Houston vs. Oklahoma Total Pick 9/1/31
Houston vs. Oklahoma Total Pick
Houston Cougars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday September 1st, 2019. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Memorial Stadium Norman, O.K.
Point Spread:HOU +24.5/OKLA -24.5 (Intertops)
Over/Under Total: 82.5
College football carries into Sunday this week when the Houston Cougars collide with the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners at Memorial Stadium in Norman. This particular match-up will be fueled by offensive prowess featuring two of the most explosive scoring units in the country. Despite the loss of former Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the Sooners offense will reload with former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts along with an explosive group of homerun threats including running back Kennedy Brooks and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Needless to say, the previous top-ranked scoring offense in the country from 2018 that averaged nearly 50 points per game has all of the firepower to put together another dynamic run on the offensive side of the football yet again.
On the other side of the field, the Houston Cougars return eight starters among one of the nation’s most potent offenses from 2018. The Cougars were the 5th ranked scoring offense last season averaging 44 points per game. More importantly, the Cougars return all of the essential puzzle pieces that pertain to the offense’s success including senior quarterback D’Eriq King, senior running back Patrick Carr, and veteran receivers Courtney Lark and Marquez Stevenson. Needless to say, Houston is expected to have another fantastic season on the offensive side of the football. Furthermore, this Sunday’s match-up should feature two of the best offenses in college football that collectively averaged over 90 points per game in 2018. However, with all that said, has the 82.5 over/under been exaggerated, or does it lie within the realm of probability? Let’s take a look at why bettors should not be scared of huge over/under totals!
Over/Under betting trends for enormous totals
Last year, I started following over/under totals that were well beyond the norm either by extremely low or incredibly high totals. I first started researching this information when the Rams and Chiefs met in week 11 last year. The two powerhouse offenses garnered the highest over/under total ever recorded for an NFL match-up at 63 or 64 points depending on the different books. I found that most extremely outliers in terms of over/unders usually went into the direction of odds direction, meaning extremely low totals often hit the under while extremely high totals often went above the posted total. In the case of the Rams/Chiefs in week 11 last year and the highest over/under in recorded history, they eclipsed the over/under before the 3rd quarter expired and eventually combined for a lucrative 105 points.
Obviously every scenario is not going to play out like the Chiefs/Rams game from last year and after all, we are talking about college football. However, the trends continue to suggest the abnormalities or extreme over/under totals often stretch towards the extremity. For clarity, there have been 18 games with a point total of 82.5 or greater in college football dating back to 2003. The over has been hit in 12 of those 18 games cashing at a rate of 66.6%. If you wanted to get extremely details, over/under totals listed between 82.5 and 85, have gone 7-1 in favor of the over since 2003 and the general perception is this line could continue to creep upwards into that sweet spot range as the week progresses.
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Reasons to bet the over - Defense
Another important reason to trust the “over” this week includes the defenses or lack thereof. The Cougars return just four starters from a defense that was among the worst groups in the country in 2018. When the dust settled on the 2018 season, the Cougars ranked 110th in scoring defense allowing 37.8 points per game, and there is a legitimate reason to believe they could be even worse in 2019. Likewise, Oklahoma did not exactly exceed expectations on defense last year. The Sooners allowed 33 points per game and return just five starters on the defensive side of the ball to provoke more concern entering 2019.
Not only do both defenses lack serious talent but they also lack the experience which is critical towards handicapping this match-up. All of the experience in this game resides on the offensive side of the football. Houston returns nearly every starter at the skill positions and the same can be said for the Sooners unless you consider Jalen Hurts an outlier as a former National Champion winning quarterback. Needless to say, these experienced offensive weapons will match-up against extremely inexperienced defensive talents. In my opinion, this will be a recipe for big plays and continuous scoring opportunities which will shorten the reach of this enormous total.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Over 82.5