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Allstate Sugar Bowl Betting Odds, Analysis & TV Schedule featuring OSU vs Bama

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes go head-to-head for the first time since the 1995 Citrus Bowl as the two storied programs square off in the Sugar Bowl as part of the first ever College Football Playoff. The Sugar Bowl is always a must-watch spectacle and this time it will be no different with more than 70,000 fans packed into the Superdome in New Orleans bringing with them a raucous atmosphere straight from Bourbon Street.

The 2015 Sugar Bowl will take on an even bigger role in deciding the national champion. Along with the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the Sugar Bowl will be decide the finalist to play for the national championship. The BCS had a good run, but it was time to give the people what they wanted: a playoff.

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Nick Saban’s top ranked Crimson Tide are 9.5 point favorites over Urban Meyer’s fourth ranked Buckeyes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. Sure, players win games. But the coaches will be center stage at the Sugar Bowl in college football’s inaugural playoff. The game total is 58.5 points.

A Closer Look At The Allstate Sugar Bowl Betting Odds & My Analysis – Ohio State vs Alabama

Allstate Sugar Bowl
No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes vs No.1 Alabama Crimson  
Date: Jan. 01, 2015 
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET 
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
TV Info: ESPN
Stream Info: WatchESPN.com
Radio:  Ohio State vs Alabama
Point Spread: Crimson Tide -9.5
Game Total: 58.5

Alabama enters this game as the team to beat with a 12-1 record and eight wins in a row and are playing in their 11th straight bowl. Alabama hasn’t been a good bet this season despite their winning record, covering the spread in only four of their 13 games and one push.

Bama has the 22nd ranked passing attack in the nation with Senior QB Blake Sims throwing for 3250, 26 TDs & 7 INTs on the season. Heisman trophy nominee WR Amari Cooper has been the go-to-guy for Sims, recording 115 receptions for 1656 yards & 14 TDS. RB TY Yeldon leads the 36th rushing attack with 932 yards & 10 TDs followed by Derrick Henry, who recorded 895 yards & 10 TDs.

Defensively, the Alabama Crimson Tide are allowing 16.6 points, 312.4 yards, and they’ve forced 28 sacks and 18 turnovers. Landon Collins leads Alabama with 90 tackles and Xzavier Dickson has 10.5 tackles for loss.

“They’re a great team. Obviously, No. 1 team in America. When you watch video, there is not much difference than the other Alabama teams that we’ve studied, very physical. They have the depth. They roll about eight to ten guys on the defensive line, and it’s hard to tell one from the other. They’re well – coached, hand placement, just obviously big guys, big run stoppers up front, and obviously very good defense. Little bit of difference, but it’s really not. They used to have Julio Jones when we played them before, and they have No. 9, Cooper, and he’s tremendous. When you focus on him, there are two other ones that are really good. One that’s got our defense really concerned”, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said.

Ohio State also finished 12-1 on the season, but the Buckeyes were a better team to bet on, going 8-5 against the spread.

The Buckeyes are down to their third string quarterback with the injuries of starter Braxton Miller and backup J.T. Barrett. But that hasn’t stopped OSU who will start sophomore QB Cardale Jones. He is starting just his second game as an FBS QB, but he looked great in first start which was the Big 10 Championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers, throwing 375 yards, 5 TDs & 0 INTs.

The Buckeyes will have the option to pound the rock with RB Ezekiel Elliott, who recorded 1402 yards, 12 TDs this season. Defensively, the Ohio State Buckeyes are allowing 21.2 points, 328 yards, and they’ve forced 40 sacks and 29 turnovers. Joshua Perry leads OSU with 113 tackles and Joey Bosa has 20 tackles for loss.

This will be the third time Nick Saban and Urban Meyer have matched wits against each other after meeting in the 2008 and 2009 SEC Championship Game with each owning a win against the other. This is the fifth Sugar Bowl appearance for Saban who is 2-2 and the second for Meyer who won his only appearance in 2009.

The Crimson Tide are:

  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 bowl games,
  • 8-3 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games as a favorite,
  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in January,
  • 9-3 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games
  • 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Big Ten.

The Buckeyes are:

  • 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record,
  • 14-3-1 ATS in their last 18 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0 points
  • 6-2 ATS in their last eight non-conference games.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Expert Pick: Alabama -9.5