Big-12 action rolls on this Saturday afternoon (12:00pm ET) with the latest edition of the Red River Shootout featuring the 15th ranked Texas Longhorns (4-1) taking on the 10th ranked Oklahoma Sooners (3-1) at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, TX. Texas is 3-2 ATS this season, sandwiching three straight covers with losses in their opener, a 37-17 win over Wyoming as a 31 point favorite, and losing last week 48-45 at home to West Virginia as a 7.5 point favorite. Oklahoma is 2-2 ATS this season, covering a 4 point spread in a 41-20 win at Texas Tech last week after failing to cover in a 24-19 loss at home to Kansas St. the previous week as a 15.5 point favorite.
The Texas offense has come into its own under the stewardship of quarterback David Ash (1,276 yards passing, 77.5 % completion rate, 11 TDs), ranking 6th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 46.8 points per game and 25 in total offense with 477.4 yards per contest. The Longhorn defense was shredded last week by Heisman Trophy contender Geno Smith of West Virginia for 460 total yards and 4 TDs through the air, including a woeful 5-for5 on 4th down conversions allowed. The defense ranks in the bottom half of all FBS teams with 26.4 PPG allowed (67th in the nation) and 404.2 YPG allowed (76th in the nation).
Oklahoma is coming off of their best overall game of the year last week at Texas Tech, when they were able to shut down the Red Raiders offense and pick off 3 of Seth Dodge’s passes in a much-needed win. Quarterback Landry Jones (1,031 yards passing, 7 TDs, 2 INTs) has not been as productive this season as he has throughout his career, but still has led the offense to 38.2 PPG (24th in the nation) and 463.8 YPG (29th in the nation). The Sooner defense ranks 20th nationally with 16 PPG allowed and 18th in total defense with 303 YPG allowed.
Texas vs. Oklahoma Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Texas Longhorns +3
@ Oklahoma Sooners -3
Over 59 (-110)
Under 59 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Texas vs. Oklahoma Pick:
Texas has a 4-1 record ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams, and a 5-11 record ATS in their last 16 Big-12 games. Oklahoma is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Big-12 games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The over is 3-1-1 in Texas’ last 5 October games. The under is 5-1 in Oklahoma’s last 6 games overall and 4-1 in their last 5 games against winning teams. OU has won 3 of the last 5 meetings in head-to-head play, including a 55-17 shellacking last season as an 11 point favorite.
These two teams are longtime rivals and obviously very familiar with each other. The trends do not show any obvious patterns to their recent matchups or play overall. On a neutral (relatively speaking since the game is in Texas) field, the advantage should go to the more consistent team, which has been the Longhorns this season. Texas has overcome their offensive woes from last season in a big way, and even against an OU defense that ranks 9th in the country in pass defense with 160.5 YPG allowed, they should be able to put up some points. Oklahoma has not done well as a favorite since the end of last season, and taking the points in this game is the smart play. Look for Ash to provide more of a test for the OU secondary than Dodge and Texas Tech did last week and for the Longhorns to pull it out as an underdog.
PICK = Texas +3