In the biggest game of the season to this point in the Big 12, the Baylor Bears host the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, November 14 in Week 11 college football. The Bears have won three of their last four meetings with the Sooners, including a 48-14 road win last year as 5.5-point underdogs.
Baylor (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) was able to win its first game without Seth Russell last week. The Bears were cruising with a 21-point lead, but allowed Kansas State to come back and settled for a 31-24 road win. Jarrett Stidham threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start.
Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) has been rolling with four straight blowout victories since its upset loss to Texas. The latest was a 52-16 home win over Iowa State last week. Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for a score to lead the way for the Sooners.
Kickoff inside McLane Stadium is scheduled for 8:00 EST Saturday night with ABC providing the television coverage. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have installed Baylor as a 2.5-point favorite over Oklahoma with a total set of 77 points.
Everyone is on the Oklahoma bandwagon right now due to how dominant it has been in going 4-0 SU and 4-0 ATS in its last four games overall. That’s evident by the fact that this line opened at Baylor -5 and has already been bet down to Baylor -2.5. There is a ton of money coming in on the Sooners right now to say the least. They have taken care of lesser opponents in Kansas State, Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State in their last four games.
But in their only game against the best opponent they’ve faced in Tennessee, the Sooners needed to erase a 17-3 fourth quarter deficit and were fortunate to escape with a 31-24 (OT) victory. They also had that ugly 17-24 loss to Texas in which they were outgained by 90 yards. The Sooners have to face the three best teams in the Big 12 still in Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State over their final three games. Their true colors will show on the road this week.
Baylor isn’t getting much love right now because it lost Seth Russell and only beat Kansas State 31-24 last week. But that was a bigger blowout than the final score showed as the Bears led by 21 in the fourth quarter before allowing a couple garbage touchdowns late. Garbage touchdowns aren’t going to work for Oklahoma with this 2.5-point spread. Plus, Baylor gets an extra two days to prepare after playing last Thursday.
Stidham more than held his own against Kansas State in a tough road environment in his first start. He threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in a very impressive effort for a true freshman. But this guy doesn’t get rattled and has been superb while getting a chance to play in all eight games this year. He is completing 77 percent of his passes for 750 yards with nine touchdowns and zero interceptions on the season. He’s not a downgrade from Russell at all.
Baylor’s toughest games are all ahead as well, but this team is getting punished a lot more than Oklahoma for its schedule by the voters. The fact of the matter is that the Bears have been dominant even though they’ve played an easy schedule. They lead the nation with 57.4 points and 665.6 yards pre game. Their defense is vastly improved this year, giving up 25.0 points, 388.4 yards per game and 5.0 per play. And a lot of those points and yards have come in garbage time with the game already decided and the backups in, otherwise the numbers would be even better.
Waco is becoming one of the toughest places to play in the country. Baylor is 29-1 at home over the past five seasons, and 26-7 ATS in its last 33 home games overall.
Waco is becoming one of the toughest places to play in the country. Baylor is 29-1 at home over the past five seasons, and 26-7 ATS in its last 33 home games overall. It has won its last two home meetings with Oklahoma by finals of 41-12 (2013) as 17-point favorites and 45-38 (2011) as 16.5-point underdogs. Don’t forget, the Bears went into Norman last year and won 48-14 as 5.5-point underdogs. They outgained the Sooners 544-319 for the game. This team remembers all of the bad years and wants to return the favor with its continued dominance of Oklahoma in the recent history in this series.
Baylor is 9-1 ATS after leading in its last two games by 14-plus points at the half over the last two seasons. The Bears are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games as a home favorite. Oklahoma is 20-42 ATS in its last 62 games after allowing 17 points or less in two straight games. The Bears are 13-2 ATS in their last 15 home games with a total set of 70 or more points.