One of the best rivalries in American sports is back, which is why, today, you’re getting an Oklahoma-Texas prediction.
There isn’t much in this world that is better than seeing the Cotton Bowl in Dallas split right down the middle, with red on the left and burnt orange on the right.
Oklahoma started the season looking like one of the favorites to win the national title, but as Spencer Rattler has struggled to find a level of dominance so to have the Sooners. They are undefeated but have dropped from No. 2 in the country to No. 6. Rattler went from a Heisman contender to having his backup’s name chanted during home games.
Texas, on the other hand, looked absolutely dreadful in a loss to Arkansas a month ago, but since switching to Casey Thompson at quarterback, they’ve looked like arguably the best team in the league. Bijon Robinson has also been playing like a legitimate Heisman candidate.
So how does the Red River Rivalry play out?
Longtime college sports writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 and The Field of 12 Network is here to break down the tantalizing matchup and provide his Oklahoma-Texas prediction for Week 6 of the college football season.
Until then, as a NCAA fan, you can check NFL betting odds and get ready to place a bet at BetRivers.
OKLAHOMA-TEXAS BETTING LINES:
#6 OKLAHOMA (5-0) at #21 TEXAS (4-1)
GAME: 12:00 p.m. ET (ABC)
MONEYLINE: Oklahoma (-177), Texas (+140)
SPREAD: Oklahoma (-3.5)
OKLAHOMA-TEXAS PUBLIC TRENDS
Oklahoma ML: 51% handle, 59% bets
Oklahoma Spread: 38% handle, 33% bets
Over: 80% handle, 80% bets
On the one hand, if there is a strength to this Oklahoma defense, it’s their ability to stop the run. They allow just under 80 yards per game on the ground, which is significant given that Bijon Robinson looks like arguably the best running back in college football this season. He’s averaging 21 carries and 131 yards per game and has scored nine touchdowns. Throw in his ability in the passing game, and finding a way to keep Robinson in check is the keep to keeping the Longhorns offense at bay.
At the same time, calling anything about Oklahoma’s defense a strength is probably saying a little bit too much. I do think the same can probably be said for Texas, who has been involved in a couple of shootouts since their loss to Arkansas a month ago. And while Spencer Rattler has been spinning his tires to start this season, let’s keep a couple of things in mind here:
- He’s completed nearly 79 percent of his passes the last two weeks, and in the win at Kansas State — which is not an easy place to play — he hit eight different receivers. Rattler hasn’t looked like a Heisman contender that is worth all the NIL deals he’s gotten, but he has hardly been a bum. Oklahoma is still undefeated! That’s important …
- … as is the fact that Rattler is battle-tested. He’s been in close games this year. He’s been in high-pressure environments. He’s been in this rivalry, and that experience counts. Remember, last season, he had 260 yards and four tuddies in a four-overtime win in this rivalry. No one on Texas can say that.
Now, in a rivalry game like this, given the way that these two teams are trending, I would lean towards taking the underdog. I think Texas can hang with Oklahoma. My concern is two-fold, however: Not only am I worried about what would happen if this game goes to overtime, but if this turns into a shootout as I expect it will, is anyone going to be settling for field goals?
So if my read is that Texas can keep pace with Oklahoma and that this game is going to be back-and-forth, then I’d rather be on the over than either side. And if I’m going to be forced into taking a side, that I’ll take the extra juice on the Texas moneyline.