Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State prediction and pick for this year's version of Bedlam. Alex Kirshner breaks down the game and tells us how he's picking it
Alex Kirshner
Mon, November 22, 9:11 AM EST

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Spread: Oklahoma State -3.5

Total: 51.5

Game time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ABC

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State odds

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Prediction

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have one of the quirkiest rivalries in college football. Their series is called “Bedlam,” which is a great name that conjures ideas of chaos and might suggest that anything can happen when the Cowboys and Sooners meet up. The reality is less exciting most years, and the true range of reasonable outcomes in Bedlam most often ranges from “Oklahoma winning by a little” to “Oklahoma winning by a medium amount” to “Oklahoma winning by a lot.” Some of us have a hard time taking the Pokes seriously even in years when they should give OU a run for its money. The Sooners’ current six-game win streak has boosted their all-time record against their historical little brother to an astonishing 90-18-7.

For people like me, this is a tricky week to figure out. By its standards, Oklahoma is not playing well at all. The Sooners have flirted with disaster frequently this year, and they finally got bitten a couple of weeks ago in a loss to a steady Baylor team that didn’t let a mega-talented but inconsistent Oklahoma offense get away with any sloppiness. On the other hand, Oklahoma State has not just the best defense of the Mike Gundy era, but one of the best units in the sport this year. The Pokes are sixth in Defensive SP+, and if you watched them hold Texas Tech to 108 yards last weekend, or any of their other recent games, you might think they’re even better than that high billing. On paper, this game is a tossup or a slight lean to OSU, which hosts this year in Stillwater, 10 years after last beating Oklahoma at home.

I wouldn’t advise anyone to make a betting decision based on my own bit about how Oklahoma State won’t beat Oklahoma until hell has frozen over. The Pokes have covered against their rivals more often than they’ve beaten them outright, for one thing, and extravagant statements about how things will never happen are better on Twitter than at your sportsbook.

But I’m still advising the Oklahoma side of this 3.5-point spread, for a much simpler reason: Oklahoma State might be better than OU this year, but laying more than a field goal is a ton against an offense that could still go supernova at more or less any moment. And it’s especially a lot given that Oklahoma State’s offense is not going to give the Pokes’ excellent defense much margin for error. I’d bet either team getting more than a field goal, and that means OU.

I don’t expect a good passing game from Caleb Williams, the true freshman Oklahoma quarterback who seized the starting job from Spencer Rattler at halftime against Texas in October and never gave it back. Williams was dominant against the Big 12’s dregs, from Texas to TCU to Kansas to Texas Tech, but he’s been between bad and decent the last two weeks against Baylor and Iowa State defenses that are solid but not as good as OSU’s. But I do think Oklahoma will run for more yards against Oklahoma State than any team all year (no one’s exceeded 138) and do enough to score somewhere in the 20s.

From there, does Oklahoma State have enough juice to win by more than a field goal? It’s of course possible, but I feel comfortable betting against it. Oklahoma’s defense isn’t good but is less of a disaster than it sometimes is, and nobody’s gone over 27 points against Oklahoma since TCU in mid-October. Only one team of late (Baylor) has gashed Oklahoma on the ground, and I don’t think Spencer Sanders has the chops to be the kind of nightmare for the Oklahoma secondary that would lead to a lopsided margin.

Oklahoma State really might win Bedlam this year. It’s not the impossibility that snarky people on the internet, like me, would have you believe it is. But covering a spread of more than a field goal is a big ask, and I see value in Oklahoma preventing it from happening.

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Pick

 
Alex Kirshner
alex_kirshner
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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