Florida-Oklahoma Cotton Bowl Pick: Fade Shorthanded Gators Vs. Sooners

The Oklahoma line is on the move


December 30, 2020

It’s time for a midweek college football bowl pick.

I feel like every bowl season we’re wowed by wacky scores and wild finishes, but 2020 has an entirely new twist with COVID-19 outbreaks and hushed injury information. More than ever before, late-breaking information has led to unprecedented shifts in the betting markets.

Look no further than the Big Ten Championship when Ohio State announced around an hour before kickoff that 20-plus players were not going to suit up for the Buckeyes in their conference title game against Northwestern.

We’ve already seen multiple bowl games in the last two weeks affected by suppressed outbreaks and late player opt-outs and there’s expected to be another one on Wednesday.

Cotton Bowl: Florida vs. Oklahoma (-5.5, 67.5)
Oklahoma -5.5

The Orlando Sentinel already reported that the Gators will be without their top receivers Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes, plus tight end and soon-to-be first-round draft pick Kyle Pitts. All three players opted out of the game to turn their attention to the NFL draft. But the situation is much worse than meets the eye.

Sources have told NESN that other Florida wide receivers will also be unavailable due to positive COVID tests and potential contact tracing. So Florida could be without their top five or six targets in the passing game.

That’s no bueno.

“They’ll have special teamers all over the field,” a source told NESN.

There are other varying reports swirling that Gators quarterback Kyle Trask will play an extremely limited role due to the unexpected circumstances. It makes total sense for Trask’s camp to not have him try and do too much in a bowl game without his full cupboard of playmaking weapons.

The betting markets are starting to really hop as Oklahoma moved from -3.5 to -5 late Tuesday night and one Vegas bookmaker thinks the line could climb as high as -7 by kickoff.

It’s pretty unfortunate because I really wanted to see Florida face Oklahoma with both teams at full strength. But we’ve already seen this movie many times this year with mass exoduses followed by drastic shifts to the point spread. It’s unfolding again before our very eyes.

Oklahoma wants to be here. Florida will be going through the motions.

RECORD: (7-2, +4.8)

Thumbnail photo via Adam Hagy/USA TODAY Sports Images

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