#19 Kansas (5-1) meets unranked Oklahoma (3-3) in a surprising record situation, as Oklahoma usually dominates the conference. Kansas is coming off a 38-31 loss to undefeated TCU, and they received terrible news this week: QB Jalon Daniels is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, has dropped three straight with the most recent being an utterly embarrassing 49-0 loss to Texas. The Sooners didn’t have QB Dillon Gabriel, however, and he is expected to play versus Kansas.
Can Oklahoma stop the bleeding against a plucky Kansas squad? Their odds to do so are found below, as well as picks and predictions.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma Odds
The odds reflect the quarterback situation, as the spread is -9 Oklahoma. Given the return of Gabriel and home field advantage, Oklahoma may have been favored even without Daniels’ injury. The over under is large at 62.5 total points because both teams field weak defenses.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma Prediction & Pick
I am backing Oklahoma to cover up to -10 because of Dillon Gabriel’s return. The Sooners were 3-1 before his injury with Gabriel producing 330 yards and 4 touchdowns in the loss, although it’s likely they still lose to TCU if he doesn’t get injured. His return completely rejuvenates an offense that failed to score a single point against Texas in his absence.
Kansas possesses a mediocre secondary, and Oklahoma’s weapons will shred them with Gabriel back. WR Marvin Mims mostly operates in the slot; he has 435 yards and 3 touchdowns this season on a monster 15.9 average depth of target (per PFF). It’s unlikely Kansas will be able to initially stop Mims or even adjust mid-game. This squad just allowed TCU receiver Quentin Johnston to go for 206 yards on 14 of 16 targets because they couldn’t adjust.
Meanwhile, Kansas also has to worry about TE Brayden Willis (210 yards, 4 TD), outside receiver WR Jalil Farooq (15.1 average depth of target), RB Eric Gray (6.7 yards per carry), and an offensive line that PFF grades as the 16th best in the nation. Overall, Kansas is ill-equipped to handle Oklahoma’s offense and will profusely bleed points.
On the other hand, Kansas’ offense takes a step back without dual-threat QB Jalon Daniels, who has produced 1,431 total yards and 16 total touchdowns versus merely 1 interception. QB Jason Bean is a downgrade from Daniels in both passing accuracy and scrambling, although he did play well against a shaky TCU defense that blew plenty of coverages and left receivers wide open. Oklahoma’s defense is average at best, but they will only need a few stops considering Oklahoma’s offense.
Overall, this is a great spot for Oklahoma to make a stand and reverse their losing streak with Gabriel back. The Sooners are going to win this by 10-14 points in a high scoring game, and the actual best bet is the over, although Oklahoma covering is appealing.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma Key Matchups
WR Marvin Mims vs. Kansas Coverage
Quentin Johnston eviscerated Kansas’ secondary, and a matchup against Mims doesn’t bode well for them. In 34 targets, slot corner Craig Young has allowed 26 receptions, 253 yards and a 106.6 NFL passer rating when targeted. He’s been their least reliable cornerback, and he will likely line up against Mims for the majority of the game. I’m expecting this matchup to be utterly one-sided, which will completely open up Oklahoma’s offense.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 11, 2022
QB Jason Bean vs Oklahoma Pass Rush
Bean isn’t inexperienced, but he will need more time than Daniels to locate receivers and accurately throw into windows. Oklahoma’s pass rush has to help their secondary and limit Bean’s time in the pocket. EDGE Ethan Downs and Reggie Grimes have combined for 13 hurries and 7 sacks – they must be the catalyst behind Oklahoma getting pressure. If the Sooners can accomplish this, then Kansas’ offense will severely struggle to keep pace with the Dillon Gabriel.
— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) October 8, 2022