Oklahoma vs Tulsa Odds, Prediction: Bet Sooners in In-State Battle
Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel.
Oklahoma vs Tulsa Odds
An in-state battle awaits us on Saturday afternoon.
The Oklahoma Sooners head east to battle the Tulsa Golden Hurricane for the first time since 2015. The Sooners have won eight straight against Tulsa and 12 of the past 13.
After a rough 2022, Oklahoma has started 2023 red-hot. It manhandled Arkansas State, 73-0, in Week 1 and defeated SMU, 28-11, in Week 2. In their last season in the Big 12, the Sooners enter Week 3 ranked 19th in the AP Poll.
On the other side, Tulsa isn’t in a similar position. It brought in first-year head coach Kevin Wilson, who debuted with a convincing win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff. But Washington devoured the Hurricane in Week 2, 43-10.
So, where does the betting value lie in this in-state matchup? Let's dive into the odds for Oklahoma vs. Tulsa and make a pick in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Sept. 16.
Redshirt senior Dillon Gabriel is making the most out of his opportunity in Norman. Despite not enjoying much team success last season, Gabriel racked up 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.
He's got a good shot at replicating that production this time around.
He’s playing like a top-tier quarterback, too. Just look at his performance against SMU, where he completed 70% of his passes and tossed four touchdowns and no picks.
Behind Gabriel sits five-star freshman Jackson Arnold, who shined against Arkansas State with an 11-for-11, 114-yard performance in his first college action. So, the quarterback depth is there for the Sooners.
The Sooners are building something special, at least by the numbers. OU fans were thrilled with the hiring of head coach Brent Venables in 2022, and the results are finally showing. Oklahoma ranks seventh in Offensive Success Rate, ninth in Defensive Success Rate and top-30 in generating Havoc.
On the ground, Oklahoma’s top rusher, Tawee Walker, is fresh off a fantastic game. He didn’t find the end zone but did rush for 117 yards on 5.6 yards per carry.
And don't ignore the vertical threats. Andrel Anthony and Drake Stoops are the top receivers with a touchdown each. Anthony has compiled 142 yards and would’ve had more if Week 1 didn't end up a blowout.
This defense looks vastly improved from last year. It’s allowed only 11 points and 574 yards across two games. It’s been against two nonconference programs, but there’s still a lot to like.
The Sooners rank 25th nationally in Passing Success Rate Allowed and sixth in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.
Danny Stutsman and Justin Harrington are two players to keep an eye on. Harrington has been a force in the secondary, and his length will cause all sorts of problems for Tulsa’s receivers.
Stutsman, meanwhile, is the defense's leader and among the nation's top tacklers.
After a Week 1 victory, it seemed like all was well in Tulsa.
But after a brutal beatdown in the Pacific Northwest, Golden Hurricane fans returned to what they’re used to. That being trepidation, pessimism and anger.
Last week, quarterbacks Roman Fuller and Cardell Williams combined for 150 passing yards. They were shut down by Washington, with Williams adding an interception. Fuller was accurate, completing 12 of his 18 throws, but he played it safe and kept his passes short. It’s probably why Tulsa’s passing down metrics are relatively high.
I'm excited to see who starts this week. Williams started the season until Fuller replaced him mid-game.
Technically, Tulsa's offense is fine, ranking 32nd in Success Rate. But the attack lacks substance. There's little explosiveness, and the Hurricane can't prevent Havoc.
However, the run game is Tulsa’s specialty. It’s a running back by committee, with Jordan Ford, Bill Jackson and Anthony Watkins all averaging over five yards per carry. Tulsa ranks 31st in Rush Success Rate, although the Hurricane also lack explosiveness.
You won’t get much flash from this team, but it will be efficient.
The defense is a mess, though. The Golden Hurricane currently stand 127th in Success Rate, 85th in Havoc and 65th in explosiveness.
The biggest head-scratcher for me is Ben Kopenski. The Oklahoma State graduate transfer had himself a two-sack, 10-tackle game against UAPB but didn't get off the bus against Washington.
The fate of the defense lies on Kopenski, alongside talented defensive backs Kendarin Ray, Kanion Williams and Jaise Oliver.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Oklahoma and Tulsa match up statistically:
Oklahoma Offense vs. Tulsa Defense
Tulsa Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||17||25|
|Seconds per Play||24.8 (34)||24.2 (24)|
|Rush Rate||61.5% (19)||63.1% (20)|
Oklahoma vs Tulsa
Betting Pick & Prediction
If it wasn't already obvious, I'm betting that Oklahoma cruises. All signs point toward the Sooners dominating this game. It’s also the final nonconference matchup before the schedule ramps up.
Tulsa showed us its worth last week. The Golden Hurricane are strong enough to beat inferior teams, but it could be a bloodbath against better opponents.
Wilson has work to do to get this program back on its feet. At least he’s experienced, with coaching stops at Indiana, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.
But the talent discrepancy here is too vast. Oklahoma is on fire and will be salivating against a vulnerable Tulsa team.
DraftKings has the number at 28, and I see Oklahoma covering. The Sooners are currently 2-0 against the spread, and they're the far better team across the field in this matchup.
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