Oklahoma vs. Nebraska Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Guide to Huskers’ First Game Without Scott Frost

Oklahoma vs. Nebraska Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Guide to Huskers’ First Game Without Scott Frost article feature image

Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images. Pictured: Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma)

  • After firing Scott Frost, Nebraska hosts Oklahoma in Lincoln as part of college football's Week 3.
  • The Cornhuskers are 1-2 while the Sooners have cruised past both UTEP and Kent State to open their campaign.
  • Brad Cunningham breaks down the matchup and offers up a best bet.

Oklahoma vs Nebraska Odds

Saturday, Sept. 17
12 p.m. ET
Oklahoma Odds
-105o / -115u
Nebraska Odds
-105o / -115u
Updated odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Nebraska looks to pick up the pieces after losing at home to Georgia Southern and firing its head coach Scott Frost when it hosts old rival Oklahoma.

The bad man is finally gone; Nebraska fans can breath easy that the Frost era is finally over.

However, there are still a lot of problems that need to be solved for the Cornhuskers if they are going to be competitive in the Big Ten this season, and they start with the defense.

Unfortunately, Dillon Gabriel is coming to town.

Oklahoma has gotten the Brent Venables era off to a positive start by beating UTEP and Kent State by a combined score of 78 to 16.

There are a lot of new faces in Norman, and this is Venables's first true test as the Oklahoma head coach, so we will see if this Oklahoma team is a College Football Playoff contender.

Oklahoma Sooners

Sooners Offense

There's a lot of turnover for Oklahoma on the offense. New offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby came over from Ole Miss, along with UCF transfer Gabriel, who was with Lebby in 2019.

In his last full season in 2020, Gabriel put up a 90.9 PFF Passing Grade (ninth in FBS), an Average Depth of Target of 11.6 yards (seventh in FBS) and only had a 2.3% Turnover Worthy Play rate (11th in FBS).

Through two games this season, he's already averaging 10.4 yards per attempt, and has five touchdowns and zero Turnover Worthy Plays.

No. 7 Oklahoma leads Kent State, 31-3, in the fourth quarter! 💥#Big12FB x @OU_football

📺 @ESPN+ | https://t.co/RSHMQiKtjipic.twitter.com/xXXmy7VlRC

— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) September 11, 2022

He has a number of unbelievable skill position players around him, but by far the best is Marvin Mims. Mims had a 89.1 PFF Receiving Grade in 2020, which dipped to 75.4 in 2021.

But through two games, he already has 244 yards on 10 catches and will be a big problem for the Nebraska secondary.

However, Oklahoma lost its other top four pass catchers besides Mims, and Venables didn't bring in enough production through the portal. Mims is likely going to be isolated against one of the best cover corners in the Big Ten in Quinton Newsome.

Eric Gray is the new starting running back after playing second fiddle to Kennedy Brooks last season. In 2021, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and had a 78 PFF Rushing Grade.

Through two games, he already has 173 yards on only 26 carries.

He is running behind a rebuilt offensive line with two transfers coming in, but there is a ton of experience here with a combined 125 starts across the line.

Sooners Defense

Venables is famous for his defense, and he's a major reason why Clemson turned into one of college football's premier programs. He should be really happy with the Sooners' performance through two weeks, as they're allowing only 3.7 yards per play.

Oklahoma is going to be a tad thin up front this season. The Sooners lost three starters from last year's defensive line that was 15th in Defensive Line Yards and 16th in Stuff Rate. However, they had to improve from ranking 74th in Finishing Drives allowed in 2021, and Venables has them set up to do so.

Oklahoma has four of its top five linebackers returning from last season, and already you see Oklahoma down to 14th in Finishing Drives Allowed. However, it is a small sample size against two cupcakes, but the Sooners' front seven is heading in the right direction.

Oklahoma struggled in the secondary in 2021, ranking 87th in Passing Success Rate Allowed. This year, the Sooners return both starting corners and brought in two experienced safeties through the transfer portal to round out a solid looking unit for Venables.

The Sooners have only allowed 5.8 yards per attempt through their first two games, but Casey Thompson will be by far the best quarterback they've seen this season.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

Cornhuskers Offense

A lot of changes have taken place at Nebraska over the offseason. Former Texas quarterback Thompson is now under center for the Huskers, with longtime turnover-prone starter Adrian Martinez moving on to Kansas State.

Mark Whipple now serves as the offensive coordinator after turning Kenny Pickett into a first-round draft pick at Pitt last season.

In terms of pace, Nebraska came in at 2.40 plays per minute in 2021, which ranked in the top 40 in terms of pace.

At Pitt, Whipple played slightly faster at 2.48 plays per minute. Early indications are that Whipple wants to play even faster, as Nebraska is currently at 2.73 plays per minute, which is 13th in college football.

Thompson has thrown for over 300 yards against Northwestern and Georgia Southern, but had one of the worst games of his career against North Dakota, putting up a 56.3 PFF Passing Grade with two Turnover Worthy Plays.

Going up against a Venables defense could be a bad recipe for Thompson.

Anthony Grant has emerged as the lead back for the Huskers and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry. However, Nebraska lost two offensive linemen from last season's unit, and this is a massive step up in competition in the trenches.

Cornhuskers Defense

Nebraska's defensive performance against Georgia Southern was downright embarrassing. The Cornhuskers allowed over 600 yards of offense, over seven yards per play and they even forced two turnovers and still gave up 45 points.

This is a Nebraska defense in 2021 that ranked outside the top 70 in both Defensive Rushing and Passing Success Rate Allowed. The Blackshirts are also only returning five starters from last season.

Nebraska has a lot of replacing to do up front — with all five starters gone from last season — but the Cornhuskers did bring in a bunch of transfers to fill the void.

However, Nebraska returns its top two linebackers, who combined for over 200 tackles last season. Even though a lot of points have been put on the board, Nebraska is 21st in college football in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, so improvements are being made in the front seven.

Nebraska also has one of the best cover corners in the Big Ten in Newsome, who has the most snaps in coverage this season without allowing a touchdown.

Most coverage snaps played without allowing a TD so far this season:

❌ Quinton Newsome: 141
❌ Jartavius Martin: 120
❌ Devon Witherspoon: 117 pic.twitter.com/ug9f7ukOm4

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 15, 2022

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Oklahoma vs Nebraska Matchup Analysis

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

Oklahoma Offense vs Nebraska Defense
Rush Success3421
Line Yards3295
Pass Success44110
Pass Blocking**4916
Finishing Drives993
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Nebraska Offense vs Oklahoma Defense
Rush Success319
Line Yards1564
Pass Success457
Pass Blocking**9163
Finishing Drives2714
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling7943
PFF Coverage7651
SP+ Special Teams36130
Seconds per Play21.7 (12)22.7 (16)
Rush Rate59.2% (32)55.1% (53)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Oklahoma vs Nebraska Betting Pick

Even though these two teams play at a very fast pace, this is the first time either of them will see a legitimate defense this season.

Let's not also forget that last season this game ended 23-16 in favor of Oklahoma, but both teams averaged 6.0 yards per play — a lot of turnovers and bad red-zone offense played a part in that.

The question is: Will Nebraska get a new boost of life after Frost's firing?

I only have 57.7 points projected for this game, so I like under 67 points (FanDuel), and would play it down to 64.

Pick: Under 67 Points

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