Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma Sooners Free Pick 10/19/13
Oklahoma Sooners (5-1) at Kansas Jayhawks (2-3)
NCAAF Football: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm (University of Kansas Memorial Stadium)
The Line: Kansas Jayhawks +23 -- Over/Under: 49 See the Latest Odds
Storyline: A vaunted Oklahoma defense that was supposedly one of the best in the country got flattened by Texas Saturday in the Red River Rivalry to the tune of 445 total yards and a 36-20 upset. Kansas, meanwhile, dropped their second straight conference game 27-17 to TCU Saturday and even one more win this season might be too tall an order with Big 12 giants lurking around every corner in the coming weeks.
The Breakdown: The Sooners took one square on the chin early against Texas and never recovered, falling behind 20-3 at one point in the second quarter before rallying to cut the lead to 20-10 by the half. But an OU defense that came into the game ranked fifth in points allowed were unable to stop the Longhorns from doing anything on offense and, in turn, kept Blake Bell and their own offense on the sidelines. The Sooners allowed two Texas running backs to go over the century mark; Soph. Johnathan Gray carried 29 times for 123 yards and Jr. Malcolm Brown rushed for 120 yards on 23 attempts. When the Sooners were on offense their game plan made little sense. Rather than exploit the obvious, a paper-thin Texas run defense that surrendered an average of 284.5 rushing yards a game in its previous four, OU didn’t let a single running back carry the ball more than 7 times. The Sooners managed just 130 yards on the ground and leading rusher Sr. Brennan Clay carried just 5 times for 26 yards. Jr. QB Blake Bell and the OU passing game didn’t fare much better. Bell finished 12-of-26 for 133 yards with 2 interceptions. The Sooner offense turned the ball over twice and converted just 2-of-13 third down attempts.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Jayhawks come in off another disappointing loss in which they failed to take advantage of five TCU turnovers. They’ve become that inept on offense. Jr. QB Jake Heaps was customarily average, connecting on 13-of-26 for 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Sr. RB James Sims, the Jayhawks’ lone offensive weapon these days, rushed for 81 yards on 23 carries and caught 5 balls for 40 yards. Defensively, Kansas allowed 380 total yards, 173 passing and 203 rushing, and held the Horned Frogs to just 2-of-11 third down conversions.
Betting Trends: Oklahoma is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games, 4-2 ATS in its last 6 road games, 6-1 SU in its last 7 road games, 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games against Kansas, 4-1 SU in its last 5 road games against Kansas, the total has gone under in 4 of Oklahoma’s last 5 games, and the total has gone over in 4 of Oklahoma’s last 6 road games. Kansas is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games, 4-21, SU in its last 25 games, 1-4 ATS in its last 5 home games, 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games against Oklahoma, 0-5 SU in its last 5 games against Oklahoma, 1-4 SU in its last 5 home games against Oklahoma, the total has gone under in 5 of Kansas’ last 6 games.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently at -23 for Oklahoma with a 49 point total. Three TDs and change is a lot to lay down in a conference game unless you happen to be playing Kansas. The Jayhawks rank near the bottom of the FBS in nearly every statistical category (passing yards, rushing yards and points for) except for points against, where they rank 59th and yield an average of 25.6 points per contest. So they’re either that good defensively or they haven’t faced much in the way of offense. Considering Texas Tech is the only true high-powered offense Kansas has gone up against, I’d say the latter is true. Look for an OU cover as well as an over on the point total.
Follow me on Twitter @SCPRick