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BETTING

Arizona vs. Oklahoma Alamo Bowl 2023 Betting Analysis: The Wildcats Got Less Transfers!

The Arizona Wildcats will look to continue their improbable season with a bowl game against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Alamo Bowl. In a freshman vs. freshman battle at quarterback, which team has the edge?

Picks Summary

  • Arizona -3 (-110)
  • Over 62.5 (-110)

*All odds from Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)


Arizona Wildcats vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Thursday, December 28, 2023 – 09:15 PM EDT at Alamodome


The Valero Alamo Bowl will kick off at 9:15 pm ET between the Arizona Wildcats and Oklahoma Sooners.

Oklahoma’s Roster Shake-Up

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of movement with Oklahoma’s roster.

The Sooners won’t have Dillon Gabriel at quarterback. He’s headed to Oregon from the transfer portal after he threw 30 touchdowns and six interceptions with 3,660 yards this season.

The Sooners will also be without three running backs, many offensive linemen, and a couple of key players on defense due to the portal and opt-outs. On top of that, Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator, Jeff Lebby, took the head coaching position at Mississippi State. He also won’t be around for this game.

With that, it’ll be Jackson Arnold getting the start for the Sooners. Arnold has thrown two touchdowns and no interceptions as a freshman this season. He’s a highly regarded prospect who will likely get the opportunity to start for Oklahoma next year. He’s only thrown 24 passing attempts. However, he’s completed 75% of those attempts and has some mobility after adding 78 yards on the ground with 20 attempts this season.

Arizona’s Steady Lineup

However, on the other hand, the Arizona Wildcats rarely have anyone missing heading into this game. While Oklahoma will lose dozens of players for this game, Arizona only has two key players confirmed out for this game. That’s safety Isaiah Taylor, who entered the portal, and LT Jordan Morgan, who opted out of this game.

Arizona saw a star born this year. Noah Fifita, who is also a freshman, took over the quarterback job and never looked back. The Pac-12 freshman took the entire college football fanbase by storm after adding 23 touchdowns and only five interceptions in his first year under center. Fifita had a QBR of 85.6, which is 6th in the nation this season.

Fifita took over against Washington in late September. The Wildcats couldn’t get by Washington and lost to USC by two points in overtime. He lost to Michael Penix Jr. and Caleb Williams. But after that, Arizona never lost another game.

The Wildcats knocked off Washington State, Oregon State, UCLA, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona State in consecutive weeks. Fifita added 527 yards passing with five touchdowns against Arizona State to close out the regular season.

He won’t be protected by Jordan Morgan at left tackle, but the rest of the team is intact. Fifita completed 73.6% of passes throughout the season and might’ve been in the conversation for the Heisman if he started the season and added a win over USC or Washington. He was sensational and should continue that against a weak Oklahoma defense.

Let’s take Arizona at -3.

NCAAF Pick: Arizona -3 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

What About The Total?

While I like Arizona to win, the total is more intriguing for this game.

Sure, Dillon Gabriel won’t play for the Sooners. They’ll also be without many skill positions for this game. However, Jackson Arnold is a stud whom the Sooners are excited to give the keys to the offense. There’s no pressure on Arnold in this game. He’s just got to go out there and have fun.

While running backs Tawee Walker, Marcus Major, and Dylan Smothers have entered the transfer portal, the one that matters the most is Gavin Sawchuk. He’s a freshman running back who saw a team-high 105 carries for 610 yards. Sawchuk added 5.8 yards a carry and scored eight touchdowns. He’s not going anywhere.

Beyond that, none of the wide receivers are going anywhere, either. Drake Stoops added ten touchdowns on 78 catches. He’s playing in this game as a senior. They’ll also have Nic Anderson, who added 725 yards while averaging 23.4 yards a catch this season.

The offense should still put up numbers.

Meanwhile, the Arizona offense will also put up numbers, as suggested above. That offense hasn’t changed much and should dominate an Oklahoma defense that already had some poor performances this year.

Oklahoma’s transfers on defense aren’t super significant. But it leaves them with less depth. That should help the Arizona offense get moving.

Let’s back the Over 62.5 at -110 betting odds in this game.

NCAAF Pick: Over 62.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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