Free College Football Picks: Texas vs. Oklahoma Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 10/10/2013
Before the season started, I would have suggested that this game was important for Mack Brown’s future. Now things have changed. We all know how things are going to turn out there — it would require a major miracle for Brown to still be coaching this team next year. What this game will likely determine, though, is how he gets to leave. With a win here he stands a much better chance of being able to retire on his own terms and leave with his pride at least partly intact. With yet another loss to the bitterest of bitter rivals, though, the chances that Brown will be fired will increase exponentially, and it could get ugly. Or uglier than it already has become.
If the Longhorns were to lose badly it certainly wouldn’t go against recent trends. Oklahoma has been like a steamroller in the last two contests, winning by a combined 80 points. It was 55-17 in 2011 and 63-21 last year. At this point Texas is no better, and arguably worse, than they were in the last two years, while Oklahoma is the best they have been defensively in a decade and solid offensively. Things do not set up well for The Longhorns, in other words. Texas has won 59 of the 108 matchups between these foes, while five more have wound up as a tie. The tides have turned since Bob Stoops took over, though — Oklahoma has won nine of the last 14 meetings.
Texas vs. Oklahoma Betting Storylines
Though Texas has some issues on and off the field, at least they come into this game with strength at the QB position. I kid — that really couldn’t be much further from the truth. David Ash is supposed to be the starter — that in itself being a sign of how deep the issues run with this team because Ash at his best is far from inspiring — but he is out with a concussion, so Case McCoy gets the reins for the third game in a row. McCoy doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but he also doesn’t make things happen — you certainly don’t get shivers down your spine watching him play. He’s up against an Oklahoma defense that is Top 10 nationally in scoring defense and total defense, so he will be tested significantly more than he has in his previous appearances. I don’t want to be negative, but it’s hard not to be here. The one glimmer of hope is that the Sooners are without their best defensive player — linebacker Corey Nelson has been lost for year with an injury. The Sooners have defensive depth, though, so that’s not much.
Blake Bell has been playing well at quarterback for the Sooners this year — he has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes, has six touchdowns, and he hasn’t been picked off. While he can throw, that isn’t likely to be a big focus here. Oklahoma has averaged nearly 250 yards per game on the ground, and they face a Texas run defense here that ranks just 117th out of 123 teams nationally. Texas is vulnerable, and Oklahoma can, and very likely will, exploit that weakness. Of course, the run defense is just a part of the defensive woes of this team, Star linebacker Jordan Hicks is gone for the year, one defensive coordinator is out and a far less competent one has taken his place, and the unit has given up 28.4 points per game against offenses not as good as what they will face in this one. Again, I don’t want to be negative, but the facts are the facts.
Texas vs. Oklahoma College Football Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Oklahoma favored by 12.5 points. Nearly 80 percent of bets have come in on the Sooners, so it isn’t surprising that the line has increased — the Sooners are now favored by 13.5. The line may not increase significantly more because 14 is an important key number in a game like this, but there are certainly signs that 14 will be possible. The total opened at 56.5 and has been reasonably stable.
The Sooners have been favored in the last three meetings and are 3-0 ATS in those games. Four of the last five meetings have gone “over” the total. Texas has gone over the total in six of their last seven games overall, and have failed to cover their last five spreads in games played in October.
Free College Football Picks: Texas vs. Oklahoma Predictions
It’s the obvious and public pick, but I just don’t see how you can’t go with Oklahoma here. To take the Texans is to trust their competence and pride — two things I have no faith in here. They have struggled against far worse teams than this one, and the Sooners are fired up and hungry this year. Texas has not been a match the last two years, and the gap between the teams is wider than ever. Oklahoma is a comfortable pick — especially at a spread of below two touchdowns.
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