No. 6 Oklahoma vs No. 7 Florida Cotton Bowl

No. 6 Oklahoma vs No. 7 Florida Cotton Bowl | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 29, 2020

No. 7 Florida will be missing several key players to opt outs when the SEC runner-up Gators take on Big 12 champion Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Wednesday. This spread has changed dramatically with all the Florida players out to where the Sooners are now favored on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Oklahoma vs. Florida NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET
  • Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Oklahoma -3 (total 70)
Series History

Oklahoma and Florida have met once. The top-ranked Gators posted a 24-14 win over the No. 2 Sooners in the BCS National Championship on Jan. 8, 2009, in Miami.

Why Bet on Oklahoma? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Sooners lost their first two Big 12 games this season by a total of just 10 points and then won all the rest, capped by a 27-21 victory over then-No. 6 Iowa State in the conference title game. It was OU’s sixth straight Big 12 title. QB Spencer Rattler threw a 45-yard touchdown to fellow freshman Marvin Mims and ran for another scores.

The Sooners tallied three sacks and five tackles for loss in the game (with six more QB hurries). Over its last seven games, the OU defense has totaled 30 sacks and 59 tackles for loss (averages of 4.3 sacks and 8.4 TFLs per game). Oklahoma led 7-0 after the first quarter and has outscored opponents 134-17 in the opening period this season. The Sooners have limited the 10 opponents to 610 total yards on 152 plays (4.0 average) in the opening 15 minutes.

OU has scored at least 27 points in a school-record 62 consecutive contests. The next longest streak nationally since at least 1980 is 31 by UCF (2017-19). The next longest active streak is 24 games by Alabama.

Oklahoma’s Big 12 title marked its sixth straight and 14th in the 25-year history of the league. The Sooners now have 50 conference championships, the most among FBS programs (Nebraska ranks second with 46). This year’s Oklahoma squad is the fifth in program history to win a conference title with two league losses.

OU is making its 54th bowl appearance, tied for fourth most nationally. Thirty-nine of those 54 have come in bowls that comprise the current New Year’s Six. The 39 does not include OU’s BCS National Championship appearance against Florida. The Sooners are making their 22nd straight bowl appearance. It is by far the longest streak in school history (the previous record was eight in a row from the 1975-82 seasons under Barry Switzer). Oklahoma, which owns a 29-23-1 all-time bowl record, is 5-2 all-time at AT&T Stadium and has won its last four games there (each of the last four Big 12 Championships).

The Sooners will be without top cornerback for the Cotton Bowl as he opted out. In 2020 the senior cornerback accounted for 31 total tackles (25 solo, 1.0 for loss), three interceptions and six pass breakups. Brown also returned to kickoffs for 86 yards during the Sooners’ Big 12 Championship Game win over Iowa State.

Why Bet on Florida? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Gators (8-3) pushed No. 1 Alabama in the SEC title game but lost 52-46. The teams combined for 13 touchdowns and 98 points, second only to the 101 points scored in Auburn’s 59-42 win over Missouri in 2013. The loss was Florida’s seventh consecutive to Alabama since the Gators beat the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game in 2008, Tim Tebow’s junior season.

UF was led again by fifth-year senior quarterback Kyle Trask, who passed for 408 yards and three touchdowns, plus rushed for a score, but his unit (462 yards, only 54 on the ground) just could not keep pace with the Tide.

Trask finished 26-for-40 of and ran his season’s touchdown-pass total to 43. Senior wingback Kadarius Toney caught eight passes for 153 yards and a score, while tight end Kyle Pitts hauled in seven balls for 129 yards and a TD.

Trask was named a Heisman Trophy finalist. In addition to Trask securing a finalist spot, Pitts was among the top 10 players to receive votes, becoming the first tight end to finish in the top 10 since Notre Dame’s Ken MacAfee in 1977.

With three total touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl, Trask would join LSU’s Joe Burrow (65 in 15 games in 2019), Florida’s Tim Tebow (55 in 13 games in 2007), and Auburn’s Cam Newton (51 in 14 games in 2010) as the only players in SEC history with 49-plus total touchdowns in a season. Trask leads the nation in passing yards and is on pace for the third-highest single-season average in SEC history, only behind Kentucky’s Tim Couch (388.6 in 1998) and LSU’s Joe Burrow (378.1 in 2019)

Four of Florida’s top pass catchers – Pitts, Toney, Trevon Grimes and Jacob Copeland all will not play in this game. All but Copeland opted out, and he’s not playing due to COVID. The four pass-catchers accounted for 174 catches for 2,778 yards and 34 touchdowns. Toney evolved into a star receiver this year but also made an impact on the ground and special teams. He had 161 rushing yards and 139 punt return yards, and added one score in each department in 2020.

Pitts was the first Gator to be named an AP First Team All-American since Vernon Hargreaves III in 2015. Pitts quickly became the best tight end and one of the top pass catchers in the country this season with 43 receptions, 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. Pitts’ 12 receiving touchdowns this season are the second-highest total by a tight end in SEC history. Pitts has also been named a finalist for both the Biletnikoff Award and the Mackey Award

This will be Florida’s first trip to the Cotton Bowl Classic and just the third bowl game played by the Gators in the state of Texas. UF last went bowling in the Lone Star State in 1982 when they participated in the Bluebonnet Bowl against Arkansas. Florida is making its 46th all-time bowl appearance, and it is 24-21 in its previous bowl games. This will be the 20th time the Gators play in a New Year’s Six bowl.

Game Trends

  • Gators are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Bowl games.
  • Gators are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
  • Gators are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Sooners are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
  • Sooners are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Sooners are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. SEC.
Expert Prediction
  • Oklahoma 38, Florida 33

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