Week 11 Free College Football Picks and Spreads: Oklahoma Sooners @ Baylor Bears 2011 NCAA Football Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on ABC Saturday 11/19/11: With their national title hopes suddenly renewed, the fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (8-1) will go on the road to face the 22nd-ranked Baylor Bears (6-3) Saturday night. While all the media attention is going to the potential matchup between the Sooners and second-ranked Cowboys at the end of the year, this weekend’s game should contain plenty of fireworks as well. Both Oklahoma and Baylor have high-powered offenses, and as the Sooners’ loss to Texas Tech suggests, anything can happen when a team can put a lot of points on the board. That being said, the Bears are 15 ½-point underdogs in this one.
Offense has powered both programs this season, and the Sooners enter the matchup sixth in the country in terms of scoring, averaging 45.4 points per game. The Bears aren’t bad either, ranking 11th in the country at 40.3 points per game. Both teams rely heavily on the pass, with Baylor ranking sixth at almost 360 yards per game and Oklahoma ranking third at more than 380 per contest. An aerial assault could be on tap, and the scoreboard could be lighting up all night.
In terms of balance on offense, the edge goes to Baylor. While the Sooners are just mediocre when it comes to running the ball, the Bears rank inside the top 20 nationally. Baylor is averaging more than 200 yards per game on the ground. Granted, the Sooners haven’t had any problem winning with a somewhat one-dimensional offense, but it is always nice to have a backup plan.
At the center of the matchup will be the two quarterbacks. Oklahoma’s Landry Jones and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III have both put up Heisman-worthy numbers. Jones has thrown for more than 3,300 yards and 28 touchdowns, and Griffin III is just shy of 3,100 yards and has added 29 passing touchdowns. The big difference between the two players is that Griffin III has also rushed more almost 500 yards, while Jones is a pure pocket passer.
For the Sooners, the biggest challenge could be trying to replace star receiver Ryan Broyles, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Broyles has more than twice as many catches and yards as any other receiver on Oklahoma’s roster, which could mean a drop off in the powerful Sooners’ passing attack. Receiver Kenny Stills has been Jones’ No. 2 option all season, and he will have to help fill the void.
The deciding factor in a game between two powerful offenses could be the opposing defenses. While the Sooners blitzing defense is yielding less than 20 points per game, the Bears’ unit ranks 108th in the country in scoring, giving up 36.0 points per game. Baylor has been able to overcome its defensive shortcomings thanks to its powerful offense, but the Bears have struggled against the other potent offenses in the Big 12. In fact, Baylor’s three losses have come against Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, and the Cowboys and Aggies have two high-powered passing attacks that very similar to the offense the Sooners run.
Griffin III is without question the most dynamic and explosive player in this matchup, but against the top teams in the conference, he hasn’t been enough to get Baylor over the hump. More importantly, the porous Bears’ defense will likely be in more another gashing at the hands of Jones and company. Even without Broyles, Bob Stoops’ spread passing attack is going to put up points. Baylor just won’t be able to keep pace with Oklahoma during the course of the game, particularly if Griffin III is forced to play from behind early. The Sooners can get after the quarterback, and while Griffin III will have some highlight moments, Oklahoma is the better team on both sides of the ball.
Prediction: Oklahoma Sooners (-15 ½) Cover the Spread
Free College Football Picks and NCAAF Predictions: Oklahoma -15.5 to cover the spread
|College Football: Oklahoma @ Baylor
Time: 8 PM EST on ABC
Vegas Odds – Favorite: Oklahoma -15.5 Total: Over/Under 75
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