Rogers' 10* Bowl Game of the Week (Monday) >> 2-0 with NFL 10*s Sunday!
Auburn vs. Oklahoma,
01/02/2017 20:30 EDT,
Score: 19 - 35
Point Spread: -3/-104 Oklahoma
The set-up: Auburn (8-4) and Oklahoma (10-2) each began the season by losing two of their first three games but regrouped in a big way and will cap off the season by meeting in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 2. Auburn used a six-game winning streak in the middle of the season to get back on track and Oklahoma enters the Superdome as Big 12 champs riding a nine-game winning streak.
Auburn: QB Sean White (1,644 yards with 9 TDs and 3 INTs) missed the last two games with a shoulder injury after playing through pain the previous two games but coach Gus Malzahn told reporters Dec. 14 that White "looks ready to go, didn't miss a beat" as Auburn began its bowl preparations. The Tigers rely on their running game, averaging 278. 5 YPG (6th). Kamryn Pettway missed two games late in the season with a quad injury and didn't record a carry or reception in two others, but still has 1,123 rushing yards (6.1 YPC) and seven touchdowns on the season. He returned for the regular-season finale against top-ranked Alabama and was held to 17 yards on 12 carries in the 30-12 loss, but three weeks to heal and three more weeks of practice should have Pettway back in top form. Kerryon Johnson has been a fantastic change-of-pace RB for the Tigers, rushing for 862 yards (5.0 YPC) with 11 TDs. Auburn isn't as talented at the receiver positions, but the Tigers do have plenty of options as eight different players caught from 10 to 29 passes this season. Defensively, the Tigers have allowed just 15.5 PPG (5th) and get stronger as games go on, allowing only 35 points in the fourth quarter this season!
Oklahoma: The Sooners opened the season No. 2 in the AP's preseason poll but lost their opener 33-23 to Houston and then in their third game, were hammered 45-24 at home by Ohio State. Nine straight Big 12 wins (6-3 ATS) gave Oklahoma the Big 12 title and this bid. QB Baker Mayfield threw for 3,669 yards and 38 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. His "go-to" WR is Dede Westbrook, the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, who enters the game with 74 catches for 1,465 yards (19.8 YPC) and 16 TDs. The Sooners have great balance, running for 237.6 YPG with a pair of standout RBs. Joe Mixon (1,183 yard on 7.0 YPC and 9 TDs) has gained unwanted national attention this week after the release of a 2014 video that showed him punch a female Oklahoma student. Samaje Perine, who missed three conference games with a leg injury but has 974 yards on 5.4 YPC with 11 TDs (should go over 1,000 yards for a third straight season!). The Oklahoma defense is a worry, allowing 29.7 PPG (75th).
The pick: Auburn has the far better defense but Oklahoma has so many more (and talented) skill players. I haven't trusted "Big Game Bob" for years but I'll argue this isn't really a "big game," so I'll make Oklahoma a 10* play.