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Pick - Analysis
A lot of people are hating on Texas football right now. It's understandable as the Longhorns already lost two games early in the year in which they were favorites. However, they still have an undefeated conference record to show the doubters they aren't completely done for. Of course, neither of those wins was all that great. Now against Oklahoma, things could go from worse to ugly for the Longhorns. The Sooners are -14 point favorites at most top offshore sportsbooks.
The interesting thing about Oklahoma is that they are the opposite of Texas, being somewhat overrated by the public. While the Sooners are undefeated, it's not like they are destroying opponents. In their two conference wins, they won unconvincing games against West Virginia (16-7) and more recently TCU (20-17). That's right, they barely beat West Virginia, who was shut out against Maryland and allowed 73 points to Baylor. Is Oklahoma being overrated?
The Sooners offense is better with Blake Bell at the helm, but they still aren't dominant. That was made evident in last week's game when they needed a 76-yard touchdown run by Brennan Clay to come away with the victory. Bell didn't look great only going for 152 yards and no touchdowns against the Horned Frogs. Of course, he didn't throw away the game, either, and has zero interceptions on the year. Fortunately for them, Texas has looked brutal on the defensive end. They gave up 40-plus points to BYU and Ole Miss and just allowed 30 to Iowa State. Bell should be able to pass and run in this game. And if he can't run, Brennan Clay and Damien Williams should find plenty of room.
It's hard to forget about last year's 63-21 win for the Sooners. They rushed for 343 yards as a team along with six TDs from Bell, Clay and Williams. Then of course Landry Jones also tossed for 321 yards.
With David Ash out once again at quarterback, it's hard to see how a Case McCoy-led team is going to keep up with Oklahoma. McCoy has attempted 102 passes on the year, but only has two touchdowns. That's definitely not going to cut it in this game even with guys like Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis in the passing game. Johnathan Gray is solid in the backfield (439 yards, four TDs), but if the Sooners gets out to another early lead, he could become a non-factor quick.
Neither team has looked overly great this year. However, the Sooners have easily won the last two games in this matchup by a total score of 118-38. If you like OK, those are the numbers you are betting on.
The Sooners are just 1-5 ATS in their last six conference games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win. The Longhorns are only 3-7 ATS in their last 10 conference games and have not covered in their last five games in October. Oklahoma is 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings between these two teams.
We actually had this game circled before the season even started for a play on Texas here. It's HUGE for Mack Brown. It was huge before the season started and is even bigger now. A win here likely saves his job. For now. A loss, especially an ugly loss, could see Brown packing his bags by Sunday.
With all of the returning starters Texas had this year, we felt this would be the year they beat Oklahoma. It still might be, but the numbers simply don't support it.
It's hard to win football games when you can't stop the run. The Texas run defense ranks 120th in the nation while Oklahoma has the 17th ranked rushing attack (they are also 23rd against the run defensively).
Our model reflects this as well, predicting a 33-16 Oklahoma win. So, perhaps we'll be saying good bye to Mr Brown after this weeks game. We wouldn't be surprised to see an emotional Texas team put a complete game together and pull the upset, but the numbers just don't support that happening. Oklahoma -13.5
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