CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (8-4)
vs. OKLAHOMA SOONERS (11-2)
University of Phoenix Stadium – Phoenix, AZ
Kickoff: Saturday, Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Oklahoma -16, Total: 55
The high-flying Sooners take their Big 12 title and four-game winning streak to Arizona in hopes of halting Connecticut’s winning ways in Saturday night’s Fiesta Bowl. Connecticut has won five in a row (SU and ATS), but three have been by three points or less. Vegas odds.
Oklahoma’s fourth-best pass offense in the nation (337 YPG) is due mostly to QB Landry Jones and WR Ryan Broyles. Jones has 4,289 passing yards, 35 TD and 11 INT this year, while Broyles is second in the country in catches (9.1 per game) and fourth in receiving yards (112 YPG). The Huskies have might be up to the task of containing this dynamic duo, having allowed just one team (Rutgers) to throw for 300 yards this year.
Both schools have excellent running backs. UConn is led by Jordan Todman, who ranks second in the nation in rushing (143 YPG). DeMarco Murray has been a touchdown machine for OU, with 19 on the year. However, he has not reached the end zone in his past two games. Neither school’s run defense should be good enough to slow down these stars. UConn allows 147 rushing YPG (58th in country) while Oklahoma surrenders 152 rushing YPG (62nd in nation), including 169 YPG in its past five contests. OU has allowed 24+ points in seven of its 13 games this season, despite having the good fortune of opponents committing 30 turnovers. Betting lines.
Oklahoma is making its 44th bowl appearance, carrying a 25-17-1 record. The Sooners are playing in their 12th straight bowl game, going 5-6 over these 12 season-ending contests. Connecticut is making its fifth all-time bowl appearance, including its fourth straight bowl. The Huskies are 3-1 all-time in bowl games since joining the FBS ranks in 2000.
Bob Stoops has lost five straight BCS bowls (including two in the Fiesta Bowl) and the Sooners are 4-10 ATS in their past 14 non-home games. Underdogs are on a 7-2 ATS run in the Fiesta Bowl series and the Underdog is 8-2 ATS when the spread is 5.5 points or greater. The FoxSheets show three more trends picking underdog Connecticut to keep this game closer than 16 points:
Randy Edsall is 28-8 ATS (77.8%, +19.2 Units) off 1 or more consecutive unders as the coach of CONNECTICUT. The average score was CONNECTICUT 29.6, OPPONENT 20.4 – (Rating = 4*).
CONNECTICUT is 11-2 ATS (84.6%, +8.8 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CONNECTICUT 21.6, OPPONENT 22.2 – (Rating = 2*).
CONNECTICUT is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) vs. excellent passing teams with a completion pct. of 62% or better over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CONNECTICUT 32.1, OPPONENT 28.7 – (Rating = 2*).
In terms of totals for Fiesta Bowl play, when the number is 51 or higher, the Under is 7-2. These two highly-rated FoxSheets trends also lean towards the Under.
Play Under – All teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 (CONNECTICUT, OKLAHOMA) – after having won 4 or 5 out of their last 6 games, in a non-conference game between two teams from major division I-A conferences. (52-17 over the last 10 seasons.) (75.4%, +33.3 units. Rating = 4*). Sports scores.
Play Under – Neutral field teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 (OKLAHOMA) – top level team, winning 80% or more of their games on the season, in a non-conference game between two teams from major division I-A conferences.(51-19 since 1992.) (72.9%, +30.1 units. Rating = 3*).