No. 8 Oklahoma takes on No. 13 Baylor in a Big 12 showdown at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas, on Saturday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on FOX.
Oklahoma (9-0) enters a pivotal three-game stretch on the schedule where it will try to get the College Football Playoff committee’s attention. The Sooners are coming off a bye week, and that gave freshman phenom Caleb Williams another week to build around an offense that still averages 42.9 points per game.
Baylor (7-2) will look to play spoiler under second-year coach Dave Aranda. The Bears average 36.3 ppg., and the offense has clicked around quarterback Gerry Bohanon. The Bears are undefeated at home this season, too.
With that in mind, here is all you need to know about betting on the Oklahoma-Baylor matchup:
Oklahoma vs. Baylor odds
Three trends to know
— Oklahoma has won the last seven meetings in the series, but the last three wins at Baylor have been by an average of seven points per game.
— The Sooners are just 4-5 ATS this season, but they have covered the spread in three of four games since Williams replaced Spencer Rattler during the Texas game.
— The Bears are 7-2 S/U at home under Aranda, but they are also 1-7 S/U as an underdog.
Three things to watch
— Bears’ balance on offense. Baylor has a 1-2 running back punch in Abram Smith (1,055 yards, 11 TDs) and Trestan Ebner (601 yards, 1 TD) that should be able to set up Bohanan for success in RPO and play-action passes. For as good as the Oklahoma offense has been, the defense has allowed 287 passing yards per game on a 70.1% completion percentage in its last three games.
— Caleb Williams’ efficiency. For a young quarterback, Williams has displayed remarkable accuracy to this point. In the three starts since the pinch-hit appearance against Texas, he has hit 56 of 73 passes (76.7%) with 12 TDs and one interception. Baylor’s defense has limited quarterbacks to a 61.3% completion percentage, and that comes with 10 TDs and nine interceptions. Can the Bears’ secondary rattle Williams?
— Sooners’ slow starts? Oklahoma has outscored opponents 83-80 in the first quarter, a marginal gap that goes against the past with Lincoln Riley’s high-scoring offenses. Will Oklahoma come out firing out of the bye week against Baylor, which is coming off a close loss to TCU? That is what the committee wants to see.
Stat that matters
Since Williams took over at quarterback, the Sooners have averaged 531.5 yards per game on offense. The Kansas game was the only one where Oklahoma didn’t clear 500 yards. That was Williams’ first road start, and Baylor will be a more-hostile road environment. If Oklahoma hits that 500-yard mark, however, there won’t be much second-half drama.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor prediction
Williams will continue to look to playmakers Kennedy Brooks (802 yards, 9 TDs) and Marvin Mims (605 receiving yards, 4 TDs) to help the Sooners get off to that fast start. Baylor will hang around with that strong running game, but they won’t get the chance to play from ahead. Oklahoma wins by double digits, but is that enough to push them up a spot or two in the rankings?
Final score: Oklahoma 41, Baylor 31
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