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Texas has struggled as an underdog and Oklahoma has struggled within the Big 12. Do the Sooners deserve more respect from oddsmakers than three points?
The Red River Rivalry is one of the great annual showdowns in college football, and Saturday's meeting of Oklahoma and Texas looks like it will continue that tradition.
The OU-Texas game, known as the Red River Shootout for nearly a century, features the 4-1 Longhorns as 3-point road underdogs against the 3-1 Sooners. It's the 107th meeting and at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (noon ET, ABC). Can the 'Horns break a two-game losing streak in this series? Or will the Sooners make it three in a row?
"Texas is just 2-7 ATS in their past nine games as an underdog, but Oklahoma has also struggled with the conference," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com. Indeed, the Sooners are just 4-8 ATS in their past dozen Big 12 matches.
Texas opened this season with a 37-17 win over Wyoming, then shut-out New Mexico 45-0, then ran over Mississippi in Oxford 66-31, then scored late (and somewhat controversially) to beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater 41-36. But last week, as touchdown-favorites at home vs. West Virginia, the Longhorns couldn't stop (not that anybody else has) that Mountaineers offense, which racked up 460 yards in a 48-45 Texas defeat.
On the other side of this matchup Oklahoma, the pre-season favorite to win the Big 12, began its season with a 24-7 win at UTEP, then beat Florida A&M 69-13, but opened its Big 12 slate with a 24-19 loss at home as 15-point favorites vs. Kansas State.
Last week, the Sooners recovered to win, 41-20, at Texas Tech. So both these teams are 1-1 in Big 12 play.
The Longhorns, in their three games vs. BCS-conference teams, have averaged 50 PPG and allowed almost 42 PPG. Not-so-coincidentally, all three of those games played OVER on the totals.
Last year Oklahoma beat Texas 55-17, covering as 11-point favorites. The Sooners outgained the Horns by almost 200 yards, forced five Texas turnovers and scored three defensive touchdowns.
Earlier this week, most college football sportsbooks opened this game with Oklahoma favored by 3.5 points. But as of Wednesday most shops had dropped the hook, and were chalking the Sooners at -3.
Free Oklahoma vs. Texas Pick: This should be a good, close game. But in sizing up these teams we've been more impressed by what Texas did vs. Ole Miss and OK State than anything Oklahoma's done so far. So we take the Longhorns plus the points for this Shootout. (courtesy of PickShark.com)
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