Red River Showdown Picks for Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns, Saturday October 12, Noon ET
The stakes for the Red River Showdown are always huge no matter where the teams are at. Pride is on the line, and there is a whole lot of hatred that lingers between the squads. But the stakes are the highest they have been for both teams at the same time for a long time. If Texas wins, then both teams are at 5-1, Texas grabs a key edge in the Big 12 race, and national aspirations are alive for both squads. If Oklahoma wins, especially if they do it impressively, then they are in great shape nationally and are in even more control of the Big 12 than everyone thought they would be before the season. This is a huge game, and the world is unquestionably a better place when this game matters.
Oklahoma at Texas Betting Storylines
There is a fundamental problem for Texas at the core of this game, and it is going to be extremely tough to overcome - at least from where I am sitting. Texas is, to be kind, struggling defensively. They rank a dismal 126th nationally in passing yards allowed. And they have made a lot of solid quarterbacks look immortal so far this year. Joe Burrow of LSU has been really good this year, but never better than against the Longhorns when he threw for 471 yards and four touchdowns. West Virginia's offensive woes suddenly halted, and the team passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns. And even Louisiana Tech torched the Longhorns, going for 331 yards through the air. This team is porous, and that's a concern against any team - never mind one designed to torch situations just like this. Jalen Hurts has been outstanding and is certainly in the mix to add a third straight Heisman by the third different QB to the Oklahoma trophy room. He's at the helm of the offense that is tops in total yards and second in scoring nationally. It is a well-oiled machine. It is a better offense than any that the Longhorns have yet seen, and the earlier ones have looked some kind of special against this secondary. It is all but impossible to imagine a situation in which Oklahoma doesn't score just a ton of points. West Virginia scored 31 and LSU had 45. I would be more than a little surprised if Oklahoma didn't beat both of those totals.
Now, it's only fair to point out that much of what we just finished saying can be said in reverse, too. Oklahoma has a better defense than they have had in recent years, but there is a large gap between that and good. They still rank 48th in yards allowed. Texas has a strong QB in Sam Ehlinger. They scored 38 points against LSU and have had at least 36 in every game they have played. They can score, and they should be able to do so here. Weird things happen in college football. However, if this one doesn't turn into a high-scoring affair that threatens to wear the scoreboard out, then it will be a disappointment.
Oklahoma at Texas Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Oklahoma favored by 9.5 points. That climbed to as high as 11.5 but has fallen back to 10.5 in early betting action. Two-thirds of bets have been on Texas, which both accounts for the move downward, and suggests that sharp money hit Oklahoma hard at the Week 7 opening number . The total opened sky high at 75 and has jumped even higher to 76.
The Sooners are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five on grass, but they are just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 neutral-site games. The Longhorns are a much better 7-2 ATS in their last nine neutral-site games and 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine games in October, but they are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win. The underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between the squads.
Oklahoma at Texas Predictions and Picks
The simplest play here would be to take the over. It is likely to keep climbing, but it would be really tough for it to rise high enough to make it too high. Both offenses are likeable. Both defenses are much less so. This isn't going to be a defensive chess game. The over is playable.
Oklahoma feels playable, too. Their offense is going to have a really big day. And while Texas will score plenty, they could struggle to keep up. I would have liked it a lot more at 9.5, but I'd still play Oklahoma at less than two touchdowns if I had to take a stand.
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