Welcome back to LazyBets NCAAF picks and parlays. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the one of the best staples on the college football calendar: the Red River Shootout Showdown between Texas and Oklahoma. Both squads are ranked in the top-25 as they head into their 113rd meeting - the Sooners are undefeated and ranked 7th overall, while the #19 Longhorns have reeled off four straight wins after dropping their opener to Maryland.
When Texas and Oklahoma get together, it usually means two things: tons of wild food at the Texas State Fair, and an entertaining football game. Oklahoma enters this edition of the storied rivalry as an eight-point favorite at BetOnline against the Longhorns, so grab your Kool-Aid Pickle-Dilly Sangria and dive into the matchup with us.
Texas averages 27.6 points per game through their first five games, putting them in the mid-80s in terms of their ranking. Offense just isn’t what the Longhorns are known for, and they certainly aren’t capable of lighting up the scoreboard the same way that the Sooners can.
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has a QBR of just over 63 for the season, which is not all that impressive given the talent that he has around him on both sides of the ball. With a head coach as talented at coaching offense as Tom Herman is, you would expect more than 1,165 yards in five games from the starting quarterback.
Live music events in austin gives some reason for optimism. Texas is coming off of a big home win that we attended against TCU last week. There seems to be a different energy developing in this Texas team than in years past.
Collin Johnson (pictured above) made a season changing catch last week. You can see rapport developing with Sam Ehlinger. If anything has added to Ehlinger's struggles, its been Texas' lack of an efficient run game. They can't seem to finalize themselves on one back.
Keaontay Ingram has proven much more efficient than Tre Watson. His 6.1 yard average has to be considered in Tom Herman's Texas offensive plan. While Texas is an unimpressive 61st in the passing yards per game, they are worse in the run where they rank 90th.
They may have stopped calling this rivalry game the Red River Shootout because of gun-related concerns, but it may have also been due to the Texas offense - they don’t seem capable of getting into a shootout on the scoreboard anymore.
For everywhere Texas struggles on offense, they make it up on the other side of the ball. Texas is allowing less than 20 points per game on defense which is where most of their games will be won and lost. That was made clear in their win over TCU, where the Longhorns got behind early only to hold TCU to just 16 points in a game that turned into an easy win for the squad in burnt orange.
Over the last three games the Longhorns have played, Texas has allowed a total of 44 points. That's just under 15 points per game on average. They are both fast and physical defensively. They will need both of those traits if they want to stop Kyler Murray and the dynamic offense that Oklahoma has put together.
At certain positions, this game feels like a bit of a mismatch on paper, but the Longhorns have the benefit of playing in a rivalry game here. The matchup between these two teams is usually closer than expected, with a couple of majorupsets for the Longhorns in recent memory.
Oklahoma Sooners Week 6 Analysis
Oklahoma is eighth in the country in scoring average this season, putting up a whopping 48.6 points per contest. They have so many weapons that it takes a truly elite defense to stop them over the course of a full game. The Longhorns might just have that elite defense, but whether they can slow down this dominating Sooners attack remains to be seen.
Kyler Murray is leading a passing offense that ranks 17th in the country in passing yardage per game, with the Sooners airing it out for 317 yards per contest. There hasn’t been much of a drop in production offensively from the Sooners from last year, even though the team lost Heisman-winner Baker Mayfield to the NFL. That speaks to how great Murray has been, and he will need to be great again to win this game.
Oklahoma is allowing 23.2 points per game on the season, putting them just outside of the top-50 in the country in that regard. Most of those points have come in garbage time, given that the Sooners have been way ahead of their opponents in most of their games, but there have been some struggles on the defensive end for Oklahoma.
Defensively, the team’s performance against Army may have been cause for concern. There have been some vulnerabilities in the Oklahoma defense, one of which is stopping the run game. That weakness was exposed by the triple option offense of the Black Knights in an overtime game that Oklahoma probably wishes it put away… Sooner.
Fortunately for Oklahoma, they will be taking on a Texas team here that does not run a confusing, triple option attack. However, Texas has much better players both at the point of attack and at the skill positions, so it will be interesting to see if the Longhorns can get their ground game going on Saturday.
Texas vs Oklahoma Trends
Both Texas and Oklahoma enter this game at 2-3 against the spread on the season, which is a product of both being so beloved by bettors due to their decades and decades of crushing opponents both straight up and against the spread.
These teams both come to play their best football against opponents with winning records. Texas is 7-2-1 against the spread in their last 10 games against teams with a winning record, while Oklahoma is 13-3 against the spread in its last 16 games against teams that are above .500. With both teams above .500 heading into this game, something will have to give in this battle of teams who regularly rise to the occasion.
Oklahoma definitely has the weapons to put up points in big numbers, something that Texas can’t say for themselves. What the Longhorns do have is an elite defense. It's been firing on all cylinders against quality competition over the last few weeks. The Longhorns need their offense to make some plays to stay in this game, but Texas should be able to do just enough here to get the cover in their biggest rivalry game of the season.
As far as the total is concerned, the under 61 point total might be worth taking a look at. If Texas is going to win this game, they are going to do so with their defense by limiting the effectiveness of Kyler Murray. Given the limitations of the Texas offense, a cover by the Longhorns feels like it would fall somewhere in the range of 28-21, although the Sooners would much prefer the winner of this game to be somewhere in the 40s or more.