2018 Big 12 Championship Betting Guide: Will Texas Repeat Last Effort vs. Oklahoma?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sam Ehlinger and Kyler Murray
Oklahoma-Texas Betting Odds, Pick for Big 12 Championship
- Odds: Oklahoma -9.5
- Over/Under: 78
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
>> All odds as of Saturday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
For the first time ever, we’ll have two Red River Showdowns in the same season, as Oklahoma and Texas have never met outside of their annual meeting, which started back in 1900 with a 28-2 Texas victory.
I can promise you Oklahoma will score more than two points this time around. I can also promise you this game won’t end in a tie, though five have in the past.
Texas actually leads the all-time series 62-46-5, but not many past meetings have been more important than this weekend’s matchup. Oklahoma is not only out for a conference title and same-season revenge over its Big 12 rival, but it has hopes of securing a berth in the College Football Playoff.
Can Texas coach Tom Herman play his usual role as underdog spoiler? Or is Oklahoma’s offense too good? Let’s dive in.
Odds Moves for Big 12 Championship Game
Opening at -7.5, Oklahoma hasn’t drawn the majority of bettors this weekend. The 49% that have backed them, however, have moved this line to -8 as they’ve accounted for 59% of the actual money wagered.
And despite the high total, 80% of bettors are rolling with the over. But with those bets generating only 70% of dollars, oddsmakers have followed the bigger bettors and dropped this number down by a half-point from 78.
How Is Oklahoma’s Defense This Bad?
Well, part of it is scheme, part of it is performance and part of it is injuries.
The Sooners lost four of their top six tacklers from last season, including their top pass-rushers, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and D.J. Ward. They’ve never been able to fill the void left by those two. As a result, they really don’t get any pressure and rank outside the top 100 in adjusted sack rate.
Since they can’t generate pressure, the Sooners’ small corners and depleted safety group have been overexposed. They had to replace starting safeties Will Johnson and Steven Parker, and before the season even started, they lost upperclassmen safeties Prentice McKinney and Chanse Sylvie to season-ending injuries. Now safeties Justin Broiles and Kahlil Haughton are hurt.
That’s tough to overcome, and it’s why Oklahoma has allowed 8.1 yards per pass attempt, which ranks 103rd nationally.
OU also made a change after the Texas game, firing defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, but that hasn’t solved anything. The defense has been even worse under Ruffin McNeil.
Mismatch: Texas WRs vs. Oklahoma CBs
Oklahoma not only has a depleted and struggling group of safeties, but very small corners, which the 6-foot-6 Collin Johnson and 6-foot-4 Lil’Jordan Humphrey can exploit all day long. The two Texas receivers combined for 15 catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting. I expect both to have a big day again.
The Sooners’ defense ranks 127th in pass efficiency, which is what the Longhorns excels in at 21st in the nation.