The NCAAF odds favor the Sooners by 12.5 points at home, which feels like a fair line. Who will cover? Here are keys for each team and a prediction for this game.
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Saturday, October 16, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at Memorial Stadium
While last week was wild, all that mattered for some teams was that they remain unscathed. Oklahoma is a great example of that. They have so many struggled wins this year, but they remain undefeated. At this point, the only way to guarantee a trip to the College Football Playoff is to win the rest of their games.
The Sooners came back in an all-time great game against the Texas Longhorns, but they were also exposed. Their defense cannot stop potent offenses. Spencer Rattler had to be benched in this game, and there are now question marks about the quarterback position.
Oklahoma barely beat the Longhorns, but they have to move on and look ahead to their next game against the TCU Horned Frogs. The Sooners are better on paper, but that hasn’t done much for them so far this season. They are one of the worst teams against the spread.
Keys for Oklahoma to Cover the Spread
Oklahoma has a bit of an identity crisis. In the past, they relied heavily on elite quarterbacks to carry the team while their defense suffered. This year, they expected to do just that with Spencer Rattler. However, he has yet to live up to the hype. Now, they have to decide if they want to keep Rattler under center or make the permanent quarterback switch.
Caleb Williams was great against the Longhorns, but they were not prepared for his skill set. The Horned Frogs will be ready, which means Williams may see less success this weekend if he gets the start.
Either way, the Sooners need a plan for how to put their quarterback in a position to succeed early. This means that they need to run quick passes that give the receivers some space. You can add complexity once you have a rhythm, but you want to simplify things early for either quarterback.
Cutting down on turnovers is also a big deal for Oklahoma. They are why Rattler got benched in the first place. He simply makes bad decisions with the football, but limiting turnovers takes the entire team. The line needs to block better, and fumbles should be limited as well.
Keys for TCU to Cover the Spread
TCU may not know who will start at quarterback, but they need to prepare for a mobile threat. Williams got going because he was so good at running the ball, and that is the first thing you need to take away. If you make either Rattler or Williams stay in the pocket, they will likely take big risks. Winning these 50/50 balls will help the Horned Frogs keep it close until the end.
With a betting line that is less than two touchdowns, a clear message is being sent. This game will come down to if Oklahoma can execute in the red zone. If they settle for field goals, TCU will cover the spread. If they finish drives with touchdowns, the Sooners will win this game by at least 14 points.
That is where this line balances, and that is how you can determine which way to predict.
So, can TCU hold Oklahoma to field goals? Let’s look at our NCAAF pick for this Saturday.
Time for an NCAAF Pick
It is so hard to predict a game where you don’t know what will happen with one team’s quarterback. That being said, Oklahoma still has value here. While they struggled last week, they proved that their offense can put points on the board in a hurry. If they choose to stick with Rattler and that fails, Williams can come in and still help them cover the spread.
With their new mobile threat at quarterback, they should be able to execute in the red zone. The offense is also potent enough to overcome one or two turnovers as long as they don’t stall on their other drives.
TCU’s offense does not compare to Texas. The Horned Frogs are more likely to shoot themselves in the foot, so this won’t be a shootout.
It’s hard to trust the Sooners, but I have them covering the spread on Saturday.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.