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Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns Point Spread - Pick

Oklahoma Sooners (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Texas Longhorns (3-2 SU, 3-1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 3:30PM EST
Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
TV: X

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: OKLA -7.5/TEX +7.5
Over/Under Total: 62.5

The Oklahoma Sooners take on the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday in Big 12 action. While it's an in-state game at a neutral site for the Longhorns, the Sooners are about the same distance from Dallas, meaning no team really has the home advantage. The Sooners look to get back on the winning track after a cataclysmic upset loss last Saturday, where the 31-point favorites lost to Iowa State, 38-31, ending a 14-game win streak. It was their first loss to the Cyclones since 1990 and put a major dent into their CFP hopes. They now turn their attention to a Texas team that is fresh off a big double-overtime win over Kansas State. At 3-2, they have seen a season's worth of drama already and look to spring another surprise again this week.

Losing happens and upsets come by the dozens every college football season. But for the Sooners to fall at home as 31-point favorites to a 2-2 Iowa State team playing with a backup quarterback is truly a shock. The Sooners looked great in smashing the highly-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes a few weeks ago, but in their last two games, they have missed covering the spread by a combined 57 points. Be that as it may, there are still a lot of things on the table for OU and they have to snap out of this funk. They just look really flat lately and before this season gets away from them, they need to reignite the pilot light.

On paper, it might not look like the Oklahoma offense had all that bad of a day last week, but scoring a lone touchdown in the entire second half was a big part of the upset loss. QB Baker Mayfield was over 300 yards with a pair of TD throws, while also running for 57 yards and a score. Trey Sermon had 90 yards on the ground. WR Dmitri Flowers had 95 yards receiving and ran in a score. But a lot of drives just sort of died suddenly and the clutch plays made were minimal, especially in the second half. And it wasn't like there were all these weird twists throughout the game, like a bunch of turnovers, penalties, or sacks. They were just outplayed.

It was upsetting to see the Oklahoma defense fail to register many clutch or timely plays late in the game in Saturday's loss. Making it all the more disconcerting was how they were eaten up by a senior backup who had thrown two passes in college football before, as Iowa State QB Kyle Kempt threw for 343 yards on the day with a go-ahead TD late in the game. This was an Iowa St. offense that had scored just 7 points the previous week. We've seen Oklahoma not playing that hard on this side of the ball, letting opponents get back into games and it came back to bite them last week. More or less in the last few weeks, this "D" has just been "there" taking up space. And it's hard at this point to remember they're the same defense that held Ohio State to 16 points.

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The Texas win over Kansas State in double-overtime was nothing new for Texas, as they also had another wild game come down to the last play in a hard-played loss to the Trojans a few weeks ago. They seem to have a little more edge with freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger behind center, as he has already shown a flair for the dramatic. Under first-year coach Tom Herman, they are still a ways from where they want to eventually be, but they have more life and energy on the sideline and they play hard. That alone makes them dangerous. And while Oklahoma has been the more-prestigious program over the last several seasons, Texas has given them good games, with the margin for victory for the Sooners being really close.

Ehlinger was big for the Longhorns on Saturday, with 380 yards through the air and another 107 yards on the ground. He connected big-time with Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, who had 12 catches for 121 yards, with Collin Johnson adding 7 catches and 92 yards. RB Chris Warren III. had a TD through the air and one on the ground, as well. And that one was critical, coming in double-overtime and being the decisive score, as he muscled his way in with defenders hanging on him for the inspirational win. Ehlinger is getting a lot out of this offense and has shown pocket-presence beyond his years. They've also shown the ability to thrive late in games, with a really bad twist of fate ruining their chances against USC. But it really paid off against Kansas State in what was a big win.

The Texas defense tightened up late against Kansas State, but it was not a vintage performance for this side of the ball. Still, they held Kansas State to just 2-for-11 on third downs, while keeping them off the scoreboard in the second overtime, forcing a failed FG atempt. They got after the quarterback with Naashon Hughes, Malcolm Roach, and Charles Omenihu applying pressure. The middle also had contributions from Malik Jefferson. The secondary did enough, led by Brandon Jones, DeShon Elliott, and PJ Locke, who were all very active on the day.

On one hand, we don't want to carry on condemning Oklahoma for losing one game, as bad as the loss might look. They did win 14 straight games leading up to that and have shown this season that at their best, they can be among the best teams in the country. But Texas seems to have a newfound optimism and attitude that can go a long way in games like this. Ehlinger seems to get more comfortable in the pocket with each throw and I'm not sure they're going to be that easy to upend this week. I'll take the points.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Texas Longhorns plus 7.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet on the Oklahoma vs. Texas game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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