A Preview of the 2022 Season Landscape for Oklahoma Football
Oklahoma football boils down to NCAA play. The University of Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State University Cowboys and Tulsa Golden Hurricane represent the state in the Big 12 and American Athletic Conferences. Recently, Oklahoma football has been all Sooners, but the Cowboys are historically successful and are coming off a successful season. Meanwhile, the Golden Hurricane are coming off one of the best seasons in their program’s history and are looking to continue their upward trajectory. The Big 12 conference is different from others such as the SEC due to the bulk of the action taking place in one area—Texas—and also the fact that it does not have a championship between its 2 conference divisions. However, the Big 12 possesses some strong teams in the NCAA. The Sooners are projected to be in the top 10 rankings this year and will carry favorable odds in Oklahoma football betting. In any case, betting on all 3 teams is possible through licensed offshore sportsbook brands. Before you place your bet, take a second to read through our previews for each team heading into the 2017/18 season to ensure your Oklahoma sports betting decisions are made with as much information behind them as possible.
Oklahoma Sooners Football
The Oklahoma Sooners are predicted to do well this year. Analysts have them most likely starting at #8 overall. They have a dynamic QB in Baker Mayfield, who will be looking at new targets this season. His backfield will be made up of younger players, but his veteran offensive line will be a helpful tool in their quest for an 8th national title. Coach Lincoln Riley will be in his first year, but has high aspirations for this team. The team is without Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine and Dede Westbrook this year, who helped combine for over 4,000 total offensive yards last season. Expect Mayfield to look for TE Mark Andrews a lot, as the player has lined up as a WR in the past.
Kentucky transfer Jeff Badet provides another weapon, along with the competing veteran and new players on the roster. As far as ground game, RBs Abdul Adams and Rodney Anderson are predicted to share the load, but there will be competition from other players. Oklahoma’s front 7 is mostly made up of inexperienced players, but the Sooners have quality in the backfield with Jordan Thomas and Jordan Parker at corners. Their presence will help curtail the pass-heavy offenses of other Big 12 teams. Steven Parker is returning as safety, which should help control the backfield. If their front defensive players can come together, the Sooners may be able to contain opposing offenses.
The Sooners are favorites to win a third-straight Big 12 title, but they will need to be almost perfect if they want to obtain CFP selection. Coach Riley has stated the CFP is in their sights, but they will need to stay sharp. For bettors, the Sooners are worth consideration in most matchups (keep an eye out for the games against Ohio State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State, as the odds may shift).
Oklahoma State Cowboys Football
The Cowboys are poised to have one of the best offenses on paper this season. QB Mason Rudolph returns along with star-WR James Washington. Rudolph almost left for the NFL, but decided to stay and give the Cowboys another chance at a Big 12 title. Their offense sees a total of 7 starters back in the rotation from last season, though Rudolph is the key to the puzzle. His 4,000+ yard/28 touchdown performance last season is a marker of his quality. Rudolph led the FBS in receptions with 70. He has managed 26 TDs over the course of 3 seasons. Jalen McCleskey, Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy and LSU-transfer Tyron Johnson each add their own individual cog in this offensive machine.
RB Justice Hill will lead the rushing game. Hill rushed for over 1,000 yards last season, a performance that won him the Offensive Freshman of the Year award. The offensive line has 3 returning starters, which should be comforting to Rudolph. The Cowboys’ defensive line is strong with players like Jarrell Owens, Jordan Brailford and Darrion Daniels. Their safety positions are covered with Tre Flowers and Ramon Richards, however their corners are exposed with inexperienced players. If the young players can step up, the Cowboys’ defense can help alleviate pressure off the offense.
The Cowboys are a sleeper for the Big 12 title. They will have to keep up with the Sooners if they want a shot. With trips to Pittsburgh and West Virginia in the mix, the Cowboys may find it difficult to do so. However, their remaining schedule will help them with their mission if they can execute. Expect the Cowboys to be a solid bet in most matchups.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football
As far as Oklahoma football betting goes, the Golden Hurricane receive the least amount of action. The American Athletic school are on the rise though, after coming off a surprising 10-3 season. Unfortunately for coach Philip Montgomery, he lost several important players. His third season with the team may not prove as successful. Last year, the Golden Hurricane made a new FBS record as the first team with a 3,000-yard QB, 2 1,000-yard receivers and 2 1,000-yard running backs. Out of the players who contributed to that record, only one is returning—RB D’Angelo Brewer.
The offensive line has 4 starters returning who should be able to make space for Brewer to run through. One of their biggest offensive gaps is with their QB position. With only underclassmen Chad President and Luke Skipper to choose from, the Golden Hurricane may struggle on the passing front. Justin Hobbs is an experienced WR, who will attempt to make up for the loss of Josh Atkinson and Keevan Lucas. Meanwhile, sophomore Keenen Johnson is expected to build on his breakout performance and freshman Keylon Stokes may find himself starting in his first season.
Their defense also suffered in the offseason, with several role players departing. 6 new defensive backs were signed in the offseason and may have an immediate impact. Pressure is on the defensive secondary, as that was the area most exposed last year. The Golden Hurricane are in a rebuild phase after the 10-3 season, so don’t expect them to have the same success.
The offense will struggle in the passing game, and their run game can only get them so far. Also, their youthful defense may succumb to strong offensive opposition. However, another bowl game appearance is not out of the question if Coach Montgomery can steady the ship. It might be better to bet against the Golden Hurricane this year, depending on the matchup.
NFL Football for Oklahoma Sports Fans
A few years ago, the entire state of Oklahoma came to life when they got a professional sporting franchise with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA. However, as far as NFL teams go, there aren’t any that play in the state, and so Oklahoma’s NFL fan-base has to look elsewhere for their teams. While some shoot their eyes over to Kansas City and root for the Chiefs, most just look directly south and choose to root for one of the big Texas NFL teams. You have the Dallas Cowboys, who are definitely a popular team around America, and then you have the Houston Texans, who are still a relatively new franchise in the NFL.