Another edition of the Bedlam Series takes place this Saturday in Norman, as the No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners host the No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys. It’s a rivalry that the Sooners have dominated through the years, most recently in a 34-16 victory last November in Stillwater. But the Cowboys are hoping to pull off the upset and maintain their position as the top team in the Big 12.
Here is a preview for Oklahoma State-Oklahoma, complete with a free pick. The Sooners opened up as 9.5-point favorites, but that line has already shifted drastically and now sits at -7.
Oklahoma State Outlook
The Cowboys have five wins, four of which have come in conference play, but are still in search of their first signature win. After beating Tulsa, West Virginia, Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State, as well as losing in an overtime thriller against Texas, a victory over the Sooners would erase any doubt as to who the best team in the Big 12.
In what is very uncharacteristic in this high-scoring conference, Oklahoma State is averaging just 28 points per game. Part of that is due to the inconsistent play of sophomore quarterback Spencer Sanders, who had four of his five passing touchdowns this season come in the loss to Texas.
But the Cowboys also boast one of the best running backs in college football in Chuba Hubbard. After rushing for over 2,000 yards last season, the junior is looking to improve a season in which he has 581 rushing yards and five touchdowns, averaging a little under five yards per carry.
Even though the offense isn’t as explosive as they’d like it to be, the Cowboys has been fairly solid on defense. They’re averaging a very strong 17.8 points allowed, and just over 13 points allowed if you remove the 41 points given up to the Longhorns. Oklahoma State is also allowing just 169 passing yards per game, although it has been susceptible to the run at times.
To say the season got off to a rocky start for the Sooners would be an understatement. Oklahoma lost back-to-back games against Kansas State and Iowa State, the former being at home.
But they seem to have recovered, starting with an exhilarating four-overtime win against Texas before racking up blowout wins against TCU, Texas Tech and Kansas.
The offense for Oklahoma has exploded the last two weeks with back-to-back 60-point efforts, bringing up their points per game average to an impressive 46.1. The Sooners, who average over 500 yards of offense each week, are led by their freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler.
Rattler is continuing the trend of elite play by quarterbacks in Norman, already throwing for over 2,000 yards with 18 touchdowns. He has formed a connection with true freshman wideout Marvin Mims, who has a team-leading seven touchdowns and a little over 400 yards receiving.
Of course, no one thinks “defense” when you think about Oklahoma. But thanks in part to dominant efforts against TCU and Kansas, the Sooners are allowing a respectable 24.4 points per game. They’re also allowing fewer than 100 rushing yards per game and 338 total yards on average.
With Oklahoma State relying so much on its defense, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the under has hit in eight of its last 10 contests dating back to last year. In addition, the Cowboys are 12-4 ATS over their last 16 games against teams above .500, as well as 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine road games.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma has been the opposite as far as points go, as it has had the over hit in five of its last six Big 12 games, all coming this season. The Sooners have also covered in each of their last four games. However, Oklahoma is just 2-6 ATS in its last eight games against teams with winning records.
In this rivalry, it seems to be a coin-flip as to whether we see a nail-biter of a game or a total blowout. But far more often than not, we see Oklahoma come out on top.
Although Oklahoma State has a better record, the Sooners are playing some dominant football right now and have an offense that will be tough for the Cowboys to stop. Oklahoma State just doesn’t have the offense needed to hang with Oklahoma, eclipsing 27 points just once this season. I’m going with the Sooners to win and cover the seven points.
Pick: Oklahoma -7