Arizona vs. Oklahoma prediction: Alamo Bowl odds, picks, best bets
In one of the more intriguing matchups of bowl season, the Arizona Wildcats face the Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
Both Oklahoma (10-2) and Arizona (9-3) are capable of scoring in bunches, which should make this a fun watch.
However, Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel has announced hes transferring to Oregon and his absence is one of the reasons to bet Arizona -2.5 on BetMGM.
Head coach Jedd Fisch has done a tremendous job of turning around Arizonas program.
The Wildcats won six straight to finish the regular season and are playing in their first bowl since 2017. Additionally, Arizona is seeking its first 10-win season since 2014.
Not only have the Wildcats been racking up wins, but theyve also been covering. Arizona is 10-2 against the spread this season and covered seven of its final eight games.
Arizona vs. Oklahoma prediction
(9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Freshman quarterback Noah Fifita leads an offensive attack that averages 34 points and 453 yards per game.
Fifita, who threw for 2,515 yards and 23 touchdowns (five interceptions), is also expected to have his full complement of weapons, as Arizona hasnt had many opt-outs.
Starting left tackle Jordan Morgan has opted out, but lead back Jonah Coleman (851 rushing yards, 6.9 yards per carry) is expected to play, and the same goes for top receivers Tetairoa McMillan (80 receptions, 1,242 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Jacob Cowing (83 receptions, 696 yards, 11 touchdowns).
Fifita threw multiple touchdown passes in five straight games to finish the regular season, and appears primed to put up another impressive showing in the Alamo Bowl.
Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita hands of the ball. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters ConA big performance from Fifita and the Wildcats offense will be necessary because Oklahoma is also capable of moving the ball up and down the field.
The Sooners, who won three in a row to finish the regular season, averaged 43 points and 502 yards per game this season.
That was with Gabriel at the helm, but even with some opt-outs and coaching changes Oklahomas offense shouldnt completely disappear.
Freshman Jackson Arnold will get the start, and although his experience is limited his pedigree is impressive as he was the No. 10 overall recruit in the 2023 class.
Arnold appeared in five games this season, completing 18-of-24 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Oklahoma quarterback Jackson Arnold. Getty ImagesUnfortunately for Arnold, Oklahomas offense will be missing a few key contributors.
Offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby left to take the head coaching job at Mississippi State and Tawee Walker, the Sooners second-leading rusher, has hit the portal.
Also, three offensive line starters are set to miss this game.
Arnold is talented and may put together a big season for Oklahoma in 2024, but betting on a quarterback making his first start is hard.
Doing so when hell be behind an offensive line missing key pieces is even more difficult.
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Im excited to see how Arnold looks, but I expect a slight dip from Oklahomas offense, which pushes me toward backing the Wildcats.
After putting together the best regular season in nearly a decade, I expect Arizona to finish strong and win its first bowl game since 2015.
Pick: Arizona -2.5 (BetMGM)
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