Oklahoma Rises to +900 in National Championship Futures With Big 12 Title Win Over Baylor

Oklahoma Sooners run onto the field.
The Oklahoma Sooners are now at +900 to win the National Championship after winning the Big 12 title. Photo by Julie Lazalier Harvey (Wikmedia) [CC License].
  • The Oklahoma Sooners beat the Baylor Bears 30-23 to win the Big 12 Championship
  • The Sooners were at +3300 to win the National Championship before Saturday but are now down to +900
  • Read below to find out if the Sooners are a good bet to win the College Football Playoff

On Saturday, the Oklahoma Sooners beat the Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Championship Game. Combined with the Georgia Bulldogs’ loss to the LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship Game, the Sooners are now expected to make the College Football Playoff. They’re 2020 National Championship odds now sit at +900. Are they worth a look to win it all?

2020 National Championship Odds

Team Odds at BetOnline
Ohio State Buckeyes +175
LSU Tigers +200
Clemson Tigers +225
Oklahoma Sooners +900

Odds taken Dec. 8.

Sooners Squeak By Baylor On Championship Saturday

The Sooners were supposed to win big on Saturday as they closed as a 9.5-point favorite over the Baylor Bears. Many figured they’d run away with it once they pulled ahead 10-0 and Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer was knocked out of the game. However, Oklahoma actually trailed 13-10 at the half and later blew their 23-13 lead too.

In the end, the Sooners edged the Bears in overtime to advance but they definitely have some concerns going forward. Oklahoma didn’t exactly play the toughest schedule, yet they lost to Kansas State, barely edged Texas and TCU, and squeaked by Baylor a couple of times. Life is going to get much tougher for them in the College Football Playoff.

Turnovers the Key to Success for Oklahoma

How good are the Sooners? It’s a question everyone is wondering, but the oddsmakers clearly see them as the weakest of the four teams left standing. The first three are at +225 or shorter; Oklahoma is much further back at +900.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXrDKiggYr8

The Sooners are, in fact, a good team and they can compete with the other three playoff teams but they’ll have to cut down on the turnovers. That’s been the equalizer for them this season as their mistakes allow opponents to hang around or win games.

On Saturday, Oklahoma out gained Baylor in yards 433-265 but needed overtime because they lost the turnover battle 2-0. They had three turnovers against TCU, two against Texas, two against Kansas State, two against Iowa State and three in their first meeting with Baylor.

In those six games that were either close or their one loss – the Sooners lost the turnover battle by a combined margin of 14-3. They out gained their opponents by an average of 496-331.5, which shows just how dominant they were and how important protecting the ball is to their success.

The other three teams each have a turnover margin of +0.6 or better, ranking in the Top 18. Oklahoma is 115th in turnover margin at -0.7. They won’t win a game in the CFP unless they clean that up.

What’s the Best Bet?

There’s no question that the Sooners’ odds have rapidly risen from +3300. However, I don’t see any value with them at this point. Could they limit the turnovers for a game and possibly surprise someone? Maybe.

At the same time, quarterback Jalen Hurts had nine touchdowns and no picks in his first three games, but he has seven interceptions and four fumbles lost in his last 10 games. It’s not talked about a lot, but he’s turnover-prone. The margin for error was large in Big 12 games but it will be minuscule in the playoff.

Also, remember that LSU and Ohio State went undefeated through difficult schedules and creamed their opponents. They had no close games. Clemson had a feeble schedule but crushed everyone except for the one-off week against North Carolina. Oklahoma had a weak schedule and still barely got by.

I would not bet Oklahoma to win it all. They did a great job to get in but they’re simply not on the same level as the other teams.

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David Golokhov

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