The Big 12 has been a mess this season and will likely remain so no matter what happens in this Game. Oklahoma has had the edge in this matchup, winning 58-23 in Stillwater two years ago, but this one is expected to be a bit closer. The Cowboys, playing at home, opened as -3 point favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Both teams enter tied for first place in the Conference along with TCU and Iowa State. There’s still a long way to go as both of these teams take on TCU (OU) and Iowa State (OK State) the following week. The Sooners lost to the Cyclones a month ago, but have dealt with weaker teams since then while the Pokes just dropped 50 points at West Virginia last weekend. The College Football Playoff is still possible for both teams, but a loss here could end those hopes.
The thing that shined through in the last couple meetings has been the Oklahoma defense, which is surprising given its struggles in recent seasons. Mason Rudolph completed just 11-of-25 passes in last year’s Game and if that happens again, Oklahoma State will lose yet again. But if Rudolph repeats those numbers, almost everyone will be surprised. The senior quarterback is set to post career-best numbers across the board, completing 65.6% of his passes to go with 22 touchdowns and only five picks. No one has been able to stop top wide out James Washington, who already has 1,005 receiving yards to go with eight touchdowns. Top running back Justice Hill picked up a minor injury last week, but if he can’t go in this one, J.D. King stepped up and had 41 touches against the Mountaineers.
The Sooners defense has been better in recent Games, but better means giving up 20-plus points to mediocre offenses. OK State does not have a mediocre offense. But the other side is why you bet on Oklahoma with Baker Mayfield still fighting for a shot at the Heisman. He threw for 288 yards on just 19 pass attempts in last year’s meeting, but it was the running Game that won the contest for OU as they had 341 rushing yards as a team.
The rushing attack hasn’t been a strong suit for Oklahoma this season, but Rodney Anderson has come in and run for 100-plus yards the last two weeks and could be a catalyst in this Game. Whoever establishes the run in this contest will have the advantage. Similar to Rudolph, Mayfield is having a great season for the Sooners, completing 72.5% of his passes for 23 touchdowns and only three picks.
This matchup was set to be a shootout in recent seasons, but that was never the case as Rudolph struggled to move the ball at a consistent rate. With both quarterbacks having career-best seasons, this one could end in a shoot out if all goes well for both offenses. The Sooners are 8-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but just 1-4 ATS in their last five Big 12 Games. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams and the over is 3-1-1.
Our Pick – Oklahoma St -1.5