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Oklahoma And Its Injury-Beaten Defense Face Baylor And Its Elite Offense

Posted by Blake Frazier on 2/4/2014 5:49:45 AM

The Oklahoma Sooners have suffered key losses at linebacker this season, and now their defense will try to contain the Baylor Bears’ high-octane offense on the road in Waco, Tex.

Oklahoma Sooners @ Baylor Bears – Thursday, November 7

Sports betting line: Baylor -3.5

Why Oklahoma Will Win

In a contest of online betting, the importance of defense is not to be dismissed, but Oklahoma’s offense is probably the biggest reason it can beat Baylor. The Sooners looked poor on offense for much of October, but they came alive on that side of the ball in a 38-30 win over Texas Tech on Oct. 26. Blake Bell, a quarterback who had been struggling for much of the season, found a noticeable rhythm that had been absent in prior weeks. Bell was able to throw the deep ball with some success, and in tandem with that development, he was more effective as a runner as well. The Sooners gained solid chunks of yards on the ground, and they were able to turn that productivity into big-play passes, since Texas Tech – in an attempt to stop the run – loaded the tackle box. Bell was able to make easier, simpler reads of the Texas Tech defense and throw over the top at times.

Baylor’s rush defense is not very strong. The Bears were gashed by Kansas State’s running game in early October. Oklahoma will certainly have a chance to run the ball on Baylor, which will not only enable the Sooners to score; it will enable them to keep Baylor’s quick-strike offense off the field. If Oklahoma plays its best game on offense here, it can definitely beat Baylor because it will limit the Bears’ number of possessions.

Why Baylor Will Win

When betting websites break down this contest, they’re going to give a good, long look at Oklahoma’s defense and assess if it can really hold down Baylor’s offense. The chances are not good for the Sooners. Corey Nelson and Jordan Phillips were two of this team’s best and most agile defenders. They made great reads in the middle of the Oklahoma defense and did so much to defend against the run. Nelson and Phillips were out against Texas, and that’s a big reason why the Longhorns were able to power the ball down the Sooners’ throats. Baylor’s offense should be able to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants to do it. The Bears are probably not going to meet the physical resistance that is necessary to slow them down. Oklahoma probably won’t be able to disrupt the flow of Baylor’s offense; the Sooners won’t be able to overpower the Bears’ offensive line and create the kind of smash mouth game Oklahoma’s coaching staff would prefer.

Who Will Win?

Blake Bell is just not ready to win a shootout on the road at night. This is a game that is likely to be played on Baylor’s terms. The Bears are the smart choice here.

College Football Betting Pick: Baylor

If you want to choose a single, reliable source for all your college football betting needs this season, make it this one.



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