Oklahoma Football Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet the Sooners as SEC Era Approaches
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Marvin Mims.
It won’t be long until Oklahoma is no longer a powerhouse in the Big 12. The Sooners and fellow Big 12 competitor Texas have opted to leave the conference, requesting to join the SEC beginning in 2025.
But until then, we can break down Oklahoma’s typical Big 12 season full of history, rivalries, and plenty of victories.
Collin Wilson does just that below and shares his favorite bet for the Sooners’ season up to this point.
Oklahoma Sooners Odds & Analysis
In a betting world saturated with content, it’s easy to find positive narratives in the offseason. Those narratives lead to lazy assumptions and subsequent wagers that do not have the proper analytics to back up the bet.
A rule of thumb with betting futures: Try to poke as many holes into the scenario as possible.
With the 2021 Oklahoma Sooners, it’s problematic to find holes in the coaching staff or roster. No team returns a better squad from an offensive Success Rate standpoint.
Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler has loaded weapons at the skill position from wide receiver Marvin Mims to tight end Austin Stogner.
Despite having the ability to pass in all quadrants downfield, Oklahoma has the most balanced attack from a rush versus pass perspective.
Running back Kennedy Brooks returns after sitting out 2020, while Tennessee transfer Eric Gray anchors an explosive attack. As a refresher, Brooks forced 51 missed tackles on 155 rushing attempts during the 2019 season.
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) October 27, 2018
Head coach Lincoln Riley has an offense that ranked eighth in standard downs Success Rate. In the rare event the Sooners found a passing down, the offense produced a Success Rate rank of 25th while owning a rank of 14th in Expected Points.
The disguise of the play-action pass will continue to play a role of major importance. Rattler produced 17 big-time throws in play-action situations against 15 in non-play action pass attempts. Teams without skill at the safety positions are in jeopardy, as Rattler threw between the hashes for 10 or more yards on 24% of attempts with an adjusted completion percentage of 74%.
The handicap on the Sooners comes down to a defense led by coordinator Alex Grinch. Washington State produced a Havoc ranking of 34th in 2015, signifying the start of the Grinch’s defensive footprint. Oklahoma ended 2020 on a long win streak as the defense finished seventh in Havoc and 16th in Success Rate.
There’s a strong correlation between defensive Success Rate and covering the spread, and there’s no reason to think the Sooners defense will not be one of the best in the nation.
With all the positive information surrounding the Sooners, is there a potential area of concern? The secondary loses both corners, but redshirt freshman Woodi Washington is already being touted as a shutdown corner.
While his coverage rating lacked in giving up a couple of explosive plays, Washington recorded just two missed tackles with 35 tackles and four pass breakups.
For Oklahoma to win the Big 12 and National Championship, the secondary must remain healthy.
What is the correct number to bet futures on the Sooners? Our Poisson distribution gives Oklahoma a 60% chance to go 9-0 during conference play. Considering the projected point spread against Iowa State, the true odds are more around +120 rather than the current market number. Its win total projection sits just above 10, with favored single-digit spreads projected against Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.
The real value lies in the National Championship number at +800 or better. This was the first bet I made in the Action App to kick off the 2021 season, as the Grinch defense is talented enough to handle Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama in new quarterback territory.