The Alamo Bowl should be one of the better games of bowl season, especially before Jan. 1.
Oregon and Oklahoma are fun, good teams that are among the most recognizable brands in the sport. It’s in prime time on a Tuesday night with not much else going on.
However, about the only thing normal about it in this weird bowl season is that it hasn’t been canceled.
Oklahoma is a 6.5-point favorite over Oregon at BetMGM, and it’s honestly hard to know how to set a line for this game in the first place.
Both teams will have interim coaches. Bob Stoops is doing the throwback thing and filling in for Oklahoma after Lincoln Riley left to USC. Bryan McClendon is Oregon’s coach for the game because Mario Cristobal left for Miami. There are huge questions about who might follow the old coaches to their new schools. Then there are the opt-outs.
Oregon saw edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, a potential top pick in the NFL draft, receiver Devon Williams and cornerback Mykael Wright opt out of the game as they get ready for the pros. Starting corner DJ James and backup defensive tackle Jayson James are in the transfer portal as well. Oklahoma had four defensive starters opt out for the draft: LBs Brian Asamoah and Nik Bonitto, and DLs Isaiah Thomas and Perrion Winfrey.
Oklahoma went 10-2 this season despite a quarterback shuffle, and Oregon was 10-3. The Ducks lost two blowouts to Utah, including one in the Pac-12 championship game. Analyzing their seasons seems foolish given all the change for each program since the end of the regular season. I’ll take Oregon and the points, but I’m not sure how you can have any conviction betting this game. The only hope is it’s not canceled at the last minute.
Here’s the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
What are the other bowl games?
Two still remain on the slate. Maryland is a 3.5-point favorite over Virginia Tech in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. That starts at 2:15 p.m. Eastern time. Iowa State is a 2.5-point underdog against Clemson in the Cheez-It Bowl. Both teams are coming off disappointing regular seasons that were filled with a lot of preseason hope.
Maryland and Iowa State look like the right sides, but it has been a tough bowl season to predict.
What else is on the schedule?
College basketball has been light lately but there are a lot of games Wednesday including some interesting ones in the top 25. No. 10 LSU, which is 12-0, plays at 11-1 Auburn. Auburn is a 4.5-point favorite. No. 15 Seton Hall is at No. 21 Providence, which is a 1.5-point favorite. And No. 14 Tennessee, off an impressive win against Arizona, is at No. 19 Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 2.5-point favorites. Remember: Home-court advantage might mean more in college hoops than any other sport.
The NBA has nine games, but as usual lately, check which players are in and out of the lineup due to COVID-19 protocols. before making your bets. The NHL had three games on Tuesday in its return and there are six set for Wednesday (five were postponed).
What’s the best bet?
I like Alabama as a small home favorite against a good Tennessee team. The SEC championship race might be the best in all of college basketball this season and this is a huge early game for it.