Oklahoma is yet another top team off to a disappointing start to the season. Coming into a rivalry game with Nebraska heavily favored, the Sooners allowed the game to go down to the wire, winning 23-16. West Virginia’s season has been a rollercoaster; they dropped the season opener to Maryland 30-24 but were able to recover and pull the 27-21 upset over rival Virginia Tech.
This matchup should be fun; the potential exists for a classic Big 12 shootout, time to examine deeper for betting value.
- Opening Line: Oklahoma -16.5, O/U 55.5
- Current Line: Oklahoma -17, O/U 55.5
- Last meeting: October 19, 2019, Oklahoma 52, West Virginia 14
Oklahoma comes in, led by quarterback Spencer Rattler. Rattler has yet to live up to expectations; his counting numbers are ok, a 74% completion on the 27th ranked passing offense in the nation, but the offense has sputtered in, allowing both Tulane and Nebraska to play close games. Kennedy Brooks led the 35th ranked rush offense, and Eric Gray has been productive, though not dominant. This offense can click at any moment.
A 22nd ranked defense against the run has played “bend but don’t break” football, ranking 86th against the pass. The team has generated pressure from all over, ranking 6th in the nation with 13 sacks, but no single player has over three individually. Those sacks have been critical in accumulating five fumble recovers, tied for the 2nd most in the nation. The ability to create pressure could be vital, with West Virginia ranking 83rd in the country, allowing 2.33 sacks per game.
Senior QB Jarret Doege leads a West Virginia offense that ranks 41st in the nation in ypg. Leddie Brown provides experience in the run game, and the team leans on him heavily, with his 265 yards and five touchdowns pacing the 86th best rush offense. The depth of the group is with the wide receivers; five different players have topped 100 yards. Sam James leads the way with 166 yards, but the entire room can make plays when needed.
The West Virginia defense has been respectable, ranking 61st against the pass and 34th against the run. Like the Sooners, the West Virginia defense has created negative yardage, their 31 TFLs rank 4th in the nation. Bandit Jarrett Bartlett leads the team with three sacks, while linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo is the leading tackler. The team has not intercepted an opponent this season and shown themselves against Maryland to be soft enough. This game could represent an opportunity for Rattler to get on a roll.
- Oklahoma is 8-3 ATS in their last 11, but two of those losses were this season.
- West Virginia is on a 4-2 run over their last six ATS.
- The over has hit in six straight games between Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Oklahoma has been desperate for a “get right” offensive game. Returning to Big 12 play could present that opportunity. Given the history of overs in this game and both offenses seeming primed for an explosion. A high-scoring shootout gives Oklahoma ample opportunity to post numbers, and if the offense is clicking, expect coach Lincoln Riley to leave the pedal down to build confidence.
Pick: Oklahoma -16.5
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