The Bedlam Series picks up Saturday when the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners (10-1, 7-1 in Big XII) meet the No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 7-1). The kickoff at Boone Pickens Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and the game airs on ABC.
Oklahoma bounced back from a road upset at the Baylor Bears two weeks ago to beat the Iowa State Cyclones as 3-point home favorites Saturday. Oklahoma’s offense leads the Big XII in points per game and yards per play. The Sooners are 5-6 against the spread (ATS) and 6-5 Over/Under (O/U) with the 61st-hardest schedule, according to USA TODAY’s Jeff Sagarin.
Oklahoma State won its fourth straight game Saturday by shutting out the Texas Tech Red Raiders 24-0. In fact, Oklahoma State has allowed just 23 points during its four-game winning streak. The Cowboys’ defense leads the conference in points per game and yards per play allowed. Oklahoma State is 9-2 ATS and 3-7-1 O/U with the 26th-toughest schedule, according to Sagarin.
The Sooners have won four straight Bedlam series meetings with the Cowboys (3-1 ATS) since hiring head coach Lincoln Riley in 2017. The total is split 2-2 O/U in those contests.
- Opening Line: Oklahoma State -3
- Current Line: Oklahoma State -4.5
- Total (Over/Under): 49
According to Pregame.com, nearly 80% of the money is on Oklahoma State. Which has steamed the Cowboys up from a 3-point opening favorite. As for the total, roughly 90% of the cash is on the Under. Oddsmakers reacted by lowering the total from the 50.5 point opener.
Since Riley succeeded former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops (2017), the Sooners are 22-24-1 ATS in Big XII games, 12-7-1 ATS vs. ranked teams, and 2-0 ATS as a road underdog. Over that time span, Oklahoma State is 13-12-1 ATS as a home favorite, 15-5 ATS vs. ranked teams, and 24-19-1 ATS in conference play.
I can only lean to Oklahoma covering because fading the 1.5-point line move is my strongest angle for this contest. Additionally, the Cowboys have covered nine straight games so they are due for ATS regression.
But, Oklahoma’s offense is having a down season and there’s flux in the quarterback room. Oklahoma replaced its preseason Heisman Trophy favorite quarterback, Spencer Rattler, midseason. Also, Oklahoma State has by far the best defense in the Big XII. The Cowboys’ defense is first in opponent’s 3rd-down conversion percentage and defensive passing down predicted points added (PPA).
That said, Oklahoma’s defense matches up well against Oklahoma State’s offense. For instance, the Cowboys run the ball at the 13th-highest rate in the nation and the Sooners are solid against the run. Only three of Oklahoma’s opponents have gained 4.7 yards per rush this season (Texas Longhorns, TCU Horned Frogs, and Baylor). However, Oklahoma State’s ground game ranks lower in PPA, success rate, and explosive run rate than those three schools.
Furthermore, Oklahoma State’s offense ranks 105th in line yards per snap. On top of that, Oklahoma’s defense ranks 37th in rushing PPA and 14th in line yards per snap. And Oklahoma State’s second-most productive wideout—WR Brennan Presley—is listed on the injury report.
Finally, this is Pros vs. Joe’s spot in the betting market for the total. As previously mentioned, there’s a ton of money on the Under, but, a slight majority of the bets placed are on the Over (Pregame.com). Typically, in sports betting, it’s wise to follow the money when it’s flowing in the opposite direction as the public.
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