For the second year in a row, the Oklahoma Sooners have a star running back dealing with serious allegations heading into the biggest game of the season. It is uncertain if leading rusher Rodney Anderson will suit up for the second-seeded Sooners against the third-seeded Georgia Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl on January 1.
Oklahoma opened as a 1.5-point favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for the national semifinal matchup, but the odds have since swung the other way, with Georgia listed as a 1.5-point favorite.
Last year, it was Joe Mixon who had a video released of him punching a female student in 2014 in the weeks leading up to Oklahoma’s Sugar Bowl win over the Auburn Tigers.
Mixon ended up playing versus Auburn on January 2 and had 19 carries for 91 yards, five catches for 89 yards and scored two touchdowns as his team won 35-19 before he left school early for the NFL.
Anderson scored a team-high 16 touchdowns for the Sooners this season while replacing Mixon, rushing for 960 yards on 162 carries and adding 16 receptions for 283 yards. Oklahoma’s second-leading rusher is Trey Sermon with 710 yards on 119 carries, and he scored seven touchdowns overall.
In the higher-profile second national semifinal, the Alabama Crimson Tide opened as 2-point favorites against the Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl despite being the fourth seed in the College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide will be playing the defending national champion and top-seeded Tigers in the CFP for the third year in a row, splitting the last two games with the winner taking home the NCAA title.
Alabama has made the CFP all four years, although the school was a controversial choice this season without winning the SEC championship. Clemson has covered the spread in both previous CFP meetings even with the title game loss two years ago.
The Ohio State Buckeyes won the Big Ten Championship Game but were left out of the CFP, and they will instead play the USC Trojans as 6.5-point favorites in the Cotton Bowl on December 29. The Buckeyes handed the Wisconsin Badgers their first loss as expected after closing as 3.5-point chalk, and they have an outstanding 11-2 mark against the spread in their last 13 games versus Pac-12 opponents, according to the OddsShark College Football Database.
The Trojans are on an 0-6 ATS run against Big Ten foes and are 1-8 SU and ATS in their last nine as dogs.
The Badgers are identical favorites over the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl on December 30 with both teams coming off losses. Wisconsin is 8-1 straight up in its last nine following a loss while Miami is 1-5 ATS in its previous six against Big Ten schools.
New Orleans Bowl – North Texas vs. Troy (-5.5)
Cure Bowl – Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky (-5)
Las Vegas Bowl – Boise State vs. Oregon (-8)
New Mexico Bowl – Marshall vs. Colorado State (-5.5)
Camellia Bowl – Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State (-3.5)
Boca Raton Bowl – Akron vs. Florida Atlantic (-23)
Frisco Bowl – Louisiana Tech vs. SMU (-5)
Gasparilla Bowl – Florida International vs. Temple (-7)
Bahamas Bowl – UAB vs. Ohio (-7.5)
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Central Michigan vs. Wyoming (-1)
Birmingham Bowl – Texas Tech vs. USF (-3)
Armed Forces Bowl – San Diego State vs. Army (OFF)
Dollar General Bowl – Appalachian State vs. Toledo (-8)
Hawaii Bowl – Fresno State vs. Houston (-2.5)
Heart of Dallas Bowl – West Virginia vs. Utah (-7)
Quick Lane Bowl – NIU vs. Duke (-4.5)
Cactus Bowl – UCLA vs. Kansas State (-2.5)
Independence Bowl – Southern Miss vs. Florida State (-15)
Pinstripe Bowl – Boston College vs. Iowa (-3)
Foster Farms Bowl – Purdue vs. Arizona (-3.5)
Texas Bowl – Texas vs. Missouri (-3)
Military Bowl – Virginia vs. Navy (OFF)
Camping World Bowl – Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State (-6.5)
Holiday Bowl – Michigan State vs. Washington State (-3)
Alamo Bowl – Stanford vs. TCU (-2.5)
Belk Bowl – Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest (-3)
Sun Bowl – Arizona State vs. N.C. State (-6)
Music City Bowl – Kentucky vs. Northwestern (-7)
Arizona Bowl – New Mexico State vs. Utah State (-3.5)
Cotton Bowl – USC vs. Ohio State (-6.5)
TaxSlayer Bowl – Mississippi State vs. Louisville (-7)
Liberty Bowl – Iowa State vs. Memphis (-3.5)
Fiesta Bowl – Washington vs. Penn State (-3)
Orange Bowl – Miami vs. Wisconsin (-6.5)
Outback Bowl – South Carolina vs. Michigan (-8)
Peach Bowl – UCF vs. Auburn (-10)
Citrus Bowl – Notre Dame vs. LSU (-3)
Rose Bowl – Oklahoma vs. Georgia (-1.5)
Sugar Bowl – Clemson vs. Alabama (-2)