This Saturday the No. 9 Baylor Bears will face off against the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 12:00 EST at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX and will be televised nationally on ABC.
Oddsmakers opened up this game at Oklahoma -9 and while most books are still sitting on that number, some have dropped it down to the Sooners -8.5. The total opened at 61.5 and is up to 62.5 at most books with a couple jumping it to 63.
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Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Baylor vs Oklahoma
Baylor Bears (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS)
Baylor ended the regular-season in style, as they went on the road and destroyed Kansas 61-6, easily covering as a 14-point favorite. It was the Bears fourth straight cover.
You have to tip your hat to the job that Baylor head coach Matt Rhule has done in a very short period of time. Rhule had to complete rebuild in Waco after what went down with Art Briles. His first year on the job they went just 1-11 in 2017. Last year they improved to 7-6, which they capped with a bowl win. Year three and they are 11-1 and playing in the Big 12 title game.
Oklahoma Sooners (11-1, 5-7 ATS)
The Sooners had more difficult task at their hands in the finale, as they had to host in-state rival and No. 21 ranked Oklahoma State. It was closer than expected early, as Oklahoma led by a score of just 20-16 in the 2nd half. They would go on to win 34-16 and cover as a 14.5-point favorite. It was a rare cover for the Sooners, who had failed to cover 4 straight and 6 of 7 coming into that matchup.
While no one expected Baylor to be in this spot, there was little doubt that Oklahoma would be playing for the Big 12 title. The Sooners have won both Big 12 title games since it was installed in 2017. This is also year three for Oklahoma under head coach Lincoln Riley and after finishing 11-1, he’s now 25-5 since taking over for the great Bob Stoops.
Because the Big 12 regular-season schedule is a legit round robin, where everyone plays everyone, we are guaranteed a rematch in the championship game. We can only hope this one lives up to the first meeting, which saw Oklahoma trail 31-10 at the half, only to score 24 unanswered and win 34-31. Baylor did cover as a 10.5-point dog and the two went just under the total of 68.5. It was the Sooners 5th straight win in the series.
The stakes are definitely high in this one, but just how big will depend on what happens in some of the other conference title games. More than likely they will need Utah to lose to Oregon Friday night and for LSU to beat Georgia, as it’s unlikely Ohio State or Clemson falls, as both are laying more than two touchdowns in their respective matchups.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: OVER 62.5
Early action is coming in heavy on Baylor and I just don’t love being on a public dog. I also don’t feel all that confident laying more than a touchdown with Oklahoma, but if I had to that’s who I would take on the spread. My favorite lean in this one has to be the OVER 62.5.
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My biggest reason for liking the OVER is these two combined for 65 points in the first meeting with Oklahoma only scoring 10-points in the 1st half and Baylor getting shutout in the 2nd half. I think we see both teams score early and often the second time around. Keep in mind last year’s Big 12 title game against Texas saw 66 points and 945 total yards of offense.
I will admit I’m a lot more confident with Oklahoma’s offense putting up a big number. It was like once Jalen Hurts and Lincoln Riley figured out what Baylor was wanting to do on defense, there was no stopping them. Keep in mind they only punted once the entire game in that first meeting.
As for the Bears not scoring in the 2nd half, they just didn’t get a chance to get anything going. Baylor fumbled on their first possession of the 2nd half and went 3 and out on their next two possessions. There was 5:25 left in the 4th quarter and the Bears had run a mere 7 plays in the 2nd half. They still averaged a healthy 5.9 yards/play in that matchup. Give me the OVER 62.5!