Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Date and Time: Saturday, October 28, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Opening College Football Odds: Oklahoma -18
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma TV Coverage: ABC
The Sooners are hanging on right now by the hair of their chinny, chin, chin. They trailed Kansas State for much of the game last week, and it wasn't until they took the lead with 0:07 left on Rodney Anderson's 22-yard touchdown run that the game was finally sealed. It was the third straight game Oklahoma was in a position to lose late on, though it should be noted after the loss to Iowa State, the team rallied for victories over Texas and K-State.
With Baker Mayfield hobbling, Trey Sermon seemingly falling out of favor and Abdul Adams out of the fold, it was Rodney Anderson who stepped up big for the Sooners last week. He rumbled for 147 yards and the game-winning touchdown, capitalizing on the most substantial playing time in his career.
To his credit, Mayfield had another spectacular day, throwing for 410 yards and rushing for 69 more. He accounted for four total touchdowns, giving him 22 in seven games this year between his arm and his legs.
Texas Tech hit rock bottom last week with a 31-13 loss to suddenly stingy Iowa State. The Red Raiders couldn't get anything going aerially, as Nic Shimonek finished with just 207 yards on 31 completions. For a man who averaged at least 7.1 yards per pass attempt in every game this season to date, it was a shock to see him average just 5.0 yards per attempt against ISU.
If Texas Tech can't find its offensive stride, this game could get tremendously ugly.
This spot on the schedule is just flat out awful for Oklahoma. The team had to survive a real war with Kansas State last week, a game where the defense looked exhausted trying to chase after Alex Delton the entire night.
Now, the Sooners have to play against a Texas Tech team that is going to spread you out and throw the ball all over the field.
Worse for Oklahoma? The game against Oklahoma State is up next, and the duel with TCU follow that. Lose any of those games, and there's a good shot that both the National Championship dream and the hope of playing in the revival of the Big XII Championship Game will be up in smoke.
This is one of these games where Oklahoma is going to have to be mentally strong, and we're not so sure the club has it in it.
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma Free Picks
These Oklahoma/Texas Tech games are always meaningful to Mayfield. He transferred from Texas Tech after his freshman campaign and has been hated by the Red Raiders since that point. All Mayfield did last year in his return to Lubbock was throw for 545 yards and seven touchdowns.
(And he needed every single one of those yards since Patrick Mahomes threw for 734 yards and five touchdowns.)
The best news for the Red Raiders? Joe Mixon and Dede Westbrook combined for 594 yards between them in last year's game, and they're not walking through those doors in Norman on Saturday.
Texas Tech got caught napping last week by the Cyclones, just as Oklahoma did a few weeks prior. We think that game was more of a blip on the radar instead of a disturbing trend waiting to manifest.
Though Oklahoma will probably find a way to survive this game merely due to the fact that it has a knack for winning close calls while Texas Tech has a knack for losing them, we're still taking the points. It's going to be hard fading the Sooners with their depressed betting lines at all of the top NCAA football sportsbooks, but we still think it's the right play in what should be a close game.
College Football ATS Pick: Texas Tech +18 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 34