Oklahoma Vs. Florida State Predictions, Odds, Picks For Cheez-it Bowl (12/29/22)

It’s one of the more fun bowls of the slate as the Florida State Seminoles take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cheez-It Bowl. Known for its exotic flair and fun atmosphere, we are in for a delight as these Power Five programs battle it out. Florida State burst onto the scene this year and looks to be a mainstay for the foreseeable future. Can they continue their success against the high-powered Sooners?

Oklahoma Vs. Florida State Odds

Oddsmakers think so as they opened the Seminoles as high as -7. After the news of Oklahoma’s running back Eric Gray broke out about him opting out, this has moved bettors to hit the spread by taking FSU up to as high as -9.5. Not only Gray, but Oklahoma loses two offensive tackles as well and leaves the offense more vulnerable than ever. This doesn’t bode well for Oklahoma as Florida State fields a ferocious defense that is returning multiple starters for this bowl game.

Speaking of defense, this is a bit of a head scratcher for me as oddsmakers believe points will be scored in a flash by opening the number at 58.5. This is especially head scratching after seeing this number rise to as high as 66 after the news of Oklahoma’s offense being decimated by opt outs. Even with stud quarterback Dillon Gabriel on pace to play, the loss of Eric Gray forces Oklahoma to shift more towards a one-dimensional game script. This gives FSU the upper hand as they can sit more back in coverage with little fear of a successful run game.

Oklahoma Vs. Florida State Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Under 66

It’s never settling to go against the steam, but I believe this number has simply climbed too high for a game that features a hobbled offense in Oklahoma while Florida State will be clicking on both ends. Even with blowout potential written all over this game script, we may see Florida State call back the dogs as Mike Norvell led teams typically play down to competition during this time of year by going 0-4 ATS.

With potential tempered scoring aspirations for Florida State, then we should be fine on both ends as I struggle to see how Oklahoma will find offensive consistency. Especially with the loss of stud running back Eric Gray who accounted for 1,366 yards and 11 touchdowns. Without him, Oklahoma’s backfield brings in looming question marks as both backups Jovantae Barnes and Marcus Major come into this as questionable on the injury report.

With the reality of a non-existent backfield looming large over the Sooners, we may see them go pass heavy in this one. Their quarterback Dillon Gabriel is a lethal threat in the pocket, throwing for 2,925 yards, 24 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He brings a dual threat ability and will look to fill the rushing gap should Oklahoma’s running backs not be able to suit up.

The issue with being pass heavy is that they go against an elite Florida State defense. Bringing back a majority of last year’s defense, their continuity has been on full display with impressive metrics on the defensive end. They finished the season ranked above average in Def Pass Success Rate and Def Pass Explosiveness in one of the more pass heavy conferences in the league.

Oklahoma Vs. Florida State Key Matchups

Can Oklahoma’s weak defense do our under any favor and limit the Florida State offense?

Florida State balanced offense attack vs Oklahoma defense

While Florida State’s defensive dominance was to be expected, it was their revitalization of the offense that really helped this team find season long success. Quarterback Jordan Travis’ step up in production played a huge role, leading this team to passing ranks of 40th in Off Pass Success and 27th in PPA. 

While this may spell doom early for the Oklahoma defense, a unit that ranks below average in Def Pass Success, they at least get a breather knowing that FSU does not pose as much of a threat on the ground with negating Rush Success metrics. 

With Oklahoma being able to limit the damage on the ground, this will create clock draining situations late in the game. It’s never easy to believe in a Big 12 defense, but I feel comfortable that their defense can hold up for late game situations should Florida State put this away early.

Verdict

With Oklahoma’s offense facing serious question marks in the backfield and making them one dimensional, I believe scoring will be scarce on their end which may be more than enough for our under ticket to cash.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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