Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners Betting Picks & Predictions: Sharp Money on Bears to Upset Undefeated Sooners?
Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Baylor Bears quarterback Gerry Bohanon (11) and running back Trestan Ebner (1).
Editors Note (Saturday, Nov. 13 at 11:12 a.m. ET): The Baylor vs. Oklahoma point spread opened at Baylor +5.5 and has since been bet down as low as Baylor +3.5 as of writing.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Oklahoma looks to stay undefeated and keep its college football playoff hopes alive when it travels to Waco to battle Baylor.
The Sooners have played a relatively easy schedule up until this point, but they face a gauntlet to end the season against Baylor, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State.
Caleb Williams has revitalized an offense that has scored over 50 points in three of his four games this season. However, Baylor will be by far the best defense he's seen so far this season, so we'll see if Williams is up for the task.
Baylor's Big 12 title hopes took a big blow last weekend, losing 30-28 to TCU on the road. Dave Aranda's team still has an outside shot of making the Big 12 title game but if the Bears lose on Saturday to Oklahoma, they're out of the running.
Baylor has knocked off Iowa State, BYU and Texas at home this season. Can they make it a fourth signature win over OU?
Caleb Williams Thriving for Sooners Offense
Williams has completely revitalized the Oklahoma offense since taking over for Spencer Rattler.
Since Willams came in the second quarter against Texas, the Sooners are gaining 8.57 yards per play and Williams himself averaged 10.9 yards per attempt and put up a 93.8 passing grade, per PFF.
With his dual-threat ability, Lincoln Riley is now running more of the Kyler Murray offense from a few years ago. That adds another dynamic to the Sooners offense, considering Williams is averaging 9.3 yards per rush this season.
CALEB WILLIAMS ON THE RUN 💨🎯#CFB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 30, 2021
Kennedy Brooks has been incredible this season averaging 6.1 yards per rush and has the Sooners ranking sixth nationally in Rushing Success Rate.
It helps when you're running behind one of the best offensive lines in college football, as Oklahoma is top-15 in terms of both run blocking and pass blocking grade, per PFF.
However, this is going to be a test for the Oklahoma offense since the Sooners have faced some of the worst defenses in the Big 12 so far this season.
Oklahoma Needs to Stop the Run
The Sooners defense is having all sorts of issues right now, which is masked by the fact that Williams and the offense have been so good.
Oklahoma is allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for 8.8 yards per attempt this season, which ranks 111th in the nation. The Sooners are also near the bottom in just about every single category when it comes to passing defense.
|Passing Success Rate Allowed||95th|
|Passing Explosiveness Allowed||100th|
|PFF Coverage Grade||86th|
However, to really stop Baylor in this matchup, the Sooners front seven will need to reach a different level since the Bears have one of the best rushing attacks in the country.
The front seven has been pretty well for the Sooners, allowing only 3.6 yards per carry. It's 44th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 13th in Defensive Line Yards.
Facing a Baylor offense that runs the ball 60.4% of the time, OU needs to shut down the Bears' rushing attack to have any hope of stopping them in Waco.
Baylor to Lean on Stellar Run Game
The Baylor offense is built around its rushing attack, which ranks 10th in college football by averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
Lead back Abram Smith is already over 1,000 yards rushing on the season and comes into this game off three straight 100-yard games.
Smith and the Bears rank third in Rushing Success Rate, ninth in Offensive Line Yards and 14th in EPA/Rush, and their offensive line has the eighth-best run-blocking grade, per PFF.
THAT 🔄 MOVE 😮
Abram Smith takes it for the Baylor TD! pic.twitter.com/ljf7og3UZj
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 30, 2021
However, to truly keep up with Oklahoma's offense, the Bears will have to attack Oklahoma's secondary.
Even though they only throw the ball on 39.6% of their offensive plays, Gerry Bohanon has been very efficient this season, throwing for 8.8 yards per attempt, but he only has a 74.5 passing grade, per PFF.
The big thing for Bohanon in this game is having time to throw, because he has an 88.6 passing grade from a clean pocket compared to a 34.6 passing grade when under pressure, per PFF.
The good news is Baylor's offensive line has the third-best pass blocking grade in the country, so it will be able to handle Oklahoma's pass rush.
Can Bears Stop Williams?
Aranda's defense has been very average this season, allowing 5.4 yards per play and ranking 37th in Success Rate Allowed.
The front seven has been good against the run, allowing only 3.6 yards per attempt, ranking 20th in rushing success rate allowed and 46th in EPA/Rush allowed. That is promising against the Sooners' impressive rushing attack.
However, the Bears' secondary has really struggled this season, allowing 7.7 yards per attempt and ranking 87th in Passing Success Rate Allowed. Containing Williams both on the ground and through the air will prove difficult.
There are some other glaring disadvantages for Baylor defensively, specifically allowing explosive plays.
Baylor is 101st in big plays, while Oklahoma is ninth in that category offensively. Additionally, Oklahoma is the No. 1 team in the country at Finishing Drives, while Baylor's defense is 64th in that same category.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Oklahoma and Baylor match up statistically:
Oklahoma Offense vs. Baylor Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Baylor Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||4||31|
|Plays per Minute||89||102|
|Rush Rate||50.3% (92)||60.4% (23)|
Oklahoma vs. Baylor Betting Pick
Even though Baylor's defense has been average this season, the Bears still possess the best defense that Williams will have seen this season.
Additionally, with all of Oklahoma's issues in the secondary, Baylor is going to be in this game until the final whistle if they can keep a clean pocket for Bohanon.
I only have Oklahoma projected as a -2.73 favorite, so I think there's some value on Baylor at +6.