One of the most heated rivalries in college football returns to the sportsbooks this Saturday when the Oklahoma Sooners take on the Texas Longhorns in a Red River Rivalry. Oddsmakers have the Sooners as big 11-point favorites for this neutral-site game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
If you’re betting on the college football online sports handicapping for Oklahoma versus Texas, here are the best angles and edges to factor into your wagers:
Hurts so good
Oklahoma has thrived under another transfer quarterback, with former Alabama passer Jalen Hurts headlining the Sooners’ scoring attack. Oklahoma is putting up more than 53 points per game behind the top-ranked offense in terms of yards, with Hurts passing for a total of 1,521 yards and rushing for an added 499 yards on the ground, scoring a combined 21 touchdowns.
Texas is among the worst defenses in the country versus the pass, allowing 325 yards against through the air which ranks 126th in the country. The Longhorns give up 8.3 yards per attempt and have helped opposing quarterbacks post a passer rating of 139.9 on the year. In last season’s showdown with OU, the Horns were gashed for 379 yards and three touchdowns from future No. 1 overall pick and Heisman winner Kyler Murray.
Texas head coach Tom Herman is well known amongst the college football betting community for his efforts as an underdog during this coaching career. Heading into Saturday’s game with Oklahoma, Herman-coach teams are 13-3 ATS when getting the points, going back to his time with the Houston Cougars.
That said, the Horns couldn’t come through for underdog bettors in Week 2 versus LSU, a game in which the Tigers were giving Texas 6.5 points at home and edged out Horns backers by half a point in a 45-38 win – despite a late touchdown strike from quarterback Sam Ellinger with 22 seconds remaining.
Texas had covered against Oklahoma for six straight meetings before the Sooners came through for bettors last season. The Longhorns were betting underdogs in each matchup between 2013 and 2018, and cashed in as pups in each game despite going just 3-3 SU in those matchups.
The Longhorns may have to rely more on the run game than the arm of Ellinger this weekend. Texas, which has the 35th-ranked rushing attack in the country, is picking up nearly 117 yards on the ground per outing. Should the Horns gain traction on the turf, they could control the tempo and keep a dangerous OU offense cooled on the sideline.
The total for Saturday’s Red River Rivalry opened at 74.5 and has climbed to 76 points with early action on the Over. While this is a monster Over/Under number, it pales in comparison to last years 80-point total and stands as the second-highest total in this series over the past 10 meetings.
Oklahoma and Texas have gone 6-4 Over/Under since 2010, however, these Big 12 battles have leaned toward the Under in recent years, with a 2-3 O/U count since 2015.