The Baylor Bears take on the Oklahoma Sooners. Check out our college football odds series for our Baylor Oklahoma prediction and pick.
The Baylor Bears were sliding and slumping in the middle of their season. They didn’t play defense they way they were able to in the 2021 season, when they won the Big 12 championship with a last-minute goal-line stand against Oklahoma State. This year’s Baylor defense got shredded by Oklahoma State and West Virginia in a pair of high-scoring losses which sent the Bears to the canvas. Their offense let them down in an early-season loss to BYU, but their defense cratered in the losses to Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Coach Dave Aranda, one of the better defensive tacticians in the country, needed to start all over and find answers for his group.
In the last two games, Aranda has struck gold.
The Bears have looked a lot more like their 2021 selves in recent weeks against Kansas and then Texas Tech. Baylor got out to a 28-9 lead against Kansas before holding on for a 35-23 win over the Jayhawks. Baylor then went into Lubbock and hammered Texas Tech, 45-17. Texas Tech smoked West Virginia and had beaten Texas earlier in the year. The Red Raiders were slight favorites at kickoff time, so Baylor’s 28-point win was certainly a surprise. It’s not that the Bears won; it’s that they looked imposing and dynamic in that game. Has Baylor fully turned the corner? We don’t yet know, but if BU can beat Oklahoma on the road, that would be an indication the Bears are truly transformed and can finish the season on an upward surge.
Oklahoma, like Baylor, has played better in its last two games. OU got back on track with a win over Kansas and then won at Iowa State in the team’s best defensive performance of the season. Oklahoma allowed just 13 points and displayed reliable tackling, which coach Brent Venables and his staff needed to work on after a series of disastrous performances earlier in the year. To be reasonable about all of this, Iowa State has one of the worst offenses in the Big 12. Shutting down Iowa State’s offense is not an incredible feat. Yet, given the huge numbers OU allowed earlier this season in the team’s three-game losing streak (55 points to TCU, 49 to Texas), it marked huge progress.
Do we know that OU has turned the corner? No … but beating Baylor would offer a solid indication that the Sooners are truly back in the saddle. In many ways, Baylor and Oklahoma are on the same path, trying to use this game to validate recent improvements.
Here are the Baylor-OklahomaNCAA Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Baylor-Oklahoma Odds
Baylor Bears: +3.5 (-110)
Oklahoma Sooners: -3.5 (-110)
Over: 61.5 (-110)
Under: 61.5 (-110)
Why Baylor Could Cover the Spread
The Bears seem to be figuring things out on defense under a great defensive tactician, Dave Aranda. Last year, Aranda outcoached Lincoln Riley and the Oklahoma offense. Aranda can outflank OU offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby this year.
On a separate note, Oklahoma shut down Iowa State, but Baylor has a much better offense than the one Iowa State has. The Bears should be able to score a reasonable amount of points and apply game pressure to the Sooners.
Why Oklahoma Could Cover the Spread
OU has really grown the past few weeks. The players trust Brent Venables, and his staff is clearly making advancements. This team is displaying to cohesion and the offense-defense balance we expected to see for most of the 2022 season. You don’t want to play (or bet against) this team right now.
Final Baylor-Oklahoma Prediction & Pick
This is a stay-away game, because both teams are in the same basic situation. If you insist on a pick, take the team getting points instead of giving points, which is Baylor.
Final Baylor-Oklahoma Prediction & Pick: Baylor +3.5