The first weekend couldn’t have been more opposite for Oklahoma and UCLA. The Sooners destroyed what is expected to be a good FAU team 63-14, while the Bruins fell to an iffy Cincinnati team 26-17. And so, the Sooners are huge favorites for this one, listed at -30 with an over/under of 64.5 points at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Oklahoma picked up where it left last year and again looks like a legitimate national title contender with Kyler Murray at quarterback. While he wasn’t used much, he still managed 209 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 attempts, while Rodney Anderson and Trey Sermon led the backfield en route to 316 yards on 8.1 yards per carry. One could say UCLA’s defense will pose a bigger challenge, but that’s far from a guarantee since the Bruins were one of the worst in the country last year allowing 36.6 points per Game. They held Cincy down for the most part, but Cincy and Oklahoma are vastly different. For starters, UCLA was actually favored by two touchdowns in its opening Game. It’s likely Murray and company will again Scorewith ease because it doesn’t look like Lincoln Riley’s offense is slowing down anytime soon.
Maybe equally impressive for the Sooners last Game was holding down FAU to two touchdowns, both coming in the second half. FAU had one of the better Group of Five offenses in 2017 and couldn’t get anything going against Oklahoma. Chip Kelly was thought to immediately turn the Bruins around, but that’s clearly not going to happen. Original starter Wilton Speight left with a back injury in the first Game and is questionable for this one. Freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson came on for him and didn’t get much done against Cincy. In fact, outside of a 74-yard rush, the Bruins did little on the offensive end against a mediocre-at-best defense.
No matter who is at quarterback, the Bruins will likely struggle to move the ball at a consistent rate against a faster and better defense. If Thompson-Robinson gets the start, winning by 30 points may be easy for Oklahoma. Speight at least moved the ball a little more consistently when he was in the Game, but if the rushing attack doesn’t find room, neither quarterback will have success. OUtside of the long run, UCLA had 30 rushes for 70 yards against the Bearcats.
This should be another easy win for Oklahoma unless something crazy happens. The Sooners are loaded on the offensive end and should have no problems averaging more than 40 points per Game again. If the defense takes another step under Mike Stoops, they could be looking at another Big 12 title and CFP appearance.
The trends are also in OU’s favor with UCLA being 3-12-1 ATS in its last 16 non-Conference Games and 1-6 ATS in the last seven on the road. Oklahoma is the opposite at 12-2 ATS in its last 14 at home. Chip Kelly got hype in the summer, but he has a long way to go to bring UCLA back to relevance and that likely won’t happen in this Game.
Our Pick – Rather than pick a side here, we’ll go with a total. The total is 63.5 and Our numbers indicate that Oklahoma may be able to Scorethat many all by themselves. OVER 63.5