2023 Alamo Bowl – Arizona vs Oklahoma

2023 Alamo Bowl – Arizona vs Oklahoma

posted December 24

The Game

Remember the Alamo, yo.

It’s time to head down to San Antonio and check out one of the spicier bowl match-ups of the season as Arizona tangles with Oklahoma. The Wildcats (9-3) come into this game riding a six-game winning streak and they finished the regular season in third place in the PAC 12. All three of their losses came by one score including a 31-24 defeat at the hands of mighty Washington. The Sooners (10-2) were sitting pretty after slithering past Texas in an epic Red River SHOOTOUT (W 34-30) but they dropped back-to-back games to Kansas and Oklahoma St and ended up missing the Big 12 Championship Game.

The Details

Arizona -2.5 Oklahoma (62.5)


“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Arizona 32.5 Oklahoma 30

Arizona offense vs Oklahoma defense

The Wildcats have been a dangerous bunch behind QB Noah Fifita (23-5 TD to INT, 74%, 8.5 YPA) since he took over the starting gig (#12 FBS passing offense) and he does a great job of distributing the ball liberally amongst the WR/TE/RB weaponry. Six players have 20+ receptions and 280+ receiving yards including star WR Tetairoa McMillan (1,242, 10 TD) but they may be without their deadly slot WR Jacob Cowing for this game. TE Tanner McClachlan has caught 42 balls and RB Michael Wiley has snagged 28 passes so Oklahoma is gonna be challenged in this game. The Sooners finished the season ranked #11 in the nation (!) in pass efficiency defense thanks in large part to 19 INTs (#2 FBS) but they did give up a lot of passing yards along the way (#98). Arizona will mix it up an hit you with RB Jonah Coleman (851, 5 TD) from time-to-time and the Sooners have been average vs the run. The good news for Oklahoma is that their stop unit is largely intact compared to the carnage on the offensive side of the football and note that Arizona will be missing their star LT. Oklahoma ranks #1 in the Big 12 in terms of TFL/game so there’s a good chance that a few Arizona drives end up stalling due to negative plays.

Oklahoma offense vs Arizona defense

The Sooners average over 500 YPG (#5 FBS) and 43 PPG (#3) but they’ll be riding in this one without star QB Dillon Gabriel who’s off to Oregon (30-6 TD to INT), a small handful of starters on the offensive line, #2 RB Tawee Walker, as well as OC Jeff Lebby. It’ll be up to freshman QB Jackson Arnold to lead the way (24 attempts) and whilst he appears to be a very talented specimen it’ll be a tall order to play close to Gabriel’s high standards. They’ve got some decent weaponry in the THROW GAME including the crafty Drake Stoops (78 receptions) and Nic Anderson (23.4 YPC) but the RB unit is fairly average compared to what Oklahoma normally puts out on the field. Arizona has been decent on defense (#19 FBS run D, #44 pass efficiency D) and they only allowed one team to exceed 24 points (Colorado) during their current six-game winning streak.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

This will be Oklahoma HC Brent Venables’ 2nd bowl game and he had his team well-prepared for last year’s game vs Florida St in which they gave the Seminoles all they could handle in a 35-32 loss as 10-point underdogs…..Oklahoma played in the Alamo Bowl back in 2021 and they pasted the Ducks by a score of 47-32…..Arizona last played in a bowl game back in 2017 when fell to Purdue in something called the Foster Farms Bowl.


Both defenses are a bit underrated and essentially at full strength. Oklahoma will be rolling with a backup freshman QB and a massively retooled offensive line. Arizona will likely be without their devastating slot WR and the outstanding LT. We’ll roll with the ‘under’ and see what happens.


Lean – Under 62.5

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.