Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#109 Baylor 62.5 vs.
#110 Oklahoma -8.5
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#109 Baylor University
#110 University of Oklahoma
11-1
11-1
8-4
5-7
6-6
5-7
36
44
18
24

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The No. 9-ranked Baylor Bears will travel to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday afternoon as they get set for the Big 12 Championship Game against the No. 7-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

The Bears, 11-1, will have a chance to avenge their only loss of the season in this game. Oklahoma defeated Baylor 34-31 after overcoming a 25-point deficit just three weeks ago, keeping its College Football Playoff hopes alive in the process. The Sooners (11-1) can still nab the final playoff spot with some help from other major conference opponents. But first, Oklahoma will have to beat the Bears in Texas for the Big 12 Championship. Can the Sooners take care of business at AT&T Stadium against a Baylor team hungry for some revenge?

Despite being the lower-seeded team, Baylor will have the advantage of playing this game in front of a strong home crowd, as AT&T Stadium is located about an hour-and-a-half away from the Baylor University campus. Much like the Sooners, Baylor has a chance to make the College Football Playoffs with a win on Saturday. Even with a victory, Baylor will need losses from Georgia (vs. LSU) and Utah (vs. Oregon) to bolster its case for the final playoff spot. No matter what happens this weekend, Baylor fans still have plenty to be encouraged about. This season, they became the first Power Five team ever to go from 1-11 to 11-1 in a span of just two seasons under head coach Matt Rhule. If the Bears were to finish in the dreaded No. 5 spot, it would make the second time in the College Football Playoff-era that Baylor finished on the outside looking in (2014).

Oklahoma has made the College Football Playoffs in three of the last four seasons and they have a strong chance of earning the final playoff spot this season with a win on Saturday. With Georgia playing LSU, the final playoff spot is likely to come down to either Oklahoma or Utah. The Sooners have a better chance of winning their conference championship game and they’ve had a tougher schedule than the Utes, giving them an advantage in the chase for the No. 4 spot. If everything goes as planned this weekend, Oklahoma should find itself in the College Football Playoffs for the fourth time since moving to the format in 2014.

Bears still have a shot to make College Football Playoff

The Bears wallopped Kansas 61-6 in their previous contest to head into the Big 12 Championship game with some added confidence. Baylor’s defense showed up in a big way, producing six turnovers and limiting the Jayhawks to just 258 yards of total offense in the win. Charlie Brewer threw for 182 yards with one touchdown and one interception while JaMycal Hasty rushed for 92 yards and three scores for the Bears, who have now won 11 games for just the third time since 1899.

Baylor’s only loss of the season came in disappointing fashion at home against then-No.10-ranked Oklahoma. However, they’ve cleaned things up since allowing a combined 16 points over their past two games. While this won’t be a home game for the Bears, expect plenty of Baylor faithful in the crowd on Saturday.

The Bears’ hopes will likely rest upon the shoulders of quarterback Charlie Brewer and the defense’s ability to keep Jalen Hurts and company off of the scoreboard. Brewer threw a game-ending interception in the first matchup and was largely ineffective after halftime. The junior quarterback as been efficient under center for the Bears this season, throwing for 2,935 yards with 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions while also adding 340 yards and a team-high 10 scores on the ground with his legs. Brewer leads an offense that comes in scoring 36.2 points and averaging 445.1 yards of total offense per contest.

On defense, Baylor has limited opposing teams to just 18.4 points and 350.9 yards of total offense per contest, including only 208.8 yards per game through the air, which ranks 43rd in the nation. In their previous matchup against Oklahoma, Baylor forced Hurts into three fumbles, recovering two on the day.

Sooners fighting for third straight Big 12 Championship

Kennedy Brooks rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown to help the Sooners defeat No. 21-ranked Oklahoma State in their final regular-season game. Jalen Hurts threw for 163 yards and a score while adding 61 rushing yards and a score on the ground for the Sooners, who limited Oklahoma State to just 335 yards of total offense on the day.

The Sooners have been nothing short of spectacular since Lincoln Riley took over as head coach. In three seasons, Riley has led the Sooners to a 35-5 record and is one win away from his third consecutive Big 12 Championship. In the earlier matchup against Baylor this season, the Sooners became the first team in NCAA history to overcome a second-half deficit of at least 21 points over a team with a record of 9-0 or better since NCAA classification began in 1937, according to ESPN.

Ball security is going to be key for Hurts and the Sooners in this game. Hurts had three turnovers against the Bears in the first matchup, which prematurely ended drives in the first half. For the most part, the former Alabama-transfer has been efficient with the football this season. He’s thrown for 3,347 yards with 31 touchdowns and only six interceptions while completing 71.9 percent of his passes. He’s also added a career-best 1,217 yards and 18 scores on the ground, making him one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Hurts leads the NCAA’s No. 1 offense in terms of total yardage at 564.3 yards per game and 8.36 yards per play. The Sooners also rank as the fifth-highest scoring offense in the country at 44.3 points per contest.

On defense, the Sooners have surrendered a respectable 24.7 points per contest and 336.1 total yards per game this season. Oklahoma ranks 22nd in the country against the pass, allowing just 195.9 yards per game through the air.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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This is shaping up as the game of the weekend, as the winner should have a legitimate shot at making the College Football Playoff. Baylor raced out to a 25-point lead before the Sooners stormed back for a 34-31 victory against the Bears earlier this year but this matchup will be a completely different ball game. Championship games always have a different feel and the Bears feel like they are playing with house money right now. They have very little to lose and a lot more to gain than the Sooners, who had preseason expectations of playing for a national championship. Baylor forced four turnovers and had four sacks in the first matchup and they should be able to get after Hurts once again. While the Sooners should win, I have this down as a one-score game and an upset wouldn’t be a total shocker in this spot. Take Baylor to cover the spread in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Baylor Bears +9.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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I think most people are expecting a shootout at AT&T Stadium, especially with what Oklahoma was able to do in the second half. The total is pegged at 64 points, which right on par with how the first matchup finished (34-31). However, I have this game being much more of a defensive battle. Either the Bears are going to show up on defense and make a game out of this or the Sooners are going to put the clamps on Baylor’s offense and win this game in a convincing fashion. Take this game to stay under the projected total on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Under 64
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.