Big 12 Week 2 Overview: Sooners Host Reeling UCLA

Monday, September 3, 2018 2:43 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 3, 2018 2:43 PM UTC

Oklahoma has a decent track record covering a 20-plus point spread at home, which will be the case Saturday against UCLA. Here are some thoughts on that matchup and all the Big 12 Week 2 action.

Big 12 Spotlight: UCLA at No. 7 Oklahoma (OFF)Saturday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)Free NCCAF Pick: Sooners ATS

UCLA (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) is one of the youngest teams in the nation, and looked the part in its shocking 26-17 home defeat to Cincinnati as a 14.5-point favorite in the season opener. Few expected new head coach Chip Kelly’s dynamic spread offense to excel the first season. The pieces are not in place to execute, particularly since the former regime ran a more pro-style attack. The debut proved less effective than imagined with true freshman QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson thrust into action in the second quarter due to a back injury to starter Wilton Speight. Thompson-Robinson, who completed 15 of 25 passes for 117 yards, is likely to handle the snaps against the Sooners. Moving the chains will be a major concern.

The Bruins defense proved even more shocking than the offense. It couldn’t chase the Bearcats off the field. Cincy, a four-win team a season ago, rushed 51 times, picked up 21 first downs, and controlled possession for 34:21 minutes. How is Kelly’s squad going to cope against a premium Power 5 rushing game like the Sooners? It could get ugly fast. Oklahoma (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) rallied for 650 total yards in its 63-14 win over Florida Atlantic, 316 on the ground — and this against a unit returning 10 starters that allowed just 389.3 yards per game in 2017.

The Sooners were 20.5-point favorites prior to kick off last Saturday. This number will inch higher after adjustments, but the line is off the board until more information regarding UCLA’s starting quarterback is revealed. The Bruins haven’t gone off catching 20 points or more since 2013 at Oregon. In the last 15 years, it has happened just eight times. UCLA averages 18.6 points per game, while gifting 45.8. The difference may be even greater this time around. Oklahoma is 15-7 ATS at home laying more than 20 points since 2012, averaging 52.3 points per game in six under second-year head coach Lincoln Riley.

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All 9️⃣ of the #Sooners touchdowns from Saturday.

Full coverage ➡️ https://t.co/ZPwVX5GNYf pic.twitter.com/kmysUJRbiR

— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 2, 2018
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Around the Big 12 (Games Saturday Unless Noted)

No. 16 TCU (-20) at SMU, Friday at 8 p.m. ET, on ESPN2​​​​​​: Look for TCU (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) to stuff the SMU (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) offense. Head coach Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs yield 14.6 points per game when ranked as double-digit road chalk against unranked opponents. In 14 matchups, only one (Kansas 2014) scored more than three touchdowns in any contest. The Mustangs were getting 17 points in advanced lines; it has reopened at -20.

No. 18 Mississippi State (-7) at Kansas State, noon ET, on ESPN: Legendary coach Bill Snyder was on a 0-13 SU run against ranked opponents before stunning Oklahoma State 45-40 as an 18-point underdog at Stillwater in his last attempt (Week 12, 2017). Oddsmakers pit Kansas State a 3-point pup hosting No. 18 Mississippi State (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) prior to opening week. In nine games in the aforementioned situation, the Wildcats went off with a single-digit line, surrendering an average 39.9 points. The Bulldogs rolled for 63 against Stepehn F. Austin, and this without suspended star QB Nick Fitzgerald. The senior signal-caller is expected to return this week.

Kansas at Central Michigan (-6), 3 p.m. ET: Kansas (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) lost 26-23 to Nicholls State last Saturday. The Colonels are an above-average FCS outfit, but the Jayhawks cannot keep conjuring up excuses. This program hasn’t won more than three games in a season since 2009. It has enjoyed only one winning ATS record in this span as well. Never back this team, no matter how tempting the line.

Lamar at Texas Tech (OFF), 4 p.m. ET: Defense is not part of Texas Tech’s (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) DNA, and it showed in a 47-27 defeat to Ole Miss in Week 1. The Rebels accrued 9.3 yards per play. Lamar (1-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) put up 70 points in a victory over the Kentucky Christian Knights. The Cardinals do possess enough talent to match the 50-plus the Red Raiders will put up, but a couple of touchdowns might be enough to see the "over" cash two weeks in a row.

Iowa State at Iowa (-4.5), 5 p.m. ET, on Fox: Check out our Big Ten Week 2 overview for more, but the total number of points scored in the Cy-Hawk rivalry when played in Iowa City during the last decade is ultra low and fueling an "under" streak.

Youngstown State at No. 17 West Virginia (OFF), 6 p.m. ET: QB Will Grier and the West Virginia offense (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) just posted 40 points against an SEC defense on neutral soil. How much damage will the Mountaineers do at home against Missouri Valley outfit Youngstown State (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS)? Be cautious. The Penguins have covered the spread in seven of their last eight to hit the primary college football odds board, including topping a 20-point spread in a 38-21 away loss at West Virginia in 2016.

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Highlights from West Virginia's 40-14 victory over Tennessee. #HailWV pic.twitter.com/OAwdkQqrwo

— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) September 1, 2018
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Baylor (OFF) at Texas-San Antonio, 7 p.m. ET: This will be the fifth time in the last five years UTSA (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) hosts a Power 5 program at the Alamodome. It is 3-1 ATS in the previous four, topping a 17.9 average line by 4.1 points per game. Baylor (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), meanwhile, is 6-14 ATS in last 20 as road chalk.

South Alabama at Oklahoma State (-31.5), 8 p.m. ET: The "over" is 33-14 (70.2 percent) under head coach Mike Gundy since 2006 when Oklahoma State (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) hosts unranked opponents as home chalk. A combined 69.1 final score soars 6.1 points past a 63.4 total. Don’t overthink this matchup with South Alabama (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS).

Tulsa at No. 23 Texas (-22), 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network: Since 1999, Tulsa (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) is 1-21 SU and 5-16-1 ATS against Big 12 opponents, failing to cover a 17.6 average line by 9.2 points per game. Texas (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) will take out its frustrations here.

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