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Texas

vs.

Oklahoma

Big 12 Football Pick

10/13/12

Texas and Oklahoma will square off Saturday in the Cotton Bowl, in a huge Big 12 Football game. The game opened with the Sooners favored by -3.5 at 5 Dimes  (betonline opened -2.5) and has since been bet down to -2.5 across the board. The total is 61. The early action at sportsbook.ag, according to their betting trends, favors the Sooners with 65% of the action coming in on their side.

The Big 12 may have been tough last year, but even after losing both Texas A&M and Missouri, they could be better this year. A lot of this can be because of these two teams, Oklahoma and Texas. The season may be young, but the Sooners showed last weekend that they aren't going to lose the games that they should win this year. Sure, they lost to Kansas State, but the Wildcats are that good. Oklahoma went to Texas Tech last weekend and controlled a game in which they were just slight favorites. Last year, the Red Raiders gave Oklahoma their first loss in Norman, OK.

As for Texas, they have had a nice early season and lost a hard fought battle to West Virginia most recently. While they were favorites, it's still not easy to stop the most high-powered offense in the nation in the Mountaineers. Remember, the Longhorns finished with five losses last year and will need to lose some bad games this year to hit that number.

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The Sooners offense wasn't spectacular against Texas Tech last week, but they still got the job done. Landry Jones finished with 259 yards and two TDs and now has 1,032 yards and seven TDs for the year. Most importantly, Jones had no turnovers last week. He'll need to do the same against Texas. WR Kenny Stills is Jones's top option who has at least six grabs in every game. Their ground attack has been solid throughout the year, but was held up against the Red Raiders. Damien Williams has a 7.8 yards per carry average through four games, yet finished with only 48 yards on 14 carries against the Red Raiders. As seen last week when they allowed Andrew Buie to rush for 207 yards, the Longhorns are susceptible to ground games.

The Texas offense is much improved from a year ago. In fact, they are scoring over 45 points per game which is good for sixth in the country. David Ash is at the helm and looking better than any QB the Longhorns used last year (including himself). Through five games he has 1,276 yards, 11 TDs and just one interception. That's one of the main reasons Texas has been so good offensively. In the receiving game, Ash has multiple options to throw to, most notably WRs Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley. The Longhorns rushing game is led by Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray. Bergeron is the short yardage runner who had four TDs last week against West Virginia. Gray, who is getting time because of Malcolm Brown's ankle injury is more of a change of pace back.

It will be key for the Texas offense to keep putting points on the board as Oklahoma is the best defense the Longhorns have faced so far this year. Last week, the Sooners defense stepped up big against Texas Tech stopping Seth Doege and company to just 20 points which also included a pick six in the third quarter which sealed the game.

In last year's matchup, Oklahoma dominated 55-17 in Texas, but that should be much different this year with an improved David Ash (Case McCoy started for Texas in this game last year). This year, the Red River rivalry will take place at the Cotton Bowl, so it will be a neutral site game. The Sooners are slight favorites which says a lot about what the Longhorns have been able to do since last year.

The Sooners are 4-1 against the spread in their last five neutral site games, but are only 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games. As for the Longhorns, they are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight neutral site games and 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. In this meeting, the over has hit in three of the last four games.

This is a series that Texas has had some recent success in. They have lost the last two, but prior to that won 4 out of 5. Since 1990 Texas is 11-10 against Oklahoma. This shows us that the talent these two are able to recruit is in the same ballpark. One team hasn't dominated the other although there was a stretch in the early 2000's where the Sooners won 5 straight. This is also significant in that Oklahoma blew the doors off Texas last year in a 55-17 route. Can you say revenge?

Texas was one of the top teams in the country year in and year out through most of the 2000's until falling on hard times with a 5-7 record in 2010. They improved in 2011 to 8-5, but still, un-Texas like and getting blown out by the Sooners is simply unacceptable. The entered the loss column last week against West Virginia but you have to admire the effort. They fought back from a 21-7 deficit in a game that saw several lead changes. The Longhorns never quit, closing the gap to 48-45 with 22 seconds left and simply ran out of time.

The Sooners look good, but you have to toss their 69-13 win over Florida AM. You're then left with 24-7 over 1-5 UTEP, a 24-19 loss to Kansas State and a 41-20 win over Texas Tech. Hardly intimidating results, especially after going toe to toe with offensive powerhouse West Virginia.

We're concerned about the Texas defense here but feel as though they have the horses offensively to make up for it. We are going to play Texas here 3 and +3.5 as a Key Release, splitting the wager in half as there are mostly 3's on the board now, at -115. 3* Key Release Texas +3.5 up to -120 for 1/2 your wager and Texas +3 -105 or better for the other half.

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