Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Cheez-It Bowl - Oklahoma vs. Florida State (12/29/2022) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Cheez-It Bowl – Oklahoma vs. Florida State (12/29/2022)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
December 27, 2022

Oklahoma Sooners vs #13 Florida State Seminoles (12/29 @ 5:30 PM EST)

Spread: FSU -10
Money Line: Oklahoma +275 / FSU -355
Total: 66

Overview and Betting Info

 The Oklahoma Sooners (6-6) will face off against the #13 Florida State Seminoles (9-3) on Thursday night in the Cheez-It Bowl. The Sooners have lost three of their last four games, while the Seminoles have won five straight. This will be the eighth time these schools have played, with the Sooners winning six matchups.

Oklahoma is 4-8 against the spread this season and have only covered three of their last ten games. For the point total, the Sooners are 5-6-1 in favor of the under.

Florida State is 8-4 versus the spread, having covered seven of their last ten games. Regarding the point total, they have split the season at 6-6.

Oklahoma Sooners

The Oklahoma offense averaged 472.2 yards and 32.9 points per game this season. They have been on fire recently, averaging 43.6 points over their last five games. They are led by quarterback Dillon Gabriel who has thrown for 2,925 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has been playing at an elite level the last couple of weeks, with 708 yards and 9 combined touchdowns. He is supported by an elite receiver in Marvin Mims Jr. The junior receiver was incredible and is coming off a game where he had 162 yards and two touchdowns. When Gabriel isn’t looking toward Mims, he has been spreading the ball evenly between Brayden Willis (456 yards, 7 TD), Jalil Farooq (407 yards, 4 TD), and Drake Stoops (366 yards, 3 TD). Keep an eye on Willis, as he’s scored two touchdowns on seven catches in their last game.

The Oklahoma backfield will be without leading rusher Eric Gray, who has 1,366 yards (15th in FBS) and 11 touchdowns. He’s been incredible this season and will forgo the game to prepare for the NFL draft. His absence will be huge for the Sooners, who will likely also be without Marcus Major and have Jovante Barnes listed as questionable. Barnes would be their best chance if he can suit up, as he has 411 yards and four touchdowns on the year.

The Sooners’ defense has allowed 450.5 and 29.6 points per game this season. They will be without two key players in Jalen Redmond (4 sacks, 4 PD) and Wanya Morris (32 tackles), entering the transfer portal. Despite the losses, they will still have leading tackler Danny Stutsman (118 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INT) and sack leaders Ethan Downs (4.5) and Reggie Grimes (4.5 sacks). In the secondary, the Sooners have a lot of talent, with CJ Codon (4 INT) and Billy Bowman (2 INT). They’ll need their defense at its best as they take on a dangerous Florida State attack.

Florida State Seminoles

The Seminoles’ offense averaged 475.7 yards and 36.2 points per game this season. They are led by quarterback Jordan Travis who has thrown for 2,796 yards and 22 touchdowns. He’s also been an effective rusher, with another 367 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. The junior has been a scoring machine of late, with ten total touchdowns in his last three games against zero turnovers. He is joined by leading receiver Johnny Wilson who has 695 yards and five touchdowns. He had a great start to the year, but he has just 92 yards on five catches over his last three games. When not throwing to Wilson, Travis spreads the ball out between Ontaria Wilson (421 yards, 3 TDs), Mycah Pittman (317 yards, 3 TDs), and Camren McDonald (312 yards, 1 TD).

The Seminoles’ run game is led by Trey Benson, who has 965 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He’s been fantastic lately, going over 110 yards in five of his last six games. The running back is a big reason for this team’s success, thanks to averaging 6.8 yards per carry. When Benson isn’t carrying the ball, look for fellow backs Lawrance Toafili (447 yards, 5 TD) and Treshaun Ward (547 yards, 5 TD) to make some big plays. Ward has been explosive, averaging 6.4 yards per game.

The Florida State defense allowed 307.3 yards (14th in FBS) and 19.7 points per game this season. They’ve been one of the top units in the country, led in part by Jared Verse (7.5 sacks), Patrick Payton (4 sacks), and Kalen DeLoach (3 sacks, 7 PD). They are 20th in the country with 34 sacks and should find their way into Oklahoma’s backfield plenty on Thursday. In the secondary, FSU is led by the play of Greedy Vance, who has three interceptions on the year.

Free Pick: FSU -10

With Eric Gray out for Oklahoma, we see them needing more talent to overcome this Seminoles team. Florida State’s defense is one of the best units in the country, and they’ll be bringing their full squad to the game on Thursday. FSU has been playing well lately, while the Sooners have struggled. As good as the Gabriel-Mims connection has been, the Seminoles only allow 158.9 passing yards per game. Without Gray in the backfield, the Sooners won’t have the run game to try and open up the pass a bit more. We see a sluggish start for the Sooners that will dig a hole they can’t escape.

We’re giving up the points to roll with the Seminoles on Thursday.