Big 12 Pick: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Kansas Jayhawks (3-7 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (9-1 SU, 4-6 ATS)
When: Saturday, November 17th, 2018 - 7:30 ET
Where: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Point Spread: KU +36.5 / OU -36.5
Poll Rankings: Kansas (NR) / Oklahoma (6)
Takeaways From Week 11
The Rock Chalks are reeling after coming up short in the Sunflower Showdown against their cross-state Kansas State. As a ten-point underdog, the Jayhawks held the lead into the fourth quarter until the Cannonballs would come through with just 2:46 remaining to edge out Kansas in a 21-17 thriller. From a production standpoint, the Jayhawks outplayed the Wildcats as they compiled 347 yards of offense to Kansas State’s 301.
The Sooners could have very well been on the opposite end of an upset bid had their arch-rival Oklahoma State been successful on a two-point conversion that decided The Bedlam Game in the final two minutes of action. In a game where the Sooners were favored by over three touchdowns, the Crimson and Cream edged out the Pokes in a 48-47 shootout last Saturday in Norman illustrating that OU’s defense is pretty much Swiss Cheese against any semblance of an offense. The game saw an explosive 1,342 yards of offense collated between the two offensive units.
How the Public is Betting the Kansas-Oklahoma Game
Out of the gate, the public has hopped aboard the Sooners and swallowed a tall glass of points. 61% of the consensus like the Sooners in this position despite the long swim back. As a result, the line has already moved by half of a point.
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The Sooners have won 13 straight against the Jayhawks illustrating their dominance in this series and their prominence overall in the Big 12. Despite OU having their way with KU, the tale of the tape is quite even in against the spread scenario as each team has covered in five of the last ten meetings. Most recently, Oklahoma defeated Kansas in Lawrence last year by a score of 41-3, but the Jayhawks managed to come in under a lofty 40-point line.
Heading into this conference clash, there are no critical injuries to players on either team.
When Kansas Has the Ball
The Jayhawk offense is not one to send shivers down your spine as they own the 116th-ranked offense nationally regarding total production with just 339 yards per game. This is a football team that scores only 22.9 points per game (109th overall). The good news for Kansas is that they may find a few explosive plays against an Oklahoma defense giving up 29.8 points per game (89th nationally) while surrendering 272.4 yards through the air (115th nationally). Kansas does have a potent option in the receiving game in Steven Sims, Jr. who posted back-to-back 800+ receiving campaigns in both 2016 and 2017. He will be their go-to-guy here if KU wishes to get into a rhythm and exploit OU’s porous secondary.
When Oklahoma Has the Ball
There is no better team in all of America when it comes to “total offense” than the Sooner Express as this team collates a remarkable 577.1 yards per game. Led by arguably the best quarterback in the land at this point in Kyler Murray, the Oklahoma offense is comparable to an F5 tornado, you need to get out of its way. Oklahoma is second nationally in scoring as they compile 49 points per game. This team is also equally potent in both the run and pass game, posting ninth-ranked attacks in both departments to produce 319.7 yards through the air and 257.4 yards on the ground. Murray has a good match-up in particular against Kansas’ 100th ranked passing defense that gives up 253.5 yards per game.
The most noteworthy trend worth highlighting in favor of Kansas is that the home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven outings between both sides. However, Kansas has actually gone 1-3 ATS in their previous four meetings against OU. Last year’s cover broke Oklahoma’s three-game winning streak against the spread against Kansas.
Temperatures are expected to be a bit frigid in Norman as they are forecasted to hover in the mid 30’s with partly cloudy skies. Winds will be blowing around 15 miles per hour with humidity levels saturated around 70%. There is a 26% chance of precipitation for the affair.
Keith Pick to Cover the Spread: Kansas +36.5
There are several moving parts as to why the Jayhawks are a savory play. First off and most obviously, Oklahoma’s defense cannot be trusted laying this kind of lumber especially against a football team that will be fired up after giving one of their arch-nemesis a good fight. Secondly, this contest has high potential to be a look-ahead game for Oklahoma as a top-ten showdown with West Virginia is looming in Morgantown the week after which will be instrumental in determining how the Big 12 ultimately plays out with College Football Playoff implications also being on the line. With OU’s eye on the horizon, they can take their vision off the ball here and potentially come in flat and let KU hang around. Third and last of all this number presents huge backdoor potential as even if Oklahoma were to build a big enough lead here, they would assuredly call off the dogs early in preparation for this pivotal clash. This opens the possibility for Kansas to cash in on some junk-time scores and come in under the number resulting in many ripped up tickets. Very simply, there are too many reasons here to scoop up the points.