The Texas Longhorns have a history of making life difficult for the Oklahoma Sooners and they will try do it again Saturday when the teams meet in the Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl at noon ET. The outcome could have serious implications in the Big 12 race and in consideration for the four-team playoff. The Sooners have won two straight and three of the last five in this rivalry, but the Longhorns have covered the spread in all five contests. Oklahoma is favored by seven points in the Oklahoma vs. Texas odds, down from opening at -8 in most markets. The over-under for total points scored sits at 60.5 after some outlets opened at 61.5. Before you settle on your Oklahoma vs. Texas picks, you need to hear what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say.
A Nevada-based expert with 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in handicapping college athletics. He's having another solid season in college football, hitting on 60 percent of his spread picks for SportsLine members. Moreover, he has had a keen eye for the tendencies of these two programs, hitting four straight picks in games involving either Texas or Oklahoma.
In Week 3, Nagel advised SportsLine members to back Texas against rebuilding USC. He predicted the Longhorns would have a breakout performance that would spark their season in a positive direction. Texas prevailed 37-14 to easily cover the three-point spread and give Nagel's followers a comfortable winner.
Now, Nagel has scrutinized the 2018 Red River Showdown from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he's sharing only at SportsLine.
Two weeks ago, Oklahoma survived an unlikely letdown spot as a 31.5-point favorite against Army. The Sooners went scoreless in the second half but prevailed 28-21 in overtime. The Sooners were held to 355 total yards and lost the time of possession battle by a four-to-one margin against Army's ball-control offense.
The Sooners appear to have learned their lesson, as they gave an inspired effort from the start in last week's 66-33 win over Baylor. Kyler Murray didn't start due to disciplinary reasons but still accounted for seven touchdowns. Oklahoma compiled 607 total yards, and the running game got a boost from Kennedy Brooks. He ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Even so, there's no guarantee the Sooners will cover the Red River spread against a Texas club looking for a signature win under coach Tom Herman and has its own designs on a Big 12 title run.
The Longhorns won seven games last season and were widely expected to be one of the most improved teams in the country. However, that optimism was put on hold when the Longhorns were upset by Maryland for the second straight year and followed it with a sluggish performance against a marginal Tulsa club the following week.
Texas also quickly fell behind by double-digits to USC in Week 3, but the Longhorns came alive in the second half and have been a different team ever since. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has started to realize the potential he showed last year as a rugged dual-threat player, and a sometimes-leaky defense is now swarming to the ball and consistently getting stops.
We can tell you Nagel leans toward the over in the 2018 Red River Shootout, but he has also unearthed the crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's only sharing at SportsLine.
Who covers in Texas vs. Oklahoma? And what crucial x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over Saturday, all from a senior analyst who's 4-0 in his picks involving these teams.