Old Big 12 rivals meet Saturday when Nebraska visits No. 3 Oklahoma at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on FOX.
Oklahoma (2-0) shook off a scare in Week 1 from Tulane to throttle Western Carolina 76-0 in Week 2. The Sooners rank second in the FBS with 58.0 points per game, and Heisman hopeful Spencer Rattler is working with a talented supporting cast that includes SN Preseason All-American receiver Marvin Mims.
Nebraska (2-1) is on a two-game win streak after a shocking season-opening loss to Illinois in the opener. Fourth-year coach Scott Frost remains on the hot seat, but the Huskers have shown improvement with senior quarterback Adrian Martinez, who has seven total TDs without throwing an interception.
The next time these schools play, it will be an SEC-Big Ten matchup. On Saturday, it will be a nice Big 12 throwback game. Here’s everything to know about betting on the Big Noon Kickoff game between the Sooners and Huskers:
Nebraska vs. Oklahoma odds
- Spread: Oklahoma -22.5
- Over/under: 61.5
- Moneyline: Oklahoma -1800, Nebraska +880
Three trends to know
— Oklahoma is 24-2 S/U as a home favorite under Lincoln Riley, and that includes a 15-11 ATS record. The Sooners are 13-3 S/U in non-conference games under Riley.
— Nebraska is 1-9 S/U as a road underdog under Frost, but the Huskers are 6-4 ATS in that stretch.
— The Sooners and Huskers have not played since the Big 12 championship game in 2010. Oklahoma won 23-20. Nebraska has not beaten the Sooners in Norman since a 73-21 victory on Nov. 2, 1996 when Frost was the quarterback at Nebraska.
Three things to watch
— QB turnovers. Rattler threw two interceptions in the opener, which allowed Tuane to rally in the second half. Oklahoma protects the ball otherwise; the Sooners have not lost a fumble. That has been the knock on Martinez. Nebraska has seven fumbles, with four lost as a team this season. Martinez hasn’t thrown the big interception, and if the Huskers want to stay in this game, they cannot turn the ball over. Martinez, who doubles as the Huskers’ leading rusher, must protect the football.
— Sooners’ second quarter. Emotions will be high early, especially between the fan-bases, given the nostalgic feel of this rivalry. Nebraska has to be careful in the second quarter. Oklahoma has outscored opponents 51-0 in the second quarter through two games, and the Huskers have been a slow-starting team through three games. Expect Oklahoma to pound the running game early with Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray to set up the deep passing game.
— Which big-time receiver steps up? Nebraska’s Samori Toure is off to a great start. He has 13 catches for 306 yards, an average of 23.5 yards per catch, with two TDs. Martinez will be sure to target him in the vertical passing game early to give Nebraska some momentum.
Mims is the counter for Oklahoma. He has not scored a TD yet, but he has six catches for 136 yards, an average of 22.7 per catch. Mims will be targeted out of the slot, and Nebraska’s secondary cannot afford to lose him in the middle of the field.
Stat that matters: Red-zone TDs
Oklahoma has 14 TDs on 15 red-zone trips. The Huskers have 11 TDs on 15 red-zone trips. Nebraska will have to match that red-zone efficiency to have a chance. The Sooners have allowed five TDs to opponents on six red-zone visits, so the opportunities to cash in will be there if Nebraska can move the ball methodically.
Nebraska vs. Oklahoma prediction
That second quarter will be when Oklahoma takes control of the game. The Sooners have 16 tackles for loss through two games, and the ability to get Nebraska off schedule, especially when they are trailing, will be a difference-maker.
Frost will pull out all the tricks in this game, and if Martinez avoids costly interceptions, it could be a four-quarter game. It is just hard to pick against Rattler, who has more to work with in Riley’s high-powered offense.
Nebraska still pulls out a cover in a three-score loss.
Final score: Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 24