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Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma Sooners Point Spread - Pick

Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (6-1 SU, 3-4 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 8PM EST
Where: Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma
TV: X

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TTU +20/OKLA -20
Over/Under Total: 74

The Texas Tech Red Raiders come to Memorial Stadium in Norman for a Big 12 matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners. After a decent start to the season, Texas Tech has melted some in their last two games and on Saturday, they put up very little resistance in a home loss to Iowa State, 31-13. As touchdown favorites, it was a rough showing for the Red Raiders and things get even tougher in a road spot against the Sooners in week 9. On Saturday, Oklahoma was able to avert defeat at the hands of a tough Kansas State team, overcoming a two-touchdown deficit and two fourth quarter KSU touchdowns to put up a TD with 7 seconds left to emerge a 42-35 winner in a big road triumph.

Texas Tech looked pretty good through five games. With wins over Arizona State and Houston, they were competitive against Oklahoma State in a 41-34 loss, before putting up 65 against Kansas. But they squandered a big lead and caved against West Virginia in a pivotal moment and were really flat against Iowa State in a flat home showing in a game that you'd think they'd be looking to air out the stink of the WVU loss. For the last 6 quarters, an offense that couldn't get much wrong can't seem to get much right and the defense hasn't been helping, seemingly following suit in what has been a total team collapse.

The Texas Tech offense seemed out of character on Saturday, opening with a run-heavy approach that didn't really yield positive results. High-flying quarterback Nick Shimonek threw for 18 yards in the first half. He got rolling late, as the Red Raiders played from behind, but a lot of what was making them so dangerous early in the season hasn't been in evidence. They still have an aerial offense that can get things done, with Shimonek completing over 70% of his throws, with 2341 yards and 18 touchdowns. His top weapon is Keke Coutee, who has 774 yards, along with valuable assets Dylan Cantrell, Cameron Batson, and Derrick Willies. On the ground, Justin Stockton (questionable) and Tre King are legit weapons, with short-yardage back Desmond Nisby adding 7 TD runs to the cause. But in the past 6 or so quarters, there has been a schism on this side of the ball and they better figure it out quickly or things could get even uglier this week.

The Texas Tech defense wasn't exactly knocking it out of the park earlier in the season, but a high-flying offense was able to camouflage that to some extent. With less support on that side of the ball, this side of the ball has taken a step back. They completely folded down the stretch against West Virginia and showed little against Iowa State, making few positive plays and not being very stout for stretches of the game.

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Oklahoma was able to win their 14th straight road game on Saturday, but it wasn't easy. In addition to the upset loss to Iowa State, they've had some close ones this season. After a tough back-to-back road sequence against Texas and Kansas State, they return home and should be a little better in Norman. After a fast start to the season, which included a big 15-point win over highly-ranked Ohio State, things looked good for the Sooners. In the last month, they've definitely been disappointing, first with a way too-close win over a hopeless Baylor bunch, followed by the gigantic upset to ISU, along with the two close ones against Texas and KSU. They haven't covered the spread in their last four games.

Oklahoma was able to shine on offense on Saturday late against the Wildcats. Rodney Anderson ran for a 22-yard TD score with time ticking off the clock to seal the win. He had 147 yards rushing on the day and also caught a TD pass. QB Baker Mayfield threw for 410 yards and ran in two touchdowns to help the cause. Receiver Marquise Brown had 126 yards and Dmitri Flowers caught another Mayfield pass for a touchdown. They came out ready to play in the second half and showed off their broad cast of different weapons, along with their variety. At their best, they are clearly one of the best offenses in the nation.

After allowing just 16 on the road to a good Ohio State offense, this side of the ball has been a lot easier to exploit, giving up 41 to Baylor, 38 to Iowa State, and then 35 to Kansas State on Saturday. All areas of the defense have taken a step back. And at least theoretically, that gives some daylight in this matchup for an otherwise down-trending Red Raiders crew. Over the last month, teams have alternated in drubbing this defense with a pass-attack and a big run-game. And that's how a team like this ends up losing to Iowa State and having a bunch of close games with no recent covers.

Texas Tech is still dangerous. Teams snap in and out of form with no warning or reason a lot of the time. If Oklahoma's recent performances on the defensive side of the ball are any indication, Texas Tech could take advantage of an off-key Oklahoma bunch. By the same token, Oklahoma is showing a lot more grit and can still manufacture wins even when not hitting their high notes. We just can't get behind this recent version of the Red Raiders and we're taking Oklahoma.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oklahoma Sooners minus 20 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Red Raiders vs. Sooners 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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