On Friday (11/24/23), TCU faces Oklahoma in a Big 12 game with significant implications. In this article, find a full preview of the matchup and the latest betting odds. In addition, find our best bet for the game which is TCU +10.5.
TCU Horned Frogs Vs. Oklahoma Sooners Prediction
To kick off Black Friday, we’re getting an intriguing Big 12 matchup where both teams have plenty left to play for. TCU needs one more win to reach bowl eligibility while Oklahoma is still alive for a spot in the Big 12 title game, needing a win here and an Oklahoma State loss to BYU to clinch a spot (assuming Texas beats Texas Tech on Friday night).
Oklahoma started this season 8-0 with an impressive win over Texas, but they’ve since gone just 2-2. Last week, the Sooners escaped with a 7-point win as 24-point road favorites over a BYU team starting its backup quarterback. Needless to say, the Sooners are highly vulnerable at the moment.
The Sooners’ offense hasn’t been the same after losing top wide receiver Andrel Anthony for the year and fellow wideout Jalil Farooq suffered an injury last week. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel also left the game and did not return. Head coach Brent Venables said he expects both to play, but those are obviously significant injuries that have to be monitored.
Even if Gabriel and Farooq can play, I have major concerns about the Oklahoma defense. BYU ran for 217 yards on them last week, which is far above their season average of 90.5, and averaged over 5 yards per carry for the first time all year. BYU also averaged 7.6 yards per play in the game, which is in the 89th percentile.
To make matters worse for the Sooners, they have a major kicking problem as Zach Schmit ranks just 94th out of 118 qualified FBS kickers with a 66.7% conversion rate. Last week, Schmit whiffed on a crucial 28-yard chip shot that would have given Oklahoma a late lead with the game tied at 24.
TCU’s offense hasn’t been nearly as high octane as last year, but freshman quarterback Josh Hoover has had some impressive games. Last week, Hoover threw for 412 yards and two touchdowns against Baylor. Overall, the Horned Frogs have the 30th-ranked passing offense in the country by EPA/play.
This game should feature a ton of possessions as TCU (4th) and Oklahoma (16th) are among the fastest offenses in the country in terms of seconds per play. As such, the total sits at 63.5 points – points should come from both offenses. However, I see the most value in TCU on the spread as 10.5-point underdogs against an Oklahoma team that has faded down the stretch like they did last season.
TCU Vs. Oklahoma Prediction: TCU +10.5
TCU Vs. Oklahoma Best Odds
The spread for this game was as high as -15.5 in Oklahoma’s favor on the look ahead, but the Sooners’ lack of dominant play as of late has seen the spread tighten. The total currently sits at 63.5 points as odds makers are expecting plenty of points here. That leads to an implied score of around 37-27 in favor of Oklahoma.
TCU Vs. Oklahoma Key Matchups
TCU beat Oklahoma 55-24 last season, but both teams look very different than they did in that game. Let’s break down some of the key matchups that will decide this year’s game between TCU and Oklahoma.
Emani Bailey Vs. Oklahoma’s Run Defense
While I’ve been impressed with the play of freshman quarterback Josh Hoover at various points this season, going to Norman and winning is a tall order for a young quarterback. An emphasis on the run game will help neutralize his burden, and Emani Bailey has had an excellent season with 202 carries for 1,078 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Oklahoma’s run defense has been strong for most of the season, but last week, they allowed BYU to average over 5 yards per carry for the first time all season. PFF tracked the Sooners with 12 missed tackles in the game. The Sooners will have to be more sound against the run to corral Bailey, who is tied for sixth in the FBS with 60 missed tackles forced.
Dillon Gabriel Vs. TCU’s Pass Defense
TCU got fortunate last season in this matchup as Dillon Gabriel was forced out of the game early, although he didn’t generate much passing production when he was on the field to begin the game. He completed just 7 of 16 passes for 126 yards before the injury. Gabriel has improved this season, though, ranking 9th in the FBS with a 90.0 PFF passing grade.
The Horned Frogs boast an awesome defensive coordinator in Joe Gillespie, and his task will be to slow down what might be a hobbled Gabriel in this game depending on his injury status. TCU lost some key defenders from last year’s 13-2 team, but cornerback Josh Newton has allowed just a 49% catch rate in coverage this season.