Florida Gators vs. Oklahoma Sooners – Cotton Bowl, December 30, 2020
Two of the most electrifying quarterbacks in the country are set to take flight at AT&T Stadium on December 30th. Both head coaches are fiery, both offenses are explosive, and there’s a whole bunch of pride on the line.
No matter how you assess this matchup, the 2020 Cotton Bowl Classic is shaping up to be a barn-burner.
Before we get to a Florida vs. Oklahoma prediction, let’s glance at the odds.
Florida vs. Oklahoma Odds
Oklahoma has erased their sluggish start and has played lights-out since October. Florida has three losses on their resume, but taking Alabama down to the wire in the SEC Championship earned this group a ton of respect.
- Florida is 5-5-1 ATS
- Oklahoma is 7-3 ATS
College football is easily one of the best sports to bet on, and this game is going to be filled with a ton of back-and-forth and excitement.
With that in mind, let’s work our way towards a Cotton Bowl prediction.
To Win, the Gators Must…
Win the Battle Up Front. Florida was always going to have their hands full trying to fend off the Sooners ferocious front seven. It’s hard enough to get a body on Nik Bonitto, and blocking Ronnie Perkins and Isaiah Thomas off the edge is a lot easier said than done.
Throw in the fact that Kyle Trask can’t depend on his superstar tight end, and the Gators are staring at an uphill battle.
Breaking: Florida TE Kyle Pitts will not play in the Gators' bowl game and is foregoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft, he announced. pic.twitter.com/MFlLV7HccU— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 20, 2020
No, Kyle Pitts means more pressure on Kyle Trask to play near-perfect football. Kadarius Toney can’t do it all by himself, and Florida’s rushing attack is just so-so. If Oklahoma’s defensive line can eat away at the Gators protection scheme, it’s going to be a long night for Dan Mullen and company.
On the flip side, if Florida’s O-Line can win their one-on-one matchups and afford Kyle Trask some time, we’ve seen what the Heisman candidate can do. Trask’s 43 passing touchdowns are 11 more than anyone else in college football.
To Win, the Sooners Must…
Let Spencer Rattler Go to Work. Despite not posting the eye-popping stats possessed by his Cotton Bowl counterpart, Spencer Rattler is beyond the real deal. His athleticism and arm strength are off the charts, and his ability to thread the needle has been on full display.
On the heels of RB T.J. Pledger entering the transfer protocol, Lincoln Riley has even more reason to put the ball in his quarterback’s hands. Rhamondre Stevenson has been effective out of the backfield and will be a big part of the game plan, but getting a win in this NY6 matchup comes down to Rattler putting on a show.
We can talk about the athletes Dan Mullen has on defense, but let’s instead highlight the cold-hard facts.
Florida gave up 52 points to Bama their last time out. Before that, a suspect LSU squad lit the Gators up for 37 – at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, might I add.
Just some food for thought before you lock in a Florida vs. Oklahoma prediction.
Florida vs. Oklahoma Pick
Not to harp on the absence of Kyle Pitts, but losing the highest-graded (per PFF) skill-position player in the country is a massive loss on many levels. Florida’s going to have a lot tougher time putting the ball in the end zone without his big frame to lean on.
If Oklahoma can simply take care of the football and allow Spencer Rattler to shine, I see the Sooners emerging in the Cotton Bowl. Not that Riley and his group needed any extra bulletin-board material, but Gators LB James Houston talking smack about Oklahoma just adds fuel to the fire.
Give me OU to win the game, and I’ll most definitely hop on the Sooners in a Florida vs. Oklahoma pick.
Why turn away three points worth of insurance?