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Oklahoma vs. Missouri Picks & Odds: Big 12 Championship

Preview The top-ranked team in the nation is a road dog heading in to the Big 12 Championship. The top-ranked team is also the Missouri Tigers and Chase Daniel is the Heisman favorite at this point. If anything else properly typifies this insane college football season, I’d like to see it. The Missouri Tigers (9-2 ATS) battle the Oklahoma Sooners (6-6 ATS) for the Big 12 Championship and an opportunity to roar in to the BCS National Title game.

Oklahoma Offense vs. Missouri Defense
Sam Bradford surprised everyone this season by thundering out of the gates with a calm, cool, collectiveness you usually find in seniors. He’s averaged a 70.2 completion percentage for 2,670 passing yards and 32 touchdowns on the season. Bradford carries himself with remarkable poise, though injuries have been a slight concern. He will be trying to rifle passes against a very vulnerable Missouri secondary. The Tigers’ slow and stiff secondary will get caught out of position too often against Bradford’s smart reads. Expect Bradford to blow up a secondary that allows 265.8 pass yards per game

The Sooners rushing attack has been the unsung hero of Bradford’s success. However, Allen Patrick and Chris Brown will have trouble gaining yards against Missouri, which has a disciplined run-stopping attitude that is the primary focus of their defense. The Tigers allow 114.9 rushing yards per game, and the Sooners average 193.9 yards on the ground.

Despite the enormous amount of yards the Tigers give up defensively, they have been handy at making teams one-dimensional by taking away the run and running up the score offensively. Oklahoma lights up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree, averaging 43.8 points per game and will be able to take advantage of the athletic matchup in the secondary under Bradford’s steady play.

Missouri Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense
Chase Daniel had 361 yards against the Sooners, largely due to the network of receivers he has. Still, his cagey mobility and decisive decision making pin him as the perfect man for the Tigers’ spread offense. The Sooners have a susceptible secondary that gives up 233.2 passing yards, but lacks considerable depth. Oklahoma will struggle to match-up against the breadth of talented wide receivers Missouri boasts.

Oklahoma knows it will be outmatched in this game because of the game that Daniel had against them previously. They will have to hope for interceptions, lest allow Daniel to run-and-gun past them all night long. Oklahoma translated three turnovers in to 21 points. Missouri and Daniel will be much more careful this time around, utilizing his tight end, Chase Coffman. Yes, I know – the two cogs of this passing offense are both named Chase. Did you really expect anything different from this whacky NCAA College football season?

The Missouri offense’s ability to march the field, accumulate yards, and score points is a reason they wear down defenses. Their creative and complex passing schemes constantly keep teams guessing, and put opposing offenses in catch-up mode, which inevitably leads to mistakes. The Tigers are averaging 336.8 passing yards per game, with 41.9 points per. The Oklahoma Sooners defense is ranked 10th in the nation, allowing only 18.3 points per game.

NCAA Football Betting Trends
-Oklahoma is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
-Oklahoma is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
-Missouri is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games
-Total has gone OVER in 4 of Missouri’s last 5 games
-Missouri is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma

Final Verdict

The Tigers are getting all the press because their tremendous underdog story is so compelling. However, Oklahoma is the better team. Not only do they have a superior roster overall, they also have Bob Stoops, who is well versed in big game situations, despite the youth of his quarterback.
Their last meeting proved one thing – Missouri can take control of a game, but Oklahoma can never be counted out. They outscored the Tigers 18-7 in the fourth quarter en route to a comeback victory. The problem with Missouri’s offense is that it relies so heavily on the pass, and Bradford can torch the scoreboard with an efficiency that rivals Daniel.

Missouri may be the underdog of the moment, and the darling of the nation, but do not be swayed by emotion. Oklahoma’s coaching and superior defense will allow the Sooners to take control of this game. There has never ever been more pressure on Daniel to win a game with his Heisman hopes and the team’s BCS title hopes on the line. As much as I like the Tigers to win, they have proven they can not finish out football games. They tend to flame out in the fourth quarter, and that is exactly when the Sooners are at their best.

It’s been a nice ride for the Tigers and their betting investors, but it’s time to get off the betting bandwagon, folks. Bet on the Sooners in a tight game, dominated by a furious aerial bombardment fueled by both Bradford and Daniel. In the end, bet on the team that has proven they can play four full quarters over the team that dwindles after three

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