This Saturday the No. 19 ranked Texas Longhorns (4-1) will face off against the No. 7 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in what is known as the Red River Rivalry. Kickoff is set for 12:00 EST at the Cotton Bowl (neutral site) in Dallas and will be televised nationally on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 6 NCAA Football odds, the books opened this one up with the Sooners as a 7.5-point favorite. While you can still find Oklahoma at the price, most books have Oklahoma up to a 8-point favorite with some even as high as 9.5. The total for this matchup is currently at 60.5 points.
Oklahoma vs Texas Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds
Oklahoma comes into this one off a 66-33 thrashing of Baylor at home, easily covering as a 21-point favorite. It was exactly what head coach Lincoln Riley wanted to see from his team leading up to this contest, as the Sooners were coming off a shockingly close overtime win against Army the previous week as a 28.5-point favorite.
Texas enters off a 19-14 road win over Kansas State. While you will take any win on the road in conference play, for the second time this season the Longhorns nearly blew a massive lead. Texas had a 19-0 lead at the half, but failed to score a single point over the final 2 periods. It was very similar to an earlier 28-21 win over Tulsa, where they led 21-0 at the half before letting the Golden Hurricane make a game of it late.
Oklahoma won last year’s meeting 29-24 as a 9-point favorite, giving them back-to-back wins in the series, as they defeated the Longhorns 45-40 in 2016.
Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Texas +8
I would have to lean towards grabbing the points with Texas in this one. This just feels like the same old story we have seen the last 5 years in this series. Oklahoma has been over a touchdown favorite in this matchup each of the last 5 years, but have not covered a single spread during this stretch and have lost outright twice. All 3 wins for the Sooners have come by exactly 5-points.
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Not only do I think Texas keeps this close enough to cover, but I like the Longhorns to win this game outright. The only slip up on the schedule for Texas is that opening week loss to Maryland on a neutral field. A game they very easily could have won as they led 29-24 going into the 4th quarter and had 3 straight possessions end with a turnover in the 4th quarter with Texas trailing by just 5-points.
The less than impressive win over a Kansas State team that looks to be down this year doesn’t concern me the least. Much like they did against Tulsa in the week leading up to their big showdown with USC, they simply took their foot off the gas. It certainly didn’t impact their performance against the Trojans, who they rolled 37-14. Texas also followed up that blowout win over USC with an impressive 31-16 win over a very good TCU team the next week.
As for Oklahoma, I’m just not sold on the Sooners being as good as everyone thinks. I know Kyler Murray has stepped in and played extremely well in place of Heisman winner Baker Mayfield, but a lot of that has to do with a very easy schedule to start the year. The toughest opponent to this point for Oklahoma has been Iowa State and they only beat them by 10 with the Cyclones playing the game without their starting quarterback.
I believe the difference in this one is going to be the Texas defense, which has been lights out since giving up 34 to the Terps in the opener. They haven’t allowed more than 21 points in any game since. They come in giving up 19.8 ppg against teams that on average are scoring 26.7, which means they are holding teams to roughly a touchdown under their season average. They are only giving up 115 ypg and 3.4 yards/carry against the run and while they are allowing 218 ypg through the air, opponents are only completing 54.9% of their pass attempts against them.
Adding to this, Texas is a dominant 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games vs high-scoring teams like Oklahoma, who are averaging 37 or more points/game. You also can’t ignore how good Tom Herman coached teams have been in the role of the underdog. Herman is 11-1 ATS as a head coach in games as an underdog and I fully expect him to improve to 12-1 after Saturday. Give me the Longhorns +8.