An offensive showcase could be in store as the Oklahoma Sooners take on the Houston Cougars on Sunday night in each team’s season-opener. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET from Memorial Stadium in Norman. The Sooners and Cougars combined to score an average of more than 90 points per game last season. Oklahoma had the country’s top-ranked offense at 48.4 points per game, while Houston was No. 5 at 44. The Cougars scored over 40 in all eight of their victories last season, while the Sooners scored 48 or more points on nine occasions. Both clubs return an experienced core of offensive weapons. The Sooners are 23-point favorites, down three points after the spread opened at 26, while the over-under for total points scored is 80 in the latest Oklahoma vs. Houston odds. Before you make your Houston vs. Oklahoma picks and college football predictions for Sunday night, make sure you listen to what SportsLine college football expert Tom Fornelli has to say.
The CBS national writer has posted a wallet-fattening 216-179 record on his popular “Six Pack” college football column the past four years. He also has demonstrated his expertise on every sport for SportsLine members. He’s had a keen eye for the tendencies of these programs and is coming off a season that saw him go 5-0 on against the spread picks involving Oklahoma.
His final winner came in the postseason when he advised SportsLine members to back Oklahoma (+14.5) against top-seeded Alabama. He predicted the Sooners would have to withstand an early onslaught, but behind Heisman winner Kyler Murray, would still have enough firepower to cover a two-touchdown spread. That’s exactly what happened as Oklahoma rallied in the second half before coming up short in the 45-34 loss. Anyone who followed Fornelli’s advice pocketed another winner and those who have consistently followed him are way up.
Now, he has zeroed in on Oklahoma vs. Houston from every angle and released a confident point-spread selection that he’s sharing only at SportsLine.
Fornelli knows the Sooners will be eager to give another strong opening-day performance, which has become a staple under coach Lincoln Riley. Last year, many observers believed upstart Florida Atlantic could pose a real threat to Oklahoma in their Week 1 showdown. Instead, the Sooners removed all doubt in the early stages of their 63-14 victory.
Riley has fast gained a reputation as one of the brightest offensive minds in the game, and Oklahoma’s numbers support this assertion. The Sooners led the Big 12 in every major offensive category last year and were first nationally in points per game (48.4), passing yards (322.9) and total yards (570.3).
Murray has moved on as the top overall pick in the NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals, but the offense should be in good hands with Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts. He will be aided by veterans like running back Trey Sermon, who went for 947 yards and scored 13 touchdowns last season. Receiver CeeDee Lamb was second on the club with 1,158 yards and had a team-high 11 scores.
Still, the Sooners are far from a sure thing to cover the Houston vs. Oklahoma spread on Sunday.
One major weapon for Holgorsen is returning senior quarterback D’Eriq King, who quietly emerged as one of the top dual-threat players in the country last season. He accounted for 50 total touchdowns in just 10 games before a knee injury caused him to miss the remainder of the season. His size (5-11, 195) and athleticism have drawn comparisons to Murray, last year’s Heisman winner from Oklahoma.
Murray and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State were the only two players to account for more touchdowns than King a season ago. Both finished with 54, but did so in 14 games. Without the season-ending injury, King might have challenged former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan’s record of 63. King played wide receiver as a freshman on a Houston team that was led by former star Greg Ward Jr.
Fornelli has broken down this matchup from every angle. We can tell you he’s leaning under, and he’s also identified the critical x-factor that has him all over one side of the spread. You can only see what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Who wins Oklahoma vs. Houston? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Oklahoma vs. Houston spread you should jump on Sunday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit his last five spread picks involving Oklahoma, and find out.
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