The 2018 NCAA College Football Schedule rolls into the final week as multiple teams around the country prepare for Championship Saturday. When you look at the slate, the key to this week’s lineup of NCAA football matchups simply comes down to the point spreads. That makes this key Big 12 Championship showdown between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners a key one for sports handicappers and fans looking to cash in.
For these two teams, it will be there second meeting of the 2018 NCAA Football season with the Longhorns knocking off the Sooners 48-45 in the Red River Showdown back on October 6th, 2018. In that contest the two teams racked up a combined 1,033 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sam Ehlinger threw for 314 yards with two touchdowns and Kyle Murray threw for 304 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.
In the end, a late 40 yard field goal from Cameron Dicker was the prevailing moment after three costly turnovers by the Sooners. Since that win the Longhorns have won four of their last six contests including a key 24-10 win over Iowa State. Meanwhile the Sooners have won six straight contest including a 59-56 win over West Virginia last weekend. Now these two teams are set for another showdown to take home the Big 12 crown.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday December 1st, 2018 @ AT&T Stadium.
NCAA Football Keys to the Game
Texas Longhorns – Score Touchdowns & Maintain Possession
For the Longhorns it will come down to a few key things on Saturday including winning the turnover battle much like they did in the first meeting. More importantly the biggest key for the Longhorns in this contest is putting the ball in the end zone against a Sooners team that ranks 1st in points per game (50.3) and 1st in offensive yards (584). In the first meeting not only did the Longhorns cap off drives with touchdowns, the team managed to maintain possession while working the ball down the field. On five of their touchdown drives, the Longhorns traveled the field at least 75 yards before finding the end zone.
Oklahoma Sooners – Protect the Football
The Sooners have the offensive to score against any team in the country and they have shown it this season scoring 45 or more points in ten of their 12 contests this season. Despite that success, the team’s only loss came against this same Longhorns team in a game where they scored 45 points. In the end, their defense struggled to slow down the Longhorns much like they have all season against nearly every team they have faced down the stretch (allowed more than 40 points in five of their final seven contests) and the team couldn’t overcome three turnovers. Two of those turnovers led to 10 points for the Longhorns.
NCAA Football Betting Trends
Texas Longhorns – The Longhorns enter the Big 12 Championship Game winners eight of their final 10 contests. Despite the success the team is just 5-6 against the spread this season. While the team has struggled against the spread, the team has had some success on neutral fields over the past few seasons covering the spread in five of their last six contests at those sites. The team has also covered the spread in 13 of their last 20 contests against teams with a winning record.
Oklahoma Sooners – The Sooners have rolled to an 11-1 overall mark this season but the success has not showed up against the spread as the team has covered in just three of nine total contests featuring a betting line. Along with those struggles the team has failed to cover the spread in four straight conference matchups as well as in nine of their last 11 contests on a neutral site.
Head 2 Head – The matchup has gone back and forth with the Longhorns winning the first meeting this season while the Sooners had won back to back contest over the previous two seasons. As far as the point spread, the Longhorns have gone 6-0 against the spread during the last six meetings between these two teams while being the underdog in each contest.
What’s next for these two teams?
For these two teams, Saturday matchups will play a key impact on what will be next for them as they sit back and wait to find out what bowl matchup they could potentially play in. A win on Saturday for either the Longhorns or Sooners will guarantee them a trip to the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day facing off against a team from the SEC. For the Sooners though, a win on Saturday could open up the door for a top four ranking in the College Football Playoffs and a chance to play for the National Title.