TCU vs. Oklahoma Odds Pick, Prediction: Will Caleb Williams Deliver in First College Football Start?

TCU vs. Oklahoma Odds Pick, Prediction: Will Caleb Williams Deliver in First College Football Start? article feature image
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Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13).

  • Oklahoma begins a new era as it hosts fellow Big 12 program TCU on Saturday.
  • Caleb Williams will get the start at quarterback for the Sooners, replacing Spencer Rattler.
  • Check out Mike McNamara's breakdown and top pick for the game, below.

TCU vs. Oklahoma Odds

TCU Odds +13.5 (-105)
Oklahoma Odds -13.5 (-115)
Moneyline +400 / -550
Over/Under 63 (-115 / -105)
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ABC
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

This should be an intriguing matchup in Norman on Saturday night for a number of different reasons.

Oklahoma enters this game after a historic comeback against Texas in the Red River Showdown. The Sooners were down 41-23 late into the third quarter before freshman QB Caleb Williams replaced Spencer Rattler and led the Sooners to the thrilling comeback victory.

Williams made big plays late in the game to help the Sooners storm back, including a clutch 52-yard touchdown on third-and-19, and Kennedy Brooks ultimately provided the final dagger with a 33-yard touchdown run on the final play from scrimmage.

TCU bounced back in a big way after losing at home to rivals SMU and Texas with a 52-31 triumph in Lubbock over Texas Tech last week. The offense was dynamic yet again, with Max Duggan and Zach Evans leading the way.

An upset over the Sooners in Norman would go a long way in getting this team back into strong position near the top of the Big 12 standings.


TCU vs. Oklahoma Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
7:30 p.m. ET
ABC

TCU Horned Frogs

Horned Frog Injury Concerns

The biggest news this week out of Fort Worth is around the status of TCU’s two offensive superstars, Duggan and Evans. Both players were dinged up late in the game against Tech and their availability remains unknown.

Gary Patterson described them both as questionable in his press conference on Tuesday and didn’t offer much more detail following that.

Duggan and Evans are the two anchors of this offense and it is really hard to envision TCU keeping pace with the Sooners without its stars.

The status of both is something I will be continuing to monitor as we get closer to Saturday night.


Contingency Plans

If Duggan can’t go on Saturday, TCU will turn to Junior quarterback Matthew Downing, who is a transfer from Georgia. Downing has thrown just 23 passes in his entire career, so a road game in Norman would not exactly be an easy way to make his first collegiate start.

Evans is running the ball as well as any back in the conference, but his absence would be a little bit easier for the Horned Frogs to replace.

Sophomore RB Kendre Miller had a monster game against Texas Tech and has already found the end zone six times on the season. Emari Demercado is another veteran back on the roster who could be used to spell Miller if Evans cannot go.

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Oklahoma Sooners

A Changing of the Guard at Quarterback

The talk all week for Oklahoma has been around Williams taking over the reins under center and replacing Rattler. Rumors started swirling around midweek that Rattler was leaving the program, but it appears that has not happened to this point.

On top of that, two student reporters used binoculars from the top of a building to identify that Williams was taking the first-team reps in practice this week. Oklahoma then closed off all media access to the team until the game on Saturday. Talk about a wild week in Norman.

Williams gives this Sooners’ offense a completely different dimension. In his very first play against Texas, Williams took the ball on a fourth-and-short and went 66 yards to the house. The Sooners were down 28-7 at that point, so that play really got OU back in the football game.

Lincoln Riley’s offenses have thrived with mobile quarterbacks and Williams gives them that element. Moreover, Oklahoma has started rushing the ball a lot better in the last two games, which could be critical against a TCU defense that struggles to stop the run.


Getting the Defense Back on Track

Alex Grinch’s defense surrendered 516 total yards of offense to Texas a week ago. The Sooners were gashed with multiple big plays, including two long touchdown receptions by Xavier Worthy.

Before the Texas game, this OU defense had been very strong against the run. Bijan Robinson is a very difficult assignment for any rush defense and I expect this unit to get back on track this week in shutting down the ground game.

This makes the availability of Duggan all the more important because if the Horned Frogs have to turn the keys over to Downing, the Sooners can jam the box and tee off against the inexperienced quarterback.


TCU vs. Oklahoma Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how TCU and Oklahoma match up statistically:

TCU Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 20 18
Line Yards 29 8
Pass Success 73 42
Pass Blocking** 5 4
Big Play 23 61
Havoc 26 57
Finishing Drives 28 90
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Oklahoma Offense vs. TCU Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 32 125
Line Yards 73 129
Pass Success 24 76
Pass Blocking** 6 53
Big Play 24 115
Havoc 42 121
Finishing Drives 13 98
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 124 76
Coverage 105 71
Middle 8 34 12
SP+ Special Teams 74 8
Plays per Minute 90 73
Rush Rate 63.% (20) 49.2% (102)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


TCU vs. Oklahoma Betting Pick

This line opened with Oklahoma as an 11.5-point favorite and has since jumped to 13.5 at the time of writing with all of the injury unknowns for TCU.

If I knew that TCU was going to have a healthy Duggan and Evans, I think there would be real value on the Horned Frogs and the points. Oklahoma is coming off an emotional comeback victory over Texas and as talented as Williams is, this will still be his first career start in college.

That said, I cannot fully endorse a TCU pick when there is a real possibility that Duggan won’t be able to go this week. Instead, I will be backing the Oklahoma team total over.

Oklahoma should have its way on the ground against a TCU defense that has struggled to stop the run. Williams will ease into the game by handing it off to Brooks and then using his legs in the RPO game.

The Sooners have tons of explosive playmakers in the passing game, led by Marvin Mims, who will look to take the top off the TCU defense.

I like OU to put up a lot of points regardless of who plays for TCU in this game, but if Duggan cannot go, expect TCU to really struggle on offense.

That will give the Sooners short fields and tons of opportunities to strike on the offensive end.

Pick: Oklahoma Team Total Over 38

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