college football

Big 12 Championship Betting Preview

D.S. Williamson

November 30th, 2018

In Week 13, Texas skated by Kansas and Oklahoma used a couple of questionable calls to escape Morgantown with a victory over West Virginia. Now, the two historical rivals battle it out for the second time this season in an incredibly intriguing 2018 Big 12 Championship betting battle.

Even though the game takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Oklahoma enters the game a solid favorite. The Sooners have been horrible against the spread, but they haven’t lost since Texas beat them in the annual Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma looks to turn the tables on their rivals in the championship match.

Texas made it exceedingly close in their win over Kansas in Week 13. As a -15.5 favorite, the Longhorns only beat the Jayhawks 24-17. Is that a sign that Texas might not be ready to take on the top ranked scoring team in college football?

2018 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP  BETTING #14 Texas Longhorns vs #6 Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, December 1st – AT&T Stadium – 12:00pm ET Odds: Oklahoma -7.5 (78)

Longhorns Hope for Red River Rivalry Repeat

It’s been a strange season for Texas Longhorns fans. The team from Austin opened with an inexplicable loss at home to Maryland. They then ran off 6 straight wins, including a 48-45 victory over Oklahoma in overtime.

Things got choppy after the win over Baylor. Texas lost two in a row to West Virginia at home and to Oklahoma State on the road. Both losses were close, which should give the Longhorns and their fans plenty of hope heading into this matchup.

More importantly, Texas is on the right track after 3 straight victories. The Longhorns know they can score with Oklahoma. They did it in the Red River Rivalry. The key for Texas will be if they can limit Oklahoma’s possessions and keep the ball out of Kyler Murray's hands. If they do that, they might repeat the earlier victory without having to battle the Sooners in overtime.

Oklahoma Ready to Make College Football Playoff Case

There's a strong chance that Oklahoma makes the College Football Playoff if they're able to beat Texas handedly. Anything can happen and right now, although staring at the Top 4 through a window, Oklahoma has as much of a shot to get into the CFP as Ohio State or Georgia.

Notre Dame’s a lock. Alabama is a lock whether they win or lose. Georgia’s a lock if they beat Alabama, but Ohio State isn’t guaranteed anything even if they take down Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship.

Because Oklahoma believes they’re in if they win, they’ll be motivated against the Longhorns. But, motivation doesn’t always lead to great play on the field. Oklahoma must remember that Texas easily broke down their defense in the Red River Rivalry. That game looms heavy over Big 12 Championship betting action.

If Oklahoma doesn’t at least pay attention to some things they do on the side of the ball where Kyler Murray doesn’t play, they might not win straight up, much less cover.

2018 Big 12 Championship Betting Analysis

Most are taking the +7.5 points on the Longhorns. Texas looked awful when beating Kansas, but we can sort of forgive them because it’s hard to play your best versus one of the worst in the conference with a rivalry game for the championship on the horizon.

The trends point to a Texas covering as well. The Longhorns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 at a neutral site, 13-5-2 ATS versus a team with a winning record, and 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings. Oklahoma is 0-3-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record, 2-9 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games, and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous.

Oklahoma’s the highest-scoring team in college football with 50.3 points per, but Texas has a massive edge on the other side of the ball. Since the Longhorns should have a game plan that involves limiting Oklahoma’s possessions, and because the Sooners have almost no hope of stopping Texas from putting points on the board, Texas is a solid play to win SU, not just to cover.

2018 BIG 12 Championship Betting Free Pick: Texas +260