2019 Big 12 Championship Game Betting Picks & Predictions: Oklahoma vs. Baylor Best Bets
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Charlie Brewer
- Our experts give their Oklahoma vs. Baylor picks and predictions for the 2019 Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday (12 p.m. ET, ABC).
- The Sooners are a 9.5-point favorite, a pretty big adjustment from when these two teams met in mid-November and the line closed at 10.5 on Baylor's home field. That means there's been a four-point adjustment.
- Is the market overreacting, or will Baylor keep this close again?
Big 12 Championship Odds: Oklahoma vs. Baylor
- Spread: Oklahoma -9
- Over/Under: 64.5
- Time: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
- Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Baylor and Oklahoma played an epic game just three weeks ago, with the Sooners storming back from a 28-3 deficit to win 34-31.
That game closed Baylor +10.5 when the Bears were at home, and now they’re +9 on a neutral field. That means the market has adjusted about four points in Baylor’s favor.
Is that an overreaction?
Our experts give their favorite picks for the Big 12 Championship Game below, including a prop and a side.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor Picks
Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $200 and a deposit bonus of up to $500.
Steve Petrella: Jalen Hurts Under 280.5 Passing Yards
I like Jalen Hurts. He’s an excellent college quarterback. But Oklahoma is a run-first team, and the most efficient one in the country at that.
The Sooners star quarterback has only needed to rack up passing yards in disadvantageous situations — like a loss to Kansas State and that furious comeback against Baylor.
The last two weeks, Hurts has only attempted 37 total passes for a solid but unspectacular 8.3 yards per attempt. Against Baylor three weeks ago, Hurts threw for 297 yards but it took him 42 attempts (7.07 YPA).
Baylor’s defense is No. 1 in the nation at limiting passing explosiveness and middle of the pack in passing success rate. The Bears give up plenty underneath, but nothing over the top.
I do like Oklahoma to win this game, and I think the Sooners want to play from a position where Hurts is controlling the game with his legs and not his arm. He’s averaged 23.25 rushing attempts over the last four contests.
I’ve seen a few lines in the high 270s, with the highest at 280.5 at DraftKings. I’d play it down to 276.5.
Pick: Hurts under 280.5 passing yards [In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at DraftKings]
Collin Wilson: Oklahoma -9
- Spread: Oklahoma -9 vs. Baylor
- Over/Under: 65.5
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
If you want to back Baylor in this game, you can point to the first half dominance of Oklahoma in their meeting in mid-November. If you want to back Oklahoma, you point to the second half.
But let’s talk about that first four possessions for Oklahoma.
After an 8-play drive resulting in a field goal, the Sooners went on to punt, fumble and throw an interception in their next three drives leading to a 25-point deficit. In that time frame, Baylor ran just 8 offensive plays and scored three touchdowns. The Bears started at their own 46, the Oklahoma 27 and the Oklahoma 9-yard line.
Turnovers are somewhat unpredictable, so other than that quick spurt by Baylor that didn’t require much sustained offensive efficiency, the Sooners dominated this game.
And despite the turnovers and Oklahoma’s 525 to 307 total yard edge from the first meeting, this point spread moved in Baylor’s favor by almost four points.
The Sooners will also have wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, one of the most dangerous offensive targets in college football, after he missed the first meeting.
Look for Oklahoma to show improved ball protection as displayed in the Oklahoma State game. Baylor will need a similar turnover sequence and better efficiency in the second half to beat the Sooners.
Both are highly unlikely as Oklahoma uses this game to springboard into the playoff.
Pick: Oklahoma -9 [In NJ, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at DraftKings]
Collin Wilson is 482-404-23 (54.4%) overall betting on college football. You can follow him in our free app.
Danny Donahue: Oklahoma -9
Historically speaking, the blueprint for betting conference championship games from a market perspective has been pretty simple: Fade the public.
Since 2005, teams getting less than 50% of bets in these games have gone 50-36-3 against the spread … but there’s a little more that I like about Oklahoma than just its 37% backing.
Unfortunately, the sample size diminishes pretty significantly when breaking down the specific spot that the Sooners are in, and while I’m not going to pretend that’s helpful for predictiveness, I will say that the rarity of this spot gives me confidence in the strength of the edge here … because it’s rare for the right reasons.
For example, cutting the above sample down to teams seeing less than 40% of bets raises the ROI from 13.1% to 20.6% — though it removes 43 games.
Similarly, taking only favorites from the sample — which have a general tendency to be more profitable than underdogs when faded — leaves an ROI of 22.8% (though it removes 69 games).
And while we’ve never seen a favorite of more than 3.5 points so unpopular in a conference championship, combining the two strategies as best we can — favorites or teams less than field-goal underdogs getting less than 40% of bets — returns a 51.3% ROI on a nine-game sample.
Again, nine games is nothing. But since all we’re doing is taking a profitable long-term strategy to the extreme — because the rare spot allows us to — I’m happy to ride the trend in this one.
Pick: Oklahoma -9