West Virginia at Oklahoma Betting Odds, Picks: Can Sooners Cover This Huge Spread?
Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jalen Hurts
West Virginia at Oklahoma Odds
- Spread: -33.5
- Over/Under: 63
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: FOX
West Virginia at Oklahoma Line Movement
Oklahoma is one of the best teams in the country, but this is a big spread for a conference game — especially considering that the Sooners are coming off an emotional win over Texas in the Red River Rivalry game last weekend.
That may explain why the tickets are split down the middle for Oklahoma’s tilt with West Virginia.
Can West Virginia’s Depleted Defense Get Enough Stops?
The West Virginia secondary is in shambles with three freshman starters in the secondary in place of three seniors, which could again be the case in the first half against Oklahoma if Keith Washington can’t go because of a leg injury.
As a result of all of the attrition in the defensive backfield, West Virginia has had to rely on two other freshman as well, including a converted quarterback.
Now this extremely young and raw secondary will have to go up against Oklahoma’s explosive offense on the road. Oklahoma is the only team in the nation averaging over 600 yards per game and one of only three (also Alabama and LSU) averaging over 50 points per game.
From a yards perspective, the Sooners currently lead the nation in yards per carry (7.7), rank second in yards per pass attempt (12.0), and first in yards per play at a ridiculous 9.6.
How good is 9.6 yards per play?
The next best offense this year is Alabama, which averages 8.1 yards per play. It’s also a full yard greater than where OU finished with last year with Heisman trophy winner Kyler Murray at the helm. And that 8.6 yards per play average was an NCAA record.
The Oklahoma offense hasn’t missed a beat — Lincoln Reilly, ladies and gentlemen.
Only three teams have finished a season averaging more than 8 yards per play (2018 Oklahoma, 2018 Oklahoma and 2006 Hawaii). Here are the top single-season yards per play leaders since 2000.
Things could get ugly quick on Saturday.
And on the other side of the ball, this is the best Oklahoma defense we’ve seen in a long time. It’s a top 30 unit, which is all Oklahoma needs to match an offense that might be the best in the country.
The Sooners can get pressure on the quarterback and play very aggressive. Considering West Virginia can’t run the ball (3.1 yards per carry, 121st nationally), quarterback Austin Kendall, who it appears will give it a go despite also being banged up, may have a long day in passing situations against his former team.
The WVU signal caller has shown flashes this year but he’s also been plagued by turnovers (9 TD and 7 INT). Kendall has also lost two of his top five targets for the season to either injury or transfer. And leading wideout Sam James, also a freshman, has been playing despite also being a little banged up as well.
There’s always a risk of a meaningless backdoor once Reilly takes his foot off the gas if Oklahoma builds an enormous lead, but I still see value under 35 and split this between 1H and full game to mitigate some of that backdoor risk.
Picks: Oklahoma -35 or better; Oklahoma 1H -20.5