oklahoma offense was supposed to be balanced, it shifted slowly throughout the year towards the passing game. DeMarco Murray hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since October 16th, while Jones threw for over 300 yards in six of the last seven games. Ryan Broyles is one of the best receivers in the nation, and the offensive line is solid as OU is 18th in sacks allowed.

Betting Edge: Oklahoma

Defensive Matchups: Fiesta Bowl Betting

UConn is 48th in total defense, but they’re a decent 23rd in points allowed, meaning they can stop the bleeding before it gets out of hand. The Huskies aren’t a big team, but they have a decent pass rush as they’re tied for 34th in sacks, and the secondary bends, but doesn’t break. Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson is the playmaker to watch for the Huskies, and he’ll likely draw the assignment of covering Broyles, but the rest of the secondary isn’t up to his standards. The rush defense struggles, and OU can really take advantage of them in this respect if they decide to give Murray some work.

Oklahoma’s defense wasn’t all that great this year, coming in 57th, but at the same time they’re in the offensively-minded Big 12, so you have to take those rankings with a grain of salt. The rush defense has been particularly bad, coming in 62nd, and that is where UConn has to attack if they want to pull off the NCAA football betting upset. The secondary is deep and experienced, but they’re going to need lineman Jeremy Beal to get in the backfield. OU’s front four will have to win the battle up front in this game.

Betting Edge: Draw

Notable Injuries: Fiesta Bowl Betting

Defensive tackle Twyon Martin (leg) is questionable, but linebacker Scott Lutrus (arm) will likely play for the Huskies.

Freshman defensive tackle Daniel Noble (knee) probably won’t suit up for the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl.

Betting Edge: Oklahoma

Outlook and Pick: Fiesta Bowl Betting

The Sooners are a 17-point NCAA football betting favorite in the Fiesta Bowl, and this is the first time these programs have ever met. Coaching will have a big say in this, as UConn’s Randy Edsall is always being mentioned when it comes to coaching vacancies and will likely move on to a bigger program in the next couple of seasons, while OU’s Stoops doesn’t have the best big-game pedigree as the Sooners haven’t won a BCS bowl game since the 2003 Rose Bowl. You have to wonder how the Huskies will handle the bright lights of the Fiesta Bowl: they are 3-1 in bowls and did beat SEC team the South Carolina Gamecocks down in Alabama in the PapaJohns.com Bowl, but this is a different story. We think UConn will come out of the box quickly, but overall, Oklahoma’s talent will win out unless the Huskies can get to Jones, and this will also be a game for Murray, a senior, to step up. UConn’s inability to pass the ball is going to hurt them because Oklahoma’s run defense has actually gotten better as the season has gone on. Take Oklahoma to cover the sports betting spread in this one.

Stan’s Pick: Oklahoma

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