The top two teams in the Big 12 square off in Waco, Texas on Saturday. Oklahoma (8-1) is coming off a 42-41 win over Iowa State, and Baylor (9-0) knocked off TCU in a sloppy overtime win last Saturday. This can very well be a preview of the Big 12 championship game if both teams remain at the top of the standings. The Sooners are 25-3 all-time against the Bears. As of writing this, Oklahoma is a 10-point favorite over Baylor.
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2019
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Location: McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas
Oklahoma, yet again, has another prolific offense with another great quarterback. They rank first in multiple offensive categories including points per play, yards per play, and offensive efficiency. A lot of this is thanks to Lincoln Riley creating a system that has been successful year in and year out. There really aren’t many deficiencies with Jalen Hurts leading this offense. Oklahoma does rank 47th in sack rate this year. Baylor is getting to the quarterback 8.7 percent of the time, which is 21st in the country. If the Bears are able to get to the quarterback, then that could mess with the Sooners offense.
The Sooners defense is much improved from last season, but still not perfect. They rank 39th in S&P+ and 26th in defensive success rate. Much improved from last season, but their issue this is year allowing the big plays. They rank 125th in allowing explosive plays, according to collegefootballdata.com. This can be a big game changer on Saturday as Baylor ranks 23rd in offensive explosiveness. Oklahoma has allowed over 400 yards and 40 points in each of their last two games. Baylor’s offense has been inconsistent, but Kansas State and Iowa State could have created the blueprint to exploit them.
Baylor’s offense has been hard to figure out. They rank 34th in the S&P+ and success rate, but scored only 26 points in the last eight quarters of regulation. Their kicker bailed them out last week with a field goal to tie it at the end of regulation against TCU to go to overtime, and they only scored 17 points against a bad West Virginia defense. The Bears are still a good team, but some of the luck they have received might be starting to run out. Explosive plays are going to be key on Saturday if they want to keep their undefeated record. Baylor has allowed 14 sacks in their last three games.
This is the matchup everyone wants to see. How well can Baylor defend Oklahoma’s offense? This will be the best defense the Sooners have seen all season. They are currently holding opponents to 4.4 yards per play, which ranks tenth in the country. This is still going to be a tough matchup for the Baylor defense as Oklahoma has scored over 40 points in eight of their nine wins. The Bears can get to the quarterback and rank 21st in sack rate. If they can get to Jalen Hurts, then this could be the x-factor to how well Oklahoma moves the ball.
Betting Pick, Over 67.5
This is a going to be a very public bet on Saturday. As of writing this, 72 percent of the tickets are on the over. Oklahoma has shown no signs of slowing down on offense. Iowa State has a defense that is similar to Baylor’s and Oklahoma still put up 42 points. As inconsistent as Baylor’s offense has been, I think they’ll be able to exploit Oklahoma’s weakness in allowing big plays. Both teams should get into the 30’s, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Oklahoma hit 40 again this week.