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The Texas Longhorns are coming off a brutal loss last week. They take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in another Big 12 clash this Saturday. College football expert Alex Kirshner gives us his Texas vs. Oklahoma predictions.
ANALYSIS

Texas vs. Oklahoma State Prediction, Over/Under Pick, and Latest Odds

Spread: Texas -5 

Total: 60.5

Game Time: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: FOX 

Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Prediction

Texas vs. Oklahoma State Odds

Someone is going to play Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship seven weeks from now, and there’s a decent chance that Saturday’s Oklahoma State-versus Texas matchup in Austin determines which team gets the privilege. With a bit of help from a bye last weekend, the Pokes are the last non-Sooners team with an unbeaten record in conference play. The Longhorns, coming off a brutal loss to OU at the Cotton Bowl, still control their Big 12 destiny but can’t afford more than (at most) one additional loss. Given that Oklahoma State still has its annual loss to OU to come on the schedule, both teams stand to look back on this game at the end of the regular season as one they needed to win to have a real shot in the league race.

Expect points. Texas has one of the best offenses in college football, headlined by maybe the best player in the country right now: running back Bijan Robinson. The Longhorns’ problem is a porous defense, which should allow Oklahoma State to put plenty of points on the board in its own right. Oklahoma State’s defense is one of the country’s better units and serves as the main threat to the over cashing in this game. But ultimately, I think UT and OSU will efficiently move the ball and find enough big plays to get to a combined 61 points or more.

Last Saturday, Oklahoma’s defense kept Texas under tight wraps after halftime. The adjustments that led to that notwithstanding, the Longhorn offense managed 48 points and would’ve had a chance for more in overtime if the defense had held up even a little bit at the end of regulation instead of allowing a long game-winning touchdown run by Kennedy Brooks. The Horns have moved the ball consistently in every game but one (a Week 3 loss at Arkansas, when they got physically mauled), and they’ve blown past 8 yards per play three of the last four weeks. Texas has also seen a couple of recent emergences, not just by quarterback Casey Thompson but by freshman receiver Xavier Worthy. It feels silly to say about a team that’s scored 58, 70, 32, and 48 points in its last four games, but Texas might have room to grow on offense. There’s enough talent here for Texas to score in bulk against even elite defenses. 

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Oklahoma State, for its part, might have one of those defenses. So far this season, the Pokes have played the best defense in the Big 12, and I can buy that they’ll stay good all year. But they haven’t faced anything like the Longhorn offense, and their best performances have come against teams that were either FCS programs (Montana State), working out some first-year coach kinks on offense (Boise State), or offensively challenged in general (Kansas State). That’s not to invalidate OSU’s defensive showings so far, but to highlight that Steve Sarkisian’s group will be a different beast than anything Oklahoma State has played so far.

The Pokes’ offense isn’t much and probably will never be much as long as the aerially limited Spencer Sanders is the quarterback. But Oklahoma State’s ground game is nothing to sneeze at. Texas showed against Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams how thoroughly its defense could be wrecked by a run game that gets to use the quarterback as someone the defense has to plan around. Sanders can do that much, and I don’t see a reason why OSU should be the first Power 5 team against Texas to fail to at least get well into the 20s. (So far, every team Texas has played except Rice and Louisiana has found at least 27 points.)

The Big 12 has changed a lot over the last few years, and this game isn’t guaranteed to be the kind of rootin’ tootin’ shootout we’d have expected four years ago. But Texas’ offense is good enough, and Texas’ defense is bad enough that there are a couple of plausible paths into the mid-60s here. So I’m cool betting on the scorers instead of the defenders, especially now that the total has ticked down a point from the opening number of 61.5. 

Texas vs. Oklahoma State Betting Pick

Article Author

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Alex Kirshner covers college football for the Moon Crew newsletter. He is a co-author of The Sinful Seven: Sci-Fi Western Legends of the NCAA, and he lives in Washington, D.C.

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