Oklahoma took its foot off the pedal last week and barely got past Army 28-21. If it plays the same this week, the Sooners could once again struggle to cover against Baylor. The Bears aren’t an elite team, but they’re battling with a 3-1 record. Oklahoma was an early -23.5 point home favorite with an over/under of 68.5 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
The Sooners were electric in the first two Games, but things haven’t been the same since and that’s because opponents are playing the clock against them. Army managed 339 rushing yards and that led to a time of possession of just 15:19 for Oklahoma. Clearly, that won’t happen every Game, but Baylor is going to try its best to take the same strategy, albeit without the triple-option.
The Bears don’t have an elite rushing attack, though have been stout in the early Games with John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty leading the way as the team’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry. If they don’t focus on the ground Game it’d be surprising because Baylor aimed for a shootout last year and still didn’t have enough in a 48-41 loss. No one can beat Oklahoma in a shootout. This spread would probably be smaller if Baylor didn’t lose at home to Duke, but the Bears are at least playing better than a season ago. Charlie Brewer has done enough at quarterback when needed and has a solid 8.45 yards per attempt. If the Sooners get ahead, Brewer will likely be asked to air it out, similar to what Zach Smith did last year in this matchup en route to 463 yards and Four touchdowns.
But at the end of the day, Baylor’s defense is still going to get lit up by Oklahoma. In fact, the Sooners have scored at least 44 points the last three times they’ve played this Baylor defense and that probably won’t change. After allowing 40 points to Duke and 27 to Abilene Christian, there’s little reason to believe in Baylor’s ability to stop any legit offense.
Kyler Murray should bounce back from a mediocre Game, as his overall numbers are stout with 11.68 yards per attempt and 11 touchdowns. Trey Sermon is now the lead running back and he’ll take most of the carries with the other Oklahoma RBs dealing with injuries. He’ll likely have a huge Game while Marquise Brown and CeeDee LAmb also come close to 100 receiving yards apiece.
There will be points in this Game unless Baylor actually goes with a run-first mentality and holds onto the ball like Army. It’s hard to see that happening, but if it works, the under would likely hit. Still, the spread is high enough that Baylor could cover just by reaching 24 points. In fact, while Oklahoma has scored in bunches the last three meetings, it hasn’t won any of them by more than 21 points, which is a good reason to back the road team.
The Bears are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five road Games, while the Sooners are 12-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 12-4 ATS in their last 16 home Games. Baylor is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between these schools played in Oklahoma and the Bears are also 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings overall.
Our Pick – Oklahoma -23.5