College Football Odds: Texas, Oklahoma in Big D

By: Jimmy Sirody | Friday, October 1, 2010
Garrett Gilbert

Garrett Gilbert and the Longhorns offense have struggled this season.

The Big 12 spotlight will shine on the Red River Rivalry as Texas tries to turn things around with a big win over Oklahoma on Saturday.

Winning in Dallas doesn’t guarantee a free pass to the championship, but it is a major step. The winner of this rivalry has represented the Big 12 South in 10 of the past 14 title games.

But one has to wonder whether either the Longhorns or the Sooners are championship caliber teams.

Early bird bettors, reacting to Texas’ blowout loss to UCLA last week in Austin, have swallowed the Oklahoma Kool-Aid. Most offshore books opened the Sooners as two-point NCAAF spread favorites, and it didn’t take long for that number to jump to four.

However, OU has been far from impressive in its first four games (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS). The Sooners had one really good half against Florida State, but they’ve been extremely shaky in the other three weeks and puzzlingly inconsistent.

Oklahoma is having trouble eliminating the big play. The Longhorns are having trouble making it.

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Texas (3-1, 1-3) ranks 76th offensively in yards per game and that’s against defenses such as Rice, Wyoming, Texas Tech and UCLA. None of those are higher than 67th in the FBS in yards allowed.

The Sooners have struggled to stop the run and are among the most penalized teams in the country (13 for 113 yards versus Cincinnati last week).

However, the Longhorns may not have the horses to take advantage. They have struggled to run the ball, and have yet to find consistency in the passing game. Texas hasn’t hit the 400-yard mark as of yet, averaging 357 yards per game.

Coach Mack Brown hoped to build a running game around power back Cody Johnson and returning leading rusher Tre’ Newton. But Johnson injured his ankle on his second carry and has yet to truly recover, and Newton suffered a hip-pointer that slowed his progress.

Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert has tossed four interceptions while throwing only four touchdown passes and the Horns’ have also fumbled it away six times.

OU quarterback Landry Jones ranks fifth in the FBS with 1,221 passing yards, picking apart defenses for more than 300 yards per game. But the Longhorns’ defense is allowing only 128.8 passing yards per game en route to ranking second in the FBS in total yards allowed per game (227.8).

Top NCAAF Betting Odds at Sportsinteraction.

The Texas defense is terrific at getting off the field, allowing teams to convert their third down attempts just 25.9 percent of the time, while teams are converting 40.9 percent of their chances on the Sooners defense.

The Red River Rivalry winner has won by double-digits in 10 of the last 12 meetings and the Longhorns’ 16-13 victory last season was the closest finish since 1997.

The Sooners are ranked No. 8 and that’s not a good omen for Texas. The Longhorns have failed to cash 10 of their last 13 on the road or at a neutral site against Top 10 teams and they are 5-14-1 ATS under the same circumstances against ranked teams.

However, Texas has cashed 15 of its last 23 off a SU loss and seven of 11 as single-digit dogs and the Longhorns are 7-0 ATS off a double-digit home loss.

OU is 10-1 ATS as home or neutral favorites of 10 points or less. The Sooners have also ‘covered’ eight of nine off a SU win over a non-conference opponent.

Texas is 4-0-1 ATS in the past five Red Rivalry showdowns and the dog is 3-0-1 in the past four tussles.

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