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Alabama vs. Ohio State - 1/1/15 Sugar Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) at Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)

College Football: Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 8:30 pm (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)

The Line: Alabama Crimson Tide -9 -- Over/Under: 58.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes play Thursday night in the Sugar Bowl for a spot in the national championship.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have won eight straight games and are playing in their 11th straight bowl. Blake Sims is completing 64.8 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sims has seven total touchdowns and three picks in his last two games, and Alabama has 32 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Amari Cooper and DeAndrew White have combined for more than 2,000 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns while Christion Jones has four receptions in his last two games. Alabama’s ground game is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, as T.J. Yeldon leads the way with 932 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, the Alabama Crimson Tide are allowing 16.6 points, 312.4 yards, and they’ve forced 28 sacks and 18 turnovers. Landon Collins leads Alabama with 90 tackles and Xzavier Dickson has 10.5 tackles for loss.

Alabama vs. Ohio State - 1/1/15 Sugar Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes have won 11 straight games and are playing in their 14th bowl in the last 15 years. Cardale Jones is completing 64.7 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Jones is coming off a three-touchdown performance, and Ohio State has 34 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Devin Smith and Michael Thomas have combined for more than 1,400 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns while Jalin Marshall has nine receptions in his last three games. Ohio State’s ground game is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, as Ezekiel Elliott leads the way with 1,402 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively, the Ohio State Buckeyes are allowing 21.2 points, 328 yards, and they’ve forced 40 sacks and 29 turnovers. Joshua Perry leads OSU with 113 tackles and Joey Bosa has 20 tackles for loss.

The Buckeyes are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games and 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Crimson Tide are 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games and 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall. 

Again, I can't bring myself to leave this many points on the table. Ohio State has one of the better defenses in the country and will be able to pressure Sims into some bad throws. The Buckeyes also have an explosive offense that can put up points in a hurry. Don't fall into the hype, this game will be close and I won't be surprised if the Buckeyes find a way to win. Take the points here. 

Ohio State Buckeyes +9

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