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BCS Championship Florida vs. Oklahoma

January 08, 2009

2009 BCS Championship - (1) Florida Gators vs. (2) Oklahoma Sooners (Thursday 8:00 ET)

The Gators, who opened as three-point favorites for the title game against the Oklahoma Sooners, quickly jumped to four-point favorites before the line jumped to five points on Wednesday.

With 83% of bettors picking Florida, members of clearly believe that the Gators' defense will expose an Oklahoma offense that racked up big numbers playing against some of the worst defenses in the nation.

Sam Bradford, QB for the SoonersThe Sooners' offense ranks first in the country with an average of 54 points per game, third in passing with an average of 356.5 yards per game and third in total offense with 562.8 yards per game.

However, those stats were padded against offensive-oriented Big 12 teams. In the last nine games, Oklahoma has played just two defenses ranked in the Top 60 in college football.

The rest of the games came against weak defenses, five of which were ranked 89th or worse in Total Defense.

It also doesn't help the Sooners' case that other powerful Big 12 offenses have struggled when matched against defenses from outside the conference this Bowl Season.

Missouri, ranked sixth in Points Scored and eighth in Total Offense, but needed overtime to beat Northwestern and ultimately failed to cover the 12 -point spread.

Oklahoma State, sixth in Total Offense and ninth in Points Scored, lost to Oregon and failed to cover as one-point favorites.

Texas Tech, first in the nation in passing, fourth in Total Offense and fifth in Points Scored, lost to Ole Miss and failed to cover a 3 -point spread.

Then, on Monday night, the high-powered Texas offense needed a last-minute touchdown to squeak out a 24-21 win over Ohio State.

Texas' offense, fourth in Points Scored, ninth in Total Offense and 10th in Passing Offense, generated just three points in the first half and failed to cover the big 9 -point spread they received.

The lack of success by other Big 12 offenses has shaken bettors' confidence and Oklahoma has to prove they can put up points against a Florida defense that ranks eighth in Total Defense, fourth in Scoring Defense, 16th in Passing Defense and is second in the nation with 24 interceptions.

Oklahoma hasn't played a defense as good as the one they'll face Thursday. Yes, they did score 35 points against a TCU defense ranked first in Total Defense, but TCU hasn't played near the level of competition that Florida has.

The Gators have proven themselves against the best teams in the SEC and while many think the conference had a down season (outside of Florida and Alabama), the SEC still has to be thought of as a conference that produces great defenses.

The fact the Florida offense averaged 45.2 points per game playing mostly SEC opponents, and ranks 17th in Total Offense, are two keys that Gators' bettors point to.

Will quarterback Tim Tebow and the Gators win their second national title in three years or will this year's Heisman winner, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, make up for the Sooners' recent woes in the BCS Title game when they lost to LSU in 2003 and were blown out by USC in 2004?

Pick: Under 69 (-110)

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