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Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners - Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/7/13

Oklahoma Sooners (7-1) at Baylor Bears (7-0)

NCAAF Football: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm (Floyd Casey Stadium)

The Line: Baylor Bears -14.5 -- Over/Under: 75 See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX Sports 1

Storyline: Sixth-ranked Baylor routed Kansas 59-14 the last time it took the field, putting the wraps on the lightest part of the slate and leaving three ranked conference heavyweights looming  in Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Number 10 Oklahoma, meanwhile, was also idle this past week, but knocked Texas Tech from the ranks of the unbeaten 38-30 its last time out.

The Breakdown: Baylor has an outside shot at jumping to the top of the BCS mix and it all starts Thursday when they host the Sooners in what’ll be the Big 12 showdown of the season. We had this game circled on our calendars back in September when it looked like both teams would be unblemished heading in and not only fighting for the conference title, but also eyeing a spot in the BCS title game. With Oklahoma’s loss to Texas, though, only Baylor will be looking to leapfrog to the top of the BCS standings from its current sixth ranking. And the schedule is setup nicely in that regard with three top 25 teams in their next three to help their cause. But realistically, the Bears will need some help.  With Alabama at .9797, Florida State at .9525 and Oregon at .9435, Baylor at .7745 will likely need one of the top three to lose while it continues to win out in impressive fashion to be able to move into one of the top three slots. Additionally, upset losses by any of Baylor’s remaining ranked opponents (Oklahoma, Tech, Ok State) can only hurt its case. What the Bears can control, however, is the dominance that’s led them to this point. Baylor comes in with the nation’s top-ranked passing offense at 417.3 yards per game, the 7th-ranked rushing offense at 301.1 yards per game, the number 1 scoring offense at 63.9 points per game and sixth-ranked scoring defense, giving up an average of 15.9 points per game.

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Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners - Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/7/13

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

This is gonna be fun. The Sooners beat Baylor 42-34 last season, but Bob Stoops came away from the game a little unsettled at his defense having surrendered 450 total yards to the Bears, 252 yards rushing and 172 to QB  Nick Florence on just 12-of-33 passing. This year, allowing 450 total yards and 34 points to a Baylor team averaging a whopping 718.4 yards and 63.9 points per game might be a godsend for Stoops. It would certainly bode well for OU’s chances. Kansas State, the only team to hold the Bears to less than 600 total yards, was the only team to stay in the same area code and put up a reasonable fight. But therein lie the issues for the Sooners. Just staying in the game against a team like Baylor will likely require more than great defense, one component Oklahoma fortunately does possess. The Sooners come in with the nation’s 14th-ranked scoring defense, surrendering 18.8 points per game, the 9th-ranked passing defense at 179.5 and the 10th-ranked total defense at 314.3 per game. Offensively, the contrast is stark. OU ranks 56th in points for at 31 points a game, 93rd in passing offense at 201 yards a game and 50th in total offense at 435 yards a game. In short, the Sooners appear to be vastly outmanned in terms of offense.

Betting Trends: Baylor is 12-1 ATS in its last 13 games, 5-0 SU in its last 5 games, the total has gone over in 6 of Baylor’s last 7 games, Baylor is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 home games, the total has gone over in 5 of Baylor’s last 5 home games, Baylor is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games versus Oklahoma, 1-16 SU in its last 17 against Oklahoma and 2-7 ATS in its last 9 home games against Oklahoma. Oklahoma is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games against Baylor, 16-1 SU in its last 17 against Baylor, the total has gone over in 5 of Oklahoma’s last 6 against Baylor, the total has gone over in 4 of Oklahoma’s last 6 road game against Baylor and Oklahoma is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 road games versus Baylor.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -14.5 for Baylor with a total of 75 points. This is strength against strength and in the only other matchup where OU has faced a similarly-powered offense, the Sooners knocked off Texas Tech and held them to 440 total yards. But similar connotes almost identical and for OU to pull an upset here they’d need a carbon copy of their offensive performance against Tech, which might be asking a tad much of Blake Bell. The Sooners should keep it close enough to spoil a Baylor cover so, in turn, look for an under on the points.  

Follow me on Twitter @SCPRick

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