- Bowl: Allstate Sugar Bowl
- Matchup: Oklahoma vs Auburn
- Date: January 2, 2017 at 8:30 PM EST
- Preferred Sportsbook: BetPhoenix
The 83rd annual Allstate Sugar Bowl is January 2, 2017 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana between the champions from the SEC and Big 12. Originally, the SEC team would of been Alabama, but due to them playing in the College Football Playoff, the Auburn Tigers will take the invitation with the best record remaining. The Tigers will play the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2nd oldest bowl in the country.
Both Oklahoma and Auburn started out the year with a 1-2 record. Oklahoma lost to Ohio State and Houston, while Auburn lost to Clemson and Texas A&M to start the year and followed that up with losses to Georgia and Alabama to end the year. These two teams have only played each other 1 times in the history of the storied programs. In that game, which was in 1972, the Sooners were victorious by score of 40-22.
Sooner's Looking to End Bowl Drought
The Sooners will be looking to end a 2 bowl game losing streak when they play in New Orleans. Oklahoma ended the year undefeated in conference play and finished #7 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Oklahoma followed up the 1-2 start this year to win 9 in a row and their 10th conference championship under Bob Stoops.
Their offense is one the best in the NCAA. They average 44.7 points per game and scored a minimum of 34 points in every game that they won this year. This offense is multi dimensional as they have playmakers in both the rushing and passing game. QB Baker Mayfield will lead the offense and will be throwing downfield to Dede Westbrook. The passing attack is predicated off an effective rushing attack by RB's Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon.
Auburn's Defense is as Good As Any in the Nation
Auburn is 10-3 in their past 13 bowl appearances. They finished the regular season ranked #6 in the NCAA in rushing yards per game with 278.5. This offense was steady all year but faltered in the end of the season. The good part for Auburn is Oklahoma does not have the normal defense that they put on the field each year, so they should have some success with moving the ball.
Auburn's strong point is their defense. Their pass rush is as good as any in the league. Led by Carl Lawson, this unit only allows opposition to score an average of 15.6 points per game. They were decent all year, including their losses. They held Clemson to 19 points, Miss St to 14 points, Arkansas to 3 points, Georgia to 13 points and stopped Alabama for the most part only allowing 3TD's. In that Alabama game, their defense was left to fend for themselves and were on the field a ton in the first half as Auburn didn't score their first 1st down until 25 minutes into the game!
Defense vs. Offense at the Sugar Bowl
This game will be decided by whoever is successful with their game plan. Auburn will rely heavily on their defense to keep them in the game, while Oklahoma will rely on their high powered offense putting up points to put pressure on Auburn to keep up with the score.
We are picking Auburn to upset Oklahoma here! We are taking Auburn +3 points and will also be recommending the Money Line! Most of the lines listed at time of writing are from original line weeks prior to date of game. Please adjust for any line changes and use your own judgement outside of our late updates posted.
Allstate Sugar Bowl Picks at a Glance
All bowl picks are given and made by Spooky but the previews are written and put together by the Spooky Express team. Check back closer to game day for any possible changes. If you are a numbers person, please utilize the power rankings listed in our College Bowl Picks post.