NCAA Football Free Picks: Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Texas Longhorns
(3-1, 1-3 ATS)

Oklahoma Sooners
(4-0, 1-3 ATS)

Red River Rivalry betting action commences on Saturday afternoon from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where millions will watch NCAA football betting action unfold, as the Texas Longhorns duke it out with the Oklahoma Sooners.

Have the Longhorns gotten their wake up call, or are they just not that good? It’s hard to argue with what the numbers say for Texas this year, as the men in burnt orange really might just be in for a down season. With a slew of injuries at the running back position, there hasn’t been a lot of help for QB Garrett Gilbert in this, his first year calling the shots as the starting signal caller in Austin. His running backs only had 14 carries last week in comparison to the 40 for the UCLA Bruins, who marched into the Lone Star State and came up big with a 34-12 win. In comparison to what we have seen in recent years from QB Colt McCoy, the numbers for Gilbert are shoddy at best. A 62.6 completion percentage is acceptable, but only throwing for 885 yards and accounting for just four TD tosses in as many games just doesn’t cut it. The good news for Texas is that the defense is still fantastic. This unit is only allowing 227.8 yards per game in total, the second best in the land. It is once again virtually impossible to do anything on the ground against these guys, as in spite of last week’s debacle, DC Will Muschamp’s crew still ranks No. 20 in the nation at just 99.0 yards per game allowed.

The Sooners haven’t exactly had a season full of peaches and cream either. Save a 47-17 romp of the Florida State Seminoles on September 11th, all three opponents have scored at least 24 points against the OU defense, and all three games have finished within seven points. The Sooners were at least 14 point favorites in all three games. It is very uncharacteristic for a HC Bob Stoops team to be ranked 97th in the nation in total defense at any point over the course of the year, as allowing 421.2 yards in any single game, let alone as an average, is totally unacceptable. The bright spots are once again the three superstars for the offense. WR Ryan Broyles is still doing things that no other receiver in the country is doing, as he has 41 catches, 482 yards, and four scores in as many games. RB DeMarco Murray could be headed to a 2,000 yard season on the ground, as he has 436 yards and seven scores. QB Landry Jones is completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 1,221 yards and nine TDs against three INTs this year. He came off the bench to replace the injured QB Sam Bradford last year and threw for 250 yards, a TD, and two picks in the 16-13 Oklahoma defeat.

This seems like a bit of a sucker line to us. Oklahoma hasn’t won a lot in this series in recent years, and it feels like payback should be in order, correct? After all, Jones has a taste of this series and Gilbert doesn’t. However, Texas just shut down the Oklahoma running game last year, holding Chris Brown and Murray to a combined 20 yards on 17 carries. The Sooners lost 16 yards rushing as a team. If that defense shows up like that again in burnt orange, the horns are going to be way, way up from all of the Texas faithful in Dallas.

Selection: Texas Longhorns +3

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