Oklahoma vs. Nebraska Prediction: Will the Sooners Continue To Impress on Offense?
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
When: Saturday, September 18
Game Time: 12:00 PM ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
TV Network: FOX
Oklahoma vs. Nebraska Spread: Oklahoma -22.5
Oklahoma vs. Nebraska Total: 61.5
Oklahoma vs. Nebraska Prediction
The Oklahoma Sooners will battle with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a battle between two teams who used to be conference foes once upon a time. Nebraska has struggled for years under head coach Scott Frost, but they enter this game with some momentum thanks to back-to-back wins and point spread covers against Fordham and Buffalo on the heels of a season-opening loss on the road at Illinois. That being said, this is a gigantic step up in class for Nebraska as they take on an Oklahoma squad that will be easily the best team they've seen to this point.
Nebraska's offense is still very much a work in progress. Quarterback Adrian Martinez makes some plays at times, but we often see stalled drives, fumbles, and inaccuracy with the football. He did put together his best game of the season in the 28-3 win against Buffalo last week, which was a clean, mistake-free performance from him, and the defense kept the Bulls ground attack in check, forcing them to become reliant on the passing game on offense which is not their strength. The Nebraska defense will be tested by a skilled and experienced Oklahoma offense led by Quarterback Spencer Rattler, Running Back Kennedy Brooks, and a bevy of talented options at receiver. I'm not sure I trust them to pass the test. Nebraska, in their last few "step up in class" games against elite offenses in the Scott Frost era, have been picked apart, and I'm not ready to trust things to go much better for Nebraska here.
On the other side of this matchup, Oklahoma's defense had a tough time of it in their season opener against Tulane, giving up nearly 300 yards through the air and 35 points as the Sooners were forced to hang on for a 40-35 win. Oklahoma was torched through the air by Tulane Quarterback Michael Pratt. However, they did a solid job stopping the run, which could bode well for them here because Nebraska is an offense that has to be able to run the football effectively to have their best chance of success. Martinez isn't the type of Quarterback we trust to carry the offense to production via the passing game. Oklahoma, which is expected to have one of the best defenses they've had during the Lincoln Riley era, is very stout along the defensive front and could force Nebraska into a one-dimensional offensive attack through the air, which is not where the Cornhuskers typically thrive.
There is some risk in laying north of three Touchdowns with Oklahoma considering how sloppy they played in their opener against Tulane needing to hang on for the 40-35 win as 28 point favorites, but this is a game where I expect a much higher degree of intensity and focus for the Sooners in a marquee nationally televised non-conference clash. I don't trust Nebraska to be able to handle this massive step up in competition after facing a very weak three-game slate to this point against Illinois, Fordham, and a declining Buffalo program. Nebraska is just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with a winning record which indicates how much they've struggled to cash tickets for their backers in games against superior competition. Oklahoma is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a home favorite and 8-2 ATS in their previous 10 games overall. The technicals and the matchups point to Oklahoma here, which has me looking to lay the points with the Sooners.